Blue Beetle Reading Guide

blue beetle reading guide

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Hola, ¿que tal? Welcome to the Blue Beetle reading guide!

With the live-action movie filming right now and set pics hitting the web as we speak, there has never been a better time to catch up on the history of DC Comics’ Blue Beetle. But which one!?

In true DC fashion, the movie’s lead character Jaime Reyes is actually the third Beetle, coming after Dan Garrett (Golden Age) and Ted Kord (Silver Age). So here are the most essential comics for both Ted and Jaime before we meet the Beetles in their movie next year:

Quick start:

Jaime Reyes

    • Infinite Crisis (2005) #3-7
  • Blue Beetle (2011) #1-36
    • Teen Titans (2003) #50-83, 99-100, Annual 2009
    • Titans (2008) #1, 11-13, 17, 23-24, 38
    • Booster Gold (2007) #0-6, 14, 19-29, 40
    • Justice League: Generation Lost (2010) #1-24
  • Blue Beetle (2011) #0-16
    • DC Universe: Rebirth (2016) #1
  • Blue Beetle: Rebirth (2016) #1
  • Blue Beetle (2016) #1-18

 

Ted Kord

    • Captain Atom #83-86
  • Blue Beetle (1986) #1-24
  • Justice League International, Vol. 1-6
  • Superman and the Justice League America Vol. 1-2
  • Wonder Woman & the Justice League America Vol. 1-2
    • Birds of Prey (1999) #1-4, 7, 10-12, 15, 19, 23-25, 33-42, 75, 79, 82, 96
  • Formerly Known as the Justice League #1-6
  • JLA: Classified #4-9, 34, 44-45
    • aka “I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Justice League”
  • Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1
  • Booster Gold (2007) #0-1, 6-10, 15-18, 21-27, 33-40, 44, 1000000
  • Blue Beetle: Rebirth (2016) #1
  • Blue Beetle (2016) #1-14, 18
  • Blue & Gold (2021) #1-8

DC Comics’ timeline continuity has honestly become a bit of a mess, but they’re doing the best they can! Ted was introduced in the 1960s under a different company and merged into the DC Universe in the 1980s with Crisis on Infinite Earths.

After Ted’s unfortunate death in the 2000s, Jaime became the all-new Blue Beetle. After the timeline reset with Flashpoint in 2011, Jaime continued his solo with Ted mysteriously absent. Eventually, 2016’s DC Rebirth reset the timeline again so that Ted could come back as a mentor for Jaime.

Also, you might notice there are a couple of comics about Booster Gold, who is Ted’s best pal. The two goofballs were the core of the 1980s Justice League International team, which remains one of the most beloved and iconic eras of the Justice League to this day. We don’t know yet if Booster will factor into the upcoming movie, but he’s impossible to miss in the comics.

That’s all you need to know for now, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the bwahaha!

 

 

Ted Kord: Early Appearances & Justice League International (1960s-1990s)

The best comics for Ted Kord are anything written by Keith Giffen. Although Ted was created by Steve Ditko decades before Giffen started writing him, Giffen’s run on Justice League International is what truly defined the Ted we know today.

The easiest place to begin for Ted solo material is Showcase Presents: Blue Beetle, which is a black and white collection of his 1980s solo. But the most important Ted comics are surely the massive JLI series, which spanned Justice League International, Justice League Europe, Justice League America, and more! 

If you only want Jaime’s comics, you can skip to the 2000s section below!

  • Captain Atom (1965) #83-86
  • Blue Beetle (1967) #1-5
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths(1985) #1-12
    • Ted Kord joins the DC Universe!
    • Secret Origins Vol. 2 #2, 23, 33, 35
  • Justice League International, Vol. 1-6
  • Superman and the Justice League America Vol. 1-2
  • Wonder Woman & the Justice League America Vol. 1-2
    • Justice League (1987) #1-6, Annual #1
    • Justice League International (1987) #7-25, Annual #2-3, Special #1-2
    • Justice League Europe (1989) #7-8,13, 27-36, Annual #1-2
    • Justice League America (1989) #26-91, 96, 100, 112-113, Annual #4-10
    • Justice League Quarterly (1990) #1, 3, 5-10, 12, 14
    • Justice League Spectacular (1992) #1
    • Justice League Task Force (1993) #13-15, 37
    • Justice League International (1993) #65-67
    • JLI #25 parallel to JLE #1
    • JLA #60-68 parallel to Justice League Spectacular #1 

