Saturday, December 10, 2016

Blue Beetle Modern Age Key Issues Part 2

Definitely no surprises here. As expected, we are getting into the Jaime Reyes key issues when it comes to the third Blue Beetle. 

Although I'm not a fan of most Modern characters and would rather seek out the Golden Age and Silver Age versions of Blue Beetle keys, Jaime Reyes does have a more standard and recurring supporting cast that specifically pertains to him.

It does make a key issues list a lot easier. Well, I should say more enjoyable. 

This Part 1 link will bring ya back to the previous post. Anyway, Jaime Reyes takes up the mantle of Blue Beetle and here's his Modern Age key issues.

1st appearance Jaime Reyes
1st cameo of Paco
1st cameo of Brenda Del Vecchio 

Created by Keith Giffen, John Rogers, and Cully Hamner, Jaime Reyes is the third character to take up the mantle of Blue Beetle. As much as I don't care for Modern comics, this character did help to expand on the Blue Beetle mythos and did some retcons concerning it.

Reyes is a teenager, and although his relationship with Booster Gold isn't as close nor the same as it was with Ted Kord, Reyes and Booster have formed a working relationship of sorts together. Many have reported that it will be this version of Blue Beetle that hits the silver screen with Booster Gold.

So far I haven't heard of that being confirmed by producers or the studios yet. Either way, like my generation grew up with Ted Kord, a new generation is growing up on Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle.

Reyes shows up in only five panels on two pages in this comic, if you count a panel with only his eyes and another panel just showing his hands. Not sure if that will labeled simply a cameo or not.

Later in this issue, Jaime does find the Blue Beetle Scarab.

Jaime's best friends Paco and Brenda Del Vecchio debut in cameos in this issue. They only show up in 3 panels as you can see, but they would be major supporting characters for Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle.

Infinite Crisis was the biggest and top selling event this year, so regular covers aren't low prints for sure. With the cover date of  February, 2006, Infinite Crisis #3 has an estimated print run of around 188,855.

mycomicshop at the time of this writing states that the 3A, 3B, and 2nd print sketch variant would be shipped with covers by Lee & Hope (approximately 50%) and Pérez (approximately 50%). I'm not sure if they mean the over-all estimated print run would be divided among those three covers or not.

Anyway, I'm just going to assume that this issue and even their variants are no where near rare. 

2nd appearance of Jaime Reyes
1st Jaime Reyes & Booster Gold meeting

Jaime Reyes shows up in 8 panels on one page in this issue. Not sure if that counts as a cameo or a 1st full, but I'm just going to note this the 2nd appearance of Jaime Reyes.

Concerning the Blue Beetle mythos, this comic is somewhat important for two more reasons. First, this is the 1st meeting of Reyes and Booster Gold, although they do not have the buddy-buddy relationship and exploits established with the Ted Kord version. Not like movie studios aren't known for twisting things around though, right?

Second, this issue mentions that the Blue Beetle Scarab has latched onto Jaime's spine prior to Blue Beetle #1.

Brenda nor Paco show up in this issue. Infinite Crisis #4 hit comic shops around January with the cover date of March, 2006.

1st Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle
3rd appearance Jaime Reyes

We finally have the debut of Jaime Reyes as the third Blue Beetle. This comic was hot and recommended by quite a few when reports stated that this version would hit the silver screen with Booster Gold.

This issue only sees Jaime Reyes become the Blue Beetle in three panels. Once again, not sure if that should be considered a 1st appearance or a cameo since other 1st appearances are noted as cameos that show up a hell of a lot more than this.

Then again, it is technically the 1st time we see Jaime Reyes become the new Blue Beetle, so I really don't care to dispute it nor really care over-all. He is shown as the new Blue Beetle a lot more in issue #6 though.

Once again, not a rare comic and the estimated print run is around 201,830. I am not sure if that total includes all three covers or not, and it looks like the same deal that Infinite Crisis #3 had.

April, 2006 is the cover date for Infinite Crisis #5 and was released mid February.

2nd appearance new Blue Beetle

This issue definitely sees Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle a lot more than 3 panels. He actually shows up quite a bit so if 3 panels isn't enough for you then this 2nd appearance of the new Blue Beetle might be more towards your liking.

