Jediah Caul and Blue Beetle go at it! Jediah and Stealth escape and Captain K'Rot and crew try to find Jediah's lantern. Blue Beetle struggles with why he's on the planet. In the back-up story, Lafleeze loses it and throws down.
Although artist Tom Raney only worked on the first ten pages of the book, they look amazing. There is this fantastic looking "almost" splash page. Aside from the overall character look, the look of sadness on his face is beautiful. It sums up the entire scene and Jaime's feelings all in one emotionally impacting page. It's sad and brilliant all at the same time.
Artwise, you really have to give it up to colorist Andrew Dalhouse on this issue, who really keeps the entirety of the comic somewhat consistent, even though there were two different artists on it. His color work is ridiculously good here. He's great with light and depth and the color work on the second page is phenomenal. The industry needs more colorists like this.
Blue Beetle fits into this series so well. I love seeing Jaime in this world. He's becoming a bigger part of this book and between Jaime and Jediah Caul, you have two very strong lead characters in this series. Jaime is still trying to figure out how he got onto the planet. He doesn't know who to trust or why his suit went all "kill mode."
I've finally got my fingers on the pulse of the book. I think after this third issue, I have a much better understanding of it and how it works. It's a heavy ensemble book. There's lots of characters jam packed here and they all have their individual stories. Writer Keith Giffen does a fine job at handling all these characters and making them all individually interesting while adding to their overall stories.
While the back-up issue was solid, I felt that Scott Kolins work was the real stand-out. I've really been enjoying his tweaked style on these back ups and his art comes off as a bit more cartoony, with the help of colorist John Kalisz. It's a great style that fits the tone of Giffen's writing here.
Something that always bugs me about comics is when an issue has an artist change, halfway through, on the same story (Scott Kolins doing back-ups doesn't count). Tom Raney was the artist on pages 1-10 and Phil Winslade finished with 11-20. Winslade is not a bad artist by any means; however, his art does not look as great as Raney's. He's bland by comparison.
This issue was a borderline 4, but it's Dalhouse's colors that pushed it up. This is one of my Top of the Pile books for last month, and while I really enjoy this issue in particular, it was a tad slow and I really didn't like the artist switch halfway through the issue. I love how Blue Beetle is being incorporated here, and I feel like finally someone is utilizing this character in a new and exciting way. Giffen is doing an awesome job with this series.
Overall, I recommend this issue.