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Blue Beetle Vol. 3: Reach For the Stars

by John Rogers and Rafael Albuquerque

Publisher: DC Comics

Format: softcover, full color, $14.99

ISBN: 978-1-4012-1642-9

Reviewed by: Library Journal

Poor Jaime Reyes. Puberty? A piece of cake next to getting a giant scarab fused to your spine that gives you a blue carapace, wings, and superpowers you don't understand. An unexpected recruitment into outer space to zap an enemy satellite launches Jaime's new persona. Unfortunately, homecoming leaves him naked in the desert a year later Earth time—a bit off-putting to family, friends, and schoolwork. Jaime is the third Blue Beetle and apparently the only one to learn the alien origin of his powers. The first two volumes introduce Jaime's social and inner worlds—he's a sharp Latino teen with hardworking parents and two fast friends: Brenda and Paco. An early episode never fully resolved centers on Brenda's guardian and aunt, whose covert criminal persona "La Dama" is masterminding a project to spirit away young metahumans. Eventually, a mysterious box that transports Brenda to a death-trapped planet kicks off a major story arc: the scarab's alien owners want to invade earth; in this third volume, Jaime tries to recruit other superheroes to stop them. New plots, over-the-top villains, and DC Universe guest stars keep things lively. The result is not especially cohesive but does make for an enjoyable and often amusing ride. For teen collections. - Martha Cornog