I'll admit it, I didn't read the previous "Blue Beetle" series. It's one of those comics I've kept meaning to get around to, and the pedigree of creators associated with it (Keith Giffen, John Rogers, Cully Hamner, Rafael Albuquerque) is certainly impressive. But it has meant that reading the new "Blue Beetle" series has left me unable to compare it to what came before, and only able to judge it on what we're getting now.
So with that in mind? I'm kicking myself for not reading the old "Blue Beetle" series if it was as much fun as this one is. Tony Bedard's take on Jaime Reyes (whom I liked in "Justice League: Generation Lost") is a fun character here; he's understandably befuddled and confused with having gone from high school student to superhero in the blink of an eye. His constant arguing with the attempting-to-be-deadly suit gives us an instant insight to his character, and I like how he's already making sure to try and tone down the lethal instincts of the suit.
After all, this is a character who's less worried about what's going to happen to him, and more concerned with keeping his friend Paco safe. In other words, he's not just a guy with amazing abilities, he's a genuine hero. Watching him wallop and smash his way through all the carefully designed villains here is a lot of fun, too; there's something about his methods (or lack thereof at times!) which makes him feel down to earth and that much more real. Even if he is in a robotic bug suit.
A lot of the credit also goes to Ig Guara, whose pencils are lively and attractive. From lava men to a spooky supervillainness, everyone looks distinct and thought out. I especially love the character designs on the supporting cast; Paco's startled expression as he goes airborne is great, but it's the checkered shirt and shoes that make it feel that much more real and honest. Likewise, I love that Brenda is adorable without being hot; she's the girl next door, and in the best possible way. She's realistic looking and not a supermodel, but still a catch and with a fun personality to boot.
"Blue Beetle" #2 has cemented my decision to keep reading this book. It's light-hearted, it's fun, and this is a book where the hero's suit has to keep reminding him to not give away his secret identity. (Plus, comedic vomiting that actually is somewhat funny. How often does that actually work?) "Blue Beetle" is the kind of entertainment that we could use more of.