Sunday, March 20, 2011

Why Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes)?

Because I thought he was dead.

Honestly, when it came my turn to choose a character, it seemed that good ol' DC had killed another of their teenage legacy characters. They have a pretty bad track record when it comes to that, and I was annoyed that they had done that. I wanted to see what the writers here would do with him. As it turned out, he wasn't really dead (and they dragged this event through three issues), but by the time I learned that, I had already chosen him. Not that I'm unhappy with my choice, mind you.

Jaime Reyes is more than just a random legacy character. He is unique enough to strike out on his own and come out from under the shadows of the other two men that have called themselves Blue Beetle. On top of that, I quite like the fact that he is one of the few heroes that does not opperate out of a fictional city (as most DC characters do) or New York (as most Marvel characters do). He is from El Paso, and his roots there as well with his Hispanic family play a large part in his personality. In any case, he is probably one of the best DC characters created this past decade, and I look forward to see what everyone brings to the table this week.


  1. Love the choice, Matt! Jaime is one of my favourite DC characters and I'm glad that he's getting a bit more facetime of late with Generation Lost. Not quite his own ongoing, but I'll take what I can get.

    Anyways, one of my favourite things about him is his supporting cast, particularly the Reyes family. Therefore, I tried to capture a bit of the relationship between Jaime and his sister in this week's effort, while still maintaining the levity of the series itself. Hope you enjoy.

    Four rows of panels. The first three panels are all on the same row, which is slightly taller than the last three rows.

    1 – Night time. Milagro's room. Jaime stands in the doorway, a look of concern on his face. Milagro sits in her bed, tucked in, but she looks a little worried.

    JAIME: What's wrong?

    MILAGRO: There's a monster under my bed!

    2 – Jaime comes into the room and sits on the bed. He tries to reassure his sister, but she will have none of it.

    JAIME: There's no such thing as monsters.

    MILAGRO: You fight them all the time!

    JAIME: Point taken. Lemme have a look.

    3 – Same view as before, Jaime is now on his hands and knees, partially obscured by the bed he is looking under.

    JAIME: See? No monsters.

    4 – The top of the panel is framed by the bottom of Milagro's bed. Jaime is still on his hands and knees, looking under the bed (and towards the reader). Milagro's head pops in, upside-down since she is still sitting on the bed. Jaime smiles good-naturedly. Humouring his sister, his is in the process of transforming into the Blue Beetle. The armor is quite evident, though it does not yet cover Jaime's head.

    MILAGRO: Look with your powers.

    JAIME: Alright, if it'll help you get to sleep...

    5 – Same view as before. Milagro looks expectantly towards Jaime. Jaime is now fully costumed in his Blue Beetle armor. His eyes are wide, his mouth open. No dialogue.

    6 – Milagro, both concerned and annoyed by Jaime's silence, asks what is going on. Jaime continues to wear an expression of concern, tinged with a bit of determination.

    MILAGRO: Well?

    JAIME: Looks like I was wrong. Get Mom and Dad and get out of here.

  2. This was fun, Grant, but I was especially impressed with the layout and pacing - I could see every panel in my head. Good work.

  3. @Grant: Wow, that page was great! It's both funny and interesting, and left me with a huge smile on my face.

    Also, I'm surprised at the lack of Play-At-Home scripts this week.

  4. @ Matt - I've got one I'm trying to write, but I feel surprisingly unmotivated this week. Don't have a clue what it is, either.

  5. Scarab Says By MK Stangeland Jr.

    (4 Panels)

    Panel 1: BLUE BEETLE has formed a shield to block an energy attack from BLACK BEETLE.

    BLUE BEETLE: Any ideas?

    SCARAB: (Symbols)

    BLUE BEETLE: Besides that.

    SCARAB: (Symbols)

    Panel 2: BLUE BEETLE fires back at BLACK BEETLE, who blocks it with a shield of his own.

    BLUE BEETLE: No! We’ve been over that!

    SCARAB (1): (Narration Text) This is a familiar scenario.

    SCARB (2): (Narration Text) A dangerous foe that has already been defeated once having returned to trouble us again.

    Panel 3: BLUE BEETLE slams into BLACK BEETLE. Their shields collide with one another as a result, and it should look like it’s a major impact for both sides.

    SCARAB (1): (Narration Text) With each conflict, he refuses to make it our final encounter.

    SCARAB (2): (Narration Text) Despite the reoccurring danger that comes from letting our foes have new opportunities to destroy us.

