[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis
Artist: Scott Kolins
Guest-starring Batman! Jaime Reyes may be back in his Blue Beetle armor, but he’s still a relative novice at the superhero game. And that’s raised the attention of someone who’s been doing this a long time. See what happens when the Caped Crusader swings over to El Paso to provide some schooling.
This issue evokes strong memories of Giffen and DeMatteis’ run on Justice League, especially with the interaction between Ted Kord and Batman. Unfortunately, it seems that Ted never was a member of the League in the Rebirth reality, but clearly Ted and Batman have had past dealings. Clearly there is more of Ted’s past as the Blue Beetle to be revealed.
And as humorous as Ted’s encounter with Batman is, Jaime’s is more dramatic. There’s a very well written moment at the climax after they take out the villain Ghostfire together. Jaime stands up to Batman and calls him out for his violent approach, saying that Batman needs to temper his ‘Dark Avenger’ bit with kindness. Surprisingly, Batman respects Jaime’s stance and that power needs to be tempered by compassion. Batman then informs Jaime that he has potential after all.
There is also a nice character moment between Teri Magnus and Tina, the Flash and Batgirl from Justice League 3000/3001. Both are somewhat disconcerted by the appearance of Batman, whose clone was a friend of theirs. This sets up for the next arc, where they will attempt to return to the future they left behind.
There’s just one more issue until a new creative team takes over, and the solicitations for the next few issues don’t mention Ted. I am hoping this is temporary and the new team isn’t writing Ted out of the title. Ted definitely seems to be holding up his half of the Blue Beetle team.
A fun story with humour, some nice character interaction, plus a Batman appearance. Giffen and DeMatteis weave all these elements into an amazing story.