"Total Eclipso: The Heart"
Writer: John Rogers
Artist: Rafael Albuquerque, Guy Major (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics
EXCLAMATION: "Damn! That baby is cute."
EXPLANATION: Eclipso comes to town and our reluctant-hero throws down with the Ex-Hitman of God. Providing assistance are the ever ready Paco and another guest star (for now), Traci 13. The reason for all of this? A baby. Not just any baby, but rather a specific one, baby Alina, (previously seen in issue #6). Why is Eclipso of all people interested in her? Well, it seems that Eclipso is on the market for a new host, and baby Alina is the lucky winner of the dark evil split-colored-faces sweepstakes.
EXAMINATION (Story): Right from the get go, J-clipso's (the J is for Jean Loring) appearance scores points over and above last month's guest star (Superman). While Supes seemed slipped in solely for celebrity sake, Eclipso's presence comes across as more genuine, both in its initial premise and its subsequent elaboration. Granted, there could be other pure hosts for the Spirit of Darkness but not many with such raw potential. Baby can thank her momma and poppa for that. On the flip side, from the get go this particular endeavor has the stink of doom over it. After all, even though they might be knocking heads off, pulling arms off, burning, raping and overall maiming adult and teenage characters aplenty DC still hasn't gotten to their infant residents, not yet anyways. Who knows, maybe there is a company policy about not screwing over characters not old enough to know better than to pee and poop their pants.
Onto the other guest star, Traci 13, well, I donít have much background info on her. I recall reading her in some Superman stories from a few years back, but thatís about it. That said (and given my leaning towards a Jaime-Brenda pairing), I found Traciís overall demeanor and go-getter attitude more matched to someone like Paco than Jaime "Mr. Laid-Back" Reyes. On the bright side, at least our-boy nee man Jaime finally got some lip-locking make-out action.
EXAMINATION (Art): Artist Rafael Albuquerque really seems to have found his footing in this series. Although I would still like crispier line-work, I am willing to compromise, especially against such outstandingly expressive visuals, and I do mean expressive in the character expressions way. Whether it be in the comedic scenes or the action shots or even something as simple and endearing as baby Alina and her silent (or at most gurgled-garbled) comedy, Albuquerque is now matching John Rogersí fast paced and energetic writing panel for panel.
PROCLAMATION: Anyone and everyone should be buying this book. Even though homage is paid to those before him, this Blue Beetle is his own man/boy, and if things continue as they are, one day he might even be his own hero, instead of a Goddamn Dentist!
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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