Review: Blue Beetle #8

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

Writers: Keith Giffen & J. M. DeMatteis
Artist
: Scott Kolins

Summary
The mad wizard Arion has ripped the Blue Beetle Scarab from Jaime Reyes, leaving him as a normal human teenager, much to his mother’s relief. However, this leaves Doctor Fate as the only obstacle keeping Arion from unleashing Hell on Earth. Neither Ted nor Jaime trust Fate, which leaves everyone feeling uneasy.

And Doctor Fate is not doing well in the fight against Arion. Arion has cut the connection between Fate and Kent Nelson, leaving Fate powerless.

Meanwhile, Jaime and his mother run into Jaime’s friend Kevin Kho, who is fleeing from the humanoid insects that Arion has unleashed on El Paso by using the power of the scarab. However, Jaime’s mother transforms into a monster herself, followed closely by Kevin’s transformation into O.M.A.C., who wants to kill the monster that was formerly Jaime’s mother, but Jaime distracts him long enough for her to escape.

Jaime decides that he has to help defeat Arion, and plans to get to the Scarab and re-absorb it to regain his powers. Ted gives him his old Blue Beetle costume and equipment to help.

Positives
There is a lot to love about this issue. First off, the reunion of the Giffen/DeMatteis writing team. Ted is a character that’s very near and dear to their hearts, so we can be sure that Blue Beetle is in caring and capable hands.

Plus, we have the reappearance of Ted’s Blue Beetle costume. Unfortunately, it’s not Ted we see wearing it, but it’s a nice nod and serves as confirmation of Ted’s having been the Blue Beetle being canon. Also, we finally discover the reason for his quitting the superhero life: it gave him a heart attack.

And we have another DC guest-star: O.M.A.C., the One Man Army Corps. O.M.A.C. seems to be a somewhat underutilized DC property, so hopefully he will stick around for a bit.

I made mention of this elsewhere, but I really dig that DC is putting an emphasis on legacy and I love that many of their titles are featuring mentor-protégé teams such as Ted and Jaime. Unfortunately, the major drawback of the New 52’s clean start was that it eliminated the sense of legacy that has been a mainstay of the DC Universe for years. It is great to see it making a comeback, and I think this is a major factor in the success of the Rebirth line.

Negatives
This may be a bit nit-picky, but since when is Kevin Kho overweight? It has been a while since his title was cancelled, but has enough time passed in the DCU for him to pack on that much extra weight?

Verdict
This title just keeps getting better and better. I was never terribly excited about Jaime’s adventures in the pre-Flashpoint and New 52 runs of Blue Beetle, but the Rebirth run is one of my favourite titles.

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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.