The debate continues! I now present to you my take on Jaime Reyes.
Jaime Reyes, the new Blue Beetle, is a good character that has been the victim of poor decisions made by the editors of DC. In my opinion, there is no reason why this character should not be accepted by the comic communities that are young and old.
The new Blue Beetle has an extremely well designed costume. It's cool looking, and definitely stands apart from his predecessors costume worn by Ted Kord. I even dare to say that he's probably the best looking new hero created by either Marvel or DC in the past ten years. The suit itself, the Blue Beetle scarab Ted Kord could not figure out how to use, is an advanced piece of alien armor. It grafted itself to Jaime and now appears out of him whenever he is in danger, which is pretty rad. It can reconfigure parts of his body into weapons, like laser canons, and can even survive in the depths of space. That's a pretty cool suit that you can tell a lot of fun stories with. The Beetle scarabs were also made by a group of aliens that are enemies of the Guardians, of Green Lantern fame. He even has a tie in to biggest series that DC is running right now!
Jaime is also a teenager, which means he is easily related to by kids. I can't imagine a kid who wouldn't think it was cool to have a costume like the one I just mentioned. In fact, Jaime Reyes toys sold very well after his numerous appearances on the kid themed Batman cartoon The Brave and the Bold. The cartoon presented Jaime just as I depicted him above, and kids/teens reacted positively to him. That proves that there is nothing wrong with the concept of Jaime Reyes, it's just the writers of his series.
The writing of the series itself was solid for the first ten issues, when the creator of the character was writing it. After that, they switched creators. Even though sales began to fall with this new writer in place, they did not take him off of the book. The series lasted until issue 36, which meant this new writer had 26 issues total. That's over two years where no one decided to take him off of the book due to poor sales. Did they lose his number and e-mail? How come nobody took him off of it? Dan DiDio later stated that the new Blue Beetle was "a book that we started with very high expectations, but it lost its audience along the way." I don't care what book it is, 26 poorly written issues means a book will be canceled. Someone should have stepped in long before. That's not the characters fault, that's the writers/editors.
Placing him in books like the Teen Titans and Booster Gold does not help the character. Teen Titans is terrible and Booster Gold's sales, while a fan favorite, are touch and go at times. That's like putting a band-aid over a wound that needs stitches. Once again, someone at DC should have stepped in really fixed to the problem.
There is also the argument that Jaime Reyes is not Ted kord, so I don't like him. Jaime Reyes isn't supposed to be Ted Kord, that only makes sense from a creative point of view. He has a connection to Ted and has the same name, but is still different. Just like in real life, everybody does the same job differently. I don't think it should be a detriment that he is a different type of Blue Beetle. I know that many people felt the same way when Wally West took over as The Flash when Barry Allen died all those years ago. Wally was a fast talking womanizer as opposed to Barry's by the book, crime scene investigator self. Flash forward (unintentional pun) to now and people are complaining that Barry Allen is taking over for Wally West as the Flash. People always react negatively to changes in the super hero status quo, it's just the nature of the beast. Once again, this isn't Jaime Reyes fault.
Simply put, Jaime Reyes is a solid character. He reminds me of when Spider-Man first started out, except that he had a now legendary creative team behind him. This character can be extremely successful if marketed and handled well by the titles creative team. It's just that for some reason they don't want to do that, but that's not Jaime's fault.
Until next time