I love it when a plan comes together.  Wait, there’s a plan?


One of the great things about the Blue Beetle series is how the writers who have taken on the challenge of this series are able to bring the collected group of heroes together to fight a common enemy.  While the big bad doesn’t get his comeuppance in this issue, it’s good to see everyone come out of the woodwork to give aid to our favorite beetle in blue.

bluebeetle33cover.jpgThe big buildup of illegal immigration in El Paso, TX has reached a boiling point, and has prompted the Hispanic community to come together in a big rally to show the city how important they are.  To make things difficult, numerous death threats and red neck protests have made policing the event much more than our hero can deal with himself, so he calls in his comrades the Teen Titans, and gets help from Peacemaker at the same time.

When a portion of the border wall gets blown up, and the magnetic men attack the rally, the forces are divided momentarily.  Robin and Peacemaker take on the semi-trucks filled with drugs trying to cross the border, while Blue and the rest of the Teen Titans figure out an ingenious method for depowering the villains at the rally.  Wonder Girl, Magic Lasso, and lots of twirling – the makings of a fanboy fantasy, or method of beating the bad guys?

Matthew Sturges is the master of zingers and one-lines and this issue that really shows what he can do when given the chance to run wild in a big battle sequence.
“Name one hero who’s an attention-seeking Bozo”
“Booster Gold, Guy Gardner.”
“Name eight!”

“Never take your eyes off the Paco!”

“Diablo Rojo would make a sweet codename!”
“Nah, it makes you sound like an energy drink.”

“Two words: Armored Codpiece.”

“Would you like to know what the properties of monopoles are, Blue Beetle?”
“Yes, but only because I’m naturally curious about science.”

I loved the exchange between Brenda and Paco while they are being held at gun point by Mariposa.  When the captor becomes the prisoner, the quick action by Paco and Brenda solidify their places as the best parts of the supporting cast.  It’s just too bad Paco doesn’t know Brenda has a secret thing for Jaime.  And it’s too bad there are only three issues left to try and get this relationship worked out.   Since Blue Beetle is going to be making more appearances in Teen Titans, my guess is the supporting cast will be put into some kind of stasis until someone figures out how to use them again.

Unfortunately, the magnet men attack, and the drug convey crossing the border are only diversions to the bigger plan Doctor Polaris is cooking up.  When Mariposa spills the beans, Beetle arrives just as Doctor Polaris unveils his big monopole plan – and promptly kills Blue Beetle.

Or so we are led to believe.  With three issues left, and the promise Blue Beetle will continue in the DCU, it’s hard to believe the scarab thinks its host has died.  Look for a “surprise” comeback next issue, as the two battle it out hero/villain style.

I’ve enjoyed Sturges run on the series, but there have been a few times when I’ve questioned what he was doing, or the direction he was taking the story.  This issue removes all those doubts and reminds me why I love this book so much.

The icing on the cake is Rafael Albuquerque on art.  There hasn’t been an issue he’s worked on where the art suffers.  This issue is also top notch.

I’m going to stop bemoaning the fact that the series is ending.  DC has its reasons, and I’m going to have to live with it.  Unless sales suddenly turn around in these last three months and skyrocket past 20,000 a month, there’s no chance we’ll see Blue Beetle return Manhunter style.   And that’s too bad, too, as issue #33 has Sturges hitting his stride.  Blue Beetle #33 is the best Sturges issue to date, and receives 5 out of 5 Stars.




About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. We should buy lotto tickets, and if we win devote a huge chunk of that towards BB issues? I think that sounds like a perfectly logical and reasonably effective plan. No?

    And this WAS an amazing collection of one-liners. You nailed pretty much all of the good ones, and I’m too lazy to see if there are others at this moment. (But I _will_ be rereading these issues fondly when no new ones are forthcoming (and will hope for a Ted Kord-like repurposing of Jaime in TT… Y’know, he ends up being the heart & soul of the group, just cuz he’s so darn affable.).)

  2. I really enjoyed the (Reyes) Blue Beetle series up until it decided to tackle the illegal immigration problem. Paco says the DA wants to show he’s tough on immigration. (Try “illegal” immigration. Most Americans support LEGAL immigration.) Jaime’s Dad takes him on a tour of an impoverished Mexican town. (If people are poor, it’s okay for them to sneak in to your country and break your laws, I guess? So much for equality before the law.) People who oppose illegal immigration are portrayed as rednecks and idiots. (If you have a problem with a literal invasion of millions of foreigners — and all the problems that situation causes, which are too numerous and complicated to get in to here, you are apparently both stupid and a racist. Two for one!) Oh, and the vigilante border patrol group is called “Vanguard”. A thinly veiled reference to a white supremacist group! Distortion and insults are what I’ve come to expect from the pro-illegal crowd, but it was a bummer to see those attitudes in a comic I was previously enjoying.

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