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Blue Beetle #17
Writer: John Rogers
Artist: Rafael Albuquerque

If you were waiting for this book to make a misstep, check back in 30 days. Books like this are why I read superhero comics. The action is big, the powers are cool, the issues are universal, the stage is local, and the characters are human. And every month Blue Beetle delivers.

We get to see Jaime growing as a hero and a young man, with a well-rounded supporting cast backing him up as he earns his wings as a hero in the DC universe. Guest heroes and villains make sense in the context of the book and aren't there as cover candy to sell more issues. The guest hero this month isn't even mentioned on the cover, which makes his appearance that much more effective.

Blue Beetle works hard to live up to his legacy. Employing a combination of power, compassion, brains and guts with a sense of humility, this is the kind of hero I want the next generation of readers to get hooked on, if only to keep the book alive so I can keep reading it. John Rogers even manages to keep the legacy of Ted Kord alive in the book, earning points with those of us who miss the team of Blue and Gold. Thanks, John.

The art is professional, action moving competently from panel to panel, with a clean line reminiscent of the Bruce Timm DC animated universe without aping that style. Although I do wonder where Jaime's nose goes when he suits up. Reach technology seems to have an eccentric effect on spatial dimensions.

I do love this book. Blue Beetle and Invincible are my monthly antidote to Civil Wars and weekly books with enumerated titles. Nice plotting, smart dialog, good art, engaging characters, clever integration with the surrounding milieu, all this and we get to see the hero as a relatively normal teenager in a nice normal loving family. Reminds a lot of why I liked Impulse so much.

Please Dan Didio, don't let this go the way of Impulse. Tell you what, you give this book a decent run-in period, say ten years, and I'll commit to buying it for the duration.

Deal? Deal.

David Akhond

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