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Josh Trujillo on 'Blue Beetle: Graduation Day' and his personal connection to Jaime Reyes

Comic Books

Josh Trujillo on ‘Blue Beetle: Graduation Day’ and his personal connection to Jaime Reyes

Josh Trujillo talks about ‘Blue Beetle,’ writing superheroes, and more.

Jaime Reyes, aka Blue Beetle, is one of my favorite DC characters. So it wasn’t a surprise that one of the first-ever reviews I did for this site was the premiere issue of Blue Beetle: Graduation Day. Written by Josh Trujillo & illustrated by Adrian Gutierrez, the series more than lived up to its premise as it featured Jaime graduating from school while also struggling to figure out what to do with his life – on top of the return of the alien conquerors known as the Reach.

Typical teenage superhero problems. At the DC Booth this morning, I spoke with Trujillo about the inception of the book, as well as how he related to Jaime and the surprising DC character he’d love to write.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Dawn of DC grows with 'Blue Beetle' #1 out September 2023

AIPT: What drew you to Blue Beetle as a character?

Josh Trujillo: I was around Jaime’s age when the character debuted, and we both had a lot of similarities. We’re Mexican-American, we’re teenagers, our mothers worked in health care & we were both kind of curious kids about the DC Universe. So I’ve always been kind of drawn to him. And even his Blue Beetle series…the first one, it’s the first comic I ever had from like issue one to the last issue. So it was my entry point into like monthly DC comics, and I haven’t left since.

AIPT: The book comes in two editions – English and Spanish. Was that always part of your initial pitch?

JT: Yeah. You know that a big thing I wanted to do was to include some Spanish language dialogue in the English edition because it felt more authentic to Jaime’s life, Jaime’s story, and the environment he grew up in. DC didn’t bat an eye…they were like “That’s a great idea! Let’s publish an entire Spanish version as well!” I’m really excited to get this book into the hands of people who might not read a superhero comic.

This book introduces a lot of new characters; what’s the fun of introducing new characters to the vast tapestry of the DC Universe?

JT: It’s a big thrill honestly to get to create characters that other writers and artists might pick up later. It’s like, I just want to fill out Jaime’s cast with new characters, new villains, new allies, and just kind of make it feel a little fresh.

AIPT: What stuck out to me when I reviewed Blue Beetle: Graduation Day #1 was the conversation between Jaime and Superman about how Jaime is taking on too much. What’s it like writing a superhero who has to actively step back from superhero’ing?

JT: It’s a little tough, right? We want our heroes to succeed and be awesome all the time, but Jaime is at a kind of a crossroads in his life. And I thought Superman would be a great character to have that conversation with. They have a lot of similarities. Jaime is more of a Batman fan but doesn’t realize that he is Superman in a lot of ways. I just love seeing those characters bounce off of each other.

AIPT: Who other than Jaime is your favorite character to write?

JT: She isn’t in the book that much, but I love Jaime’s little sister Milagro. And beyond that, we introduce Ted Kord’s sister Victoria Kord. She’s new to the comics universe, she’s been a lot of fun to write. She’s got some schemes going on.

AIPT: Is there any other DC character other than Blue Beetle that you can see yourself writing?

JT: I say this a lot…his name is Bunker, he was a Teen Titan. Big fan of Bunker, and hopefully, I’ll get a chance to tackle him sooner rather than later. 

Blue Beetle: Graduation Day is available wherever comics are sold.

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