Prepare to be thrilled by the latest installment in the DCEU, Blue Beetle. Directed by Angel Manuel Soto and starring Xolo Maridueña (Cobra Kai), Blue Beetle marks DCs first Latino-led superhero movie as Maridueña makes his silver screen debut as Jaime Reyes, a.k.a. Blue Beetle.
Returning home with dreams of a bright future, Jaime’s plans suddenly turn when he stumbles upon an ancient relic of alien biotechnology known as the Scarab. Fate intertwines with his path as the Scarab chooses him to be its symbiotic host, granting him an extraordinary suit of armor brimming with unpredictable powers. As Jaime becomes the enigmatic superhero, he must navigate his newfound abilities and responsibilities while trying to find his purpose in a world that has changed around him.
While Blue Beetle promises to stand on its own as an exciting and diverse addition to the cinematic universe, exploring certain key films or series can offer deeper insights into the character’s background, powers, and the broader universe of DC superheroes. Whether you’re a seasoned DC enthusiast or a newcomer to the world of superheroes, these suggested watches are a perfect follow-up to Blue Beetle.
‘Young Justice’ Season 2 – Invasion (2012)
Young Justice Season 2 marks the first on-screen appearance of Blue Beetle himself. The show follows a team of teenage superheroes who are members of the covert operations group known as Young Justice. They work under the guidance of experienced DC superheroes like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. The team consists of familiar DC faces such as Robin (Dick Grayson), Kid Flash (Wally West), Aqualad (Kaldur’ahm), Superboy (Conner Kent), Miss Martian (M’gann M’orzz), and Artemis (Artemis Crock), among others.
Together, they take on various missions and face a wide array of supervillains and threats to protect the world from evil.
In Young Justice Season 2 – Invasion, the story picks up five years after Season 1, when several team members are offered membership in the esteemed Justice League. However, they choose to remain dedicated to their Young Justice team. Season 2 also introduces a fresh wave of heroes, with one of them none other than Blue Beetle, whose real name is Jaime Reyes. With the power of a mysterious scarab attached to his spine, Jaime assumes the mantle of Blue Beetle, providing the team with a unique set of skills and challenges.
In Young Justice, Blue Beetle is portrayed as a member of the Outsiders and a former part of the Team. His scarab was temporarily under the control of the Reach after being rebooted by Green Beetle. However, thanks to the efforts of Zatanna, Isis, Doctor Fate, and the Team, he was liberated from this influence.
Blue Beetle comes across as laid-back and easygoing, especially during simple missions. However, his teammates find him peculiar because he often engages in conversations and arguments with himself. In reality, it’s the Blue Beetle Scarab interacting with him, leading to these internal discussions. He strongly dislikes the Scarab’s artificial intelligence and often finds himself at odds with it. However, after being freed from Reach’s control, Jaime’s relationship with the scarab improved significantly, and they now work together.
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‘Justice League Action’ (2016)
Enter the world of Justice League Action, the animated TV series that introduces Blue Beetle, voiced by Jake T. Austin, as a key supporting character. Blue Beetle, a teenage superhero, harnesses his powers from a beetle-shaped pack situated on his back. This pack features three pairs of legs gracefully embracing his body and neck, alongside distinctive ‘horns’ rising behind his shoulders. Though still young and relatively inexperienced, he occasionally exhibits a touch of over-confidence, leading to mishaps. However, his creative problem-solving abilities more than makeup for it, helping him overcome challenges in unique and innovative ways. Despite his serious superhero persona, Blue Beetle possesses a playful sense of humor, even finding amusement in jesting at the expense of the legendary Batman.
Justice League Action follows Batman (Kevin Conroy), Superman (Jason J. Lewis), and Wonder Woman (Rachel Kimsey) as they assemble a team of superheroes known as the Justice League. Together, they face off against an array of foes, from relentless space invaders to strange and powerful forces of magic, all to safeguard Earth from the clutches of nefarious supervillains hell-bent on its destruction. Having first debuted on Cartoon Network UK on November 26, 2016, the series quickly captivated audiences and subsequently premiered in the United States on Cartoon Network on December 16 of the same year. With thrilling adventures awaiting them at every turn, the Justice League is always up for any challenge that comes their way.
Blue Beetle takes center stage in some remarkable episodes of the series. In « Time Share » (Episode 9), things get pretty wild as Batman and Blue Beetle emerge unexpectedly thrust back in time. Their mission? To prevent Chronos from carrying out a sinister plot involving eliminating Batman on his first night in Gotham City. This means facing off against the notorious Carmine Falcone and his gang.
In « Field Trip » (Episode 18), the excitement continues when Superman decides to treat Blue Beetle, Firestorm, and Stargirl to an unforgettable tour of the Fortress of Solitude. But their adventure turns unexpectedly when they accidentally release General Zod, Faora, and Quex-Ul from the Phantom Zone. Watch on Prime Video
‘The Flash’ (2023)
While the Blue Beetle doesn’t make a cameo appearance in The Flash movie, it serves as a crucial reset point for DCU’s 10-year plan crafted by the newly appointed co-heads of DC studios, James Gunn and Peter Safran. This film takes on ambitious themes like the multiverse and time travel, making it a significant milestone in their vision for the DC universe.
During a press conference that shed light on the future of the DCU, Gunn, and Safran elaborated on how the upcoming movies, under the guidance of Hamada, will play a vital role in smoothly resetting the universe. With The Flash at the forefront of these developments, it promises to be an exciting and pivotal moment for the DC cinematic universe. As Gunn puts it:
“So, how can we take these things together and make them make sense and have them unified and have it one real universe?…I think that we’ve gotten lucky with the next four movies, frankly, because we have Shazam, which leads into Flash, which resets everything which then goes into Blue Beetle, which is totally disconnected…But the one thing that we can promise is that everything from…our first project forward, will be canon, and will be connected. We’re using some actors from the past, we’re not using other actors from the past. But everything from that moment forward will be connected and consistent.”
Despite high expectations, The Flash‘s debut at the box office has been met with mixed reviews. Some criticize its overly ambitious and shallow storytelling, while controversies surrounding the main star further affected its reception. Consequently, The Flash struggled to find its footing within the DCEU and failed to make a lasting impact.
However, a glimmer of hope is on the horizon with the highly anticipated Blue Beetle movie. This film promises a more straightforward storyline and is making significant strides toward diversity representation by featuring Maridueña as the Latino lead. With a refreshing approach to inclusivity and a more focused narrative, Blue Beetle can potentially turn the tide for the DCEU, potentially reversing their fortunes for the better.
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