  • Firestorm (1982) #63-64, 67, Annual #5
    • Also called “Firestorm, the Nuclear Man”
    • Also called “Fury of Firestorm”
  • Booster Gold (1985) #22, 25
  • Captain Atom (1987) #2, 16-17, 20, 24-28, 50
  • Wonder Woman (1987) #8, 25, 49-50, 61, 174, Annual #1, Giant #7
  • Martian Manhunter (1988) #1-4, 24
  • Mister Miracle (1989) #1, 7-10, 13-16, 19, 21, 25-2
  • Green Lantern (1990) #1, 4, 9, 13, 25, 33, 69, 81, 152; 80-Page Giant #2
  • Guy Gardner (1992) #1-2, 11-12, 15-18, 32-39, Annual #2
    • Also known as “Guy Gardner: Warrior”

Extra reading: 

    • Legends (1986) #2-6
    • Millennium (1987) #1-8
    • Invasion! (1988) #2-3
    • The Weird (1988) #1-4
    • The Comic Relief Comic (1991) #1
    • Adventures of Superman (1987) #463, 488-489, 642
    • Superman (1987) #65-66, 74, 142
    • Action Comics (1938) #600, 664, 675, 687, Annual #3
    • Steel (1994) #11-13
    • All-Star Squadron (1981) #53-54
    • DC Bonus Book (1988) #7, 13
    • Doom Patrol (1987) #28-29
    • Doctor Fate (1988) #14-15
    • Time Masters (1990) #1
    • Armageddon 2001 (1991) #1-2
    • Superman: The Man of Steel (1991) #10, 86, 1000000
    • Showcase ’93 #3; Showcase ’94 #3-5; Showcase ’95 #5 

 

 

Ted Kord: Extreme Justice & Super Buddies (1990s-2000s)

Heading into the 90s, Ted was a major player in the very 90s Extreme Justice storyline and a few other titles. The most important among these is the “Super Buddies” series, which is Formerly Known as the Justice League and I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Justice League! Finally, Ted also had a recurring role on Chuck Dixon’s iconic Birds of Prey run.

  • Extreme Justice (1995) #0-18
  • Birds of Prey (1999) #1-4, 7, 10-12, 15, 19, 23-25, 33-42, 75, 79, 82, 96
  • JLA (1997) #27, 38-41, 58; 80-Page Giant #1, 3
  • Formerly Known as the Justice League (2003) #1-6
  • JLA: Classified (2004) #4-9, 34, 44-45
    • aka “I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Justice League”
  • Countdown to Infinite Crisis (2005) #1
    • Leads into Infinite Crisis, where Jaime is introduced
    • Action Comics (1938) #824
    • OMAC Project (2005) #1
    • Infinite Crisis (2005) #2

Extra reading:

    • Underworld Unleashed (1995) #2-3
    • Total Justice (1996) #1-2
    • Final Night (1996) #1, 3
    • L.A.W. (Living Assault Weapons) (1996) #1-6
    • Justice Riders (1997) #1 
      • Alternate universe based on the Wild West
    • JLA: Year One (1998) #3
    • DC One Million (1998) #1-2
    • Superman and Batman: World’s Funnest (2000) #1
    • Robin Vol. 2 (1993) #95-96
    • JLA: Our Worlds at War (2001) #1
    • Bizarro Comics (2001) #1
      • “Bizarre Wars”
      • Simpsons-style alternate universe crossover event

 

 

Jaime Reyes: Blue Beetle (2000s)

Picking up from Ted’s storyline in Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1, the new Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes is introduced in Infinite Crisis #3, which immediately led to his own Blue Beetle solo title. This is #1 must-read Jaime Reyes series.

While Ted was a basic rich billionaire in spandex, Jaime is a brand new take on the character. After bonding with a sentient alien “Scarab” that gives him a high-tech action suit, he seemingly becomes a superhero… but what happens if he can’t control it??

Across the DC Universe, Jaime also earned his place with a major role on the Teen Titans. Additionally, both Ted and Jaime factor heavily into Booster Gold’s 2007 solo series and Justice League: Generation Lost, with major contributions by Giffen and Dematteis yet again.

