‘Blue Beetle’ #5 Succeeds On Pure Classic Comic Book Craft

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High school, dating, parents, acne, figuring out what you’re going to do with your life after graduation… Let’s face it, it’s stressful being a teenager. The urge to fit in and live a normal life free of embarrassment is overwhelming. So it’s a fair bet that being targeted by an alien artifact that resembles a big bug to become a superhero known as Blue Beetle probably wasn’t high on Jaime Reyes’ playlist.

Blue BeetleBlue Beetle #5
Story by: Keith Giffen & Scott Kolins
Script by: Keith Giffen
Art by: Scott Kollins
Colors by: Romulo Fajardo Jr.

Writing

After last issue’s flashback to an origin, we jump right into a very action packed and fantastically paced series of events. This whole issue is full of movement and energy, and it just about THE perfect example of classic superhero comics. We get to see a superpowered battle on city streets that not only showcases the GREAT supporting cast this comic has, it also moves the plot forward without relying on clumsy narration or exposition. I think that having both Keith Giffen and Scott Kolins work on the plot together is a key factor in the storytelling. The energy is created up front, with Giffen later giving it necessary structure with a script. There is an added strength to things when writers and artists work so closely.

I mentioned the cast earlier, but I want to single them out. Not since they heyday of old-school Spider-Man comics have I seen a supporting cast of characters that are not only vital to the main character, but are also immensely interesting in themselves. Everyone here has something going on, from Jaime’s friends, to his parents, and to Ted Kord, who finally jumps into action in a scene that will make older Blue Beetle fans VERY happy. And then there’s an ending with Dr. Fate that makes me think is the best way to handle that character, ambiguous and creepy.

Art

I could write accolades about Scott Kolins all day. I truly think he is one of the modern masters of superhero art. And like The Flash before it, Blue Beetle is a perfect title for him. The nature of the character allows him to create very intricate designs and layouts; it allows him to really unleash his very modern take on the Kirby style. The best way I can describe it is that he makes these pages buzz, crackle, and sizzle.

His panel structure continues to create fantastic pacing, with some truly eye-popping splash page moments to really grab you. I really get lost in his artwork, even though the story’s momentum is frantic. It’s a unique balance.

Coloring

Romulo Fajardo Jr. is as responsible for Blue Beetle as the rest of the creative team. His colors are the most vibrant in any current DCU title and have a very “pop-art” feel to them. But they also convey a very hand colored look, without the overly glossy sheen that comes with so many comics today. It feels like he used markers, and that is a compliment.

Conclusion

Enough is enough, just go ahead and pick up this title. You really won’t be disappointed. You’ll be reminded why we all were drawn to comics in the first place. They have a delivery that no other medium can provide. A synchronicity of story, art, and color that give you a particular type of experience. Pure. Good. Comics.