Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #8

The Sinestro Corps War seemed to be all over the DCU in last week's comics - yes, I'm a week behind as I was away last weekend and will be again this weekend - what with Tales Of The Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime, Green Lantern Corps #17 and Blue Beetle #20 all featuring the story which some are saying is putting Countdown to shame.

Despite the solid issue of Uncle Sam And The Freedom Fighters #2, the Titans of Tomorrow storyline continuing in Teen Titans #52 and (finally!) some sort of resolution becoming evident in the Ghosts of Mars storyline in JLA: Classified #45, it was Blue Beetle - as it did with Who'd Like A Cocktail? #4 - that gets the cocktail this week.

As I mentioned in ...Cocktail #4, it's the humour and sheer joy in the story of Jaime Reyes and his alter ego that keep me smiling with this book. With his some-time tutor Peacemaker possessed by a scarab of his own as well as wielding a Sinestro Corps ring, Beetle is attacked by the same person using two different weapons. Frantically he seeks help from his support team who, upon hearing his situation, admit they can't help.

Things are complicated with the appearance of a Green Lantern, Brik, who has tracked the Sinestro ring. The Lanterns are age-old enemies of the Reach, the creators of Beetle's scarab, and as such, Brik's ring screams that Beetle is the enemy. The scarab, as you can see on the right, isn't exactly overjoyed to see a Green Lantern, either.

As an aside, I remember reading of Brik's induction to the Green Lantern Corps way back in 1991/92, sixteen or so years ago. Not to mention the crush she had on Hal Jordan at the time...

Fighting the possessed Peacemaker, however, Brik and Beetle manage to put aside their differences. Beetle comes up with a plan, displaying how much the character has grown in the last eighteen months or so, and has Brik distract Peacemaker.

Throughout their battle, a conflicted message comes from the raging Peacemaker: the Sinestro Corps ring he wears is a symbol of order through fear, while the Reach scarab that possesses him merely wishes to allow the Reach to take control of the Earth. The Peacemaker still craves peace, though.

Using his own scarab to link in with that of his friend, Beetle mentally connects with the Peacemaker, reaching his mind. Together - and with the surprise appearance by Beetle's scarab as a separate, individual being - they manage to free him of Sinestro's influence and the ring flees to find a replacement.

With his scarab dormant once more, Peacemaker makes a choice and a sacrifice that, as I've said before, shows there is more to this book than the humour, and ends the issue on a poignant note.

I've heard rumours that this book isn't selling well and is heading for cancellation. It would be a shame if that were to happen as it's easily one of the best from DC at the moment.

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