Review: ‘Blue Beetle’ #3 Explodes With Silver Age Fun

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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 Beetle #3

Blue Beetle #3
Story by Keith Giffen & Scott Kolins
Script by Keith Giffen
Art by Scott Kolins
Colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr.  

Writing

I’ve slowly been checking out DC’s Rebirth titles, and as good as a lot of them have been, they haven’t exactly been accessible. Blue Beetle is different, though. This issue, #3, was my first exposure to Jaime Reyes, the current Blue Beetle, and I found it not only easy to follow but fun, interesting, and filled with great characterization. Writer Keith Giffen, a comics veteran, is no stranger to the title. He made original Blue Beetle Ted Kord (a supporting player here) a mainstay in his famous Justice League International run. The attention to character that Giffen brought to that series is present here. It also reminds me of those great classic Spider-Man stories when Peter Parker was still in high school, specifically the great cast of supporting characters and friends. Not that the plot suffers, as the issue does open with an exciting scene involving the Horde and the final page has a pretty ominous cliffhanger/reveal as well.

Art

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Scott Kolins has long been one of my favorite modern artists. His early 2000s run on The Flash with Geoff Johns is legendary. His work here is no different (he also is credited with helping write the story). Kolin’s work brings to mind masters like Jack Kirby and Arthur Adams, but with its own modern take. On Blue Beetle, the artist is even playing around with panels and backgrounds, giving the whole book a wonderfully dynamic feel and flow that gives it an excellent pace. His layouts and design are also standouts. It’s a beautiful superhero book to look at.

Coloring

I don’t know who Romulo Fajardo Jr. is, but I will be seeking out any books where he is putting colors to pages. As great as Kolins is, the colors here accentuate the drawings and make what was already a moving image feel like it’s exploding off the page. The colors add a Silver Age mood with a modern aesthetic. It’s bright, detailed and energetic, all things that go hand in hand with the narrative tone of the story.

Conclusion

Blue Beetle #3 is what great comics are all about. The perfect marriage of pictures, words, layout, and color. I highly recommend you pick the book up if you are a fan of classic and fun superheroics. It’s a nice change from the heavy doom and gloom that hangs over the Rebirth event, and I hope this book and creative team continue to tell stories together.

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Manuel Gomez
Assistant Comic Book Editor. Manny has been obsessed with comics since childhood. He feels every New Comic Book Day is a holiday. He also probably plays way too much Magic: The Gathering.
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