Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Blue Beetle: Graduation Day #5 Review


Writer: Josh Trujillo
Artist: Adrian Gutierrez
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 28, 2023

I have been torn about this Blue Beetle book since it started.  While it's been fun sometimes, I hoped it would show new readers just how cool Blue Beetle can be.  Yet, from the start, Josh Trujillo has done what many writers keep doing with Jaimie Reyes - Handicapping him.  He hasn't been able to communicate with the Scarab, Batman, and Superman sidelined him (though he hasn't entirely listened to that one), and he's in a new city away from his friends.  These are all head-scratchers, but the oddest decision is not to focus enough on Jaimie.  So while Trujillo is doing his best to introduce new concepts that could expand the Blue Beetle mythos, he might be missing the forest for the trees here.  So let's jump into this...

There is a boatload of characters in this issue!  We already have Jaimie, Ted Kord, his sister Victoria,  The two new Beetles, Nitida and Dynastes, and Starfire in the book.  Now we get a kind-of Justice League showing up, and continuity be damned!  

Batman has taken all he can takes, and he and his team show up in Palmyra to kick butt and take names.  Speaking of names, I still have problems remembering Nitida's name, but I am a dummy!

The action is fast-paced, and while the art adds to the frantic chaos, there were times when it took me a second to adjust to transitions between scenes and characters.  A bigger problem, though, was Trujillo's voices for each character.  They didn't feel quite right, and as a result, everyone sounded the same, and besides Wally West, nobody did anything cool to make them stand out.  

That leads me back to my biggest problem... the focus of this book.  You are playing the devil's hand by putting this many more prominent characters into a Blue Beetle solo book!  Whether you love Blue Beetle or not, you must admit he is easily the seventh or eighth most popular character here.  Plus, for half the issue, the focus is on the newer Beetles as Jaimie goes from fighting them to protecting them from Batman and Company.

Trujillo only pushes his overall narrative forward a little here, but what we get is nice enough.  Jaimie sticks up for the new Beetles, and Starfire remembers that the Horizon are protectors, not invaders.  It's not a shocking revelation, but at least it gets Batman off of Jaimie's ass.  Plus, Jaimie can finally understand the Scarab again!  I will never understand why most writers do this nonsense with Jaime and the Scarab!

Check out our Blue Beetle: Graduation Day #5 Video Review

Thankfully everyone is good because the issue ends with a Horizon ship showing up looking like it jumped off the Yar's Revenge box from back in the day.  Look it up, kids.

This issue had some nice moments showing that Jaimie is a hero and a nice guy.  However, I wish Josh Trujillo could have tightened some things up and put the focus more on Jaimie and his Scarab.  I credit him for trying new things, but I'm worried he has bitten off more than he can chew with only one issue left.  Adrian Gutierrez's art fits this book well, though nothing stood out in this issue overall.

Bits and Pieces:

Blue Beetle: Graduation Day #5 is jam-packed with characters, but with one issue left, I wish more of the focus was on Jaimie Reyes himself.  That's been a problem with the series in general, but there is still some fun here, and I am looking to see how Josh Trujillo will wrap all this up next issue.



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  2. Blue Beetle: Graduation Day #5 offers a whirlwind of characters and action, yet struggles with its focus on Jaime Reyes. While the narrative pushes forward, I hope for a tighter conclusion
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