Blue Beetle #17 – Christopher Sebela, Writer; Scott Kolins, Artist; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Corrina: Kinda a Mess
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Christopher Sebela has a one-off issue to wrap Blue Beetle‘s series next month, but this issue finishes off his main story with mixed results, as we see flashes of what the series could have been under both creative teams – but a mediocre villain and some poor character development for a supporting character holds it back. When the issue picks up, Jaime is in a pitched battle against an insane, ancient mad scientist with time travel powers, while his best friends and girlfriend are just trying to stay alive in the middle of a chaotic scene. The battle scene is only mildly compelling, as our villain likes to monologue and his plan is less than coherent. Jaime and Scarab trying to work together is always interesting, and we’ve seen their dynamic evolve over the course of the series, but the action is a little hard to follow at times.
Paco and Brenda were one of this title’s secret weapons in its original incarnation, and while their dynamic has often been a bit too caustic in the years since, they steal the show here, especially when Brenda comes up with a creative, Medieval Times-inspired strategy to survive the onslaught of alien spaceships. Naomi, though? She’s this issue’s biggest problem. She was never all that compelling as a love interest for Jaime in either run, instead coming off as a stock superhero girlfriend. When she discovers Jaime’s identity this issue, she reacts angrily and even violently, attacking him, and the issue seems to slam the door on their relationship. Which could have had more of an impact if she had been given any real prior development beyond “girlfriend”. I’m not sure what Sebela has planned for the last issue, but consistently this series has had potential that it never quite lived up to.
Corrina: A few things work in this issue. There’s the camaraderie of Jaime’s friends and their courage in facing the threat alone. There is also Naomi’s reaction to being constantly lied to by Jaime about being the Beetle, which is entirely appropriate. But Jaime did lie to her and it makes sense she’s angry with him. (Of course, the break-up would have more impact if she’d had more of a personality in this arc.)
But the fight against the villain is a mess. I’m still not sure what the Professor and the villagers were doing with time, and what’s happening during the action sequences. I’ll just say this part of the arc has been poorly realized and confusing to read.
And now we’re at the end of the series. What a waste of an excellent character most of this current series has been.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.