Does whatever a Blue Beetle can! note From left to right, the three holders of the title: Dan Garrett, Ted Kord, and Jaime Reyes
A Super Hero, or rather, several superheroes since Blue Beetle is a Legacy Character, whose main motif is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.The original Blue Beetle was a Golden Age superhero, originally published by the Fox Feature Syndicate. He first appeared in Mystery Men Comics (August, 1939). Dan Garrett started out as a rookie cop whose father was killed by gangsters. He got super strength from Vitamin 2-X, although he could be knocked out by a blow on the head. The Golden Age Blue Beetle soon got his own magazine. He had a reasonably long run of lurid, violent adventures where he fought gangsters, gorillas, reanimated mummies, etc. He even had his own short-lived Radio Drama. But sales began dropping in the late 1940s. There were gaps of several months between some issues, and finally, in August of 1950, the series was cancelled.Eventually Charlton Comics bought the first Blue Beetle, at first only reprinting his old stories. When The Silver Age of Comic Books came around, they revamped him as an archaeologist who unlocked the powers of a mystical artifact he found in a pyramid. This mystical artifact was a bright blue Scarab amulet. Shouting a word caused the powers to activate, and Dan would find himself in blue and red themed armor, shooting lightning from his hands and flying. (Although he could still be knocked out by a blow to the head. Hey, it's better than yellow.) Dan was a pretty awesome Charlton character. The character held his own series from June, 1964 to February/March, 1966.Then he died. Cue his friend, Ted Kord, millionaire and technical genius, who took the Scarab and the Blue Beetle mantle. Kord was introduced in the backpages of a title devoted to Captain Atom. He first appeared in #83 (November, 1966). He appeared there until #86 (June, 1967). Then got his own magazine, lasting from June, 1967 to November, 1968. After that the character mostly appeared in anthology titles. Ted didn't have any powers - the Scarab didn't seem to work for him, so he made up for it by using his neat gadgets to fight crime anyway. If he resembled another wisecracking acrobatic bug-themed superhero a bit, that wasn't too surprising as he was created by Steve Ditko after he left Marvel.In the 1980s, Charlton licensed most of its superheroes to AC Comics, only to sell them to DC a few months later. Ted made his DC debut as a reader point of view character in Crisis on Infinite Earths and was integrated into The DCU shortly thereafter. Holding his own title from June, 1986 to May, 1988. He got to be a member of the Justice League (international), get lots of Ho Yay with Booster Gold, and be an all-around Fan Favorite. Then Max Lord Dropped a Bridge on Him. Boom Head Shot! The character was killed in the one-shot Countdown to Infinite Crisis (May, 2005).Cue the third Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyesnote pronounced 'Hye-Mae', not 'Jamie'. The new character first appeared in Infinite Crisis #3 (February, 2006). He found the Scarab lying on the ground in his home town El Paso. Jaime took it home, and overnight it crawled into him and attached itself to his spine. He soon found himself speaking a language he didn't know, transforming into a much more advanced tech version of the Blue Beetle armor, and whisked away to save the universe in Infinite Crisis. The character held his own series from May, 2006 to February, 2009.Unlike Dan and Ted, Jaime never Jumped at the Call, he got shoved. This Blue Beetle retconned the Scarab into something technological, not magical (though magic plays a big part in his series, and it is said that Dan activated the Scarab using magic which seriously screwed with it). Jaime's series is notable for 1) being very well-received, 2) not getting nearly enough readers, and 3) managing to make Jaime integrate himself into the Blue Beetle name and The DCU really well.Although Jaime's solo series was canceled, he returned as a back-up feature in Booster Gold - unfortunately, the back-up also got canceled. Poor kid can't catch a break. That said, he did get to be a member of the Teen Titans (poor kid really can't catch a break), and joined the reformed JLI in Justice League: Generation Lost.Never quite as popular as some superheroes, the three Blue Beetles have managed to keep a legacy with very little similarity in