[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Chris Sebela
Artist: Scott Kolins
“Road Trip” part three! The mystery in the desert begins to unravel with the appearance of the man known as Stopwatch. He’s the mastermind behind the deadly Short Timers and the source of all the time disruptions which have been tearing apart reality. How is Jaime going to defeat him while trying to keep his identity secret from his girlfriend, Naomi?
Stopwatch is a somewhat unique take on a villain with time manipulation powers. He is a scientist who invented a time machine, but the initial activation of the time machine killed him. Or at least it would have – if he hadn’t become caught in the final moments before his death. He uses his powers to attempt to prevent the error that killed him, but every attempt still has been successful, leading to his death in multiple timelines.
This makes him a more sympathetic villain. He isn’t attempting to take over the world or gain riches, but rather just trying to save his own life. It’s just his disregard for others in his attempts to do so that mark him as a villain.
I had a suspicion over the last few issues that Brenda and Paco were involved romantically and hiding it from Jaime. Partially because they were similarly involved before the New 52 reboot and partially because it was obvious that they were hiding something from him.
However, it’s Jaime’s reaction that I find somewhat uncharacteristic. His being surprised is somewhat understandable because of their history of constant antagonism towards each other. Also, I can understand him being annoyed that they hid their relationship from him. What I don’t see is why he would be upset about them having a relationship at all. Both are his longtime friends, and I would expect that he would be happy for them. Perhaps he will come to his senses when the current crises are wrapped up and he has time to calm down.
My major disappointment with this storyline is the absence of Ted, considering that the end of the series is fast approaching. There are only two more issues left after this one, and Ted is slated to return in the final issue. I realize that Sebela may not have realized that the series was ending when he took over the title, so I don’t hold it against him, but I am disappointed that we won’t get to see much more of Ted. But maybe he might pop up elsewhere in the DCU – with his pal Booster Gold, perhaps?
Despite these drawbacks, it still is a decent read. I wish Sebela had been allotted a longer run to show what he could do with the characters. This storyline is good, but the spectre of the title’s impending end gives it a bit of a sombre feel that diminishes the fun – and Blue Beetle is a title that should be fun.