Blue Beetle #36

Story by
Art by
Carlo Barberi, Jacob Eguren
Colors by
Guy Major
Letters by
Travis Lanham
Cover by
DC Comics

And so it goes. The solo title of Jaime Reyes is drawn to a close under the pencil of Carlo Barberi and the script of Matthew Sturges. This issue masterfully wraps up three years worth of ideas and notions without turning into a sobfest. Neither does it turn into a "Blue Beetle, this was your life." Hope is left on the table and the characters from this title certainly have the ability to grow, perhaps in another version of "Blue Beetle" somewhere down the line or perhaps in some other title.

Sturges adds a bit to the mythos by dropping in a pending nemesis for Jaime, one that I believe we've already seen in action. His characterization of the entitre "Beetle" crew - friends and foes - was well done and Sturges gets the "Stop back any time!" wave from me for this character.

Barberi's work here seemed a little more rushed than in the previous issue which, the more I think about it, the odder it seems. After all, what's the harm in making a last issue slightly tardy in the name of perfection? This is not to say Barberi does a bad job, mainly because I'm not certain he'd know how to do bad work, just that I've seen better from him.

This issue marked the end for one of Beetle's supporting comrades and also signifies the fact that DC needs to work on marketing their "non-Trinity" books a little stronger. The coincidence that this title is ceasing publication shortly after Jaime Reyes found a new audience -- no matter the age, size or gender -- through his appearances on "Batman: Brave and the Bold" is incredibly painful. This was a book that was criminally underexposed. But that is an article for another day and anther place.

Let it be known that one of DC's most consistently enjoyable titles is no longer being published, but it goes out with a graceful flourish sure to provide fans with one final brush with comic books as they should be.

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