powers or even personalities, but all three have been rather likable, and all three have been fun rather than dark and edgy. Both Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes versions of the Blue Beetle have had appearances in Batman: The Brave and the Bold (and a dead Garret gets a cameo). Jaime Reyes appeared as a central character in the Smallville episode "Booster", which also featured Ted Kord as a wealthy industrialist rather than a superhero. Dan Garrett got a shout-out. DC has announced interest in making a Live-Action Adaptation starring Jaime Reyes.Jaime later became a major character in season 2 of Young Justice, with Ted frequently namedropped and memorialized as a deceased member of the Justice League. Both Ted and Dan eventually appeared in flashbacks in "Intervention," detailing the Blue Beetle legacy. The team and Jaime initially assumed that the Scarab Jaime found while taking a shortcut through a Kord Industries parking lot was an invention of Ted's, but it was actually the Scarab Dan Garret found on a dig in Bialya. While Dan believed it was just an ancient artifact that gave him powers and bequeathed it to Ted upon his death, Ted realized that it was alien technology and locked it up, refusing to allow it to merge with him. He was, however, inspired by Dan's example and joined the Justice League, fighting crime with his gadgets. When the alien race that created the Scarab came to Earth and allied with the Light, Sportsmaster and Deathstroke confronted Ted, demanding he give the Scarab over. While Ted died in the skirmish, he kept the Scarab away from the Reach, and Jaime found it.DC later relaunched the series starring Jaime in September 2011 as part of their New 52 relaunch. As of January 2013, the new series has been canceled. The story, however, continued in the Anthology Comic, Threshold, which was also canceled.Not to be confused with Harry Dresden's car, a blue V W Beetle that was named as a Shout-Out by the main character. Or the one from The Electric Company. Or another muscled, blue, arthropod-themed superhero.
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(Golden Age) Dan Garret Examples
Captain Ersatz: In his very first appearance in Mystery Men Comics, he wore a suit and a mask that made him look an awful lot like The Green Hornet. He switched to a chainmail armor he's best remembered for in the next issue.
Crossover: When AC Comics briefly licensed Charlton's Action Heroes line, it established that the Charlton version of the character was the brainwashed version of the original. This would be the last time the character appeared in a modern-age comic (that is, until Project Superpowers came along).
Distressed Damsel: Joan Mason wound up in this role a lot in Blue Beetle stories. She was more competent in her own feature, where Blue Beetle played a supporting role.
Inspector Javert: Dan's partner on the force, Mike Mannigan, started off as this. He eventually came around and turned into one of Blue Beetle's biggest fans.
Loves My Alter Ego: Joan Mason, a crime reporter, loved Blue Beetle but didn't particularly care for Dan Garret.
Public Domain Character: The only version of the character that qualifies as this (though DC holds the trademark, which limits his usage a bit); Project Superpowers gets around this by referring to him as "Big Blue".
Sidekick: Sparky/Spunky, an American boy who was adopted by Lord Wellington of Suppleshire, England. Became Blue Beetle's sidekick after his adopted father sent him to United States to protect him from Nazi bombings.
Spin-Off: Joan Mason starred in her own feature back in the mid 1940s. It was notable for making her more competent then she often wound up being when Blue Beetle was around, solving lots of crimes all on her lonesome. Dan Garret made a few appearances in his civilian guise, but he wasn't all that essential to the plot.
Super Serum: Vitamin 2-X, a wonder-drug developed by Dr. Franz, a pharmacist he once saved.
Shout-Out: Dan does not appear in the Smallville episode "Booster", but is given a shout-out that explains that he had been a scientist who studied the Scarab before it fell into Jaime's possession, and that he had died when the Scarab was removed from his spine.
Badass Normal: Ted's the only Blue Beetle without powers, but that never stopped him. He's like Batman who has fun.
Some characters have theorized that the reason why the scarab didn't give Ted superpowers was because he didn't need them.
