Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Infected: Scarab #1 Review

The Monster Inside

Written By: Dennis Hopeless Hallum
Art By: Freddie E. Williams II, Jeremy Colwell, Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 20, 2019

We're continuing our Infected one-shots with The Scarab this week, where we'll find out how Jaime Reyes went and got himself infected by the Batman Who Laughs...... and with that, hopefully discover some kind of rules to this infection because each story that someone who is infected shows up in, it seems that they all do something different and have different motivations, even though the ones showing up in the Batman/Superman book seem to be under the thrall of the Batman Who Laughs.  Let's jump into this issue and check it out.

Okay, right off the bat, there's no rules here.  Hell, we have Jaime infected, but who forgets he's been infected and assumes that it was all a dream until he starts to lose his inhibitions and throughout we have the Batman Who Laughs talking to him inside of his mind.  I have no idea what's up with this storyline.  While the initial depictions of Jaime losing his cool were really fun, the way he goes about it are just weird.  You have the normal scarab and you expect it to act a certain way, especially since we haven't seen Jaime in awhile in action, but now that he's becoming "Scarab", he's just puking up stuff that looks like the Venom symbiote and fucking eating people.  

One of the biggest problems I have with this issue and with the previous Blue Beetle series is that they don't have the scarab be its own character so that we can see how it would react so a Jaime that's been infected or a scarab that's infected with a Jaime Reyes stuck inside the monster that he's become.  There's some interesting elements to this issue, but overall, there's just not a lot here to bring any sort of semblance to this or the other Infected stories, leaving me still confused about what the overall rules of becoming infected are.

All in all, I'm not a fan of Freddie Williams II's art style and actually had to have the characters react to things that were happening or actually saying what was happening for me to understand it myself because the line work is so heavy that everything just kind of blends together, leaving a mess to look at.  As for the story....... Well, there's not much here beyond Jaime becoming infected, becoming a monster and then just the end of the book...... Which I guess is the purpose of these one-shots, but I need some of these to start making sense together so that we as readers have a sense of how this infection really works.  As it is, it's just a hodgepodge of ideas, where the individual writers just come up with their own ideas.

Bits and Pieces:

There's not a lot here to further the story of the "Infected" as far as giving us an idea of what the rules of the infected are or why any of them would go along with the Batman Who Laughs' plans, but if you want to see Jaime Reyes, you know, since it's been awhile, you might get something out of this.  It's just that right when it feels that the story starts, it's already over and on top of that, I'm not a fan of the art style in this book.  So pretty much, everything about this issue left me wanting.


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