A new week of comics reviews kicks off with three DC Comics Rebirth books: the last chapter of the first arc of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps and the next chapters for Titans and Blue Beetle.
Blue Beetle 2
Written by Keith Giffen and Scott Kolins
Art by Scott Kolins
This issue was just classic Giffen from beginning to end, so much so that it would have been right at home during the Justice League International era.
Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes is investigating the mysterious hole that popped up in the City and he meets up with local metahuman gang the Posse for some help and… well, it doesn’t really go well. The members of The Posse think Beetle is a bonafide hero who thinks he’s too good for the street-level guys, and it doesn’t help that they think he’s loco and talking to himself – he’s actually talking to Ted Kord up in the Bug, but they don’t know that. Jaime is also thrown off when he finds out his mother has been providing medical help to the Posse, because Kord talked her into it.
As if that wasn’t enough to fill the issue, Jaime also has to deal with Posse member Blur, who was left behind when the team left to help Beetle out, and she proceeds to hit on Jaime. And that doesn’t go well, either, since Jaime has no idea what’s happening and Blur takes offense.
While the issue solicits mention Doctor Fate’s role in what’s going on with Jaime, that subplot takes a backseat to the rest of the wacky shenanigans, but that’s ok. The pacing here didn’t need an extra thread to pull at and it’s something that can be picked up later.
Overall, the second issue of the book was a fun way to set up Blue Beetle’s world and the costumed supporting cast, expanding it beyond his high school friends and giving some more options on who can be used in each issue.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 7
Written by Robert Venditti
Pencils by Rafa Sandoval
Inks by Jordi Tarragona
The massively stretched-out “Sinestro’s Law” comes to an end after seven issues and Hal Jordan still has not been reunited with his fellow Corps members. Of course, Hal doesn’t seem to survive the issue, so at least there’s a reason for it. But it still makes the title of the book a little weird to me.
Yeah, you read that right, Hal doesn’t seem to survive the issue, using his newfound ability to turn into pure willpower to not only destroy Sinestro’s War World, but to seemingly destroy Sinestro and himself at the same time. The bulk of the issue featured the battle between the two former comrades while Sinestro’s daughter worked to get the Yellow Lanterns’ prisoners – including a still-naked Guy Gardner – off of War World.
One thing that irked me throughout the issue was the discussion of how Jordan got the ring. It’s been established that when a Green Lantern dies, the ring chooses its successor, and Abin Sur’s ring brought him to Earth as he was dying so Jordan could get the ring. But throughout the issue, both Jordan and Sinestro talk about Jordan receiving the ring as if it was Abin Sur’s choice. It’s a small thing that was used to build tension between Abin Sur’s best friend (Sinestro) and his successor, but it just seemed like out of place given how important things like that are to the Green Lantern mythos.
So now, the Corps will undoubtedly go on trying to figure out what happened to Hal as the next storyline kicks off. It’s really going to be a game day decision in two weeks whether I continue reading the book, though the promise of Ethan Van Sciver’s art may tip the scales to the affirmative. We’ll see…
Written by Dan Abnett
Pencils by Brett Booth
Inks by Norm Rapmund
The Titans continue to battle magician from the future Kadabra with Wally West’s once and future (maybe?) love Linda Park hanging in the balance. The villain has the damsel placed in distress and puts obstacles in the way of the hero and his friends, and Wally begins to question why he came back, because all he’s doing is putting the people he cares about in danger.
Kadabra also brings us up to speed on Wally and Linda’s relationship: For him, it has a long and storied history (still waiting to hear if this Wally had kids or if that’s been retconned), while for her, it never happened and may never happen. It certainly won’t if Kadabra manages to kill her or Wally off. At least Kadabra just tried to kidnap her to set up his death trap instead of the more elaborate ruse of getting Linda to fall in love with him just to rub it in Wally’s face before trying to kill him. That never works.
The issue has a whole lot of multiversal exposition while Wally and the Titans battle Kadabra’s young Titan clones and the villain’s grand scheme becomes clear: force Wally to attain maximum speed to try and save all the Titans AND Linda – scattered throughout the country – in a short amount of time to force Wally to go SO FAST he rejoins the Speed Force. Which he’s done before and come back from, but now that Linda doesn’t know who he is, there’s no Lightning Rod for him to return, so he’ll be gone for good. It’s pleasantly Machiavellian and just ridiculous enough that it might work. But we’ll find out next issue. Or maybe the issue after that.
Dan Abnett’s writing in this issue flipped back and forth between sappy scenes with the Titans – where Nightwing has to buck both Wally and Lilith up from their respective funks – to the quirks of Kadabra in his villainous monologue to the captured Linda, but he handled the tonal shifts well. So far, the pacing hasn’t felt like it’s dragged, which is another plus. We’ll have to see if he can keep up with it through the end of the story.