Customer Reviews: Blue Beetle Vol. 1: Metamorphosis (The New 52)
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 30, 2013
Okay, full disclosure moment, I got mad love for the original incarnation of Jaime Reyes. I was so damned cheesed when not only did BLUE BEETLE get canceled, but then the New 52 mandate came along. I'm still nursing a case of the bitters with DC's sweeping and very mercenary relaunch. I was very concerned about the treatment of Blue Beetle going forward. But I can't stay away from this comic book. BLUE BEETLE Vol. 1: METAMORPHOSIS collects the new series' first six issues. Tony Bedard writes the thing. Ig Guara draws the thing. But how does it fare compared to the awesome series it's opted to reinvent?

There's stuff that's familiar and stuff that's veered off what's familiar. Jaime Reyes pretty much remains true to character. He's a normal teenager but with a strong sense of responsibility toward his family and friends. We're reacquainted with Jaime's best friend Paco, who's still hanging with them bad elements, and Brenda del Vecchio, whose aunt happens to be El Paso's resident crime lord, La Dama. Except I don't remember the original La Dama dabbling in the dark arts.

How he ends up with the sentient and very homicidal alien scarab may be different, but Jaime does end up with it as it once more fuses itself to his spine. And once more Jaime is faced with a constant test of wills to see whether it's he or the ultra-aggressive scarab - whose name is "Khaji-Da" - who'll be giving the marching orders.

Will Jaime Reyes disobey his parents and attend Brenda's Quinceañera, which is being held at her Tia Amparo's suspiciously well-guarded compound? Can the Brotherhood of Evil recover the red backpack which contains the ancient and possibly cursed escarabajo azul? Or will the blue beetle artifact instead lodge itself in an unwitting Hispanic teen's spine? (I'm guessing yes to that last one.) Elsewhere, the Reach - a predatory alien race to which the A.I. scarab belongs - has pinpointed the location of the long-absent Khaji-Da and dispatches one of its soldiers. Tony Bedard doesn't waste time.

Speaking of, I remember Tony Bedard from his terrific stint at CrossGen Comics, and so I trust him as a storyteller, trust that whichever route he chooses to go with Jaime Reyes, no matter if he echoes the original Jaime's story arc or not, that it'll be a road worth exploring. I remember Ig Guara from bupkis, but I appreciate his clean linework and the expressiveness of his figures and that, unlike cover artist Tyler Kirkham, he renders the Beetle in appropriate body proportion. Jaime's Beetle isn't some overmuscled bodybuilder, Tyler Kirkham. He's just a kid and should be drawn that way. I guess it's super-gauche to mention that I miss the hell out of Cully Hamner's artwork.

I've hopes and certain expectations for this series, and, yeah, much of that go back to what I enjoyed in the previous series. I don't know when or if Jaime will reveal his identity to his family and friends, except that when he did that in the other series, his loved ones' awareness of his alter ego immediately layered in a new dynamic to the narrative. I absolutely loved that his little sister knew he was Blue Beetle. In this volume, it's possible that Bedard is seeking a new direction.

Thankfully, the backdrop is still El Paso, Texas. Gratifyingly, Bedard doesn't shy from embracing Jaime's ethnicity and from rooting him deep into his Hispanic culture. His heritage - and I guess that includes the Spanglish - is part and parcel of what makes Jaime Reyes such a fantastic and unique and real character.

Okay, I do have a few bones to pick. I don't subscribe to the notion of a supporting character gaining super powers, but that happens here. And, in issue six, Tony Bedard puts Blue Beetle in such a serious bind that the only way he could resolve his dilemma and outwit his adversary is by pretending that Khaji-Da is in full control. This leads to a pretty messed-up course of action on his part, considering who ends up paying for his deception. I guess what Jaime does makes sense in the context of the narrative and is even a pretty clever trick. Still, Bedard may get a protesting letter or two.

