Saturday, May 6, 2017

Blue Beetle #8 (2016)

"Jaime Reyes: Reluctant Wielder of the Power of the Blue Beetle Scarab. Ted Kord: Billionaire Industrialist and Sidelined Superhero. Together They Are The Blue Beetle...Whether They Like It Or Not." Last issue Ted was back in action to rescue a helpless Jaime, while Doctor Fate battled a power crazed Arion! Keith Giffen and Scott Kolins are back, and this time with J.M. DeMatteis and a story called "Transformations"!



"Blue Beetle is dead...long live Jaime Reyes!" That's what Teri Magnus says as she and Mrs. Reyes look over after the teen. As best as they can tell, when Arion ripped the scarab from Jaime, he broke whatever bond it had with the boy too. Even better? Jaime is in peak physical condition! Jaime's mother is grateful to have her son back but, determined to keep it that way, decides it's time to leave Kord Industries. 



Before she can make their exit though, Jaime stops. He can't walk away. The holes, the missing people...someone has to do something. Someone has to stop Arion. Bianca Reyes volunteers Ted.

Below ground the Arion/Fate beat down continues. Now that Arion has the scarab, and it's power, he plans to remake the world! Peering and piercing through the eyes of Dr. Fate, Arion attacks Kent Nelson. 



Then, as Dr. Fate crumples at his feet, the Atlantean wizard tells Mordecai that he will make the entire Earth suffer the way his beloved Atlantis suffered.

Jaime and his mother are traveling home, along the unusually barren streets of El Paso, when Jaime has a crisis of conscience. As Blue Beetle, knowing what's happening with Arion, he could make a difference. But now? That's when he asks him mom to stop the car. He sees someone walking, someone he knows. Kevin Kho, from school. Kevin is terrified. Someone's after him. He says "they" know "what" he is. He tells Jaime and Doc Reyes to leave, for their own good. That's when the Horde arrive on the scene! Jaime's done running, though. He's tired of things attacking his friends and family...and he charges in to fight! 



When one of the Horde grabs Jaime, Doc Reyes gets involved too but it doesn't go as planned...she's turned into a half human beast! Then one of the creatures grabs Kevin...and he transforms into OMAC! OMAC quickly dispatches the Horde, and turns to find Bianca Reyes attacking her son. The One Man Army Corp (or is it Omni Mind And Community? Maybe Observational Metahuman Activity Construct?) moves in to attack her, but Jaime stops him, pleading with Kevin. 



The transformed Mrs. Reyes uses the distraction, at Jaime's insistence, to run away...as Arion watches from below.

Back at Kord Industries, Jaime asks, no demands, Ted help him rescue his mom. In fact, Jaime has a specific plan in mind. The teen believes he can "feel" the scarab. He thinks it wants to rejoin with him, and he believes if he goes underground he can take the scarab and drain off some of Arion's power. Oh...and he wants to do it as Blue Beetle!



Holy crap! That last page...well technically the last two pages (the page preceding the image above was Jaime suiting up)...it surprised me! It shocked me! And then it excited me! See, way back when (October 2013) I posted something I'd heard about online. The short version, for those that don't want to follow that link, is that while writing Birds of Prey, Chuck Dixon (who had already made Ted a semi-regular character) had planned to have Ted mentor Tim Drake as the new Blue Beetle. Sounds pretty cool right? So when Jaime was first introduced and armored up by the previously untapped power of the (then) alien scarab...I was disappointed. I've come around, I actually like Jaime now, but this...this takes it to another level! I'm not sure if Giffen, DeMatteis, and Kolins are paying homage to that idea, or if they came to it on their own, but either way Jaime being mentored by Ted as a new powerless Blue Beetle is definitely something I could get behind! I guess we'll see how this plays out next month!





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