With the "Second Wave" of the New 52 on the way and six titles slated for cancellation, Tony Bedard and Ig Guara's "Blue Beetle" is still going strong and is one of the very best titles from DC. "Blue Beetle" #6 continues the high benchmark Bedard and Guara have set for the series in an issue not to be missed.
Whether you jumped off DC books when the New 52 hit or found "Blue Beetle" too similar to Jaime Reyes' first adventures, jump on this book as soon as possible. Jaime Reyes has lost a lot to the scarab fused to his spine and in "Blue Beetle" #9, he loses so much more. Faced with a menacing threat that comes in the form of his best friend Paco, Jaime has to think fast to save himself and his loved ones -- battling both his best friend and the scarab fused to his spine. Not only does Jaime have to save the day, his friends, and family, he has to do it without tipping his identity and triggering the kill command the scarab employed to initiate this problem.
Bedard handles this with ease, crafting a story about a bug-themed teenager who struggles with the crushing responsibility of newfound and unwanted abilities, allowing readers to come on the ground floor for the construction of a legend. Jaime’s inner thoughts about his relationship with his family and friends and doing what it takes to save their lives, proves he has the potential to be one of the greatest heroes in the DCU. Yet, Bedard never forgets Jaime's high school sensibilities and wonderfully writes him as a teenager, complete with inappropriate thoughts about his galpal Brenda. The magnificent blend of heroism and teen spirit is what makes Jaime completely unlike any character in comics today and this issue provides a grand encapsulation of what Bedard has given readers throughout the series.
Similarly, Guara continues to fill the pages of "Blue Beetle" with fantastic art. These are wonderfully crafted characters that have so much energy and life in them Guara can’t help but deliver. The artist's design for Paco's "bugsuit" is humongous and hideous -- as much an avatar of rage and fury as Jaime’s sleek Beetle carapace is a representation of science and serenity. The battle between the two characters washes the backgrounds away and fills their conflict with energy. In the moments surrounding the battle, Guara proves the calm prelude and aftermath of a fight can be just as visually striking as the battle itself. The wreckage left in El Paso following the fight, both physical and emotional, is deep, permanent, and impactful.
This issue delivers on the promise of massive changes for the New 52. While "Blue Beetle" #6 may not have a braggadocio on the cover declaring the end of everything as we know it, Bedard and Guara deliver a game-changer for Jaime, his family and friends. Things happen in this issue forever altering Blue Beetle and those around him with possible lasting consequences for the DC Universe -- and I can't wait to see what's next.