An exciting DC hero is finally on their way in the upcoming live-action Blue Beetle flick – with the brand new trailer from Warner Bros debuting Cobra Kai‘s Xolo Maridueña as he suits up for the titular role.
The next film in DC’s slate marks the cinematic debut of Jaime Reyes, a fan favourite character from the comic books, Injustice 2 game and animated series Young Justice. Reyes is the third and younger iteration of the Blue Beetle, a recent college grad who finds himself in the possession of the Scarab – an ancient relic of alien biotechnology which chooses Jaime to be its symbiotic host.
As the marketing excitedly ramps up for Blue Beetle ahead of the universe resetting events of The Flash, we take a look at the five biggest takeaways from the new trailer:
1. The scarab is a technologically advanced suit which talks to Jaime (and it looks fantastic!)
Once the scarab-shaped alien artefact infuses with Jaime Reyes in a fantastic body horror-esque sequence, it transforms into an bio-exoskeleton much like Venom or the later Iron Man suits. The armoured and technologically advanced exoskeleton even takes to the skies, impressively launching Jaime into outer space.
The trailer also confirms the long running rumour that the artefact is a sentient being with its own voice. Just like Young Justice, the Scarab converses with Jaime and sounds very much like an AI. However it is a female voice which does differ from the animated series. “Whatever you can imagine, I can create” – the suit tells Jamie, creating and morphing into various weapons such as an anime inspired sword suggested by Jaime. “Nice choice” she comments.
As debuted in set photos, the suit design certainly doesn’t disappoint with an impressively comic accurate look. It could have been easy for Warner Bros to utilise motion capture like Marvel does with the Spider-Man and Iron Man suits, but this definitely looks like a fantastic mix of practical and visual effects.
2. The villains link to Ted Kord
The trailer also gave us our first glimpse of the primary antagonists, Susan Sarandon as Victoria Kord and Raoul Max Trujillo as Conrad Carapax – who are both directly linked to Ted Kord, the second man to hold the mantle of Blue Beetle before Jaime.
First introduced in Blue Beetle: Graduation Day #2 back in December 2022, Victoria Kord is the older sister of Ted Kord and the CEO of Kord Industries. Dealing strictly with the “business and research” side of the company in the comic books, Sarandon’s take on the character appears to be looking to weaponise the scarab, probably to create technological advanced weapons. “The scarab chose you but it belongs to me” she menacingly tells Jaime, as her employers appear to chase the college grad in retrieval of the artefact.
Meanwhile, Raoul Max Trujillo plays the second villain, Conrad Carapax a.k.a. Carapax the Indestructible Man. In the comics, the character was a regular enemy of the second Blue Beetle, but in this iteration, he seemingly heads up a special unit who is tracking down the artefact.
Warner Bros have yet to announce that the legacy character will also make an appearance – whether that’s dead or alive (my bet is on missing in action and potentially revealed in flashbacks, more on that later!) – it’s been rumoured that Bruna Marquezine‘s character ‘Penny’ is Ted Kord’s daughter, who initially gives Jaime the scarab.
3. The central family dynamic looks fantastic
Along with being Xolo Maridueña’s first big-screen outing, Blue Beetle also marks the very first time a Latinx hero has led a big blockbuster DC film. Therefore, director Angel Manuel Soto has put Jaime Reyes’ multigenerational Mexican family (three generations of Reyes including Reyes’s parents, sister, nana, and uncle) front and centre, spotlighting the brilliant dynamic in the trailer.
It’s clear from the outset that Jaime and his sister Milagro (Belissa Escobedo) are really close, as the trailer opens with her reassuring him that he “always lands on his feet.” His family are also there for him when he first bonds with the scarab, trying to help get it off Jaime.
There’s a real warmth and entertaining humour within the family dynamic which is similar to Shazam!, with veteran comedian and actor George Lopez truly stealing the show, especially with his hilarious “Batman’s a facist!” line. They’ll undoubtedly play an integral part of the film and I can’t wait to see more of them!
4. The big screen debut of the Bug!
As previously mentioned, the two villains of the film are directly linked to research scientist Ted Korg – the second character to hold the mantle of Blue Beetle. And in a brief moment of the trailer, we’re also treated to a glimpse of Korg’s iconic means of transportation – the Bug!
The aircraft first appeared in Captain Atom #86 back in June 1967 and featured laser beams, magnetic/electrical impulse blasts, solar blasts, robotic claw arms and a portable crime lab. Korg created a Mark I and Mark II version of the ship, but originally built it when he was president of Kord Omniversal Research and Development.
Now its up for debate whether one of the glimpses of the Bug in the trailer is a flashback to Kord’s heyday as Blue Beetle, but Reyes and his family manage to find the aircraft somehow, whether that’s potentially with the help of Penny – who’s rumoured to be Ted Korg’s daughter. There’s also some exciting costumes in the base which Jaime and his family discover right at the end of the trailer…
5. Fun easter eggs
Along with the hilarious “Batman’s a facist!” line, there’s also a fun connection to The Flash. Jaime Reyes ends up taking the Scarab home with him in a Big Belly Burger box – which is a fictional fast food restaurant chain in the DC Comics universe.
Appearing in multiple DC comic book titles, the restaurant has most famously featured in the DC CW series’ Arrow, The Flash as one of Cisco’s favourite fast food meals, Black Lightning and also Vixen.
Admittedly there’s only references to two DC superheroes in the trailer, but this makes sense as Warner Bros’ transitions from the current DC cinematic universe to James Gunn and Peter Safran’s new era. However, with hero Booster Gold revealed to have his own series down the line, I expect that they’ll be some sort of nod to Haye’s partner-in-crime in the film.
Directed by Angel Manuel Soto, Blue Beetle stars Xolo Maridueña, Susan Sarandon, Bruna Marquezine, Belissa Escobedo, Adriana Barraza, Elpidia Carrillo, Damián Alcázar and Raoul Max Trujillo.
Blue Beetle is set to be released in cinemas 18 August 2023