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Blue Beetle #1 - Metamorphosis: Part One Review

3

It's hard to read Blue Beetle #1 without comparing it to its awesome pre-New 52 series; can Bedard re-capture the magic, or will the book lack characterization?

The Good

The book kept the Spanish aspect intact, which made me smile. It was such a defining characteristic of the Reyes family to see them converse together, and I'm glad that vanter wasn't eliminated.

Most (if not all) of the characters are intact from the original run, if not a little changed (see below); I truly believe that Blue Beetle was a great book because of its supporting cast, and that's something we can't take for granted.

The Bad

I noticed something that was missing from the original book: thought captions. While this doesn't seem like a big deal, it really makes a difference when the character is driven by internal thoughts, meotions or dialogs; Jaime does have a supporting cast, but what made him so endearing was his inner conversations with the scarab and himself.

While Paco and Brenda have stayed relatively the same, role-wise, it just seems that they've been transformed into blander stereotypes. Paco hitting on Brenda within panels of us meeting him was eye-roll worthy; normally, friends who have known each other since kindergarten are a little less hormonal.

The origins of the scarab were a bit long-winded, and I think more of the issue should have been spent on Jaime. After all, we're with him for the long haul, not the super-suit - I mean, we have time to get to that later. All we really know about Jaime from this issue is that he's not the most popular guy at school, he has a male and female friend and his parents have a beef with another family; how many teen superheroes can you count have the same qualities?

The Verdict

Like every other New 52 book I've read (save Animal Man), I feel like I need a couple more issues to see if this book is worth my time or not. While the original Jaime Blue Beetle origin had the advantage of tie-ins to get the audience warmed up (Infinite Crisis, Brave New World, etc), we're going into this one cold turkey. Like with Mister Terrific, I feel like the characters have had a coat of bland varnish washed over them, but I think it's to make things a bit more accessible.

It's not as bad as Static was, however, and should allow for a little expansion as time goes on. The book isn't terrible, but it's blisteringly average; it's like New 52 writers have been treating series' with kid gloves, afraid to actually challenge the people reading their books.

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13 Comments
Posted by cosmo111687

I like the very retro cover. ;)

Posted by MatKrenz

Wrong Blue Beetle Matt.
Posted by inferi22

I don't think this review is attached to the right comic

Posted by MattDemers

@MatKrenz said:

Wrong Blue Beetle Matt.

@cosmo111687 said:

I like the very retro cover. ;)

I messed up. It's fixed now :)

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@inferi22 said:

I don't think this review is attached to the right comic

Posted by Rixec

I thought it was done brilliantly. And of course there are no thought bubbles; Jaime didn't bond until the end! Wait a few issues to see them. And some old friends can be hormonal about each other. And we need to know the suit's origins b/c the scarab is a big part of Jaime. Plus I hear Khaji-Kai will be important later on.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@Rixec said:

I thought it was done brilliantly. And of course there are no thought bubbles; Jaime didn't bond until the end! Wait a few issues to see them. And some old friends can be hormonal about each other. And we need to know the suit's origins b/c the scarab is a big part of Jaime. Plus I hear Khaji-Kai will be important later on.

I loved it also and of course they needed to do the origin again Jaime's original one was tied directly in to final crisis 
Posted by danhimself

is it just me or did DC throw every single one of their non american characters into this book....it seemed like every single dialogue bubble had someone speaking a foreign language with absolutely no translation at all....I think I would have liked the book a lot more if I could have understood more than half of what the characters said

Posted by Eyz

It's kinda weird and sad to see such a "young" series restart so soon, specially with the TPBs so easily available for new readers..

But at least the book follows the previous run pretty closely in spirit and form :)

Posted by Osiris1428

I liked this, but not as much as I liked Static ("Not as bad as Static"...excuse me???). But this was cool for anyone who isn't too familiar with Blue Beetle. WAY better than Hawk and Dove.

Edited by imsirius
@danhimself: I had a feeling I wasn't the only person annoyed with being unable to understand chunks of the dialogue. If this continues in future issues, I'm going to drop this one. I shouldn't have to run to Google Translate to read a comic book.
Posted by danhimself

@imsirius said:

@danhimself: I had a feeling I wasn't the only person annoyed with being unable to understand chunks of the dialogue. If this continues in future issues, I'm going to drop this one. I shouldn't have to run to Google Translate to read a comic book.

thank god someone agrees with me!

Posted by CODYSF

I love the dam book it needs 4 stars but whatever.