Hispanic Superhero Spotlight: #1 Blue Beetle
Good morning, afternoon, evening, or whatever time you’re reading this! This is my Hispanic Superhero Spotlight, where I talk about a hispanic superhero in depth and give you a bit of backstory on the character, some comics you gotta read, and my overall thoughts. For the inaugural spotlight, #1, we’ll be talking about one of the most noticeable and well known hispanic superheroes, I’m sure you’ve all heard of:
Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes)
Hispanic Origin: Mexican
First Appearance: As Jaime Reyes (Infinite Crisis #3)
As Blue Beetle (Infinite Crisis #5)
Jaime is a teenager from El Paso, Texas with loving parents and a younger sister. Though not financially stable, Jaime’s family manage to stay together through thick and thin. He feels he has a sense of duty and responsibility to help his family no matter what it is and is often the one being the intermediary in the household. From a young age he shows us what it means to be hero by being courageous, responsible, and most importantly, compassionate.
Blue Beetle History:
There have been three characters that have taken the mantle of Blue Beetle: Dan Garret, Ted Kord, and Jaime Reyes. DC Comics have managed to interweave all three characters into each of their histories and to understand Jaime’s Blue Beetle, you have to understand the rudimentary basics of the other two.
The first Blue Beetle, Dan Garrett, first appeared in 1939, and had mystical powers which he got from a powerful blue scarab. It gave him superhuman strength, agility, and endurance. Dan Garrett became a mentor to Ted Kord and gave the scarab to him after his death and made Kord promise to fight crime as the Blue Beetle. Kord was never able to use the scarab so he fought crime using his own tech. One day the scarab is energized after a confrontation from a villain; Kord then gives the scarab to the wizard Shazam. Shazam is eventually killed and the scarab finds its way to El Paso, Texas where Jaime resides.
The scarab itself is an alien technology that consist of artificial intelligence which was used by an alien race called the Reach, where they would place these scarabs in different worlds in order to conquer that world from within. The Blue Beetle Scarab eventually developed sentience when it formed to Jaime.
Jaime found the scarab and picked it up out of curiosity; he took it home with him and in his sleep, the scarab finally awoke and chose Jaime as its host. The scarab fused into Jaime’s spine and he became the new Blue Beetle right after Ted Kord’s death… This scarab has caused a lot of problems.
Since then, Jaime/Blue Beetle has fought crime against supervillains and has fought alongside the Justice League and has become a member of the Teen Titans.
The scarab and Jaime have a symbiotic relationship, allowing him to be surrounded in nearly impenetrable hi-tech armor, as well as giving him a range of alien weaponry when activated. Some of the weaponry include energy blasts, swords, and even wings/ The suit can even emit a certain type of energy that can counteract magic. Obviously, like every other suit, Jaime is able to have superhuman strength, agility, and endurance, however all that power comes at a cost. When activating and deactivating the scarab, Jaime experiences excruciating and sometimes unbearable pain. Jaime sometimes has trouble controlling the scarab and can also, in a sense, go rogue in which the suit will become taller, larger and more deadly, restricting Jaime’s consciousness and only allowing instinct to take over, but that only happens in dire situations. Makes you think if it’s all worth it… it probably still is.
Although it is a Justice League centric story, you get to witness the origins of Jaime Reyes and as a comic collector, it’s a must have for Jaime Reyes fans.
Blue Beetle #1-36 (2006-2009)
This is the best Blue Beetle comic you’ll read, especially the first half of the series. In this series you get to see the struggle of trying to be a fun teenager, while having an alien scarab attached to your back. This is the series that made everyone instantly fall in love with the character.
New 52 #1-16 (2011-2013)
He had a short run in the new 52, but it is still certainly a good, fun read. Regardless of the stories, the comic stays true to character.
You don’t like reading comics or you never have before? No worries! Check out Young Justice Season 2 and the animated movie Justice League vs Teen Titans to see him kick ass on screen.
I think what draws most people to this iteration of Blue Beetle, unlike the other ones, is the design. Sometimes it just doesn’t matter what you do, but how badass you look. The design is just amazing, when I first saw this character I instantly wanted to know more about him. Aside from looking awesome, I think the appeal we have towards Jaime is the same appeal we have for Peter Parker and Kamala Khan and that’s that he’s a teenager. There’s a relatability in the character. He literally is just a young kid who wants to go out and have fun, but he has a duty that includes fighting villains on Earth and space.
There was a time where I thought Blue Beetle was only Jaime Reyes and I think most people do because he’s just an interesting character. What I find so interesting is that although he wants to help people and save the world, sometimes he doesn’t have a choice. The scarab will activate itself on its own when it senses trouble, even though he’s not in danger. So sometimes he has to throw himself in certain situations when he doesn’t necessarily have to. The early issues of his series explored that very well.
But those are my thoughts, please let me know what you think of Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle. Whether you love him or hate him, let me know and let’s talk about it!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @GeekyFlordian.