All Associated Cover/Issue Images
Fire: How do you know about processing emotions?
Rocket Red: Oprah Winfrey. Woman is genius.
Booster Gold: WE’VE LOST! We’re trying — We’re running– We’re fighting– we do all we can do to stop him–but he keeps outrunning us–keeps beating us! Keeps killing us!
Synopsis "The Dark of Morning's Light"
Previously: The Blue Beetle is dead. Maxwell Lord’s Creature Commandos had distracted the majority of the JLI with an assault on their headquarters while he kidnapped the Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) in order to study his alien armour. Beetle was held hostage in Max’s New Checkmate (a flying knight shaped base/craft), but he managed to get loose and send a signal to his team-mates. They attacked New Checkmate, but could not stop Max shooting Jaime in the head. The villain then jettisoned the room they were in and cloaked his base.
The mood is understandable sombre at the JLI’s headquarters as Jaime’s friends try to process his death. Captain Atom sits staring as the rolling news coverage of the disaster in Chicago – the disaster everybody is blaming him for. He directs his temper at Ice, accusing her of being right in not wanting to hunt Max in the first place, before quietly confessing that “all I bring to this world is death.” Ice doesn’t accept that and points out that at every turn it’s been Captain Atom who has pulled their fat out of the fire. Rocket Red keeps busy by checking the transporter system and his armour one more time. Fire is impressed with his ability to stay focused and is amused by his confession that he watches Oprah. She then pulls him into a kiss and says that even now he makes her smile.
Booster sits alone by Jaime’s body and reflects on the number of people Max has killed in recent weeks. He reaches a figure of 1,113 and then adds a another 1 to account for Jaime. Booster refuses to tell Jaime’s parents the that he’s dead until he can free Jaime’s body from the Scarab armour (he won’t take him back “wearing the thing that got him…”). He tells Skeets that he’s always clung to the thought that he’s not the “jackass” that everybody thinks he is, but Jaime’s death makes him question whether they were right all along.
Booster’s self-doubt is overheard by the rest of the team who object to his reasoning. Rocket Red tells him that its his drive which has pulled them all along and Captain Atom tells him that they need him to be strong, but Booster retorts that they’ve lost. Booster tells them that
I just want one damn thing to go our way! One win in this war! In this whole blood-soaked, insane roller-coaster he’s put us on– I want one sign that we can actually beat this monster! ONE!
It is at that moment that the very much alive Blue Beetle stands up and tells them that he knows how to beat Maxwell Lord.
That was a good issue. The pathos and tiredness of the characters came through really strongly – as it has done in issue after issue of this series. IGN’s Dan Iverson commented in his review that
All the characters involved in the story were given time to be fleshed out, making these B-level heroes seem just as important as the Batmen and Supermen of this world.
Booster is on the very edge of quitting and I really don’t think any reader would blame him if he did. Captain Atom is complaining that he is an inhuman harbinger of death, but his reaction shows that he’s still human enough where it matters.
Lets get the cynical bit of this review out-of-the-way: “We all saw that one coming. We’ve had two ‘he’s dead’ cliff hangers in a row and Jaime was still in the miracle armour. Of course he was alive!” Okay, cynical fanboy reaction out of the way… For me, it’s the weight that these characters project which makes the ending work. In his Comics Vine review Rixec relates that:
I’ve been hoping for him [Beetle] to come back and until I saw the last page I was panicking all these weeks and now I am as happy as possible! I yelled “The Blue Beetle’s alive!” in the car on the way home.
The he’s dead, he’s alive switch is one of the staples of the superhero genre, but it’s rarely been done in a way what genuinely made you engage with it. I think the greatest achievement of this series is that it’s made me feel the character’s emotions rather than just being entertained by their actions.
A couple of reviewers questioned Dagnino’s ability to convey emotion, but I didn’t find it too bad. I really liked Dustin Nguyen’s stark white cover with the small figures of Booster and Beetle. Kevin Maguire’s cover is also quite good until you try to figure out where the light source is.
|Reviews Portal||IGN||Dan Iverson||8.5/10|
|Community Reviews||Comics Vine User Reviews||Av. of 3 reviews||4.7/5|
|Community Reviews||iFanboy||506 Pulls||4.5/5|
|Reviews Blog||Comics Per Day Reviews||Timbotron||Fair|
|Reviews Blog||Inside Pulse||Grey Scherl||10/10|
|Character Site||Captain's Justice League Homepage||Jason Kirk||4/5|
A talking issue, now much to annotate:
Page 1 – The police officers shot themselves in Justice League: Generation Lost #1 (Early July 2010) (notice the Zatanna poster over their bodies) and Magog killed himself in Justice League: Generation Lost #13 (Early January 2010).
Page 3 – Jaime lived at home with his parents (a nurse and a garage mechanic). They are shown briefly in the flashback in Justice League: Generation Lost #19 (April 2011) and were featured during his introduced into this series in Justice League: Generation Lost #2 (Late July 2010). They were part of the principal cast for his own series.