Saturday, February 14, 2015

"Secrets: Part Two"

Last issue Jaime helped save Alina, the daughter of Damper and Bonita of the meta-human gang the Posse. Keith Giffen, John Rogers continue weaving tales of the Blue Beetle, with Cynthia Martin and Kevin J. West on pencils, and Philip Moy and Jack Purcell on inks.

Part two picks up a little while after the events of part one. Peacemaker scouts an area outside a mysterious compound in the desert, noting that someone has already been there and disabled several pieces of security equipment. Who would have done this? Blue Beetle and the Posse! Jaime has used the scarab to track Bonita & Damper's baby here. Wait, what? I thought Peacemaker saved the baby from Bottom Feeder last issue? Hmmm...anyway, Paco stays behind with the jeep, as Jaime and the Posse (Damper, Thumper and Pinata) plan their attack on the compound. Using Damper's cloaking ability the team sneaks inside only to's actually a peaceful metahuman community! Well, a highly secure, but peaceful community...under lock down. Things seem to be going well on their little recon mission, until an alarm sounds. 

Makes sense that a gated community of metas would be able to detect other metas. Once they get spotted it's time for a super-powered throwdown! Damper demands to know where his baby daughter is, but never gets an answer. One meta inside, a girl named Spinner, has the power to swap peoples power. She grabs Thumper and Pinata, and neither one can control the other ones power. Thumper blows up, Pinata bounces uncontrollably, and chaos ensues. 

Jaime activates the scarab and Blue Beetle steps in to even the odds. 

At that same time, Paco (who had waited behind with the jeep) is surprised by armed guards on motorcycles and a chase ensues! When he looses control and finds himself on foot, it's Peacemaker who shows up to save the day!

Back at the meta-community it's "Headmaster" begins leeching energy from nearby guards to grow tentacles and lash out at Blue Beetle. 

It looks like Jaime may be in trouble, until he figures out that if he keeps the Headmaster away from a power source he'll go down easy. That's when our hero snatches the man up and takes him high into the sky...and that's where the Phantom Stranger makes his return! Apparently there was some sort of magical shield around the place that blocked the Stranger...until Jaime flew above it. They return to the compound, in time to see two things...the Posse surrounded by guards, and duh-duh-dunn...Brenda's aunt Tia Amparo, finally revealed as the mysterious La Dama! 

Probe makes a return as well, to explain that she's here by her own choice. The compound is a safe place for metas, a place where they can learn from each other without fear or persecution. Blue Beetle and the Posse don't see it quite that way. The Phantom Stranger says Jaime led him to "her" (La Dama) and something about a new age of magic. The Stranger confronts her and they debate whether she's breaking some kind of truce by hiding the metas. She says she's not hiding them, she's protecting them...besides they're free to come and go as they please. Phantom Stranger seems satisfied, for now, and disappears. La Dama then pulls Jaime into a private meeting to tell him he'd better not mess up her plans, or hurt anyone she cares about, namely Brenda. She also admits she killed Brenda's abusive dad to protect her niece... implying she'd do the same to Jaime. He takes her threat, and ups his...if she messes with him, he'll come back at her. So they agree to a truce...and then Peacemaker busts in with Paco informing Jaime that the scarab isn't's alien!

Now, it took me a while to come around and enjoy Jaime's adventures, being a dyed in the wool Ted fan. That said I've been enjoying this "new" Blue Beetle...until now. This issue left me very confused. Things happened quickly, and seemingly out of sequence. The last time we saw Alina, the baby, Peacemaker "saved" her during the fight with Bottom'd she end up in La Dama's compound? The Posse arrives looking for Damper's baby, and then not only don't they find her, but they never mention her again the dust clears. Stories like this always make me wonder, "what happened?" Did an editor step in and force a shift in the story, derailing the writer's original intent? Here's hoping things get cleared up a bit next month.

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