Not sure if this will be noted as a 1st full appearance of Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle or 1st full appearance of new Blue Beetle, so I'm just gonna go the safe route and note it a 2nd appearance. Once again, this isn't a lower print run comic, and I'm going to assume that all the Infinite Crisis covers and variants are shared or included in the their total estimated print run.

So ComicChron has the estimated North American comic shop sales for this issue at 194,433. By May, Civil War and Infinite Crisis would be the top selling comics.

I'm also not sure how the 2nd printing sketch cover is or isn't factored into that estimated print run or what the print run is around. I do think covers A & B are in that total.

Cover dated May, 2006, Infinite Crisis #6 was released in early March.

1st Milagro, Bianca, & Albuerto Reyes
1st new Blue Beetle comic series

Paco and Brenda do show up again in this issue, but it is in flashback to the moment that Jaime Reyes finds the Blue Beetle Scarab. This telling is supposedly different than depicted in Infinite Crisis #3 as there is no devestation surrounding them.

Not sure just how much they actually show up or not. Jaime's family members do debut in this issue, and there is Jaime's sister Milagro, his mother Bianca, and father. Not sure how much they appear in this comic either.

Estimated print run is around 50,672. There are 2nd and 3rd printings of this issue and not sure the print run estimates on those. 

With the cover date of May, 2006, Blue Beetle #1 was released in late March.

1st appearance of the Posse

Probe first appeared in issue #1 of this comic series, but I have no idea how much she shows up in that one or this one. This issue first sees the Posse, a group of magic based characters that end up befriending Jaime Reyes.

They are recurring characters and do show up in the Rebirth series. The members that 1st appear in this issue are Damper, Thumper, Scour, and Bonita.

This issue sees the first time Probe and his mother and father are named. Jaime's father is called Ernesto in this issue but is later called Albuerto or Berto in later comics.

Estimated print run for this issue is around 43,770. There is a 2nd printing of this issue also.

Some might make a big deal about the white cover for the 2nd printing, but it is a newer comic and nothing that dry cleaning can't handle. If it was from the early Copper Age or even older, I could see why there could be more of a fuss about that.

Blue Beetle #2 2006 series hit the comic shops around April 26th with the cover date of June, 2006. 

1st appearance of La Dama

Definitely a major recurring villain when it comes to Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle, La Dama is the secret identity of Brenda's aunt, Tia Amparo Cardenas. Unknown at first to Brenda, Tia Amparo is the biggest crime lord of El Paso, Texas. Not sure just how much she shows up in this comic or if it's just a cameo or a 1st full.

La Dama, her street name, is like an urban legend or a boogeyman of sorts. Kinda like the character of Keyser Söze in the Usual Suspects.

When something bad or wrong went down, La Dama must've had a hand in it. Like Jaime's main supporting cast, this character is carried over into the New-52 and is still a big bad for Jaime Reyes.

Print run is estimated at around 41,695, and not sure if there are 2nd or 3rd printings. Can't find any info on that at the moment.

Blue Beetle #3 of the 2006 series has the cover of July, 2006 and was released May 24th.

Definitely no expert when it comes to Blue Beetle, no matter what era. I'm wary about the Infinite Crisis Blue Beetle keys as it was the top selling comic and then the top 2nd selling comic of 2006 when Civil War hit the stands. 

I don't think they're low in print numbers, but as mentioned before, I'm not sure how they worked out their variant covers for that series. A pretty big surge in demand has to happen for Infinite Crisis #3 or Infinite Crisis #5.

If it is confirmed that Reyes will costar in the Booster Gold movie, those issues may see another boost in demand but how much is the question? If it does end up being Ted Kord, I can see those 1st appearances for Jaime Reyes fizzle in demand. How much it does is the question since they're below the $100 mark at the time of this writing even for CGC 9.8s, and if you shop around

I'm pretty sure you can still find high grade raw copies at an local or comic con. Who knows, though? Just my opinion.

Perhaps demand will further hike up for those keys since they are still pretty affordable, but the more affordable, the more speculators can jump on that comic as well. More speculators jump on a comic, the more chance it could drop in value when they start slinging it back into the market in large numbers down the road.

If you're just a fan of the character, his firsts in Infinite Crisis would just be nice to have. I'll leave the decision up to you. Part 3 to this beast is on it's way, and hope you guys enjoy the weekend.