Blinded by the Light: Ted Kord had a strobe light weapon that could temporarily blind his enemies. In the DC Comics stories, he upgraded the weapon to emit a powerful burst of air that could knock back his enemies, among other things.
Referenced in Booster Gold (v2) #25 when Jaime's little sister Milagro has Booster and Ted Kord dolls get married.
Heroic Sacrifice: Rather than use his brutal death in the comics, the producers of Batman: The Brave and the Bold opted to give Ted a heroic demise. Instead of catching a bullet to the brain, he sacrificed his life to detonate a rocket before it could hit Hub City.
Ditto Young Justice, where Ted dies in a confrontation with Sportsmaster and Deathstroke, playing keep away with the Scarab.
In Booster Gold after Booster manages to save Ted, Ted decides to go back in time and face the death history intended for him because it would save Booster and stop the Black Beetle.
Sudden Name Change: In his Pre-Crisis appearances and early Post-Crisis stories, his full given name was Theodore. During Chuck Dixon's run on Birds of Prey, his name was revealed to be Edward (with "Ted" as a nickname, similar to the case of Ted Kennedy). Later writers would try to reconcile the differences by listing his name as "Theodore Edward Kord", but his most recent posthumous appearances had the name as "Theodore Stephen Kord".
Writer on Board: His creator was Steve Ditko, noted Objectivist. What do you think happened? Although, compared to some of the Objectivist characters Ditko would later create, this was downright subtle.
Jaime Reyes Examples
Abusive Parents: Brenda. The fact that her father hits her is brought up very early in the series. We later find out that in the year Jaime was missing Brenda's father beat her so severely that she was hospitalized, prompting her Aunt Amparo (secretly the crime boss La Dama) to have him killed in a staged DUI so that she could get custody of her niece and give Brenda a safe home. Despite being into very illegal dealings otherwise it's indicated that La Dama is the only good parent Brenda has had since the death of her mother.
Anachronic Order: Volumes 5 and 6 of the trade paperbacks have a rather odd chronology—5 has issues 29-34, and 6 has issues 27, 28, 35, and 36 along with the Blue Beetle backup stories that ran in Booster Gold. This allows volume 5 to cover the entire "Boundaries" arc while volume 6 gets the two leftover one-shots that come before it.
Anticlimax: Eclipso is built up to be an apocalyptic threat and is about to possess a magically-gifted baby, which will make her unstoppable. When Paco snatches the baby from her magic circle, Eclipso scoffs; due to the properties of the spell being used, Combat by Champion must ensue, with Paco as the baby's champion. Eclipso chooses Jaime, and casts a spell to bring out his darkness and thirst for power... which turns Jaime into a dentist—apparently the extent of Jaime's power-lust is limited to a lucrative job. Paco just smacks him in the head with a plank.
Badass Normal: Alberto and Bianca (Jaime's parents), Paco and Brenda, Peacemaker... Fanon holds that badass runs in the Reyes family, which suggests Milagro, Jaime's little sister, is destined for big things.
That fanon maybe becoming Canon as a recent backup suggests that Milagro will be important, maybe more important than Jaime.
Bad Boss: The Reach Negotiator, who at one point crushes an underling's skull just to get everyone's attention.
BFG: The Blue Beetle suit can make so, so many different types of these. One of them is so powerful, it has theological implications.
Book Dumb: Paco constantly surprises Jaime with his knowledge of science and apparently even has a decent grip on the how time travel works. At the same time, he's a Mexican-American who manages to fail Spanish class.
Made even more blatant in Smallville, where Jaime is portrayed as a shy dork who constantly gets bullied by his classmates before finding the Scarab.
Clark Kenting: Averted! While there's no way to tell the Blue Beetle is Jaime just from appearances, everyone puts two and two together when Jaime dashes into the hallways and immediately returns as the Blue Beetle during his senior prom. Although he does have the advantage of Kord Industries holograms to make it seem like Jaime the civilian is still present.
