Jaime Reyes longs for a normal teenage life, but he has an alien superweapon grafted to his spine that introduces problems a lot more intense than homework and college applications. Jaime’s co-creator, Keith Giffen, had been writing the character’s ongoing adventures in Blue Beetle from the start of its Rebirth revival until last month’s issue, when writer Christopher Sebela jumped on board to give the book a more personal focus. Sebela maintains the old-school energy of Giffen’s run, largely thanks to artist Scott Kolins and colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr. sticking around as the art team, but his first storyline has a grounded tone, focusing on Jaime’s personal ambitions and his relationships with the people around him.
Sebela is starting off his run by taking Jaime away from home, sending him on a road trip with his girlfriend and best friends for some relief from his superhero lifestyle. Unfortunately, trouble has a way of finding Jaime, and he’s forced to jump into action as Blue Beetle when a UFO appears, unleashing mysterious figures in space suits who immediately attack the group. This exclusive preview of this week’s Blue Beetle #15 shows off the might of Jaime’s morphing armor as he takes out a group of glowing maybe-aliens, beginning with an explosive shot of Jaime deploying six energy cannons from his back.
One quibble with the artwork is Kolins’ redesign of Jaime’s costume, which retains most of the elements from Cully Hamner’s original design but replaces glowing flat fingertips with standard claws. Those fingertips were a signature design element that separated Blue Beetle from other superheroes, and once they were gone, the book drifted into more traditional superhero territory. If Sebela wants to emphasize the things that make Jaime different, he can start by finding a way to change his costume and bring back the flat fingertips.