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Blue Beetle: Reach for the Stars by John…
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Blue Beetle: Reach for the Stars

by John Rogers, Rafael Albuquerque (Illustrator)

Other authors: David Baldeon (Illustrator), Steve Bird (Illustrator), Dan Davis (Illustrator), Keith Giffen (Contributor), J. Torres (Contributor)1 more, Freddie Williams II (Illustrator)

Series: Blue Beetle (3)

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712257,561 (3.89)2
Jaime has his hands full when he learns the scarab's alien owners are planning to invade Earth -- and no one will believe him! Guest-starring Green Lantern Guy Gardner and the Teen Titans while facing the villainous Eclipso, Typhoon, Giganta and more!

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Access a version of the below that includes illustrations on my blog.

Yesssss. Blue Beetle is still the quintessential teen superhero book, as John Rogers shows all lesser writers how to balance character, humor, superheroics, and teen angst. Road Trip ended on a cliffhanger, with Blue Beetle making first contact with the alien Reach, responsible for the creation of his mysterious scarab; Reach for the Stars follows that up with a series of standalone one-issue stories, as Jaime tries to convince others that the Reach isn't what it seems. I wish more writers followed Rogers's approach: his done-in-ones are perfect at balancing individual story and character beats with the ongoing plots and narratives of the series, meaning that this slim volume feels like it does more than many fatter comic collections.

The book features a lot of tie-ins to the larger DC universe, with appearances by Guy Gardner and Ultra-Humanite, Superman and Livewire, Traci 13 (the Architects did keep their promise in Architecture & Mortality and fold her into the post-52 universe), Bruce Wayne/Batman, Lobo and the Teen Titans, and Giganta (not sure how her operating as a mercenary here fits with her being a professor at Ivy University in The All New Atom, but maybe I'll find out). These are well-done crowd-pleasers: who doesn't like Paco and Brenda quibbling over the belly shirts all the female members of the Titans wear?

But where John Rogers and his collaborators always excel are the moments of character. A real highlight is a story where Jaime must stop a storm-creating supervillain from devastating a coastal Mexican community. His suit lets him know how many life-signs are active in the community, leading to this devastating page. But Jaime doesn't crumble; he starts thinking smart, and works out a solution to save everyone still alive with a minimum of violence, and ends the issue in a tender moment with his father.

Similarly, one could easily groan over another appearance of Eclipso (not really a favorite of mine after suffering through its appearance in Day of Vengeance and Team 7), but Rogers turns it into something special, with a series of great character moments for Jaime and Paco. Jaime gets his flirt on with Traci 13, but still has some realistic awkwardness, and triumphs through his desire to not be a superhero. But he's a hero nonetheless, and that's what makes him great. (Plus John Rogers gets in a nice tribute to the Dibnys. I miss you, Elongated Man!)

I know this series doesn't run forever, but it really seems like it could, and it deserves to.

Blue Beetle: « Previous in sequence | Next in sequence »
  Stevil2001 | May 26, 2017 |
I really like this series. I've never been a humongous Blue Beetle fan. The other two were just never on my radar. I knew who they were through the massive DC crossovers, but they just didn't seem interesting to me. But Jaime Reyes and all his supporting characters are awesome. In a lot of ways the characters remind me of Whedon's teen Buffy and Angel characters. There's the same sort of banter (although Whedon's are slightly better).

In this TPB Reyes and his merry band are dealing with the Aliens who are called 'The Reach'. And they're quite the adversaries too. It's their scarab in him and most of this TPB is spent sussing out (while fighting big baddies) what that means for Jaime and his peeps.

The art is okay, but what kept me reading and will keep me reading this series' remaining TPBs is the writing. I think that it's really great and funny at times, while it can be serious when it needs to be also. A solid story (even if there's too much Guy Gardner in this one). ( )
  DanieXJ | Dec 8, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Rogersprimary authorall editionscalculated
Albuquerque, RafaelIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Baldeon, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bird, SteveIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davis, DanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Giffen, KeithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Torres, J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams II, FreddieIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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