The Comically Serious/Deadpan Snarker: Batman's appearances have him as this in full force. And lampshaded—when his friends are impressed upon finding out he met Batman, Jaime basically says "He's not so scary in person. Even kind of funny in a really dry way."
Brenda: "But...instead of robbing banks, why didn't he just market and sell his INCREDIBLY SOPHISTICATED ROBOT?" Dr. Alan Von Neumann, Jr.: "Who can say? It was a different time and he's long dead, so you can't ask him."
Depending on the Artist: Every artist draws Jaime's wings differently. This can be justified since the armor simply creates things on the fly—there's very little reason for any weapon or armor addition to look the same each time.
Disney Death: Jaime during a fight with Doctor Polaris. Turns out that the Scarab killed him and resuscitates Jaime once Polaris leaves, since if Jaime had taken Polaris's seemingly fatal attack head on, he would've been vaporized.
Doing in the Wizard : The revelation of the true origin of the "magic amulet". (Although even with this change, the first Blue Beetle did use magic to activate the scarab, which apparently wasn't that good for it. It isThe DCU.)
Gondor Calls for Aid: The ending of the Reach arc features Jaime calling in favors from Traci 13, Dani Garrett, Oracle, Batman, and Robin even before the former JLI members show up.
Good Parents: Alberto and Bianca Reyes are easily right up there with Jim Gordon and the Kents in the Good Parents Hall Of Fame
Gratuitous Spanish: Most of the main and supporting characters being Hispanic, they even have a whole issue that is almost entirely in Spanish. Justified in that they hail from El Paso, where 86% of the population is Hispanic and almost as many are bilingual.
Green Lantern Ring: The Scarab, which was created to be one of the most versatile - and deadly - weapons in the universe, and in The DCU that's saying something. It has enough firepower to threaten cities, and one of its higher-level weapons has potential theological implications...
Also, real Green Lanterns don't like being around it, with responses varying from "headache" to "homicidal urges." The GL Corps and the Reach have some history...
Hero Insurance: A battle between Jaime and Bottom Feeder practically demolishes a town in the boonies, making the sheriff angrily ask who's going to pay for the repairs. Luckily Peacemaker has favors to call in.
Hero with Bad Publicity: Blue Beetle deals with a spat of this when he takes out a gang of superpowered criminals who also happen to be illegal immigrants and the local media manages to spin it into the Blue Beetle having an anti-immigration stance, resulting in the Border Patrol deputizing him.
Internal Homage: In Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Ted Kord died on his knees, with a gun to his head. In Blue Beetle #24, Jaime breaks out of the Reach's prison and scavenges clothing and equipment off the Reach he dispatches that end up putting him in something that greatly resembles Ted's costume. Then he's re-captured by the Big Bad, who puts him on his knees and puts a gun to his head in an obvious callback to Ted's fate. The cover made it explicit, showing the scene with Jaime repeating Ted's last words ("Rot in Hell!").
Taken further in Justice League: Generation Lost #19. Maxwell Lord, the same man who killed Ted, seemingly kills Jaime by shooting him in the head. He doesn't give him a chance to say "Rot in hell" though.
Large Ham: The Negotiator, mostly in his first appearance. He delivers a speech about how the Reach have made it their goal to help lower civilizations over the hump of "high-tech warmongers" to "peaceful galactic presence". "Only 2% of civilizations survive past this threshold! Tragedy!"
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the last Booster Gold/Blue Beetle backup, Paco complains about his favorite comic book being canceled. Brenda tries to comfort him with the fact that the main character's still in one of the team books, but it's just not the same.
Legacy Character: A recurring theme of the comic is legacy. Jaime comes to depend on the histories of Dan and Ted whenever he's unsure of what to do, and many of Jaime's interactions with other characters are tinged by how he measures up to Dan or Ted. The two-part finale of Jaime's ongoing also opens with a team made up of members of Ted's Rogues Gallery attacking Jaime, assuming that he's related to Ted and that his death will impact Ted's loved ones.