  • Infinite Crisis (2005) #3-7
    • Leads into Blue Beetle #1
  • Blue Beetle (2006) #1-36
    • by John Rogers (Jackie Chan Adventures)
    • Ted cameo in #8!
    • #35 is the return of Carapax!
    • Collected as:
      • Blue Beetle: Shellshocked (#1-6)
      • Blue Beetle: Road Trip (#7-12)
      • Blue Beetle: Reach for the Stars (#13-19)
      • Blue Beetle: Endgame (#20-26)
      • Blue Beetle: Boundaries (#29-34)
      • Blue Beetle: Black and Blue (#27-28, #35-36)
  • Teen Titans (2003) #50-76, 79-83, 99-100, Annual 2009
  • Titans (2008) #1, 11-13, 17, 23-24, 38
  • Brave and the Bold (2007) #2-6, 15, 25
  • DC Special: Cyborg (2008) #2-5
  • Action Comics (1938) #841-842, 873, 903-904
    • Features Carapax, the major villain of the upcoming movie
  • Suicide Squad (2007) #5-8
    • Features Carapax!
  • Booster Gold (2007) #0-10, 14-29, 33-40, 44, 1000000
    • Jaime in #0-6, 14, 19, 21-29, 40
    • Ted in #0-1, 6-10, 15, 17-18, 21-27, 33-40, 44, 1000000
    • #32-38 is Past Imperfect, a major Ted/Booster storyline by Giffen and Dematteis
    • Ties into Blackest Night
    • Collected as
      • Booster Gold: 52 Pick-Up (#1-6)
      • Booster Gold: Blue and Gold (#0, 7-10, 1000000)
      • Booster Gold: Reality Lost (#11-12, 15-19)
      • Booster Gold: Day of Death (#20-25)
      • Booster Gold: The Tomorrow Memory (#26-31)
      • Booster Gold: Past Imperfect (#32-38)
      • Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint Featuring Superman (#44-47)
  • Blackest Night (2009) #1
    • Features zombie Ted!
  • Justice League: Generation Lost (2010) #1-24
    • Keith Giffen returns with heavy Justice League International vibes
    • #1-2, 10 feature Ted!

  • Extra reading:
    • 52 (2006) #4-6, 10, 24, 32, 51-52
      • Ted in #4-6, 10, 24, 51-52
      • Jaime in #32
    • Superman/Batman (2003) #32-33
    • Justice League Wedding Special (2007) #1
    • Countdown to Adventure (2007) #4
    • Manhunter (2004) #31-32
    • Final Crisis (2008) #3-6
    • DC Universe: Decisions (2008) #3
    • DC Universe Holiday Special 2008
      • “Christmas with the Beetles”
      • “The Night Before Christmas”
      • Features both Ted and Jaime!
    • Ambush Bug: Year None (2008) #1-2
      • Features Ted!
    • Wednesday Comics (2009) #6-7
    • DC Universe Halloween Special 2010
      • “Medusa Non Grata”
    • Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes (2006) #36
    • Supergirl (2005) #60-64
    • Justice Society of America (2007) #37-38, 41
    • Starman/Congorilla (2011) #1
    • Red Robin (2009) #19
    • DC Universe Legacies (2010) #5-10
      • Features Ted!
    • Power Girl (2009) #18-21
      • Features both Jaime and Ted!
    • Birds of Prey (2010) #10
    • Secret Six (2008) #36

 

 

Ted & Jaime: Blue Beetle: Rebirth (2010s)

In 2011, DC Comics shook the world by resetting their entire timeline and relaunching everything from scratch. In doing so, they essentially erased older characters like Ted Kord from their in-universe history. While Jaime had his own solo (with mixed reviews), the omission of Ted’s memory weighed heavily on the fans.

A few writers tried to bring back Ted with Justice League 3000 and Convergence, but he didn’t return meaningfully until DC Rebirth in 2016. In this new timeline, Jaime and Ted have been able to build a relationship that they never could in Jaime’s 2000s run. What’s more, Ted and Booster finally got their own duo book last year, titled Blue & Gold.

Meanwhile, Jaime Reyes exploded in popularity for general audiences thanks to his major roles on the Young Justice and a bunch of other DC TV shows!

  • Blue Beetle (2011) #0-16
    • Generally considered out of character
    • Ted erased after Flashpoint
    • Collected as:
      • Blue Beetle: Metamorphosis (#1-6)
      • Blue Beetle: Blue Diamond (#0, 7-16)
  • Justice League 3000 (2013) #12-14
    • Ted is back after Flashpoint!

Video games:

    • Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame (2010)
    • Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (2014)
    • Infinite Crisis (2015)

Extra watching:

    • Smallville (2001) S10 E18 (with Ted and Booster Gold!)
    • Young Justice (2010) S2 E1-20; S3 E5, 16-17, 24; S4 E16
    • Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008) S1 E1, 4, 8, 13, 16, 25-26; S2 E3-4, 10-11, 13-14, 17-18, 22-24; S3 E5-6, 10, 12-13
      • Ted features in S1 E8; S2 E18; S3 E13
    • Teen Titans Go! (2013) S1 E33
    • Thunder & Lightning (2013) (Shorts) S1 E2
    • DC Super Hero Girls (2015) (Shorts) S1 E1-2; S3 E17
      • Films: Super Hero High, Hero of the Year, Intergalactic Games

Extra reading:

