That said, I had at least heard of Blue Beetle before. My son's mentioned him to me and he was in The Death of Superman, which I just read recently. Still, I had no idea where to start. Often in such a case I'll Google something along the lines of "Essential comics featuring
Reyes' heritage and the setting alone was enough to interest me. This was in 2006 when there was less emphasis on non-white male superheroes, so already a step in the right direction. Plus, it's not set in New York! And, despite not being a Ted Kord book (which I'll still need to read at some point), it's actually not a bad jumping on point for a newcomer. There's an origin story of Reyes' powers, plus it gives a little background of the previous two Blue Beetles, so there's enough to catch a reader up. That said, Reyes does mention a fight in which he helped out Superman and Batman and subsequently got abandoned, but I have no idea what that was all about and so it's not a perfect jumping on point.
Still, the book is fun and does a good job of introducing characters, good and bad. Jamie's friends and family are given enough personality to keep them interesting and while you sense enough about Reyes' connection to the larger DC Universe, he also has enough going on in his own life to carry solo titles. He's also a likeable kid.
Hamner's art is serviceable if just average. However, it's salvaged somewhat by the colouring. Lots of browns and yellows captures the arid climate of the setting, plus provides a great contrast to the Blue Beetle suit.