    Panel 4: BLUE BEETLE has formed his fists into a giant hammer head-like smashing instrument, which he uses to strike BLACK BEETLE with a massive uppercut

    SCARAB (1): (Narration Text) But he’ll see things my way eventually.

    SCARAB (2): (Narration Text) It’s only a matter of time.


  6. It's perhaps the oldest dilemma known to superheroes, but you've found an interesting way of addressing it, MK. I love the opening panel where Jaime is arguing with the Scarab and we only get one side of the conversation, I could happily have read more of that. A couple of minor editing things (before Ryan gets here), there's an A missing from Scarab in panel 2; and it's recurring not reocurring.

  7. This is embarrassingly late, but here it is. Hope you like it.

    Why Protection is Important

    Eight Panels. This page is packed with both panels and dialogue, to maintain a snappy back-and-forth feel. The good thing is that the page is just the same scene shot from different angles, so the establishing shot does most of the visual heavy lifting. Word balloon spillover onto other panels is fine to maintain the flow. I’d just ask you to keep the last two panels clear (except for the lines that belong there), to get the final beat right.

    Row 1, Panel 1:Widescreen panel, showing a high-angle establishing shot of the Reyes’s back yard, where they’re holding a barbeque for their whole mess of an extended family. PEACEMAKER, PACO, BRENDA, and JAIME are all positioned in a corner of the yard, reclining against the fence or sitting at the picnic table. ALBERTO is at the grill nearby. BIANCA is fussing over MILAGRO while talking to LA DAMA slightly away from the others.

    JAIME: I can’t beetle up anymore. The scarab’s totally shut me out.

    BRENDA: Are you two having relationship problems? Do you need to see a counselor?

    PEACEMAKER: Twenty dollars says magic overload.

    Row 2, Panel 1:Close-up on the JAIME/PEACEMAKER/BRENDA/PACO conversation. PACO is digging through a cooler while JAIME and PEACEMAKER talk.

    JAIME: That’s the reason Ted could never access any of the scarab’s power.

    PEACEMAKER: Wouldn't wager if I wasn't right. Paco—beer me.

    Row 2, Panel 2:Pull out so ALBERTO is the subject of the panel. Behind him, PACO tosses a bottle of beer over to PEACEMAKER. ALBERTO turns around slightly as he talks. JAIME is counting off all the people that they name on his fingers.

    ALBERTO: Who have you fought that’s magic recently? I lose track of who’s who.

    JAIME: No Eclipso, no Spectre.

    PACO: Posse’s in San Fran, filling in for the Titans.

    Row 2, Panel 3: Tiny panel for a cutaway gag. Extreme close-up of Deathstroke’s head being slammed into concrete by Thumper’s large, hairy hand.

    Thumper (Off-Panel): Thump!

    Row 3, Panel 1:Back to the JAIME-BRENDA-PACO-PEACEMAKER conversation. BRENDA’s the focus of this panel.

    BRENDA: It’s Traci.

    JAIME: Huh?

    BRENDA: Your girlfriend. Traci. The witch.

    JAIME: The Scarab’s never freaked out around her before.
    JAIME (2): She likes “sorceress” better.
    JAIME (3): By the way.

    Row 4, Panel 1:Same location, different angle. PEACEMAKER’s the center of attention. He’s wearing a wry grin. His following comments are just meant as a joke. He has no idea what he’s just wrought.

    PEACEMAKER: She’s the most likely possibility—has anything changed that would have increased your exposure. Maybe you do getting a little more…intimate?

    Row 4, Panel 2:Same shot. JAIME is looking down, avoiding the group’s gaze. The panel oozes awkward.

    No dialogue.

    Row 4, Panel 3: Same shot. BRENDA has her tongue stuck out in semi-mock disgust, PEACEMAKER is gazing into his beer bottle longingly, and, in contrast, PACO is grinning with his hand up for a high-five.

    BRENDA: Eeeeew.

    PEACEMAKER: Not enough beer in the world for this…

    PACO: Up top!

  8. @MK - This is a really great look into the thought process of the scarab, something that has only been hinted at thus far in Blue Beetle's various appearances. I quite enjoy the cool and calculating nature you've given to the scarab. It reads really well.

    @Aryeh - No need to feel embarrassed about posting a little later in the week, especially when it's such a solid script. It reads just like the original Jaime Reyes series: smart, fun, and funny. Well-paced and a great sense of timing all around. Awesome stuff.


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