It turns out that aspiring supervillains actually have brawls—"title fights"—to earn the right to take on a deceased/retired villain's nom de guerre.
Magic Pants: As well as creating the combat suit, the Scarab's also able to make normal clothes for Jaime out of dust, discarded skin cells, and whatever other stray molecules happen to be around. The process usually ends up triggering Squick in anyone watching.
Male Gaze: Repeatedly used in the Brave and the Bold episode, "Night of the Huntress!" The subplot of the episode revolves almost entirely around Jaime's schoolboy crush on Huntress of the Birds of Prey.
Averted in the comic when he meets the Teen Titans and doesn't recognize Supergirl. When she asks how he missed the huge red S he replies "I was raised not to stare."
Motor Mouth: Dani Garrett. Nobody else can get a word in edgewise when she's on the page.
Nice Guy: One of the most notable things about Jaime is his all-around good nature and overall genuine desire to do good and be good.
Never Mess with Granny: Jaime's grandma may be three feet tall and can't fight her way out of a paper bag, but you do not talk smack about Jaime or Blue Beetle in her presence.
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Parodied with the scene where Guy Gardener gropes a waitress and the very next page starts out with "After the really cool bar fight".
Offstage Villainy: La Dama. In the story that introduced her, she seemed at first to be abducting teens, but in the end it was revealed that she was sort of creating an Extranormal Institute. In an issue of the relaunched The Brave and the Bold where the Blue Beetle teamed up with Batman, an alien tried to sell her a superweapon, but it's unclear what law that breaks. (Receiving stolen property is a crime, but when one alien steals something from another alien while on another planet, good luck prosecuting.) That's it for her villainy, and on the other side she has been a doting mother figure to her niece and has played The Cavalry to Blue Beetle at least once. This nemesis just isn't all that bad.
It's explained that Amparo ratcheted down her illegal activities immensely when her sister, Brenda's mother, got sick and she realized that she might actually have to become a good influence in the life of someone she cared about.
Oblivious Mockery: In one comic, Batman shows Jaime the Brother Eye satellite which went berserk and created an OMAC army in Infinite Crisis. Jaime asks what kind of person would build a machine like that, and Batman asks him not to let Green Arrow hear him say that (Batman was the one who built it).
Pick on Someone Your Own Size: The Reach, with regards to Jaime—and by extension, as Dawur points out, any planet they set out to conquer, as the Reach's targets tend to be races and cultures many levels of development below their own.
Jaime: I just wish I could meet a cute girl who'd be okay with all the weird. Traci 13: (teleporting into the room) Are you the Blue Beetle? Paco: (jaw gaping) Say "I wish for a Porsche" before it wears off! Say "I wish for a Porsche" before it wears off!
Rogues Gallery: Jaime has a bizzare one, most of which only get to show up once or twice. His first big enemy was his best friend's aunt, La Dama. Her number one henchman was the magician known as Diviner. The mysterious monster called Bottom Feeder has attacked him multiple times for varying reasons related to his insanity. There's also Doctor Alan Von Newman's robot creations (most of which he made back in the 40s) and the Scarab should it ever be properly rebooted.
Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Doctor Polaris, Brother Eye and Jean Loring/Eclipso. Most show up for just an issue, but some stick around for a lot longer. Other one shot other rogues include Giganta and Parasite. There's also the old Dan Garret enemy Mephistopheles, a mad scientists who made monsters who has long since retired, but his dog is still somewhat monstrous sometimes, as the death of his first monster scarred him deeply.
Arch-Enemy: The Reach by far. The Negotiator/Ambassador and his enforcer Dawur (the primary inspiration for Black Beetle in Young Justice) being the main ones behind the plan, but the Reach as a whole are Jaime's greatest enemy. Almost all the bad guys he fights after that are either on the Reach's pay roll or part of their plans. These villains include Typhoon, Lobo and The Ultra Humanite. Even with them defeated, they still leave remnant surprises from that time, like the Khaji-Da Liberation Army.
