[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Scott Kolins
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
“Road TO NOWHERE” finale! Blue Beetle faces off against the deadly Stopwatch, a man who uses time as a weapon to pull threats from the future and age the Scarab into dust. While Jaime fights for his life, his friends are left to fight for their own against Stopwatch’s unhinged minions, the Short Timers.
Stopwatch makes for an intriguing villain. A villain with temporal manipulation abilities is a unique challenge. Stopwatch has mastered his powers enough to bring advanced technology back from the future. He also hopes to use the Blue Beetle suit to expand his powers to change the past, which would make him essentially unbeatable.
While not explicitly stated, it is implied very strongly that Jaime’s girlfriend Naomi has figured out that Jaime is the Blue Beetle. Unfortunately, this comes along with Naomi putting an end to this relationship. Hopefully Jaime will be able to patch things up with Naomi – an angry ex-girlfriend with knowledge of his secret identity could spell trouble for Jaime in the future.
Most of the drawbacks of this issue are tied into the looming cancellation of the series. With only one issue remaining, there is a strong feeling of unfulfilled potential. I don’t know if Sebela realized that he was signing on for such a short stint, but if he did then choosing to take a diversion from Jaime’s regular world was a misstep. I am guessing that Sebela thought he would have plenty of time to bring Jaime home and explore the world Blue Beetle.
Most disappointingly is that Ted Kord has been absent during Jaime’s vacation. Giffen established Ted as being an indispensable partner for Jaime. I had hoped that Ted would at some point take up the identity of Blue Beetle, sharing the name with Jaime, but that looks unlikely now. Hopefully both Ted and Jaime can find a place (or places) in another DC title – perhaps in one or both of the Justice League titles.
Also, the impending end of the series give Jaime very little time to come to terms with Naomi. Will they get back together, or at least be on friendly terms – or will this be left as a hanging thread? Also, I feel we didn’t really get to know Naomi all that well. With as little as we’ve seen of her so far, their breakup didn’t seem to pack much of an emotional punch.
The imminent end of the title casts a pall over the issue, which otherwise would be an exciting chapter of the series. Hopefully Ted and Jaime will return to the DCU soon and not linger in limbo for long.