DC’s track record in the Rebirth era has been so solid it’s encouraged title exploration. Readers have tried new titles and DC has largely delivered. Blue Beetle Rebirth #1 is an anomaly in that regard. It’s likely to attract a slew of old fans but might struggle gaining new readers.
Some writers have used the Rebirth one-shots as a character refresher or reboot for the new status quo. Others simply had the specials serve as a 0 issue as an early kickoff to the ongoing series. Keith Giffen probably needed to go the latter route with Blue Beetle Rebirth.
Jamie Reyes is trying to rid himself of the scarab that’s affixed itself on his back. In the meantime, Jamie battles crime as Blue Beetle. Beyond that, there’s a few questions that hopefully Giffen addresses along the way.
One of DC Rebirth’s most pleasant surprises was the return of the second Blue Beetle, Ted Kord. As a longtime member of the beloved Justice League International team, Ted’s death was a major turning point to a darker DCU. For a lot of his fans, seeing him in action piloting the Bug will be more than enough reason to stick with the title.
Still, it would have been nice to get a little explanation as to how Ted and Jaime linked up. Or what, if any connection Ted has to the other heroes in this Rebirth era. Dr. Fate’s role in the series is also intriguing especially if it’s tied to the return of the Justice Society.
At times the dialogue reads a little dated specifically with Beetle’s villains. Occasionally the exchanges between Jaime and Ted are stilted. When it clicks Giffen establishes a fun, modern twist on the Firestorm dynamic with the older advisor helping a teen hero.
Scott Kollins was a great choice to handle art chores for the book. Kollins has a softness to his art style that is an ideal fit for Blue Beetle. Kollins draws very expressive characters with a ton of personality, key for a more lighthearted title. I’ve been a fan of his work since The Flash and his work has remained consistent.
Blue Beetle Rebirth was a title that had the luxury of having a built-in audience. The fan service in pairing Jaime and Ted was a solid make-good by DC. Now the big challenge will be building off this foundation to deliver on fan expectation.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Image Credit: DC Comics