[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Scott Kolins
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
NEW CREATIVE TEAM! Following recent events in El Paso, Jaime and his friends decide to take a spontaneous road trip through the desert. But the scarab still exerts its influence, and inevitably, it will to lead Jaime into danger, this time in the form of a U.F.O. Will Jaime be forced to reveal his identity as Blue Beetle to his new girlfriend?
Although the solicitations for this issue indicated a new creative team, Scott Kolins is still handling the art duties in this issue. It’s unclear if this means that Kolins is sticking around for the foreseeable future, or if the new artist is just delayed in taking over from him. I like Kolins’ artwork, so I will count this as a plus, whether or not he’s staying.
However, the new writer, Chris Sebela, has taken over, so that raises the question of what will be changed and what will be kept from Giffen and DeMatteis’ run? An ongoing theme in the issue is that Jaime has make some important decisions about his future, which may be hinting at changes to come after this initial story arc ends, but for the moment, Sebela mostly seems to be maintaining the status quo.
This initial arc takes Jaime and his friends on a road trip out of El Paso and away from the rest of his supporting cast. This both serves to put Jaime in unfamiliar ground, but without drastically changing his life. This allows Sebela to do his own thing with Jaime, but not undo everything that Giffen and DeMatteis have established.
On the flipside, however, this leaves open the possibility that when this arc is resolved and Jaime returns home, that major changes might be made to his status quo. I worry that Ted Kord’s role in the series might be minimal or worse yet, Ted might depart the series. To be honest, if it was decided they could only have one Blue Beetle in the title, I would rather they remove Jaime and put Ted back into costume. These fears might be unfounded, but we will have to wait until the current storyline ends. Which will not be for a few months.
Also, the previous writing team of Giffen and DeMatteis leave Sebela with some big shoes to fill. From this issue, he seems to be a competent writer, but I will reserve judgement until I see how the story progresses.
This issue serves as a promising start for the new writer, but it remains to be seen if he can maintain the level of quality established by the outgoing writers. Hopefully he will rise to the challenge and make his own mark on the title, so I will remain cautiously optimistic about its future.