Saturday, April 26, 2014

"Can't Go Home Again"

When last we left Jaime Reyes in the pre-New 52 DCU, he was naked and alone in the desert having just realized that he is the new Blue Beetle...well, sort of...I don't think I recapped the first issue as thoroughly as I do Ted's adventures. Hopefully, today's peek at issue #2 remedies that.

Blue Beetle #2, "Can't Go Home Again", is once again brought to us by Keith Giffen, John Rodgers and Cully Hamner. The story picks up with Jaime wandering through the desert in search of clothes, and something to tell his parents. He gives a very simple recap of "Infinite Crisis" (a satellite that Superman needed help with, saving the space) before deciding she'd never believe it and would probably kill him...and then, flashback!

Jaime, Brenda and Paco are eating lunch outside at school, but they're being watched! While his friends don't notice Jaime (or more specifically the scarab) does. Jaime walks over to see what's up. Damper, the guy, can block people from seeing himself and those close to him. 

Probe, the girl...probes, or tries to. The scarab blocks her...and delivers some kind of psychic feedback as a defense, which gives the girl a crippling headache and nosebleed. Damper thinks it's Jaime's doing, but probe knows it's not, mumbling "no its not's the other. The other..." Damper doesn't seem to hear it though, he pulls her away warning Jaime "Bad move! The Posse takes care of its own!", before disappearing. 

Back in the present, naked Jaime stumbles up to a gas station, and tries to get some clothes from a Goodwill donation bin. Suddenly "KA-CHAK", our hero finds himself facing the wrong end of a shotgun held by a burly gas station attendant. Lucky for Jaime the guy takes pity on him and offers to help...for a second I was worried this was going to go dark and "Deliverance" creepy!

Back in the past Jaime is hanging around his dad's auto shop, trying to get his father to let  him work part time. Dad says no, but Jaime persists, "Mom thinks its a good idea" At that point Damper, and the Posse walk by and Jaime takes off running, but gets tackled by a dwarf. The Posse corner him in an alley and say they want payback. He hurt Probe, and they want to know why? Scour, an obese member with acid sweat, flicks his fluid at Jaime. Surprisingly, as holes form on Jaime's shirt, Damper tells Scour to least until they're sure he deserves it. A cute blond steps forward and introduces everyone, "Where are our manners? The little one's Thump. I think you know why. You've met Damper. The pig's Scour. I'm Bonita." 

She proceeds to move in, as if to kiss Jaime while asking his name...but the scarab steps in. In seconds Blue Beetle is fully armored and on the offensive! Thump tries to get the jump on BB, but ends up tossed in a dumpster instead! Scour tries an acid attack, but gets pushed back with an energy blast! Thump tries again and gets hit with bolts of electricity from Beetle's armor! With everyone down, BB makes his escape, leaving Damper to wonder just what happened? 

The issue finishes in the present with Jaime getting a ride home from the gas station attendant. As they arrive, Jaime says he'll just sneak in his bedroom no one freaks out...but they do! Jaime thinks he's only been gone one night...but he's actually been missing for a whole year!

Not too much Blue Beetle action in this issue, but some great character development and set up! What happened? How'd he going missing for a year? What's up with the Posse? The answers will be revealed (maybe) when we look at issue #3... Coming soon!

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