After reading this volume I guess I'm cautiously optimistic about this particular relaunch. Even under new management, Jaime Reyes remains very relatable. Bedard injects enough changes to make it seem fresh while retaining enough of the ingredients that made the previous series such a fun read. If nothing else, it's a better reiteration than the one we saw in the SMALLVILLE episode. So for now I'm on board with this new series, even if I'm still not sold on DC's New 52.
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on September 20, 2015
Brilliant comic, and fairly easy to get into if you are new to comics as well. I've heard things like, "DC Comics Answer to Spiderman" or whatever, and maybe that's true but it's a great answer. I enjoyed reading every page in this book, and am really saddened to know that DC Cancelled this series after Book Two, and it doesn't make sense because it's such a beautiful story. I was genuinely surprised at some plot twists, not thinking this book would "go there" but it did and I am thankful for it.

Even though the book ends after Volume Two, I suggest picking up Blue Beetle. Well worth it.
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on November 27, 2012
From issue #1 this title really grabbed my attention. I'm not a big Tony Beddard fan as I find most of what he writes to be too bogged down in story exposition and largely boring, but this was the opposite of that!

No, this isn't Ted Kord nor is it in any way related to him. He's not mentioned at all. This isn't even the same Jaime Reyes from the pre-New 52 DCU. It's an all-new origin story that actually starts at the beginning of this young hero's career.

As I started getting into this I couldn't help but see some very strong parallels to Spider-Man. There's the unwitting teenager caught in a bad situation, great power and responsibility, unrequited love, best friend turning worst enemy...yep, DC's version of Spider-Man...which has been canceled as of issue #16 due to lagging sales.

It's awful really, because this book had so much potential to be so much bigger. No, he's not a big name like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman or even Aquaman these days, but he's no less interesting a character. And he's handled really well here and given a story that, above all else, makes you care about him.

This is a perfect book for the younger DC readers, too. Even though I enjoyed Teen Titans Vol. 1 for the most part, this is much better and seems to be more "in touch" with kids today. Don't dismiss this one just because you've never heard of Blue Beetle. If you've ever loved Spider-Man or if you're a current fan of Green Lantern, give this a shot.
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on June 5, 2016
As a comic book fanatic, one of my favorite superheroes is Jaime Reyes, the incarnation of Blue Beetle that is used in this series. When I heard of this superhero having his own title, I immediately bought this volume. And needless to say, I read it right away when the volume arrived to my home. I kept reading, not taking a single break. After finishing it, I read it over and over again. It was just that enjoyable to me. And when I saw at the extras of the volume, I looked at them over and over again.This volume is just quite amazing and one of my favorites. It is one of my more valuable comics that I having, along with my variants of Gotham Academy.
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on March 21, 2013
i fist saw blue on (the now canceled :( ) Young Justice show on cartoon network and its him that made me interested in his character. i was already familer with comics (use to read x-men when i was young). i cant compare this to any previous blue beetle comic (i am planning on back tracking ad reading all of them, not just Jeime's story's. but i do like it and i plan on reading other because i love this hero, maybe ill love others too.
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on September 16, 2015
I've run across Blue Beetle a few times but really knew nothing about him. This is his origin story. There are a lot of supervillains in this volume not big names, but ones that have a long history. While I didn't find the story terribly exciting I did really like Blue Beetle, both his personalities and am quite attracted to him as a superhero. The story doesn't get that far in this volume though as it ends with Jaime and the alien symbiote reaching a tentative agreement as to surviving together. I thought the humour was witty as well and the art was good. Looking forward to more of this hero.
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on December 26, 2014
I'm a big fan of Teen character comics, but this was a letdown. I had been quite looking forward to it, based on the reviews, so when my wife gave it to me for Christmas, I was thrilled! Sadly, it just doesn't hold up. One dimensional characters, interesting elements introduced, then abandoned, an almost complete lack of character development..... it just doesn't hold up. It is entertaining in parts, but you can do better, elsewhere.
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on March 20, 2013
This comic features the origin story, Metamorphosis (issues #1-6), of Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes). You can find reviews for the individual issues elsewhere so I'll focus on what makes this collection volume different than the versions found in the individual issues.

