The Blue Beetle: Ending With De-Friending

February 26th, 2009 by | Tags: , ,

Well, the series went out strong, and with its characteristic emphasis on family.  Add in a big battle won despite staggering odds against our hero, a curtain call by all the characters in the series, and an ending filled with hope and positivity and – *sniff* – I’m going to miss you, Jaime!

Alright, let me shake that off and get into a bit I can criticize.

The death of Nadia, while providing a fitting origin for the Black Beetle, didn’t work for me. 

It had a strong emotional impact on the story that undercut the happiness of the ending.  It’s hard to see the big smiles at the end just a few pages after a funeral.

It placed an event that Jaime would naturally be very strongly affected by too close to the end of the series, not allowing him to react to such a big event adequately.  This is a guy who felt guilty about saving people he’d never met.  A girl dies while actively trying to help him with his plan and his primary reaction is thinking that not a lot of people knew her that well? 

It also left a dangling thread;  Hector and his grudge against Jaime.  It was clear that Hector had a few plans developing during his final scene.  Unfortunately, since we’re not going to see any more Blue Beetle issues (*sniff*) that’s foreshadowing that’s never going to come to anything.

I know that the Black Beetle has been introduced in the Booster Gold series, and that his origin had been hinted at but never explained.  I suppose whether wedging his origin into the Blue Beetle’s last issue is a good idea or a bad idea depends on the series you’re most interested in.  Those readers who are primarily interested in Booster Gold would be miffed if that mystery were never explained.  However, those who like The Blue Beetle better will find it awkward to have an unnecessary storyline mushed into the series finale.  That is, unless we take the ultra-optimistic view and consider it a sign that The Blue Beetle might be coming back.  What can I say?  Hope spring eternal.

Similar Posts:

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

6 comments to “The Blue Beetle: Ending With De-Friending”

  1. I wouldn’t be shocked if BB comes back *sometime*. I mean, Booster has a series again.

  2. He’s still in Teen Titans as well.
    I dunno if Jaime’s action was quite like you make it out. When I read the “I guess none of us knew her that well”, I heard it in my head as said with hesitation and a bit of shame. And the “I didn’t have to answer that” to Hector’s rant, it came across as some self-denial.

  3. @Stu: I didn’t mean to imply that it was cold, or anything. I just meant that it was pretty understated for him, considering the extreme reactions he’d had to other events like it. I think that, if it were part of an ongoing book, he’d be devastated on the last page. Having him happy, while working as the series finale, doesn’t sync up as well with that particular event.

  4. I can understand your discontent with the quick switch of emotions in the last issue, but I think Matt Sturges is just as discontent as well. The format requirements of issue runs and actual page counts can really effect a story in a negative way, and when a “wrap it up” scenario falls on a writer like Matt here, I’m more sympathetic to some of the failings of the story. Wasn’t it just last issue that the other Beetles met Jaime and started attacking him? That meant that Jaime had to find a way to beat them, keep his identity a secret, wrap up Nadia’s story, and end the series on a hopeful note with possible openings for a continuation. I wouldn’t want that writing assignment in a million years!

    It reminds me of a blog post by John Rogers, who said that issue #25, Jaime’s final confrontation with the Reach, was a “lean 25 pages” but he had to cut it down to the required 22, even when John had already cut out five or six pages before. In this situation, the writer has to take exposition short-cuts, shortened dialogues, and cut-aways to the future, and other less-desired narrative devices. It sucks, but in a market that doesn’t guarantee the needed pages to tell a full story, it’s what happens sometimes.

  5. I like both Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, but I like Beetle about a thousand times more than Booster. However I was glad they included the introduction of the Black Beetle in it.

    I do hope for more Jaime stories eventually.

  6. I though it was a pretty terrible ending, to be honest. Unnecessary heartbreak and death brought to us by the comics design theory that gave us Sean McKeever’s Teen Titans and Terror Titans.