Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hero Spotlight: Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes)

I've talked before about how much I love Ted Kord, so I figured it would be worth taking a look at his successor Jaime Reyes. Jaime is a Mexican-American teenager living in El Paso Texas who became bonded with the Scarab that gave the original Blue Beetle Dan Garret his powers. This was shortly after Ted Kord, who was never able to get the Scarab to work for him, was killed by Max Lord.

Being such a fan of the previous two Blue Beetles, I want to like Jaime, but I just can't get into him for a number of reasons. First of all during Jaime's run as the Blue Beetle the nature of the Scarab was retconned. Instead of being an ancient magical artifact tied to Egyptian gods, it became a piece of alien technology that had simply been lost on earth for a few millennia.

Then there's the fact that I'm rather sick of the "Spider-man archetype" of the teenage super hero. I don't even think that was all that interesting a schtick for Spider-man, and all the heroes to attempt to mimic the old Lee and Ditko Spider-man have left me cold. I just don't feel high school is that interesting a time in a person's life. I didn't even feel that way when I was in high school. What is so interesting about it? You're sitting in a damn government school, shuffling from one beige colored room to another doing algebra and pretending like J.D. Salinger's books are anything more then pompous drivel. A teenage super hero would be able to operate for like a month tops before either lack of sleep or the truancy officers catch up with him. I know I'm in the minority, but I just don't care for the teenage super hero. In the case of sidekicks it makes some sense since you have a legal guardian covering for you, but otherwise you'd get found out in a heartbeat.

And the last major reason I just can't get into Blue Beetle is the Spanglish. I have no problem with a Hispanic super hero, But I don't want a book where a third of it is Spanish. You see I don't speak Spanish so I have to pull out a Spanish English dictionary just to read it. Also a pet peeve of mine is I don't want to have to press one for English. And don't give me any of that "that's racist" bullshit. There is nothing racist about expecting someone to speak the language of the country they chose to live in.

And there is a shitload of Spanish in this book. Check out issue one of the recent New 52 BB series. Characters talk about going to Brenda's Quinceanera (15th Birthday). Her "Tia" is throwing it for her. This is Brenda.
Again, this is Brenda. She is having a Quinceanera thrown by her Tia. Her words. Someone wanna explain to me why even the little white girl is speaking Spanish? The green eyed and freckled little redhead girl is fucking speaking Spanish. It's like this comic just flipped me off. And again, if you're one of those leftards who thinks I'm being racist right now, you can feel free to kiss my dick. We speak English in this country. Or at least we should.

Again, I wanna like Jaime, I really do. His character design is bad ass, and I'm a fan of his two predecessors, but between turning the Scarab into something made by Lord Xenu, some boring and cliched CW style high school drama, and a heaping helping of fucking Spanglish, you get a book and a character I just can't get into.

11 comments:

  1. Have you ever read his original series? The Pre-52 one? Read that and then try this again.

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  2. Oh, btw, ever hear of mixed heritage? Brenda could very well be a quarter Hispanic. And there are many languages spoken in this country, Spanish included. I hear Spanish all the time.

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    1. I hear spanish all the time too, and that's the problem. One of, if not THE first act of assimilation for an immigrant is adopting the language. My last name is Bechtloff, yet I do not walk around speaking German, because I do not live in Germany.

      I should not have to press one for English and I should not have to pull out a Spanish to English dictionary to understand a DC comic.

      Also I did read some of the first pre 52 Jaime BB series, the first three issues as well as the Sinestro Corps War tie in issue. I wasn't impressed.

      I miss Ted Kord.

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    2. A lot of people say the first volume of the original series is slow but it picks up and gets way better. And just because someone may have to adopt a language doesn't mean they always have to speak it.

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    3. True, you don't have to always speak it, hell it is a free country you don't HAVE to do anything, but if you seek to be readily accepted into your adopted society you would be wise to always speak your new language.

      My Great Grandfather never let my grandfather speak German outside of the house, and even there it was kept to a second language.

      Also it should not be assumed that I speak Spanish so it should be translated in the comic.

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    4. Well, the reason they weren't translated is because they are easy, common Spanish words that people either know because of that or the situation around them allows easy guessing.

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    5. Yes most of what I read I can guess the general meaning in context. Still, having a vague idea what a character is talking about is different then really understanding them and isn't enough to hold my attention.

      Also wasn't there an issue of the first Jaime series with a family reunion where there was whole paragraphs and shit were in spanish?

      Either was in the issues I read it was still enough to annoy me and hinder my ability to enjoy the comic and relate to the characters

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    6. Yes, there was an all Spanish issue, but there were also extra pages that translated the whole thing.

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    7. If I buy an American comic I expect it to be in English. I don't feel like that's unreasonable. Regardless of whether or not there's a translator in the back it annoys me and makes for a comic book I can't get into.

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  3. Why are you so surprised that a white Latina exists? The fact that you're vilifying Blue Beetle because Brenda is a white Latina and speaks Spanish is rather ludicrous.

    It's also difficult to take you seriously when you act like people should only speak English in this country. Sorry to inform you, but we speak more than English in this country; it has nothing to do with 'flipping you off'.

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    1. I'm aware that people speak Spanish in this country, my argument is that they shouldn't. I shouldn't have to press one for English. Learning and speaking the language is the FIRST act of assimilation for an immigrant, if they can't even be bothered to do that I don't want them here.

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