Buy the book, read the book, love the book, save the book
Iâ€™m sure more than a few readers were a tad apprehensive when John Rogers stepped away from writing Blue Beetle and Matthew Sturges took over.Â But now that Sturges has more than a few issues under his belt, it is clear that the title isnâ€™t suffering due to a change in writers.Â Itâ€™s as strong as it’s ever been.
When superhero guest stars make an appearance in titles, one has to wonder if it is a ploy to pump up sales.Â Is it any wonder Wolverine pops up in nearly every Marvel title?Â Had Matthew Sturges brought in one of the big guns (Superman, Batman, and so on), then I might think that is what DC is trying to do with Blue Beetle, but when the guest star of the month is Doctor Mid-Nite, then you know thereâ€™s no such thing going on.Â And unlike other guest appearances, Doctor Mid-Nite fits into this issue perfectly.
Previously in Blue Beetle: While making his rounds, Jamie Reyes stumbled upon a van trying to sneak over the border into El Paso.Â When the Blue Beetle stopped to investigate, the passengers injected themselves with a mysterious drug that gave them super powers.Â Using his wits, Reyes was able to bring the baddies down, but not without some serious injury to his adversaries.Â Taking them to the hospital made sense, and because these guys are now super-powered people, Doctor Mid-Nite is called in to help out.
I had completely forgotten that Jamieâ€™s mother was a nurse at the hospital, and keeping the identity secret while getting updates makes for great moments in the story.Â Doctor Mid-Nite is able to deduce the powers come from an engineered virus, and it is the clue that the virus has magnetic properties to it that is so brilliantly dropped by Sturges, I didnâ€™t pick up on it until my second reading of the issue.
Yes, it is called foreshadowing, and like Rogers before him, Sturges is dropping subtle hints along the way, that if followed, make the big reveal at the end of the issue that much more impressive.Â And if youâ€™ve listened to the Matthew Sturges interview on the Major Spoilers Podcast, you already know who the Big Bad is.Â Itâ€™s such a fun reveal…but Iâ€™m getting ahead of myself.
Even though Jamie thought he had almost killed these amped up kids, heâ€™s still being awarded a key to the city, and in a scene straight out of Spider-Man III, Jamie has his moment in the sun.Â Although itâ€™s funny how he also ends up getting enlisted by the D.A.â€™s office to be a member of the Border Patrol against his will, and since heâ€™s in front of a large cheering crowd, he really canâ€™t refuse.
The story does have the obligatory team up between Doctor Mid-Nite and Blue Beetle, as the villains attempt to escape from the hospital, but instead of chasing them to the ends of the Earth, Doctor Mid-Nite gives Jamie some sage advise on when itâ€™s better to let the bad guys escape to fight a better fight another day.
Now back to that big reveal.
Intergang has been trying to make a play for El Paso, and the person heading up the attempt is one Mr. Nichol.Â Problem is, heâ€™s being rather difficult.Â And thatâ€™s because Intergang doesnâ€™t realize Nichol is none other than Doctor Polaris.Â Or should I say, the New Doctor Polaris, because the other one got blowed up real good in Infinite Crisis.Â And while Doctor Polaris has been seen in the pages of Justice League of America (#11, 17, and 21), itâ€™s been unclear if Doc P was Neal Emerson or someone else.
Sturges leads us to believe this is a new guy, but if I were going to get back at a bunch of criminals who pretty much screwed me, and left me to â€œget blowed up real goodâ€, I wouldnâ€™t use my real name either.Â This will be an interesting story to follow, as it now looks like Blue Beetle finally has a major villain to battle.Â Iâ€™m not saying La Dama and the Reach donâ€™t make for good foils, but itâ€™s so much cooler when an even greater threat emerges to cause trouble.
And itâ€™s also going to be interesting to see the Mariposa story line play out now that we know her â€œfatherâ€ is Doctor Polaris.
That is if the series lasts that long.
Iâ€™m afraid if the sales slump any further, Blue Beetle is going to be on the short list of titles to be cancelled by the higher ups at DC.Â And that would be a real shame.Â Not only is Blue Beetle an excellent title, written by brilliant minds, with art that shines, Blue Beetle is one of the few titles that doesnâ€™t take place in a large metropolis, and it features a cast of characters that are role models to the growing Hispanic and Latino American population.Â I really donâ€™t want to see a title that features strong role models get canceled just because it is selling 12,000 copies a month. Blue Beetle is title that really should be selling 50-100,000 copies each month.Â Itâ€™s really that good.Â Â Â In fact, I like Blue Beetle so much, Iâ€™m giving Blue Beetle #31 4.5 Stars out of 5, and asking each and every one of the Major Spoiler Legion to go out and buy a copy to keep the title alive.
Seriously, save Blue Beetle.Â If a couple of goof-balls can rally people to get DC to bring back Manhunter, then surely we can ensure Blue Beetle doesnâ€™t get canceled.