Thursday, April 16, 2020

Blue Beetle: Rebirth #1 (2016) Review

Get To Know Your Blue Beetles

Written By: Keith Giffen
Art By: Scott Kolins, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Josh Reed
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 24, 2016

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

It's been a dog's age since we've opened a book and saw our Jaime Reyes kicking it.......... or doing anything actually and I'm happy as hell that he gets to come back so we can take a peak into the world of this Blue Beetle because really...... I just missed his ass.  With this series, we get Keith Giffen rocking our scenarios and dialog and besides for him being the creator of the character, I like the idea of him being at the helm of this, even if I'm not his biggest fan because whether it's being proud of ones creation or not, Giffen has been keeping this character going the best he could...... and really, Ted Kord's character as well.  We saw Teddy boy having adventures with Booster Gold in Giffen's Justice League 3000 and the last time we saw Jaime, Giffen was keeping him going as a side character to his Threshold series.  So yeah, there seems to be a lot of love going on for these characters.  Let's jump into this Rebirth issue and see if the love continues and find out what Jaime's been up to since he returned from space at the conclusion of Threshold......... or if any of that even matters.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

As our issue opens, we see that Ted Kord and Jaime are at least working together at the superhero thing, with a bit of a cold opener showing us the villains Rack and Ruin just utterly kicking the shit out of our teenage hero, while Ted monitors the situation from The Bug...... Their mobilized Beetle Cave.  As we continue though, we move back in time and begin seeing the world of the Blue Beetle presented before us and the characters involved, like Jaime's parent's, sister and his best friends Paco and Beth.  Too bad it seems that Jaime won't have time for any of these characters because even though Jaime apparently went to Ted Kord for help in removing the scarab from him........ so he could get back to something that at least resembles a normal life, Ted instead is running Jaime ragged in making sure he lives up to his superhero potential.......... while Ted tries to join in on the super heroics........ not in costume yet, but it's a one step at a time kind of thing.

So yeah, Jaime is forced to ditch school for the second time in two weeks........... which for the amount that I ditched in high school, I'm wondering what Jaime's complaining about, but he's forced to leave school so that he can take care of a situation at a local coffee shop.  Too bad with all the gizmos and monitors that Ted has going on, he wasn't able to determine that Jaime was walking into a setup, where we find out that the two villains, Rack and Ruin have actually been hired to call Blue Beetle out so that they can see what the young hero's got.  It's weird at this point though because while I was really digging just seeing Jaime being Jaime and slowly easing myself back into his world, I have to say that when we get to some actual action, the book begins falling a bit flat for me because the art really hindered my enjoyment because I didn't really understand everything that was going on....... Yeah, I eventually got on the trolley, but I hate being pulled out of a book like that.  After Jaime's scarab goes a little hardcore on these villains and actually blows them apart, it first appears that these villains are robots...... plus, that's what are heroes think because their limbs continue to pummel Jaime, but after they pull themselves back together and run off........ we actually hear from the woman who hired them that they're just meta-humans........  Yeah, this might not be a big deal to anyone but me, but I just like to know what's going on as I read a book and with the crazy masks and or faces these villains had, I wasn't able to tell for sure what they actually were.

In the end, we find out that this little adventure actually took place before the DC Comics Rebirth Special issue because we have the scene where Doctor Fate shows up and blows our minds by telling Ted Kord and us that the scarab isn't actually alien tech, but magic instead........... which still feels weird for all the Reach warriors we saw Jaime fight while he was in space, but we'll go with it for now and hope that it's explained in the future.  As our issue closes, we see the woman who hired Rack and Ruin to see what Blue Beetle could do, but when she finds out that he was talking to someone during his fight, it seems that she's none too happy to hear this news and this normal looking woman, who's apparently a loving guardian to her niece........... Well, she goes a little dark and her eyes start glowing.  Goddamn, I wouldn't want to get on her bad side and I'm interested as hell to find out what she has in store for our two heroes.

That's it for this Rebirth issue of Blue Beetle and while I initially enjoyed this issue....... you know, catching back up with one of my favorite heroes, I have to say that the dialog was a little off to me.  I mean, it conveyed everything it needed to, but it was a little too Keith Giffen if you know what I mean.  Keith has this thing where he tries to force the humor into a book through his dialog and while sometimes it works, this time it just kind of fell flat for me.  Sadly the art wasn't the greatest in my mind either.  The thing is, I knew we were going to get a more cartoony looking Beetle in this series and I didn't mind that........... and I actually really enjoyed the look of all our supporting cast and even Jaime out of the Blue Beetle suit...... It's just the villains and the action between our hero and them came off a bit clustered and I had trouble following what was actually going on in their fight....... but to my surprise I actually found myself digging the art style the more I read the book and I can't wait to see where we go from here because I need to know what's going on with the Scarab being magic out of nowhere.  The one thing here that I did really enjoy though because of all the issues Jim and I have been having lately about continuity is that Jaime's past exploits weren't brought up here at all.  So it could be there, it might not, but by not mentioning it we didn't create any problems.  It's just that easy.  If you don't know where something stands in continuity, don't start bringing shit up.

Bits and Pieces:

While the snappy dialog felt forced just to try and get a laugh and while I'm not quite positive what Ted Kord is really doing in this book yet, I did have a fun enough time here.  The art during some of the action came off a bit rough to me, but overall I found myself really enjoying it by the end.  I've missed Blue Beetle so much since his New 52 series was cancelled and I really hope that the creators do all they can to make sure that this series stays on the shelves, even if this issue didn't exactly grab me and shake the shit out of me to get my attention. .......... That's right, I'm biased.



  1. This was just okay, which is a real bummer being that we got Ted back and he's doing something he's never done before which is working with Jaime. The 2 things that brought my score down was, Not getting to find out how Ted & Jaime meet, and Paco & Brenda's relationship being almost like they hate each other. In the run before the new 52, Paco, Brenda and Jaimes family is just as much a central part of his book as Jaime his. I'll still give this my 3 Issue Pick/Drop.
    6.5/10 Please, Please get Better.

    1. Yeah, I loved the New 52 run of this book and found Paco and Beth's interactions strange, but I think that was Giffen trying to force some humor into it and Jim believes it was solely there for Paco's "I"m superstitious" line so that he has a problem with Jaime when he finds out that the scarab is magic.

  2. Blue Beetle is one of my favorite heroes... Ted Kord. Jaime is just fine, but I skipped out on his N52 series so Thats all a mystery to me. I have no idea how Ted came back to life. Maybe he never died in this continuity? The last Ted story I read was in Johns run of Booster Gold (wonderful). Also thought it was odd that Ted seemed to not know who Dr Fate was considering they were founding members of JL post Legends. My favorite DC team of all time is the bwa-ha-ha JL. Giffen on a BB book with Ted and Dr Fate, my expectations were running wild with excitement. Didn't hate this issue, but it felt a little foreign to me. The bickering seemed a bit forced as well. Gonna stick with it and try to leave my past experiences with the characters and writer in the truck.

    1. You're not missing anything on the Ted Kord front. He never died in the New 52 and the only time we ever saw him was right before Forever Evil when Lex Luthor wanted to buy Kord Industries from him...... the only weird thing is, Teddy came off about 17 years old in that and is easily at least 25 in this issue.

  3. Bit of a let down. Granted, this is the first issue I have read of Blue Beetle and it is the Rebirth special. I thought that this series would be a bit goofy. My only experience with Blue Beetle is in Green Lantern: New Guardians, so that may or may not be the best representation of how Blue Beetle comics usually are.