Erf writes, As the title enters its second year of publication, it really hits its
stride. Read on for more.

General Information

Title: Blue Beetle: Reach for the Stars (TPB 3)
Writers: John Rogers, J. Torres, Keith Giffen
Illustrators: Rafael Albuquerque (pencils & inks); Freddie Williams II
(pencils & inks); David Baldeon (pencils); Dan Davis and Steve Bird
(inks); with Guy Major on colours.

Original Publication Date: 2008 (issues from 2007)
ISBN: 978-1-4012-1642-9
Cover Price: USD$14.99, CAD$17.99
Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Premise

This set of issues sees Jaime Reyes learning what it means to be a
superhero. He also starts to find a place in the pantheon of
superheroes that occupy the DC universe; three of these six issues
feature prominent guest stars (four issues if you count Traci
13
as a guest star), although it always remains Jaime’s story.

Meanwhile, Jaime gets an arc story as the aliens who made his
armour reveal what they’re there for.

High Point

I can’t pick just one, so here are the ties, in order of appearance:

  • Jaime to the scarab: “You did good.”
  • IS. THAT. A. GIANT. GREEN. FIST.
  • I — am — a dentist!
  • The scene which ends with “We are men. We don’t cry.”

Low Point

Issue 15 (“Someone to Watch Over Me”). Nothing really happens. (This
was the issue by J. Torres, the only non-Rogers issue to date (as far
as I can remember, anyway).)

The Scores

The originality is strong. Most of the stories are familiar
superhero themes, but the character development which drives them and
derives from them makes these stories unique. 5/6.

The artwork is reasonably good, although I do miss Cully
Hamner. Everybody is on model, and everything is clear with
interesting poses, angles, and layouts. Inking complements both the
story and the art. My only real complaint is that David Baldeon tends
to draw a lot of cone heads, particularly on women. Some of
Albuquerque’s work is excellent, particularly in “Total Eclipso: The
Heart”.* Averages to 4/6.

The story is generally some of the strongest yet. This would
get a 6 if it weren’t for the Low Point; averages to 5/6.



Characterization is, as always, what drives this title and
makes it great. Every one of the High Points are characterization
moments. (One of them is even characterization for Jaime’s power
armour
.) The Low Point weakens it to a 5/6.

The emotional response was great, and the emotions really ran
the spectrum. Even the beginning of “Someone” I really felt Jaime’s
frustration at not knowing where to turn. 5/6.

The flow is uniformly good. Artwork and layout do a good job
of carrying me through the scenes and transitions. 6/6.

Overall, I love this series, and this volume really develops it
in a lot of ways. 6/6.

In total, Blue Beetle: Reach for the Stars receives 36/42.

* My favourite title of the series, naturally. ;)