Review: Blue Beetle #1

blue_cv1_dsJaime Reyes is back home, but just when he thought he had a grasp on this alter-ego, the Blue Beetle, he discovers everything he believed about his scarab is a lie according to the mysterious Doctor Fate. With dire warnings about the symbiote that is fused to Reyes’ spine, Kent Nelson, the original wielder of Doctor Fate’s power, seemingly on verge of insanity, has he come to save Jaime as he claims…or will he try to eliminate the Blue Beetle, no matter the cost?

More than anything else, the above snippet from DC’s website is a little misleading. Doctor Fate is limited to an appearance in a dream (or something approaching a dream), with the comic instead spending a little more time on Jaime Reyes and Ted Kord’s not-quite-hostile-not-quite-friendly relationship as they try to make the best of the scarab that’s bonded to Reyes’ back.

It’s not quite a mentor/protege relationship, as Jaime seems to have very reluctant association with Ted, which leads to some entertaining exchanges between the two as the comic progresses. It’ll be interesting to see where that relationship leads down the road because having the teenager be the superhero and the adult the sidekick is a pretty cool role reversal.

If you’re unfamiliar with the characters within Blue Beetle #1, there’s enough background information presented by writer Keith Giffen to get you kind of up to pace, although because it’s not spoon fed to you be prepared to make a couple of assumptions that aren’t explicitly stated – this isn’t a bad thing . With that said, this is a pretty solid first issue; the dialogue doesn’t feel unnatural, and the art by Scott Kolins is solid. Honestly, only issue with the art is the way in which Jaime’s eyes are portrayed when he’s in costume. It’s a little more of a stylistic approach to a cartoon beetle’s eyes, and in the panels that you see them in, they felt a little… off. But just because it may not be to my taste, doesn’t mean that you won’t like it, however.

The rest of the comic is decent, if unspectacular. And I think that’s the biggest gripe I have here; nothing is done poorly, but it nor does ever really threaten to be anything other than decent.

Story: Keith Giffen Art: Scott Kolins 
Story: 6.5 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review