Happy huntin' or dumpin'!



Thursday, December 8, 2016

Blue Beetle Modern Age Key Issues Part 1

We are ending Part 1 of this Blue Beetle Modern Age key issues with the end of the Ted Kord era. While these are key issues that are mostly specific to Ted Kord as Blue Beetle, they aren't exactly primo keys.

They do track the events of the character until his apparent demise, which would then see the mantle being taken up by Jaime Reyes. Here's the first keys to kick off Blue Beetle in the Modern Age.

Blue Beetle leaves team

It was bound to happen. All families and teams have squabbles.

The last straw happened with the death of Ice or Tora Olafsdotter at the hands of Overmaster in Justice League Task Force #14. Although the team united and swore not to talk to the media about it, Blue Beetle betrayed the team and spoke to reporters on TV.

Upset at how the media had been portraying the Justice League International in the past, Blue Beetle refused to let that happen to his good friend Ice. He wanted them to report that she was a hero and sacrificed her life to save the world. Beetle wanted his friend to be remembered in a good light and not just some clown with freaky powers and a strange costume.

The team is divided about whether Kord was right in his decision. Captain Atom backs up Blue Beetle, but Wonder Woman disagrees. Blame over Ice's death is thrown around.

Finally, Blue Beetle and Captain Atom leave the team due to the team's tense association with the United Nations. Captain Atom would form Extreme Justice and Ted Kord and Booster Gold would join that team. August, 1994 is the cover date for Justice League International #67 volume 2.

1st appearance of Extreme Justice team

Extreme Justice was another Justice League spin-off title at the time. The team never referred to themselves as such, and Blue Beetle in this very issue calls the team simply the Justice League.

Extreme Justice was a short-lived comic series, lasting only 19 issues. The team's original line up consisted of Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Maxima and Will Evert III as Amazing-Man.

The team would have cross-overs into Justice League America and Justice League Task Force, but there was very little unity between the teams. A sense of rivalry was more felt between the factions.

Booster Gold still rocks his Ted Kord designed armor that first appeared in Justice League America #80 in this series but it was destroyed. He got a new costume/armor that resembled his more iconic look in issue #14. The armor is  once again designed by Ted Kord.

1st mainstream appearance of Wonder Twins

Wonder Twin powers activate! Sorry, had to do it and was too tempting not to.

Yes, these characters are actually based off the cartoons where they first debuted. Most of us remember first seeing these two characters in the Super Friends animated series. 

In comics, they first appeared in Super Friends #7, but the Super Friends comic series was not considered part of canon or mainstream continuity. Same deal for Harley Quinn's 1st appearance in comics and her first appearance in mainstream continuity.

Some source this as the 1st Post-Crisis appearance of the Wonder Twins, Zan and Jayna, and that's technically true. The Wonder Twins would finally make their debut in DC mainstream continuity in this issue here, and the characters would be revised for more modern times.

Powers are kept the same. Jayna is a shape-shifter and Zan can still turn his body into the form of water or ice. Despite being well-known characters, these modern versions in mainstream continuity have a few appearances here and there, but they aren't utilized all that much over-all.

Kind of a shame, but it is what it is. The pair would be in the Extreme Justice comic series for a little bit. Published August 8, 1995 with the cover date of October, Extreme Justice #9 is probably the only other key worth mentioning from the series.

THE L.A.W. #1
1st appearance of Living Assault Weapons
Blue Beetle joins team
1st appearance of Mitchell Black Peacemaker

This series was not well-liked by critics or fans and was widely panned. It tried to spotlight the Charlton heroes into a team called the Living Assault Weapons.

The Question, Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, Nightshade, Judomaster, the Peacemaker, and Sarge Steel. The team did first appear in the "profile pages" of DCU Heroes Secret Files #1, but they debut in an actual story in this issue.

Mitchell Black's version of Peacemaker also makes his 1st real appearance in this issue as well. The original Peacemaker or the Charlton version debuted in Fightin' 5 #40.

Judomaster's 1st appearance in Charlton comics was in Special War Series #4, and his sidekick Tiger, whom is code named Avatar and a villain in this series, debuted in Judomaster #91. 

Nightshade first debuted in Captain Atom #82 and Ted Kord the following issue. Living Assault Weapons has a low print run estimated at 25,429 with the cover date of  September, 1999. The series ran for six issues.

