“And the Lord Taketh Away”
Writer: Judd Winick
Penciller: Fernando Dagnino
Inker: Raul Fernandez
Editor: Rex Ogle & Brian Cunningham
In Checkmate’s new headquarters, Maxwell Lord tests the limits of Blue Beetle’s armor while taunting Jaime with the knowledge that everything that the J.L.I. has done has helped Max to achieve his goals. Meanwhile, the team recovers from the aftermath of its battle with Power Girl, who flies off to get help from the rest of the super-hero community. Skeets receives a distress call from Blue Beetle, and the J.L.I. races off to rescue him. Blue Beetle frees himself from captivity, forcing Max to reveal Checkmate’s headquarters to escape. As the J.L.I. finds Blue Beetle, Lord surprises the young hero, shooting him in the head and ending his life…
Page 1: Okay, we’re starting off on a lesson about the Blue Beetles…
Blue Beetle I, real name Dan Garrett. First appeared in Blue Beetle #1, published by Charlton Comics. Possessed superhuman strength, flight, and the ability to project lighting bolts, all derived from his mystical scarab. Killed in Secret Origins #2.
Technically speaking, the Dan Garret Blue Beetle made his first appearance much earlier, in Mystery Men Comics #1, published by Fox Comics. However, he bore little resemblance, other than name, to the Blue Beetle depicted here.
Blue Beetle II, real name Theodore Stephen “Ted” Kord. First appeared in Captain Atom (first series) #83. A genius-level inventor and gifted athlete armed with his BB Gun and flying Bug. Killed in Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1.
That’s Jaime Reyes, the current Blue Beetle, hanging out with his friends Paco Ortiz and Brenda Del Vecchio. This scene takes place sometime after the events of Blue Beetle (second series) #3, in which Jaime is reunited with Paco and Brenda after a year of being trapped between dimensions.
Page 2: This is a retelling of events originally depicted in Blue Beetle (second series) #1.
“I found the Scarab and it, well…” You mean “we,” don’t you Jaime? Did you forget that Paco and Brenda were there with you when you originally found the Scarab?
Jaime’s family consist of dad Alberto, mom Bianca and sister Milagro.
“I wanna see you change into it again!” Paco first saw Jaime change into the Blue Beetle in Blue Beetle (second series) #3.
This whole scene is a bit strange to me. Presumably, Jaime has just returned from being away for a year and is getting reacquainted with his friends and family. So it should take place immediately after the events in Blue Beetle (second series) #3.
But Jaime didn’t learn anything about either Dan Garrett or Ted Kord until Blue Beetle (second series) #8. Considering that Jamie talks a lot about Dan, Ted and the Blue Beetle legacy with Paco and Brenda, this whole conversation can’t take place until after the events of that issue.
But that seems like a long period of time between Jaime’s return and a sit-down with his friends about the Blue Beetle armor and how he activates it.
I know, I know, stop worrying about the continuity, the scene serves a purpose…
Page 3: Blue Beetle and Maxwell Lord last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #18.
Page 4: “I was telling the truth when I said that I brought the J.L.I. back together because I thought the world could use a team like you all.” Max told the team this, via hologram, in Justice League: Generation Lost #5.
“And thus, the United Nations stepped in – took their charter away -- ” The United Nations revoked Checkmate’s charter in Justice League: Generation Lost #17.
Page 5: Professor Ivo last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #18.
Page 6: Fire, Power Girl, Ice, Captain Atom, Booster Gold and Rocket Red last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #18.
Notice that, sometime between the events of last issue and now, Ice has changed her costume again. Apparently she feels the need to show off her stomach in the aftermath of a fight with another hero…
“You did try to beat us all to death.” This was in Justice League: Generation Lost #18. But it wasn’t her fault; really. Max Lord convinced her that Captain Atom and company were actually Superman and the J.L.A. and that they had declared war on humanity, so she had to stop them. Total misunderstanding…
“Max had her under his control. Like when you tried to barbecue us.” Fire, while under Lord’s control, attacked her teammates in Justice League: Generation Lost #9.
“But unlike you when you tried to freeze me.” While not under Max’s control, Ice went a little crazy and tried to kill Fire in Justice League: Generation Lost #12.
Page 7: “Responsible for the deaths of thousands.” Lord framed Captain Atom for the death of Magog and a small explosion in the middle of Chicago that transpired in Justice League: Generation Lost #13.
Skeets last appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #18.
Page 8: “It will allow for the maximum level of adaptation while in the field.” Given that Professor Ivo is most famous for his creation of the Amazo androind – a being that “adapts” the powers of others – is it fair to assume that Ivo is creating a suit for Lord that will allow him to duplicate the powers of other meta-humans?
Page 9: “I told you…I’d put you through a wall. Hombre.” Well, it’s about time Jaime started getting a little more bad-ass…
Page 10: “We’re bugging out!” Is Max making a pun? You know, he’s “bugging out” of a fight with Blue Beetle? Does dealing with the J.L.I. just bring out the funny in people?
Pages 12-13: Checkmate’s new, mobile headquarters is in the shape of a giant chess piece. A knight, to be exact.
“They pimping new ride.” For some reason, Rocket Red can get away with saying that…
Page 16: “The ship isn’t fully combat ready!” Then maybe you guys shouldn’t have tried to engage a group of royally-pissed off super-heroes, hmmm? You ever think of that, Mister Professor Ivo?
Page 19: Whoa. Having a bad flashback to Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1 right about now…
Page 20: Oh, man, Jaime’s parents are gonna be so pissed…