Review: Blue Beetle #3

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writers: Keith Giffen & Scott Kolins
Artist
: Scott Kolins

Summary
In the middle of the night, Jaime Reyes awakens to find himself in the Blue Beetle armour, facing the Horde – an army of bug-men. Apparently, the Beetle Scarab autonomously took Jaime while he was sleeping into the mysterious tunnels that Jaime and Ted Kord have been investigating.

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What’s worse is that these beings seem able to easily damage the armour, which shows them to be stronger than any enemy Jaime has faced before. Then Jaime sees what appears to be an alien ship which causes him – or is it the Scarab – to flee.

Realizing that his control over the Scarab and armour is slipping, Jaime turns to Ted for help, against his better judgment. Ted urges Jaime to submit to more testing. Jaime just wants rid of the Scarab, but Ted points out that what they don’t know about it might kill Jaime. Ted tells Jaime about Doctor Fate’s interest in the Scarab, and that it isn’t a good sign.

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A flashback to Ted talking to Doctor Fate shows that Fate intends to kill Jaime to prevent him becoming a threat, although Ted does not tell Jaime of Fate’s intentions.

Jaime reluctantly agrees to undergo any tests that Ted’s scientist, Teri Magnus, deems necessary. Ted calls her and informs her of this. After the call ends, we see her meeting with detectives Sugar and Spike.

After school, Jaime stops by his father’s garage to have a heart-to-heart talk with his dad. Jaime confides to his father that he feels he is losing control of the Scarab, and that he has consented to Ms. Magnus’ tests. Then he stops by his friend Brenda’s house to have a similar conversation with her.

Finally, we see an armoured being walking through the El Paso airport, which appears as a strange man to those around him. A small boy bumps into the man, and shortly afterwards collapses.

Positives
It’s interesting that DC staples Sugar and Spike make an appearance. It’s yet to be seen what their role will be in the title, but I’m glad to see connections to DC’s history. Likewise, I noticed that Jaime’s high school is named Charlton High, which is likely a Charlton Comics, the company that originally published Blue Beetle.

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However, what has me the most excited is the very last panel of the story, which contains this text: “Next: The origin of the Blue Beetles. That’s right. We said Beetles.” This adds to the hints that Ted Kord did indeed have a previous career as the Blue Beetle. Also, plural Beetles could even refer to three. Could Dan Garret’s tenure as the Blue Beetle also be returning to DC canon?

Negatives
Next issue promises to fill in a lot of the mystery of Ted Kord’s past, but it’s a bit maddening to only get just that little tease and having to wait a full month. Hopefully, next issue’s revelations will make the wait worth it.

Also, Doctor Fate’s appearance in this issue has me concerned. Fate here appears to be significantly different from Khalid Nassour in both costume and attitude. Does this mean that Khalid is being retired from the role of Doctor Fate in favour of a return to Kent Nelson? Or is another Doctor Fate stepping into the role?

Verdict
This issue raises a lot of questions, but gives few answers. This in itself is not a bad thing, as it’s raising suspense, which plays against the promise of next issue’s revelations. I eagerly look forward to seeing what that issue will tell us about Jaime and Ted.

4outof5

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.