Blue Beetle: Rebirth

“You’re playing with magic.”

Welcome all, this is D.C. here to throw down on my thoughts off DC’s Blue Beetle: Rebirth.

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Lesson!

In DC’s reboot-into-non-reboot Rebirth, the Blue Beetle is the identity shared by two people: Ted Kord, inventor and head of Kord Industries; and Jaime Reyes, whose body houses an apparently alien scarab that enables various technological abilities.

I’ve never been much of a Blue Beetle fan, but I’m more familiar with the characters prior to the New 52. Unfortunately, Ted Kord’s most known moment was his investigation that ended in his epic and simple death in the prelude to Infinite Crisis. 

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Bang…*sniff*

Highlights

This issue left me confused with Ted Kord’s appearance. The first and last time I saw Kord–the first and last time anyone saw him, perhaps–was during the Forever Evil event (a recommended read). Ted was college student at that time, and fairly youthful with an air of defiance in him. In DC Universe: Rebirth, Ted looks much older than he should. He looked a little too close to his pre-Flashpoint, pre-death incarnation for such a short time passing since Forever Evil.

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New 52 Ted…

 

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…into Rebirth Ted?

What I did like from the Rebirth one-shot was that Ted came off as somewhat disturbing. At least to me. He appeared to have an obsession and was in no effort to help Jaime with freeing himself from the scarab in his spine.

Fast forward to this issue, and I was left underwhelmed.

Writer Keith Giffen doesn’t pace what was supposed to be an introduction into the world of Blue Beetle very well. Giffen quickly and effectively relays the affection between Jaime and his family, but doesn’t give me any anticipation for the upcoming story. The two villains introduced (they appear more like hired thugs towards the end) were quirky, but it wasn’t anything that made me want to see more of them.

The relationship between Ted and Jaime is somewhat antagonistic, but beyond that, there’s not much I get from the protagonists of this series. Giffen tells why Reyes and Kord are working together in the first place–not that it hadn’t already been shared in Rebirth–but I’m still confused as to Ted’s personal motivations of heroism and with Reyes in particular. Again, in Ted’s last appearance, he wasn’t a hero before. Not that I know of, at least.

So…wouldn’t one need motivation for this change?

That simple thing would probably make this book more appealing. Nothing shown that makes me think, “Yeah, I want to see where this goes!”

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Another issue: Dr. Fate’s appearance. To be exact, Dr. Fate’s entrance is almost part and parcel to his appearance in the Rebirth one-shot. Now…if I wanted to see the same character make the same entrance, and say the same thing without anything new or interesting added, why would I want to waste money on this book? Those few panels were a complete waste.

That’s the biggest problem I had with this inaugural issue to Blue Beetle. It didn’t really tell me anything.

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I was left a bit iffy by the art done by  Scott Kolins and Romulo Fajardo, Jr. It’s not bad, but it’s nothing substantial. I liked how some of the character designs were done, but I really didn’t like many panels where Jaime was portrayed. He looked more cartoonish than a technological/alien wonder. I felt that Kolin’s pencils were inconsistent more often than not.

On the upside, I enjoyed Fajardo’s coloring. There’s not much I have to say there. It simply worked for the feel of the book.

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Cartoon Blue Beetle…

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…and cool Blue Beetle

Recap

I didn’t have many good feelings about Blue Beetle: Rebirth. It feels like Keith Giffen rushed this story, introducing characters without much impact, quirky but underwhelming villains, a vague threat, a vaguely fleshed-out relationship between Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes, and a rushed introduction of Dr. Fate that really was done before.

Nothing about this introduced anything of particular interest. If not for the fact that the magical aspects of the scarab , there would be absolutely nothing about this series that would compel me to stick with it. Even then, I’m not sure I will invest. Time and money will tell.

END THROWDOWN.

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