Saturday, January 14, 2017

Blue Beetle #4 (2016)

"Jaime Reyes: Reluctant Wielder of the Power of the Blue Beetle Scarab. Ted Kord: Billionaire Industrialist and Sidelined Superhero. Together They Are The Blue Beetle...Whether They Like It Or Not." Previously, a sleep-flying Jaime encountered a group of creatures called the Horde, learned about Dr. Fate's warning regarding the nature of the scarab, and reluctantly agreed to submit to additional tests by Ted and Teri Magnus. Keith Giffen and Scott Kolins are back with issue #4 and a story called "My Not So Secret Origin"

The year is 2015, the place? Near the boarder of the US and Mexico. A distraught man has a desperate phone conversation. He claims something, something like a drug, drew him to this location. He doesn't know how, or why, but he needs help. He refers to the person on the other line as a superhero, and by the name "Ted", before ending the call and beginning to drive toward a nearby bridge...and that's when Dr. Fate shows up! The good Doctor appears out of thin air, standing in the middle of the road, and our mystery man swerves to avoid him, crashing his vehicle into the river. Dr. Fate dives in, but not for the man...he's looking for a box the man had in his possession and finding it empty, he simply flies away leaving the man to drown!

In the present, Jaime and Paco are trying to get through another day of school. Unfortunately, once the bell rings Jaime's due to meet Teri Magnus for some testing. Paco tries to put him at ease before Brenda arrives on the scene with another girl in tow. 

Naomi...the same girl that's been shadowing Jaime the last few issues. After a short, nervous, teenage introduction the teens separate and Jaime's off to Kord's lab. After some simple scans, and collecting a spit sample Ms. Magnus asks a pretty obvious did Jaime find the scarab?

Hesitantly at first, Jaime explains it was just a few months ago, just before the school year started. The trio of friends (Jaime, Paco and Brenda) were hanging out by the river, normal teen stuff, when Paco spotted something in the water. He waded out into the river and found what he thought was the prize from a box of cereal...until it bit him! 

Brenda rushed out into the water to help and it began to glow...and grow! It seemed to turn into a giant blue bug...and began to possess Brenda...until Jaime reached out to touch it. 

Sensed it was somehow broken, and found himself covered in the familiar armor of the Blue Beetle! And that's all he remembers. Teri tells him they're done for now, but as he leaves she informs Ted the scans show the scarab isn't just attached to Jaime, it's mutating his skeletal structure! 

Some time in the past, Ted Kord is working on a costume...and trying to come up with a name! 

Crimson Vengeance? The Rampant Avenger? Spider Guy? He debates it all the way home to his apartment where he bumps into his neighbor...Dan Garrett! After a few jokes about Lara Croft, tomb raiding and Indiana Jones, its pretty clear Garrett is an archaeologist and not only that he's back from an adventure! With a little more prodding Ted gets Garrett to show off his latest a wooden box is a blue beetle! 

The scarab! Ted walks into his apartment with the answer to his dilemma, his superhero name will be Blue Beetle! And back in the present, Ted suddenly recalls the phone call he received a year ago from a desperate Dan Garrett, bringing the issue full circle!

As Jaime leaves Kord Industries, he's greeted by a familiar face, Naomi. She's been waiting, suspecting he could use some company...and waiting for him to ask her out.

WOW! So we sort of get answers, sort of...but we definitely get more questions! We now know for certain Ted was operating as a hero. He was designing a costume, deciding on a name, and Dan certainly believed he was one, going so far as to reach out to him in his hour of need. We also got to see how Jaime came to possess the scarab (or how the scarab came to possess him). But...Naomi? She seems sweet, but I'm suspicious! And what's Dan's story? Guess we have to wait and see what happens, and what else is revealed, next issue!


  1. I read this one last week, and I am really enjoying how things are unfolding. The character work is strong, the art is great, and I find myself wanting to know what's next. So...score one for Rebirth, eh?

  2. Definitely a score for Rebirth!