Saturday, May 28, 2016

Mister Nice Guy

Last issue, the Reach revealed themselves to be master manipulators! They tested Jaime, tried converting an army of human slaves, made peace with the US Government, and then appeared to implant a scarab on Peacemaker John Rogers and Rafael Albuquerque are back, with issue #14 and a story called "Mister Nice Guy".

The issue opens with Jaime writing in a journal, recapping the events of the last couple issues...until Guy Gardner shows up. Unlike their last encounter, Jaime and the scarab are ready for him and immediately go on the offensive! Its a short fight, leaving Guy putting out a small fire in his hair while Jaime makes a quick exit.

Jaime arrives home in time for a family cookout, but is worried he may be followed. When his mother introduces the man who just came to the door looking for Jaime...Guy Gardner. Before round two can really begin though, Mrs. Reyes quickly puts a stop to things. 

Guy apologies, without actually saying he's sorry, and explains between being friends with the late Ted Kord and the ring not being fond of the scarab...well, multiple buttons were pressed, so to speak. He offers to fill Jaime in on what he and the Guardians know about the scarab and the Reach. Jaime agrees if Guy comes with him to the South Pole. Why? The scarab picked up some power levels leading him to believe a Reach base may be there. 

After an off panel bar fight in South America, they arrive in Antarctica only to find the base Jaime was tracking seems to be dimension shifted, making it harder to find. He thinks the scarab can help...until the duo are attacked by penguins! 

Before you can say "Seriously? Penguins?!" a second surprise pops up, the Ultra-Humanite! 

It seems the Reach expected Jaime to make a move and hired "local contractors" to protect their base. As the trio begin to trade blows, Ultra-Humanite uses a mental blast to temporarily blind the heroes. It looks like the big white ape is about to brain Guy when he gets blasted from behind. Jaime may be blinded, but the scarab isn't! In fact, the scarab is just itching for Jaime to let it loose and rip Ultra to shreds! 

That's enough to make the villain hesitate...and when he does, Guy makes his move and lays the albino ape out with a few well placed punches! 

And that's when a Reach rep shows up on the scene. He tries to pull a Jedi mind trick, convincing them there is no hidden base...and no Ultra-Humanite either. When they turn, Ultra is gone. The duo backs down, for now, as Guy tells Jaime they're going to do something Ted would have the long game! And later, back in their civilian identities, Guy gives Jaime a gift...a book on strategy, the same one Ted had once given him.

Well, at the start I was a little disappointed that we weren't following up on the scarab infected Peacemaker...but the interplay between Guy and Jaime more than made up for it. It was nice to see that Guy really thought of Ted as a friend, (hell, he even says Ted was smarter than Batman!) and that at least some of his anger was a result of his grief. And the's like one of the sayings I live my life by, "Monkeys are like cheese, they make everything better!"

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