    • DC Universe vs. The Masters of the Universe (2013) #5
    • Justice League International Annual (2012) #1
    • Threshold (2013) #2-8
    • Booster Gold: Futures End (2014) #1
    • Convergence (2015)
      • All issues below feature Ted. Jaime is only in Convergence #6 
      • Convergence (2015) #1, 6-8
      • Convergence: Blue Beetle (2015) #1-2
      • Convergence: Booster Gold (2015) #1-2
      • Convergence: Justice League International (2015) #1-2

 

  • DC Universe: Rebirth (2016) #1
  • Blue Beetle: Rebirth (2016) #1
  • Blue Beetle (2016) #1-18
    • Rebirth series is written by the same team that wrote Justice League International
    • Resets the timeline (again), so that Jaime can be mentored by Ted. This is probably the direction the next year’s film will go in.
    • Collected as:
      • Blue Beetle: The More Things Change (Blue Beetle: Rebirth #1, #1–5)
      • Blue Beetle: Hard Choices (#6-12)
      • Blue Beetle: Road to Nowhere (#13-18)
  • The Infected: Scarab (2019) #1
    • Jaime turns into the villainous Scarab!
    • Features Ted!
  • Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen (2019) #1-4
    • Jaime turns back into Blue Beetle
  • Blue & Gold (2021) #1-8
    • Major Ted/Booster story
    • #6-8 feature Jaime!
  • Blue Beetle: Graduation Day (2022) #1-6
    • New Jaime miniseries starting November 22, 2022!

Video games:

    • DC Legends (2016)
    • Injustice 2 (2017)
    • Justice League Action Run (2017)
    • Lego DC Super-Villains (2018)

Extra watching:

    • Justice League Action (2016) S1 E5, 9, 18, 38, 43,46
    • Justice League vs. Teen Titans (2016)
    • Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017)
    • Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)
    • DC Super Hero Girls (2019) S2 E3, 22
      • Features Ted! 
    • DC Showcase: Blue Beetle (2021)
      • Features Ted!


 

Ted & Jaime: Guest Appearances (2010s)

In addition to the comics above, here are some addition Jaime and Ted recommended reading from the current era of DC’s continuity. Take a wild leap into any title that seems interesting to you, and maybe you’ll find a new favorite series!

Jaime extra reading:

    • Green Lanterns (2016) #40
    • Action Comics (2016) #1000
    • Justice League (2018) #9, 26, 37, 71
    • Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth (2018) #1
    • Batman/Superman (2019) #1, 3-6, Annual #1
    • The Flash Giant (2019) #1-5
    • Supergirl (2016) #36, 38, Annual #2
    • Terrifics (2018) #25, 28-30
    • Dark Nights: Metal
      • Dark Nights: Metal (2017) #2
      • Dark Nights: Death Metal The Last Stories of the DC Universe (2020) #1
      • Dark Nights: Death Metal Legends of the Dark Knights (2020) #1
      • Dark Nights: Death Metal (2020) #7
    • DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration (2021) #1
    • DC: The Doomed and the Damned (2020) #1
    • The Other History of the DC Universe (2020) #5
    • Wonder Woman (2016) #50
    • Robins (2021) #5
    • Strange Love Adventures (2022) #1
    • Suicide Squad (2021) #10
    • Dark Crisis (2022) #0-1

Ted extra reading:

    • The Flash/Speed Buggy Special (2018) #1
    • Heroes in Crisis (2018) #4-9
    • Dark Nights: Metal
      • Dark Nights: Death Metal (2020) #3-7
      • Dark Nights: Death Metal Robin King (2020) #1
      • Dark Nights: Death Metal The Last 52: War of the Multiverses (2020) #1
      • Dark Nights: Death Metal – Trinity Crisis (2020) #1
    • The Other History of the DC Universe (2020) #2
    • DC Cybernetic Summer (2020) #1
      • “The Boys of Summer”
    • Justice League (2018) #1, 26, 30, 57, 68, 75
    • Superman (2018) #3, 9, 17, 19, 23
    • The Terrifics (2018) #26-27
    • Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium (2019) #2
    • Suicide Squad (2019) #5-11
    • The Human Target (2021) #1-4
    • Let Them Live!: Unpublished Tales from the DC Vault (2021) #3

 

And those are the Beetles! Have you seen Young Justice yet? Have you ever read a Blue Beetle comic? What are you reading today? Let me know on Twitter @vinwriteswords and remember to follow the site @MyCosmicCircus for more about the Blue Beetle boys!

Of course, be sure to check out our other reading guides here, and watch out for more coming soon!

 

All images courtesy of DC Comics.

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Reviews, reading guides, and crazy theories. Currently obsessing over Moon Knight, Blade, and Doctor Strange. Find me on Twitter @vinwriteswords!
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