I saw a photo which made me squee with delight when I passed it on my traversal of the web today. With the news of late, I was looking for something which would make me happy and these photos did it. DC Entertainment is making a Blue Beetle movie. This will be the fifteenth installment in the DC Extended Universe and will be released on August 18, 2023.
It’s about goddamn time.
You would think they have seven heroes in their lineup if you looked at their movie catalog in the 90s, 00s and the 10s, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman dominated the field. In recent years we have managed to get the child hero, Billy Batson and his alter-ego, Shazam and the beautiful Shazam Family. The villains have had the opportunity to show up in Suicide Squad films and even the Joker has had his own first film.
In a few months we will get to see the superhuman magical glory that is Black Adam, portrayed by the Rock, Dwayne Johnson. We will also have the silver screen appearance of the mightiest mystic of the DC Universe, Dr. Fate. What is it with doctors and magic? And we will debut the silver screen appearance of the winged wonder who has been flying through the four color Universe of comics, bashing evil right in the mouth with a mace, the ever-reincarnating Hawkman!
The winged warrior has always been signified by his use of archaic hand to hand weapons, though modern versions have him also being an alien law enforcement officer from the planet Thanagar. Carter Hall, or Katar Hol will be played by Aldis Hodge and the images look amazing.
No Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman? No problem.
But here is what you probably didn’t know: DC has a collection of intellectual properties with over 10,000 heroes, villains and supporting characters, who have populated over 80 years of amazing comic stories, with hundreds of titles to choose from; DC Entertainment has one of the largest character IPs in the entertainment world and it appears they may be trying to up their game.
A movie which does not feature Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman, would be a welcome change of pace. As to the leaked pictures from the Blue Beetle set, they feature the third generation of famous Golden Age, legacy superhero, the Blue Beetle.
Who the heck is the Blue Beetle?
If you were as old as mummy dust, blessed with immortality, or an old-school comic junkie like yours truly, you would recognize the name of Daniel Garret (later Dan Garrett) as the secret identity of the mystery man known as the Blue Beetle.
The Blue Beetle originally gained his powers from a secret formula, but this was retconned away to his possession of a particular “sacred scarab” which blessed him with superhuman strength, stamina and durability. Dan decided to fight crime back in 1939, first as a hero of Fox Comics and later became a headliner at Charlton Comics. He would be replaced by a new hero after his untimely demise.
Ted Kord, the second Blue Beetle, who was created by Charlton became the successor to the “sacred scarab” but was unable to release its magical mojo. Not deterred, he became a technologist and used his skills to create a superheroic persona, using weird technology to help him battle criminal forces. Ted jumped to the DC Universe after Charlton folded in 1985. Ted Kord dies a heroic death during the major DC Comic event, Infinite Crisis, back in 2006.
The hero in this image is the third bearer of the “sacred scarab,” Jaime Reyes, who after coming into the possession of the scarab activates the scarab’s full powers. Previous untapped by Dan Garrett, Jaime was significantly more compatible with scarab and bonded with the alien technology held within.
The technological suit of alien battle armor was hidden in a scarab and sent to Earth as part of a plan to take over the Earth by an alien marauding civilization which calls itself, The Reach. These aliens pose as benevolent beings hoping to save struggling civilizations. Sending a scarab to a planet, the device gives a native of the planet fantastic abilities, claiming to be a gift from a highly-advanced society. Secretly, however, the Reach use their false hero to subvert those civilizations making them ripe for conquest using that same scarab-bearing hero, erasing said hero’s mind and conquering the world with sleeper agents when the time was right.
The scarab – which is self aware – calls itself Khaji Da and gives Jaime a host of superhuman abilities. He is stronger, faster and more durable, gifted with the power of flight and the capacity to transform the battle armor into various weapons, including extruding itself into hand to hand weapons or to various energy weapons based on the ability of the user to integrate with the alien intelligence bound within
Jaime Reyes is one of the most promising of DC Entertainment’s newest heroes and to see he is getting a movie is a sign that DC is realizing what a gold mine they have been sitting on.
The movie features Xolo Maridueña as Jaime Reyes but isn’t expected to be released before August 2023. I am sure there will be more to see in the future. This first look gives me hope. Looking at that car he sitting in, I suspect flight lessons might be in order before he starts fighting crime.
#FirstLook #BlueBeetleMovie2023 #GoldenAge #DanGarrett #TedKord #JaimeReyes
Thaddeus Howze is an award-winning writer, editor, podcaster and activist creating speculative fiction, scientific, political and cultural commentary from his office in Hayward, California.
Thaddeus’ speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, ‘Hayward’s Reach’ (2011), a collection of short stories and ‘Broken Glass’ (2013) an urban fantasy novella starring his favorite paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram.
I’ve actually got an article awaiting publication that briefly mentions alchemically based superpowers. I must admit I didn’t think of Blue Beetle, so thanks for the reminder!
Now I feel a bit foolish. I just realized I had seen a mention of Blue Beetle a month or two ago. It’s a very brief reference in a free online tongue-in-cheek magazine issue about alternate identities (my name should link to it).