Ted Kord meets Barbara Gordon
Ted Kord discovers Barbara is Oracle

Before the two actually met, they had a secret cyber friendship online. Secret as in they kept their real names and true identities secret from each other while cyber chatting.

In this issue, the two finally meet and reveal their real names. 

Later in the issue, Barbara reveals that she knows Ted is Blue Beetle, and Ted realizes that the only person who could uncover that is Oracle. 

The two would grow a strong friendship hereafter. Ted would frequently guest star in this comic series.

Kord was inactive as the Blue Beetle a while, but Barbara's friendship would reignite his desire for super-heroics. He would suit up as the Blue Beetle once again in issue #25 of the Birds of Prey comics series and would continue to suit up whenever needed by Oracle or Black Canary.

Ted would hint several times that he had a crush on Barbara, and after his death, Black Canary admitted that being in the Justice League was only fun when Blue Beetle was there. Barbara also admitted that she once had a cyber crush on him.

Scenes from Birds of Prey #96
Low print run for Birds of Prey #15, cover dated March, 2000, and estimated at only 23,741 copies. 

1st appearance of the Super Buddies

Yes, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold were in a team known as the Super Buddies, and they first appeared in this six-issue limited series created by Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis, and artists Kevin Maguire and Joe Rubinstein. The Super Buddies consisted of Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Fire, Elongated Man and his wife Sue, Captain Atom, and Mary Marvel.

The team was put together by Maxwell Lord, but the team ended up being highly inept and no real help to anyone, especially the Justice League. Also, the team could not get along in this series and even Booster Gold and Blue Beetle are at odds with each other and trying to prove how they've grown up and matured.

Fire runs a website on the side which has sensual pics of her available for download for a price. Because of this, her and the more innocent Mary Marvel do not get along great. 

This series definitely has more of a comedy bent and was pretty popular among fans back in the day. The sequel to this story arc, I can't Believe It's Not the Justice League, ran through JLA Classified #4 through issue #9.

Estimated print run of Formerly Known as the Justice League #1 is around 41,420 with the cover date of September, 2003.

Death of Blue Beetle

Usually key issues involving the death of a character are pretty much ignored since they mostly seem to find a way back. While Ted Kord does eventually come back for a short while and then is alive in the whole Rebirth stuff going on, his death in this issue did pave the way for another to take up the mantle of Blue Beetle.

The character of Jaime Reyes does not debut in this issue, but it is revealed that Max Lord was spying on the Justice League to get to know metahumans and their weaknesses. He considers metas a threat and continually sabotaged the JLI to make them seem as inept as possible.

Max tries to recruit Blue Beetle, but when Kord refuses, he kills him.

The Blue Beetle Scarab is seen being left with the Wizard Shazam in this issue, which would eventually find it's way to Jaime Reyes. There is a variant of sorts for this issue, and I'm not sure if this one without the price on the cover is 2nd printing or what the print run is.

This comic event was the biggest of 2005 and 2006, so the print run is pretty large. Estimate print run is 199,456, and I'm not sure if that's a 50/50 split for both covers or not.

There are Dynamic Forces signed editions. One is signed by both Jim Lee and Alex Ross and are limited to 999 copies. Another is signed just by Alex Ross and limited to 999 copies, and another is signed by Michael Bair but not sure how limited that is. All come with numbered C.O.A.s

The Infinite Crisis event would bring back the multiverse in DC Comics and was a sequel to 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths. As most fans know, the Infinite Crisis event would see the debut of the new Blue Beetle. Countdown to Infinite Crisis hit the shops in March and has the cover date of May, 2005.

Not the most sought out of key issues for sure, but the events that take place in Countdown to Infinite Crisis does pave the way for a new Blue Beetle for sure. Part 2 to this Modern Age Blue Beetle key issues series will definitely start off with the Jaime Reyes version.

Just in case, you were interested in the other Charlton characters from the L.A.W. series and their Charlton debuts, here's the covers to those. 

Space Adventures #33 1st Captain Atom | Captain Atom #82 1st Nightshade | Fighin' 5 #40 1st Peacemaker
Special War Series #4 1st Judomaster | Judomaster #91 1st Tiger | Sarge Steel #1 1st Sarge Steel