After his series ends, he gets a few more rogues: Black Beetle (whose origins are clouded in mystery, to Jaime's annoyance) and Maxwell Lord among them.
Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The Reach. They're of the Conquistador type. They have "business plans" for Earth, so they plan to take it over. They're surprisingly smart about it though, and are quite the Magnificent Bastard race, as their Evil Plans run for years.
Same thing when Jaime became a major character in the second season of Young Justice, having arguably the most screentime out of all the characters and the one most deeply involved in the plot. His second series was canceled right as the season began airing... Granted, getting Young Justice was infamous for its many inexplicable hiatuses, so there was never a guarantee that it would air.
Averted in the original run of the comic, however; the DC higher-ups liked the book and gave it much more of a chance than a book with its sales would normally have gotten.
Secret Keeper: So many that it's almost not a Secret Identity. By the end of his series, the group that knows the Blue Beetle's secret identity include his parents, little sister, grandmother, two best friends, two more teens recruited to help with the superhero stuff like Oracle, his girlfriend who's a superhero herself, a Badass Normal mentor, a local Anti-Villain crime lord, a local gang of meta-humans, the Big Bad, Batman, Booster Gold, and Guy Gardner. Some more superheroes might know as well, and to his classmates at school his disguise is little better than Paper Thin. (He uses a hologram to make it look like he's in two places at once, but that can't have been enough to hide the fact that there's some kind of connection between Jaime and the Blue Beetle.) But the Anti-Villain has a personal connection to him, so that neatly neutralizes the threat from the Big Bad.
Jaime's origin and powers is very similar to Guyver's. Both Sho Fukamachi and Jaime Reye's were very normal teenagers before discovering an ancient alien artifact/suit of armor even older then most other aliens in the setting, which merged irrevocably to their bodies, but disappeared when not in use with a huge array of special weapons. Both the Guyver and the Beetle came with a wide variety of problems attached to them from their origins, and drawbacks which Jaime and Sho had to find out pretty much on the fly.
Tear Jerker: In-universe example. When Jaime tells his friends and family the story about how how he was left alone in space when the Scarab cloaked him and all the heroes left him behind, everyone but Peacemaker is brought to tears. It doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when Milagro finally gives her returned big brother a hug, though.
Unreliable Expositor: As Jaime tells his family and friends about his role in averting the Infinite Crisis, we're simply shown a flashback. In the flashback, Batman tells Jaime to say that Superman was the one leading Jaime around, because everybody already likes Superman and Batman doesn't need people thinking he's a kindly mentor figure. Dialogue after the end of the flashback shows that Jaime did indeed talk about Superman and not Batman.
Villains Never Lie: Averted with the Black Beetle. He gives so many varying origins for himself that Jaime eventually just gives up on believing any of them, even after Black Beetle seems to settle on "evil Jaime from the future."
Year Inside, Hour Outside: The reason Jaime disappeared for a year—to avoid the Green Lanterns, the scarab phased Jaime in between dimensions; however, time flows oddly there, so a few minutes in between dimensions was a year on Earth.
Ancient Artifact: The Scarab crash landed in an ancient Mayan city centuries ago.
Badass Normal: Jaime's mom, Blanca, is not afraid to scream threats at La Dama when she thinks La Dama had something to do with Jaime being missing, making it clear she knows La Dama is a dangerous criminal and she's not afraid of her.
Badass Bystander: During Jaime's fight with Booster Gold, as he explains himself and mentions La Virgen de Guadalupe (which is the Marian Apparition in Mexico and the patron saint of the country) when he's distressed about nobody believing he's not a villain, Jaime's grandmother Conchi, as well as several people, including a child, come to Blue Beetle's aid after he's knocked down, starting with Conchi smacking Booster in the face with her walker and daring him to hit her, then pretty much declaring he'll have to beat her off of him if he dares attack Jaime again, all while a man declares he's ready to post Booster beating up on an old lady on Youtube.
