In the middle of Infinite Crisis, a supercharged scarab is flung around the world in an explosion, and is found by an unsuspecting young Texan called Jaime. That night, it bonded to his spine, and he became the superhero known as Blue Beetle.
But let’s backtrack for a second! Jaime isn’t the first person to take the name. That would be Dan Garrett. He was the original owner of the scarab, and he had a lot of adventures in Foxy Comics and Charlton Comics. Then Ted Kord took over the role, and whilst he didn’t get the scarab till later, it didn’t have any effect on him, and he fought crime regardless. He had no powers, and was basically a bright blue, tech-based Batman, who also adventured in Charlton Comics before transferring to the DC Universe with a bunch of other heroes in Crisis on Infinite Earths, where he lived for a while, until he died in Infinite Crisis. You got all that?
Back to Jaime then. There was a big explosion when Ted Kord died, the scarab was sent flying to Texas, where Jaime found it. At first, when it bonded with him, he thought it was magical in origin, but quickly he found out that it was actually alien technology, from a race called the Reach, who fought the Green Lantern Corps. In fact, after his first fight in Infinite Crisis the scarab teleports Jaime home, away from the Lanterns fighting with him, and accidentally time jumps him forwards by a year. Life for his family and friends had significantly changed in that time, and, unlike many heroes, Jaime was very open with them about his new identity as Blue Beetle.
The Reach weren’t best pleased that Jaime’s scarab, a weapon with which they would invade Earth, was in possession of a human and seemingly malfunctioning, so they came into conflict. It was during their ongoing fights that Jaime joined up with the Teen Titans, eventually becoming a member of the team after overcoming confidence issues. (This relationship was also shown in the DC animated series Young Justice, before it was unfortunately cancelled.) But then, as these DC tales always go, Barry Allen messed with the timestream, and things got broken.
His origin was changed, as Infinite Crisis no longer happened, but he was still attached to a Reach scarab. This time, the scarab was broken, allowing for Jaime to remain uncontrolled when the Reach try to attack him. He teams up with Kyle Rayner to save a planet being attacked by the reach. But, ultimately, not much happens, because Jaime was criminally underused in the New 52, which is something I’m not at all happy with DC about.
But, with DC Rebirth, Jaime is back. Interestingly, so is Ted Kord, and they are currently teaming up to fight crime. Two generations of the same hero, fighting alongside one another. Now that is a legacy hero. Not Batman with his legion of sidekicks that have gone on to outshine him, not Superman and his son – though that is hella close. No, this is a hero who died, coaching and fighting with the hero that took his mantle. And I love it.
James, The Wonder Witch