The Rebirth issue of Blue Beetle was good. Very good, in fact. So with the official first issue of the series out now, let’s take a look. Is it good?
Blue Beetle #1 (DC Comics)
Jaime Reyes’ day is going differently than usual. He had that strange dream again where he was fighting Dr. Fate in some unknown location at some unknown time. He has Ted Kord as a guest speaker at his school and then he ends up with working with him to investigate a case. A case that is given by The Posse, a metahuman gang that resides in the area. Oh what a day for that poor teen.
The Rebirth issue felt like a great, well-polished introduction into the new status quo for Blue Beetle. It did almost everything right and was quite enjoyable to read. However, the first official issue of Blue Beetle is an odd duck of a comic. The quality feels like it dropped immensely between issues and I don’t know how or why exactly things ended up the way they did.
The big problem with the issue is the storytelling and writing. It’s very messy and just does not feel smooth at all here. There’s way too much chatter going on, more than the last issue, rarely allowing for a scene to just happen or slowing down the pace of the comic. The comic doesn’t feel like a smooth transition between this and the Rebirth issue at all, like there was a large gap in time between the comics. There are many awkward scene transitions as the comic constantly jumps around between or during scenes, feeling like we’re missing panels or dialogue at times. The comic just feels very uneven and rough because of all of this, really taking away from the experience.
What the hell is that expression Brenda?
On a story and character level, the comic isn’t all that bad. While I’m still not remotely sure how the continuity of this series works alongside the old New 52 run, things are working out just fine. Jaime is pretty likeable here and his friends are fun to read about, even if they are a bit jerk-ish. Ted is delightful and is pretty much the heart of the comic with how much he likes superheroing and wanting to figure out the secrets behind the Scarab embedded in Jaime’s back. Sure, he seems a bit naïve at times, but he’s nice to read about here and he generally wants to help. The story itself, most of which happens in the second half, isn’t too bad with the metahuman gang and the missing person cases the Jaime and Ted are investigating. It’s just that the writing needs to be stronger to support the positives here.
Then there is the artwork by Scott Kolins and thankfully, it hasn’t really dipped at all. It has the issue of story layouts being rather jumpy and there’s the really odd expression every once in a while, but that’s it. The characters are all drawn rather well; very expressive, and body proportions never look off. The action can be static, but it does present some flashy and energetic looking shots at times. There’s a nice level of detail when drawing the world and backgrounds, making the areas feel more lively. It’s just a nice looking series so far, even if it has its low points.
Is It Good?
Blue Beetle #1 is an unfortunate step down in quality from the excellent Rebirth issue. The storytelling and writing are just not as strong as they were before and they make reading the comic more frustrating than it should be. It’s a shame since the story, character, and the artwork are all pretty good though. Hopefully the next issue gets things back on track.