Blue Beetle #8


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Blue Beetle #8


  • Words: John Rogers & Keith Giffen
  • Art: Cully Hamner & Casey Jones
  • Inks: Cully Hamner
  • Colors: Guy Major
  • Story Title: Road Trip
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Nov 1, 2006

Jaime and the gang take a road trip out to find original Blue Beetle Dan Garrett, but the journey gets interrupted when an old foe turns up once again.

This current issue continued to explore all facets of the Blue Beetle’s origins, and in doing so some interesting aspects from previous incarnations of the character were brought to light. Firstly, Dan Garrett’s past as the very first Beetle revealed his connection to the scarab, and in doing so we discovered how this related to Ted Kord’s connection. Now as interesting as this all seems, the mysteries surrounding Jaime’s connections to the scarab are still a bit sketchy, but I believe the crux of this issue did an admirable job of explaining it all.

In fact, the explanations Jamie seeks don’t take very long for him to discover, as he rides out to Garrett’s farmhouse with Brenda. The mysterious Peacemaker has joined them, and he continues to remain suspicious of the Blue Beetle’s actions. All three arrive at the Garrett farmhouse expecting to find Dan, but they are not aware of Dan’s passing years earlier. Instead they encounter Dan’s granddaughter Danielle and she fills them all in on her grandfather’s history as the first Blue Beetle and how he also came across the scarab. Danielle implies that both Dan and Ted acquired the use of the scarab beetle through means closer to thievery, and she is surprised to learn that the scarab has indeed chosen Jaime and is grafted onto the base of his spine. She asks Jaime to manifest into his beetle armor, and once he does this the beetle suddenly alerts him about some trouble brewing nearby. Jamie immediately flies off into combat unaware of the danger that lies ahead for him.

Now as I mentioned already, this issue attempted to reveal some facts about Dan Garrett and Ted Kord’s connection to the scarab. I liked the explanation given here and it’s nice to see Giffen and Rogers pay closer attention to the history of the character. If anything else the revelation of how the beetle had been acquired by both men was an intriguing twist, and it certainly gave more credence to why Jaime’s turn as the Blue Beetle is vastly different than what was seen previously. In fact this explanation makes way more sense to me, and since Jaime didn’t steal the scarab, it chose to give him powers beyond his wildest imagination. Much of this back story became the crux of this issue, and Giffen and Rogers seem determined to build new layers upon Jaime’s character. Their dialogue flows well and I like the relationship being developed between Jaime and the Peacemaker.

The other good thing about this issue though saw artist Cully Hamner continue his excellent run on the book with solid pencils throughout. I think he’s the perfect choice for this title given that his style is more simplistic and streamlined. Most of his characters stood out in the majority of the panels, and he’s really ingrained them all with a playful look for pleasing esthetic purposes. I just simply adore his rendition of the Blue Beetle in his armor and so far the concept of this uber looking exoskeleton works well in the action sequences.

Overall, this series is starting to hit the mark, despite starting out slow. This issue in particular did an excellent job of illuminating previous Beetle lore, and it was done with the express purpose of further propelling Jaime into a new light. This is the perfect story to begin for new readers and for all you continuity buffs I suggest you snap this one up since the big reveal surrounding Dan and Ted is certainly food for thought. This one has it all, and I know there is more to come in the months ahead.

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