Blue Beetle Writer Jennifer Keene Shares How The DC Showcase Short Ended Up Being Like The Office

Blue Beetle and The Question studying clue DC Showcase short
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Animation)

After appearing in animated TV shows like Batman: The Brave and the Bold and DC Super Hero Girls, the Ted Kord incarnation of Blue Beetle now has an animated story to call his own. The DC Showcase short Blue Beetle is done in the style of a late 1960s Saturday morning cartoon, and sees Ted crossing paths with other characters who originated from Charlton Comics. One of those individuals is The Question, and Blue Beetle writer Jennifer Keene shared how their dynamic together ended up resembling a relationship from The Office.

Following its original release as a bonus feature attached to Batman: The Long Halloween — Part 2, Blue Beetle is now included in the DC Showcase — Constantine: The House of Mystery compilation, alongside the title extended short, Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth! and The Losers. After Jeremy Adams (who’s currently working on The Flash comic book) came up with the Blue Beetle story, Jennifer Keene (whose credits include Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Phineas & Ferb) was brought in to write the script. During my interview with Keene, I asked if there were any specific pieces of source material she turned to during the creative process, and she answered:

You know, mostly I just read the old comic books, but I will tell you that as the script formed, I sort of realized that Blue Beetle and The Question were kind of evolving to sound like Jim and Dwight from The Office. I sort of felt like it was that kind of dynamic. I was like, ‘Wait, this seems kind of familiar.’ Because The Question is kind of like Dwight Schrute… or rather, Dwight Schrute is kind of like The Question, I should say.

While most comic book fans think of Booster Gold as Ted Kord’s main crimefighting partner, because DC Showcase’s Blue Beetle serves as a tribute to the Charlton era, he’s instead paired with The Question, who actually debuted in the pages of 1967’s Blue Beetle #1. With Question’s Objectivism and unorthodox methods repeatedly getting on Ted’s nerves throughout the animated short, I understand what Jennifer Keene means about Question being the Dwight Schrute to Ted’s Jim Halpert. The only thing missing from Blue Beetle to drive that home further was Ted throwing a droll look directly at the camera after Question said something ridiculous, just like John Krasinski did during his time on The Office.

Matt Lanter’s Ted Kord and David Kaye’s The Question find themselves partnered up in Blue Beetle after the former clashes with some goons sent by the supervillain Doctor Spectro. Thanks to Question’s sharp investigative skills, they start figuring out what Spectro has planned, and run into Captain Atom and Nightshade along the way. You’ll have to watch the short for yourself to see how the story wraps up, but afterwards, feel free to envision if Question is into bears, beets and Battlestar Galactica.

The DC Showcase — Constantine: The House of Mystery compilation is now available to but on Blu-ray and Digital from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. If you want to learn more about these shorts, read about the DC character who almost appeared in The Losers and how John Constantine’s solo adventure was inspired by Doctor Who.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.