More Like Bland Beetle
Blue Beetle is definitely not the most popular of the DC super heroes, but he has been known to have a number of series in the past. So, it's understandable that the New 52 was graced with his presence, as you can only make so many series about the members of the JLA. However, this one ends up feeling more like an empty shell of a story, as there is little substance or content to delve into.
We're introduced to Jamie, our protagonist, who is more or less the equivalent to a Mexican Peter Parker with the Venom symbiote. Seriously, he has a crush on a red-headed girl who's considered the most attractive girl in school, is forced to hide his identity from everyone even when it means people hating him, his best friend becomes an evil version of him, he doesn't want his powers and is angry that he was stuck with them, and the symbiote is evil and utilizing him for ulterior motives. The real difference here is that Jamie doesn't really have a character beyond being attracted to the female love interest and not wanting anyone to know his identity. He's a generally dull character with little substance up until the last few moments of this book, and even then it's not enough to flesh out his character. It's as if Tony Bedard was trying to make Jamie evolve as a character, but the developments at the end of this story arch has almost nothing to do with the rest of the story, coming out of no where.
The villains are pretty average here. There are no stand out figures who come across as interesting, no one familiar to latch on to, and they all fell rather shallow. There was one odd instance when a villain was hinted at, only to have them suddenly run off for a reason completely separate from the story, making me wonder why they were included at all until later. And, for some reason, we seem to want to have villains of various nationalities here, so there are both Spanish and French supervillains present. Why? I'm not entirely sure.
In fact, the whole book is crawling with Spanish and French text, which is all fine and well, as it makes the story feel more real. But when the reader can't understand a lot of what's being said on a given page, it becomes rather frustrating to try and sift through the dialogue to find what's being said. This didn't happen very often past the first couple of issues, but it was still irritating.
The art is what's to be expected of DC, pretty standard. It all looks nice, and there's some nice use of complementary colors particularly on the front cover, that makes it all look very nice. And often the Blue Beetle is made to look rather interesting with various smaller details bringing the suit to life.
But even that couldn't bring enough life to this series to make it worth continuing. Blue Beetle feels like a weak addition to an already weak line-up that the New 52 provides us. There aren't any characters to connect with or relate to, and, beyond the setting, there isn't much of anything to make this stand out. Take your chances with something else.
Story: 4/10: Bland and unoriginal, not something we haven't heard a million times before.
Characters: 4/10: Everyone feels shallow, leaving the reader feeling like they didn't actually get to know anyone.
Art: 7/10: The standard DC fair with some nice use of colors.
Re-readability: 4/10: This being my second time perusing this, the issue with this book are much clearer this time, discouraging me from picking it up again.
Length: 6 issues
Verdict: 4/10: Don't waste your time or money on this substandard story.