Blue Beetle is set to release very soon. Many newbies to the character might be interested in delving deeper into the scarab host’s stories. Fortunately, Jaime Reyes is one of DC’s most beloved legacy heroes. He’s received a lot of love in stories as a result. From the premiere of Keith Giffen‘s run in 2006 to the modern adventures by Josh Trujillo; these Blue Beetle comics are some of the best that DC has to offer.

Blue Beetle (2006)

Jaime Reyes was just your everyday teenager from El Paso, Texas when he suddenly comes across the Blue Beetle scarab. The scarab, sensing a suitable host, latches itself onto Jaime’s back, and turns him into the newest incarnation of the Blue Beetle. What makes Jaime stand out among the Blue Beetles is that he was the most compatible of them all.

After all, Dan Garrett and Ted Kord were great heroes in their own right; but they were never given the same powers that Jaime had. This also makes Jaime the only Blue Beetle to have an actual dynamic with the scarab. Trying (and often failing) to control its more violent impulses. Jaime Reyes’ first run as the Blue Beetle, written by Keith Giffen and John Rogers, is widely considered to be his best among longtime fans. This makes it a great entry point into the Blue Beetle mythos.

Generation Lost (2010)

“Justice League: Generation Lost” is a 2010 limited series, part of “Brightest Day,” penned by Judd Winick and Keith Giffen. The story focuses on Maxwell Lord’s resurrection after being murdered by Wonder Woman.  Once the sponsor of the Justice League International, this traitorous villain was responsible for the death of the second Blue Beetle, Ted Kord. 

As part of this resurrection, Maxwell Lord removes all memory of his existence from everyone on Earth. However, four heroes remember who he really is. Four ex-J.L.I. heroes—Captain Atom, Booster Gold, Fire, and Ice, still remember the blood on his hands. Jaime Reyes also plays an integral role in this story; grappling with the legacy of Ted Kord, with plenty of callbacks to his death mirrored in this storyline.

Injustice 2 (2017)

After an unbroken Justice League from another realm defeated the dark Superman of Injustice. With Injustice Superman, he and his allies are imprisoned while the few remaining heroes work to rebuild the post-Regime world. However, as old foes resurface to exploit the chaos; the faith of the new world rests on the shoulder of fractured veterans, and untested new heroes in Injustice 2, written by Tom Taylor.

Among these new heroes is Jaime Reyes. Injustice 2 does a fantastic job of showing the difficulties of being a legacy hero. Unlike the main universe Jaime Reyes, who became a hero in an age of heroes, this version answered the call in a world that was already broken. Paired with the scarab’s more violent personality this time around, Jaime must find a way to prove himself without making everything worse.

Blue & Gold (2021)

Taking a break from Jaime, it’s time to remind people who the Blue in “Blue & Gold” was. Always eager for a chance to show off,  Booster Gold turns to social media to grab both the public’s and Justice League’s attention. Lacking tech skills, he enlists his wealthy and smart friend, Blue Beetle, to delve into the realm of internet influencers. Now, they’re live and combating villains online, in a contemporary take on the dynamic duo’s bromance.

Dan Jurgens, the original creator of Booster Gold, returns to write the most wholesome superhero pairing this side of DC. After so many years spent dead, it’s so wonderful to see Booster and Beetle doing what they do best, stopping evil and being hilariously inept in their personal lives, just like the days of Justice League International.

Blue Beetle – Graduation Day (2022)

The latest ongoing run of Jaime Reyes, written by Josh Trujillo and art by Adrian Gutierrez, follows Jaime Reyes in his senior year of high school. In the midst of teenage worries, a message from the Reach disrupts his connection to his scarab, Khaji Da. Amidst this chaos, Jaime faces pressure from loved ones about his future and confronts the mystery of why the Reach is returning.

So far, the best part of this run is the healthier relationship between Jaime and the scarab. At this point, both of them have come to a deeper understanding of each other. Even with his worries, Jaime’s older and wiser, even speaking to Batman as a contemporary, not an idol. Trujillo also relates his own experiences as a Mexican-American into the fabric of Jaime’s story, giving it a more authentic vibe than some other Blue Beetle runs.

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