COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Blue Beetle: Blue Diamond
By The Masked Medic
I’m not going to lie to you. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to review anything because a part of me is still revelling in the awesomeness that was ‘The Batman’. That being said, I realise that I can’t ignore the rest of the DCEU and I’m patiently waiting to hear more news about the upcoming ‘Blue Beetle’ film. I think representation is stupidly important and it’s about time that we got to see heroes from ethnic minorities shown on the big screen. But whilst we wait for all that, I thought it was about time we returned to the Blue Beetle comics!
‘Blue Diamond’ is an extremely long novel that seems like an anthology more than anything. However, the novel is split into two main halves. The first half sees Jaime Reyes, aka Blue Beetle, moving to New York, because as we’ve all seen across the last 100 years, only New York gets action on a daily basis, haha! As Jaime tries desperately to find himself a mentor, he runs into trouble with Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner and then Booster Gold. Although the former settles down a little, everyone is hesitant to trust Jaime, in light of the knowledge that his Scarab has been sent by the Reach who are an alien race, hellbent on universal domination. When Jaime’s friends, Paco and Brenda come looking for him, an altercation with the D.E.O. reactivate the rogue Scarab remains in Paco and Jaime once again finds himself battling his friend to save his life. This time though, it appears that Jaime’s relationship with his Scarab has led to a greater understanding of friendship and together they are able to save Paco from the parasite permanently. The second half of the novel starts quite randomly. We see the Scarab give its backstory about its creation and how it sought out a host long before it found Jaime. The first host was a young alien with psychic powers who rejected and then damaged the Scarab and would later become the villain, Lady Styx. The first human host was an ancient Mayan named Sky Witness who used the Scarab for a lot of good as he had more control over it than it had over him. We cut then to the modern day where Jaime has been transported to a place near the Reach Homeworld. He is immediately attacked by more Scarabs who are looking to eliminate the ‘traitor’. He manages to escape but in the process, awakens the dead body of Sky Witness who was buried on the Reach Homeworld. Sky Witness, driven insane wishes to find his old Scarab again and reclaim it! Can Jaime get back home safely? And just what other threats lie in this expanse of space he finds himself in
Man, this was a really long novel. Usually, that can go one of two ways. Either it’s a fantastic read or it’s almost impossible to make your way through it! In this case, it was a rare third option. It was a pretty decent read, but way too long to be a singular novel. I think Jaime is a pretty compelling character and although we see him grow a little in the previous novel, ‘Blue Diamond’ sees him finally become a hero. Even more interesting is the character development we get for the Scarab. I’ve often thought of it as an armour that doesn’t have a personality, a little bit like Tony Stark’s A.I., but there is actual depth to the character and it’s explored very well in this novel. I liked that there were a lot of interactions with the greater DC world and I would like for this to be the case with the film too. As I said, my only qualm with the story was that it was way too long, but given that this series was cancelled after this, perhaps they were trying to just release one novel and finish it all off!
The artwork was actually very good in certain places and I was pretty impressed. The covers were also really good and picking one for this review was tough. Overall, this was a good novel, and although it ends Volume 8, I know there’s definitely more to be read going forward!
Look at this guy. What a hero!
Lowkey, Blue Beetle is underrated! He’s got all these cool powers and a heart of gold!
Story Arc: ★★★½
Character Development: ★★★★