The Blue Beetle Es Muy Caliente!
I continue to heavily read the New 52 from DC Comics. These titles are making me so excited to be reading comics right now. The industry is making leaps and bounds with the last few years of books, creators and characters. For the first time in as long as I can remember, and probably ever, comics represents a whole spectrum of ethnicities, genders and even sexual orientations.
And not even just with the characters, but with the creative forces behind the books and characters we read monthly. And one that throws down right smack in your face that has me ready for each subsequent issue is Blue Beetle. The adventures of Jaime Reyes, a young man who just wanted to make it to his friend, Brenda’s Quinceanera, a right of passage for girls of Latin descent in becoming women at age fifteen.
Think of it as a Sweet Sixteen but at 15. See, never let it be said that you couldn’t learn something from The Hardcore Review. I hope I entertain with my wit and sarcasm, but I also hope I interest you in finding out new books, movies and music as well as learning about other cultures. Now away from this sappiness…. and onto the brutality.
At first Blue Beetle wasn’t on my “pull list,” but that changed quickly when I read one of the interviews that DC has been putting in the backs of all the New 52 books. They spoke with writer, Tony Bedard and artist Ig Guara, and showed a few teaser images from the book. I found out that lead character, Jaime is Latino, and combined with the amzing artwork and some very consciencious writing by Bedard had me wanting to read this title. Immediately I called my dealer, and put Blue Beetle into my monthly rotation. And I have just finished the third issue which sees Jaime not only get the Scarab, but also a lot of other plots unfolding in terms of who Blue Beetle’s first adventures might be. There’s the alien race that is frantically trying to find Khaji-Kai (the suit), and Brenda’s aunt who is head of a faction of the Mafia.
It seems odd that Jaime is being called Puerto Rican, when the story takes place in New Mexico and the Mafia in the area is the Mexican Mafia, Los Zetas as well as other drug cartels south of the border and in prisons on the American side.
Guara’s artwork is nothing short of amazing. There’s a variety of characters for Ig to draw. Jaime’s suit is metallic, some of the badguys are large hairy mamalian types, a variety of aliens that are coming after Khaji-Kai, and then all the people. Teenagers, adults and a ton at that. But Guara is up to the task of everything Bedard is throwing at him. Not to mention, some really sweet Tyler Kirkham covers. Kirkham is also working on another New 52 book in addition to his cover work here. The writing is crisp, and maintains various languages, including Spanish and alien dialects being translated to English. It’s super fast pace, and action packed. And it’s got a lot of feeling in it. Jaime is just a kid of about 15, so you worry about his well being, and Bedard is cruising with the scripts.
On his way to Brenda’s party, himself and his friend Paco are caught in the middle of La Dama’s goons attempting to steal the Blue Beetle artifact. During the melee, which involved metahumans, Jaime is somehow bonded with the armor. He and Paco both escape, but not together. Brenda’s party ends earlier than expected as La Dama’s thugs arrive empty handed and wounded. La Dama, the female head of the Mafia, slashes open one of her own men to use mystic powers to locate the Blue Beetle which now has Jaime as a host. But there is a new badguy that makes his presence known on the last page, ending the first arc. Things don’t look like they’re gonna be getting any easier for Jaime. But we wouldn’t want that, now would we?
The average American wrestling fan was not very knowledgeable to the aspects of Lucha Libre. But ECW was determined to change that. In 1995, possibly the first widely watched Lucha Libre match, a rivalry from Mexico came to the states. Young Rey Mysterio Jr fought the cagey veteran Psicosis in what was billed as Extreme Lucha Libre. Announced by Joey Styles, Rey and Psicosis fought in a Mexican Death Match.
The object, to beat your opponent so bad that not only do you get the three count, but they are unable to answer the impending ten count. Rey and Psicosis pulled off some of the most insane high flying maneuvers you’ve ever seen, but in the end Rey hit a huricanrana from the crow’s nest, felling Psicosis. Following the three count pin fall, Rey made his way back to the ring where Joel Gertner made the ten count in Spanish.