You get to read the same number of pages as in the individual issues but all together at once. The art is sharp, clear, and detailed. But, also the art doesn't change the fact that the "normal world" areas of Blue Beetle are slum-like, dirty, and run down, so it is something of a downer. A shiny-clean city like Metropolis this is not. However, since this is a collected volume you get more pages for your money, and if you don't like what is happening you can just skip it and turn the page. I like this because I found that with the individual issues the story ended far too quickly for me as the pace began to speed up whenever it showed me interesting things.

This book separates the gap between each issue with a page featuring the original cover in color on one side, without title decoration or text overlays, and then the black and white version of the same cover appears on the other side of the page, again without decoration.

I noticed that some of the captions, specifically the informational hints about DC lore and also the comic crossover notes from the individual issues were removed from the pages of this book. I think that missing some explanations and background information takes away from the experience of casual readers who don't know about DC lore, for who I am one of them.

In the back of the book there are a few pages of character art: 1 color page of Thorax, an enemy, and 5 pencil sketches of Blue Beetle in various poses.
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on December 22, 2012
I picked up the first Blue Beetle tpb on a whim and I was suprised how much I enjoyed it. The plot and action reminde me of Young Justice, which the Blue Beetle is actually a part of in Season 2. I am sad to see that the comic was cancled, although I am optimistic that Blue Beetle's part in "Threshold" will be as wonderful as his comic is.

If you enjoy action-centric comics with a brisk pace and witty banter, you will enjoy Blue Beetle.
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on January 18, 2013
Blue Beetle is one of those obscure Steve Ditko that never rise under the shadow of the creation that Stan Lee stole or at least one that he revamped and gave a popular character who wasn't popular enough to gain the ability to dodge bullets. And so we have Jaime Reyes, a young kid of Latino decent who happens upon a cybernetic scarab that attaches to his host and forces the wearer to conquer his world or at least help in the conquering of the world. Fortunately for Jaime, his scarab is defective and thus he must try to escape the advances of those trying to capture the scarab and maintain a normal life. So let's get into the good, the bad, and whether or not you should pick it up.

1. Love the main character: This is the same Spiderman magic but with consequences on a grander scale. Here he has to fight to keep the scarab from killing and destroying his enemies and even worse, his friends and family. Basically the character isn't mastering abilities so much as fighting his own power as much as he's fighting the enemies. The interactions they have are nice and I really do feel for the cast of characters.

2. Awesome villains: I mean not only are some very bad people out for Jaime's blood but a lot of them are noticeable unlike other titles where they try to make new villains and they're c-list at best. Here you got Silverback, a tag bteam duo who i don't want to spoil. Then you have a crime lord with ties to the supernatural. Over looking all of this si the world conquering force known as the Reach. Yeah this comic definately has some good action.

3. Consequences of actions: What really makes this entire book is where it ultimately drives Jaime, the trials the suit puts him through, the things that happen as a result of his mistakes. You really feel for this kid because his entire is destroying itself in fear fo the suit and he is forced to do things that he wouldn't. Ultimately this feels a lot more like a kid getting super powers than other comics.

1. As cool as everything is it doesn't feel like it ramps things up. It seems like everything is pretty much taken to relatively exciting levels but not blowing me away like some other comics out there. While it's exciting it doesn't feel like it builds up to a really bursting point like other comics.

2. Villains pop in and out without much really good villain development except the Reach. I wish some villains kept in there for an issue or two more or stayed in the background a bit more for a bigger reveal.

Bottom Line: while it may not be mind blowing as other comics in the New 52, this is very entertaining and overall a good read. I'd recommend Blue Beetle fans picking it up.
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