The Reyes family just got its first superhero — the Blue Beetle.
From Warner Bros. Pictures comes the feature film “Blue Beetle,” marking the DC Super Hero’s first time on the big screen. The film, directed by Angel Manuel Soto, stars Xolo Maridueña in the title role as well as his alter ego, Jaime Reyes.
Recent college grad Jaime Reyes returns home full of aspirations for his future, only to find that home is not quite as he left it. As he searches to find his purpose in the world, fate intervenes when Jaime unexpectedly finds himself in possession of an ancient relic of alien biotechnology: the Scarab. When the Scarab suddenly chooses Jaime to be its symbiotic host, he is bestowed with an incredible suit of armor capable of extraordinary and unpredictable powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the superhero Blue Beetle.
First introduced in 1939, the original Blue Beetle, Dan Garret, was a Fox Comics police officer who fought crime with exotic technology, and limited superhuman abilities gained by ingesting the mysterious Vitamin 2X. Like other heroes of the period, he would leave markers along with his captured prey featuring his trademarked scarab.
A revamped version of this character, archaeologist Dan Garrett, was introduced in 1964 by Charlton Comics drew and he drew upon mystical abilities from an ancient Egyptian scarab which gave him superhuman strength and durability.
Published by Charlton Comics and later DC, 1966 creation Ted Kord was Garret’s student who continued his legacy of costumed crime-fighting, although he had no superpowers. Ted Kord was a technological genius creating a variety of weapons and vehicles to offset the fact he was unable to utilize the scarab’s capabilities.
DC’s introduction of Jaime Reyes in 2006 retconned and expanded upon the Blue Beetle mythos. Revealed to be alien in origin, the scarab bonds with Reyes and provides him with a suit of extraterrestrial armor shortly after Kord’s death.
With the DC Entertainment Universe literally in flux, Warner Bros, has released the modern live-action version of Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes. In line with the origin story of the comic character, Reyes is a young Mexican-American, living in El Paso, Texas, who comes into contact with an alien artifact shaped as a mechanical scarab-like apparatus.
The trailer shows Reyes being used as a courier for the device after it appears to have been unceremoniously stolen by one of the scientists working on unlocking the technology. Reyes, who appeared to have been applying for a new job, is given the scarab, presumably because he is an unknown element and instructed not to open the burger box the device has been hastily hidden in.
As with all things superheroic, Jaime opens the box and he and his family are traumatized as the scarab and Jaime are bonded at the molecular and presumably genetic level. Needless to say, this is when the fun starts as Jaime begins to discover what the scarab is capable of and given its incredible abilities, we know the original holders of the artifact come looking for it. Another nice homage to the comics, the person seeking the device is the sister of famed scientist, Ted Kord. We don’t know if Ted will exist, but Victoria Kord, played by Susan Sarandon, is listed as one of the film’s villains.
Starring alongside Maridueña (Cobra Kai) are Adriana Barraza (Rambo: Last Blood, Thor), Damían Alcázar), Elpidia Carrillo (the Predator films, Bruna Marquezine, Raoul Max Trujillo, with Oscar winner Susan Sarandon (Rocky Horror Picture Show), and George Lopez. Angel Manuel Soto directs from a screenplay by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, based on characters from DC. John Rickard and Zev Foreman are producing. Bobby Krlic (Midsommar, the Snowpiercer series) is writing the music.
A Warner Bros. Pictures Presentation, a Safran Company Production, Blue Beetle soars into theaters only internationally beginning August 2023 and in North America August 18, 2023. It will be distributed worldwide.
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.