It would almost be pointless to say that life becomes more difficult for Jaime Reyes in the latest issue of Blue Beetle, as that can be said about every issue of this run, and most issues of any of Reyes’ earlier runs.
But it does, and the poor kid has to deal with a nasty alien and his mother’s willingness to risk her life to help those in need.
Giffen and Kolins provide a lot of action in this one, and keep Ted Kord largely off to the side. I don’t mind that. These first few issues have done an impressive job of melding the Reyes Blue Beetle with a new Ted Kord, serving as his mentor.
But in this issue, it’s Jaime and his family that take centre stage, with the Posse filling out the battle scenes. Jaime’s mother is the target of an alien assassin, and Blue Beetle demonstrates just how powerful he can be when someone he cares about is threatened. More powerful than he would want to be, as it turns out.
I am also enjoying the way Dr. Fate is being used as a supporting character in this series. The curious thing about the Blue Beetle character is that there have just been so many variations on the theme, so many versions and origins, that one is free to take the series pretty much anywhere one would want to go with it. The current blending of magic and technology, aliens and sorcerors, is proving quite an interesting read.
And Jaime Reyes and his family and friends, his world of the southwestern US, makes for a strong and grounded reality in which to explore the latest angle on the Beetle. That was one thing Ted Kord never really had. His world was fairly generic for a hero, and lacked a strong supporting cast. Kord’s Beetle worked best in the Justice League, when he had others to play off of, and formed his major bond with Booster Gold.
Though DC is clearly invested in the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle, they have had a hard time making a go of his book, for all the times they have tried. I very much hope that this version is selling decently. It’s the best one so far, in my eyes.