Filed under: Comic Reviews, DC Comics | Tags: BlueBeetle, DCNew52, GreenLantern, IgGuara, jaimereyes, TonyBedard
Ah, the return of the Blue Beetle. The Blue Beetle is back. Lets just savour that thought for a moment before we move on. Let us remind ourselves about all the great stories and moments this character has given us, not to mention those Universe altering bits and pieces that keep cropping up.
WARNING: some spoilers.
Blue Beetle is a comic book that comes to us with a whole lot of history, not to mention bucket-loads of potential. I believe DC will be looking to Blue Beetle as part of their ‘Young Justice’ line to garner some financial support from that section of young adolescents, capable of spending $60/ £40 on a new computer game. After all, isn’t that what the Reboot it all about? Generating more cash and winning back market share?
I make no secret of, nor apologise that Blue Beetle is my most favourite of all DC characters. It is well known that during comic related discussion I have a tendency to blurt out ‘I love the Blue Beetle’ whenever I feel I can get away with it, or there is a slight lull in conversation. But hey, we all have our crosses to bear. Thats why during the course of this review I want to shut down the Ted Kord Lovin’ side of my brain and concentrate on how this issue stands up on its own, without the legacy.
First up is the cover – and already I’m struggling. Apart from the BB logo we are are looking at an issue of the 3rd Blue Beetle done in the style of the 3rd Blue Beetle. Reboot? What Reboot?! I don’t notice any major changes from Jaime in his last series. The colours used are simple and bold. Figuratively, Jaime looks either completely mental or completely out of control so I guess its fair to say I’m intrigued. I’m also wondering if we have a wee nod to that famous cover of Ted swinging down from The Bug….
Now to the good stuff, the story. We begin with a prologue set in Space Sector 2 a long, long time ago, but instead of finding Don McLean wistfully singing about driving chevy’s and dry levies we’re in the middle of some series chaos. Locals (aliens to us humans) are running in fear screaming ‘It’s Coming!’ with plenty of BA-WHOOM’s going on. Even the army can’t stop whatever it is. Everyone is running in fear, except for this guy. I’m not sure if he is so scared he’s punching himself in the face, or bored and having a yawn. . .
Turns out the place is being attacked by a Blue Beetle screaming ‘Khaji-Kai’. Its resisting all fire power from the defending aliens/ local’s and continuing its onslaught. Ig Guara puts in some strong work here and does a great job of demonstrating the intensity of the Beetle. This isn’t a battle. It’s a massacre. 12 Tactons later (I’m assuming this might be translated as ‘shortly after’) we see the Beetle brought low by remorse, astonished at the havok it has wrought upon its own people.
The premise and the plotting here are excellent, but prove to be let down by Tony Beddard’s extremely poor dialogue.The Beetle’s meeting with Lu-Kreeza should be key for setting up the story and the setting up of the Beetle and how it may impact Jaime. Instead it descends into stereotypical crap. Moving on from this I really like the idea here surrounding the Green Lanterns battling the Blue Beetles and Reach, and I really hope we see more of this as the book goes on.
After seeing the Scarab being brought down by GL it lands at the foot of some Inca/ Aztec (I have no idea) temple and thus brings us up to the present day and down to El Paso! That’s right, we are now being introduced to wee Jaime and getting a taster for the themes to (hopefully) be explored later, with his friends Paco and Brenda, his mother, father and Brenda’s mysterious Aunt who, like the last series, still seems to be involved in the paranormal/ criminal underworld.
Its during these scenes that Ig Guara shows off his best work and takes it away from this DC by numbers that we are seeing so much of. However it quickly reverts as we move into a heist scene, orchestrated by Brenda’s aunt in which some baddies are trying to get the Scarab. As the baddies move in a somewhat stilted and slowmo fashion through a warehouse, Jaime and his buddy Paco are driving buy. Cue the scarab in a bag, getting into Jaime’s possession – he tries to run and then transforms.
The transformation scene, along with the final Jaime as the Blue Beetle page are the two artistic highlights for me. Story wise – I can’t really pick anything at all in this issue that really grabs me and wants me to recommend it to someone. I believe the story will get better as it develops and, more importantly, I hope that Bedard’s scripting will improve.
Overall, I’m disappointed, probably because I love the character and really enjoyed the previous Jaime series. As a standalone first issue, this is by no means the worst, but to be honest it could be a lot better.
Also – if like me you thought there were some wee artistic gems in this issue then you might be interested to know where Ig Guara’s previous work can be found. His blog hasn’t been updated recently but he drew in Grodd of War, the Flashpoint tie-in, and Marvel’s Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers, Avengers vs. Pet Avengers. I think we will see some even better art from this guy soon. Bedard – get your finger oot!
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