Saturday, January 17, 2015

"Secrets: Part One"

Last issue Jaime revealed his powers to his friend Brenda, then rescued her and his buddy Paco from Groot-like creatures before calling for a meeting with the Mexican meta-human gang known as the Posse. Now Keith Giffen, John Rogers, and Duncan Rouleau take us for that south of the border meeting, in "Blue Beetle" #5!

While waiting at a bus stop for Paco, Jaime is approached by "a stranger". The stranger seems to know Jaime, and even knows about the scarab! Removing his sunglasses to reveal his pupil-less eyes, he tells Jaime he's there to determine if the boy is part of the "new age of magic". He's not, but he is tied to another's fate. With that cryptic message delivered the man stands to leave, revealing himself to be the Phantom Stranger!

Paco arrives, with Posse member Damper in tow, and the trio cross the border into Mexico. Cloaked by Damper's powers they make their way to the Posse's headquarters. Damper makes it clear that after their last meeting, several members are not to happy about the meeting with Jaime. Bonita, Damper's girlfriend, was pregnant with their child...and Jaime, unable to control the armor at that time, broker her arm. They think he's crazy. It doesn't help that neither Paco or Damper saw the Phantom Stranger. They figured Jaime was talking to himself. To make matters worse they don't hear the scarab either. 

As they walk, a mysterious figure alerts Diviner that the "target is alone". Diviner was out for Jaime last issue...looks like he's after someone else now.

Back home Brenda enjoys a nice lunch out with her aunt (secretly La Dama). It's seems like friendly conversation, but she's trying to get info out of on Jaime. 

In a dark alley, Diviner makes a deal with Bottom Feeder, a hulking Quasimodo type who is constantly going on about good and evil, angels and demons. La Dama wants Damper and Bonita's baby, a rare child of two magic based meta-humans, and Diviner is outsourcing the job to Bottom Feeder. 

At Posse HQ, Jaime is upset to learn that Probe (the no eyed girl from issue #2) isn't around. She disappeared after their last encounter, another reason the Posse aren't huge fans of Blue Beetle. Part of the reason he asked for this meeting was in hopes she could help him. At that moment, Bonita bursts in! Someone took her baby, Alina! Jaime offers to find the child, using the scarab's ability to home in on its DNA. 

He quickly tracks Bottom Feeder to a bridge near the border, but zealot that he his the behemoth thinks Blue Beetle is a demon and panics. He throws the baby into traffic, as a sacrifice to save his own skin. 

Jaime manages to save the baby just as Bottom Feeder is hit by a truck, causing a multi-car pile-up! Bystanders ask for Blue Beetle's help, but Bottom Feeder is back on his feet and looking for a fight now. Beetle can't fight and carry a baby! Luckily, our tattooed motorcycle riding Peacemaker happens onto the scene and grabs the baby. 

Bottom Feeder is a truly odd character, who isn't fighting to, he wants Blue Beetle to kill him so he can "die in combat in the name of my lord." Jaime holds back, as the scarab and Bottom Feeder urge him to fight to the death, before unleashing a huge energy blast that throws the villain into the river below...just as Paco, led by a news helicopter, arrives on the scene.

Well...that was...interesting. Another issue that was full of character and story development, but a little light on the heroics. That said...when the heroics did kick in, it was 8 pages of action! What happens next? Check back next month for part two of "Secrets"!

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