Based on the Steve Ditko’s redesign for the debut of Ted Kord under the mantle of Blue Beetle in 1996, Ian Sta Maria’s work here ties into the roots of the Kord character as a genius-level inventor. With Ted Kord having no superpowers of his own and a thriving technology-bent creative mind, one could easily see Ted Kord taking his costume to the next step with this more armored and functional costume.
While not going into the full-armor treatment of Marvel’s Iron Man, this redesign leaves room for Kord’s trademark acrobatics when these new Beetle wings removed. The wings themselves are the major component of this redesign, and one would assume that they would be functional for flight and for added armor protection from attacks.
Much has been made by the recent redesign of the new Blue Beetle by Cully Hamner; you can count me of the many who really enjoy it. But the key to Hamner’s redesign is that it is to a new person under the mask, and resultant of the return of the Blue Scarab that has powered Blue Beetles prior to Ted Kord. Hamner’s redesign is so distinct that it would be at odds with the Ted Kord character, but fits perfectly natural with the new person under the Blue Beetle mantle and DC’s new direction with the character. The redesign shown here by Ian Sta Maria is intended and more befitting the long running Ted Kord Blue Beetle.