Body Horror: Jaime's first transformation into Blue Beetle is portrayed as this. After the Scarab bonds to his spine, the next page has nine panels showing the Transformation Sequence in great detail with Jaime looking horrified throughout the sequence.
Cool Old Lady: Jaime's grandmother. She is able to recognize Jaime even in his armor and breaks up the fight between Booster Gold and Blue Beetle.
Darker and Edgier: The Scarab is initially harder to control and is willing to use lethal force to preserve Jaime's Identity. Paco learns this the hard way, but Jaime forces the Scarab to use a piece of itself to save him. The Scarab fragment takes control of Paco and transforms him into Blood Beetle.
Embarrassing Tattoo: When Jaime's parents see the Scarab attached to his back, they think it's a tattoo and tell him off for getting one.
Episode 0: The Beginning/Origins Issue: As part of DC's Zero Month. Issue #0 reveals that Jaime's Scarab was the first scarab unit made and details the time between when it crash landed on Earth and meeting Jaime.
Fangs Are Evil: Blood Beetle has a mouth full of razor sharp teeth. Fortunately, he never bites anyone.
Foreshadowing: In issue #2, when Blue Beetle is carrying Paco to Brenda's quinceanera, the Scarab senses a "nonrational energy source" in La Dama's home. Issue #3 reveals that La Dama practices black magic and her home is filled with magical artifacts.
Gang Bangers: Paco is a gangmember of Chuco-Thirteen. He reforms when his gang is taken out by supervillains in issue #4.
Hero with Bad Publicity: After Blue Beetle slaps and threatens to kill Brenda to convince Blood Beetle to release control of Paco's body in issue #6, the scene ends up being caught on camera and uploaded to an anti-metahuman website called Superfail.com. The footage is even broadcast on television, making him look like a menace. It is only until Blue Beetle saves Brenda and Paco from Blood Beetle in issue #12 when the public warms up to him.
Historical In-Joke: Issue #0 reveals that before the Scarab bonded with Jaime, it was bonded with a Mayan Sky Witness (astronomer). The Sky Witness used the Scarab's power to drive the invading Aztecs off of Mayan land. He left several survivors in a marsh where Mexico City stands today. While the Aztecs were able to establish the Aztec Empire, they never forgot their old foe and remembered the Sky Witness as the cruel godQuetzalcoatl.
I Cannot Self-Terminate: Scarab units have safety protocols that prevent them from terminating themselves. This becomes a problem when Blue Beetle fights Sky Witness, who was the Scarab's first host and has some of the Scarab's technology in him.
Blue Beetle uses this to defeat Blood Beetle in issue #6. He pretends to relinquish control to the Scarab and threatens to kill Brenda, which causes Blood Beetle to cancel its Scarab replacement protcol and transform back into Paco.
Brenda uses this against Blood Beetle in issue #12. She manages to distract him long enough for Blue Beetle to fly in unnoticed.
Insectoid Aliens: The Reach, which is composed of several different castes. Worker drones are the smallest, most insectoid, and communicate mainly by pheremones. Soldier drones are slightly more humanoid and are the largest, towering over humans. Command Drones are the most humanoid, have four arms, and are around average human height.
Kid with the Leash: In the first couple of issues, Jaime could barely control the Scarab and needs to force the Scarab to comply. Later the Scarab becomes more responsive to Jaime as it learns more about human culture.
While Jaime was the first superhero to wear the Scarab, he was not the first person. Issue #0 reveals that when the Scarab crash landed on Earth centuries ago it was found by Mayans. When the Mayan's Sky Witness (astronomer) went to investigate, the Scarab bonded with him. However, the Scarab was damaged and had little control over its host. When the Sky Witness was dying of old age, the Scarab tried to break off and find a weak minded host to control, but the Sky Witness grabbed it to stop it from escaping the collasping pyramid they were in. The Scarab tried to teleport back to the Reach homeworld, but teleported the Sky Witness instead. The Scarab was buried under the collapsed pyramid; rendering it dormant.
