Blue Beetle #15 – Christopher Sebela, Writer; Scott Kolins, Breakdowns; Tom Derenick, Finishes; Romulo Fajardo Jr., Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Corrina: Shows Promise
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Christopher Sebela’s brief Blue Beetle run (the title’s just been announced to be ending with #18) continues to unfold, as Jaime, Paco, Brenda, and Naomi’s road trip first leads them into contact with aliens, and then into a town straight out of the Twilight Zone. The issue begins with an action segment as Blue Beetle battles against strange glowing spacemen. The action jumps around a lot, with Jaime porting in and out of Blue Beetle mode before Paco saves the day by ramming one of the spacemen with a car. They drive on to an abandoned motel where they stay the night. Brenda and Paco bicker more, while Jaime and Naomi get closer, but by the time they’re ready to leave the next morning, they’re waylaid by an odd army of pint-sized survivalists right out of Lord of the Flies. Their car stripped and their cell phones dead, they’re trapped.
The issue has some cool visual moments, such as when the sky starts flickering back and forth between different surreal landscapes. But the overall mystery is an oddball one, revealing a town populated seemingly only by children and old people, all in service of some mysterious alien source of their power. They’re also completely determined to keep anyone from leaving the town – or maybe they think they can’t. A flashback reveals that the aliens aren’t actually aliens at all, but something else tied to the townspeople. There’s a distinct vibe of an old-school 50’s sci-fi TV series here, with a mystery tied to the space age and a twist ending, but I’m not sure the concept is enough to sustain a whole arc, as the solicits seem to indicate.
Corrina: It’s an intriguing premise but it seems an uneasy mash of Twilight Zone plus small-town thriller. Perhaps in the need for a new twist on this concept, the truth behind why the people cycle between old and young seems more random than cool. It would help if we could focus in on one or two townspeople that could represent their struggle but, so far, they’re all a fairly monolithic block.
But the good part is the story is focusing on Jaime and his friends, as this title should have done in the beginning, and I like the lighter touch with dialogue, and the moment between Jaime and Naomi is sweetly romantic but, alas, that’s probably doomed since Jaime’s keeping his secret identity secret to her.
I’m bummed we won’t get to see what else this creative team might have done with this title and I wish the start to this series had been much, much different. (The ideas were there. The execution was not.)
Note: Check out all our single issue DC Comics reviews in our index.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.