Posted by:
Byron Brewer

Brew's Crew: The New 52 Blue Beetle (more or less)

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Despite being an old character to many readers, Blue Beetle in any incarnation is a new character to me since arriving on the DCUshores after a decades-long absence with the New 52.

So why worry about yesterday? Here is the skinny on today’s Blue Beetle with pardonable non-canon past since my research predates September 2011. (God, that seems like such a short time ago …)

Jaime Reyes is a teenager who once lived in El Paso, Texas, with his father, mother and little sister; his father owns a garage and his mother is a nurse. Jaime has offered to help his father out at the garage, but his father has turned him down. He feels Jaime should enjoy his childhood for as long as he can, and should attempt to further his education.

Jaime finds an alien object appearing in the form of a scarab in a vacant lot and it fuses with him while he sleeps. After Booster Gold revealed Jaime's new powers to him, Jaime was swept up in the climactic battle with Brother Eye during Infinite Crisis. He later becomes a member of the Teen Titans and is good friends with Rose Wilson (Ravager), Static and others. (Recall this is pre-New 52.) In Teen Titans vol. 3, #83, he takes a break from the team to be with his mother.

Jaime has a girlfriend, the young sorceress Traci 13, who gets along well with Jaime's family. His large and loving family is a major source of strength and guidance for Jaime. Both Peacemaker and Doctor Mid-nite have been kind and wise mentors for the young Blue Beetle.

Jaime co-starred along with the rest of the former Justice League International in Justice League: Generation Lost.

Following DC's Flashpoint event, Blue Beetle was one of the 52 monthly titles originally launched in September 2011, again starring Jaime. Sadly, the series was cancelled after 17 issues in January 2013, but Jaime continues his adventures (and education) in the cosmic book Threshold, in “The Hunted.”

The Blue Beetle scarab itself, previously shown as an artifact of magic, is later retconned as a tool of war of the Reach, an ancient race of cosmic marauders. After being defeated by the Guardians of the Universe thousands of years ago and forced into a truce, the Reach poses as benevolent aliens lending their advanced technology to budding civilizations. The scarab is a gift for that world's champion, giving him amazing powers and the knowledge of the Reach to protect his or her peers. Secretly, the scarab is part of an advanced hive mind, with its own artificial intelligence covertly supplanting the wearer's own. The wearer is turned into the “ultimate infiltrator,” a covert agent intended to take over its own world.

Nowadays, in the New 52, the Reach foregoes the secrecy, and each wearer immediately becomes possessed by the scarab. It then uses its host's knowledge to decimate the world and prepare it for a full invasion by Reach forces.

Blue Beetle is now hanging around the “Hunted” group who is starting to come together in the face of an alien hunting (and very popular) game show.

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