In issue #13, it is revealed that the Sky Witness was preserved by the Reach. When Blue Beetle is teleported to Reachworld, the Sky Witness is awakened by his presence and is determined to get the Scarab back.
In issue #9, Blue Beetle meets Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, Red Lantern Bleez, and Orange Lantern Glomulus. The Scarab identifies them as enemies of the Reach and activates every weapon it can. Jaime however, knows Green Lantern is a good guy and they stop fighting and team up when a hired alien assassin tries to kill Kyle.
In issue #11, Booster Gold broadcasts on television for Blue Beetle to meet him at Liberty Island. Blue thinks Booster's going to help him, but when they meet, Booster tries to kill him. Booster think Blue Beetle's a Reach agent assigned to prepare Earth for invasion. The fight is only stopped when Jaime's grandmother and her neighbors step in. Booster Gold tries to cover it up by saying that he was testing Blue for a spot on the Justice League International when he realizes that Blue's not like other Scarabs.
Mid-Season Upgrade: In issue #14, Khaji-Kai teaches and uploads several Scarab battle modes and weapons to Blue Beetle's armor to prepare him for their journey to the scarab homeworld. Scarabs normally have these modes, but Blue's Scarab was damaged and couldn't access them.
Never Found the Body: When La Dama gets herself and her house absorbed by magic, it is revealed that she left in her will that should any thing "unusual" happen to her, her niece Brenda will inherit a great deal of money. Until La Dama returns or is confirmed to be dead, Brenda will keep the money in a trust.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In issue #1, when Jaime runs away with the backpack carrying the Scarab to distract Brutale and Rompe-Huesos from harming Paco, Brutale throws a knife at Jaime's spine to cripple him. Instead of severing Jaime's spine, the knife hits the dormant Scarab in the backpack. This reactivates it and fuses the Scarab to Jaime's spine; transforming him into Blue Beetle for the first time.
Painful Transformation: Jaime experiences pain whenever he shifts in and out of his armor. Overtime, he gets to feel no pain, but only when he controls the transformation or he asks the beetle to make it not hurt. But if the beetle feels the need to armor up all of a sudden due to whatever it views as a threat, the sudden transformation will hurt Jaime.
Parental Abandonment: Inverted. In issue #6, Jaime flees to New York because of the hell the Scarab has now made his life.
Centuries ago, the Scarab (real name: Khaji-Da) was damaged by a Green Lantern before it crash landed on Earth. The damage it sustained is the reason why Jaime's in control.
In issue #13, Blue Beetle meets Khaji-Kai, who gained partial control when a Blue Lantern attacked him. The Blue Lantern's healing ray temporarily removed Khaji-Kai's armor; allowing him to remember who he was and resist his Scarab. He wants to team up with Blue Beetle and free all the other scarab units by destroying the planet the scarabs come from.
Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: When Blue Beetle defeats Blood Beetle the first time, Blood Beetle's scarab fragment cancels its Scarab Replacement Protocol retreats back into Paco's chest. In issue #11, the Department of Extranormal Operations abducts Paco while he's in New York and try to remove the scarab fragment from his chest. This reactivates the fragment and it transforms Paco into Blood Beetle again.
Shirtless Scene: Jaime has a few scenes shirtless to show off the Scarab on his back.
Sociopathic Hero: The Scarab initially. It barely responded to Jaime—that it does at all is considered a miracle. As the series goes on, the Scarab becomes less vicious as it learns more about human culture. It even saves Jaime's friend Paco by reconstructing his damaged heart with some of Jaime's heart cells because it learned about self sacrifice.
Speech Bubbles: Blood Beetle talks with a red speech bubble with white text. When Jaime makes his voice sound like the Scarab's, his speech bubble becomes blue with white text.