Greeting and salutations, dear reader! Just last week, Warner Bros. released the trailer for their upcoming super hero movie Blue Beetle- which might be the last DCEU movie or the first in James Gunn’s DCU restructuring. Blue Beetle stars Xolo Mariduena of Cobra Kai fame as Jaime Reyes, as the titular hero.
Right off the bat, the name Blue Beetle isn’t really on people’s radar despite being introduced back in the golden age of comic books, likes of Superman and Batman. While hardcore comic book reader has had kept this character alive, much like Shazam, much of the general populace may not be aware of who he is. The recent trailer has generated much interest around the character in a long time. So, it be best to get to know his origins and powers.
While the movie Blue Beetle will be based on the most recent incarnation/iteration of the superhero, you’d be surprised to know that DS has had three different versions through the ages. The first to don the mantle of Blue Beetle was Dan Garrett, first debuting in Mystery Men Comics #1 back in 1939. This version of the character was a cop who secretly fights crime as vigilante.
Sometime later, Garret got an upgrade, taking special vitamins that grants him the power of super strength and a costume much more resembling a superhero. It wasn’t until 1964 that reader will see the return of Dan Garret with a revamped origin. Now an archeologist, he discovered an ancient mystical scarab in Egypt. With the power of the scarab, he transformed in to the Blue Beetle by saying the phrase “Kaji Dha!” Unfortunately, this Blue Beetle comic was later canceled in 1966.
In November that same year, the second person to take on the mantle of Blue Beetle was introduced in Captain Atom #83. Ted Kord, a genius-level millionaire who happened to be a colleague of Dan Garrett. Unlike his predecessor, Ted didn’t possess any superhuman abilities, but his intellect helped him create advance gadgets used to fight crime.
Ted’s initial origins was that he sought help from Garrett to thwart his evil uncle, Jarvis Kord. In their fight against Ted’s uncle, Garrett was mortally wounded and was his dying request for Ted to continue fighting crime as the new Blue Beetle- which he did. However, he did not take Garrett’s ancient scarab, and prefer to rely on his intellect, technology and gadgets.
Fast forward a little over a decade later, in 1986, Ted Kord’s superhero’s origin was altered slightly. This time around, Dan Garret is no longer a colleague of Ted, but rather his university professor. While a majority of the established canon remains intact, with him still fighting crime in his high-tech beetle suit.
As for the current holder of the Blue Beetle title, Jaime Reyes (pronounced Hi-meh), made his first appearance in the 3rd issue of Infinite Crisis back in 2006. After the demise of the previous Blue Beetles, the ancient scarab that once empowered Garrett, found its way in the possession of Jaime by accident. The scarab fused itself to Jaime’s spine, granting the young teen access to the beetle armor.
Another retcon made to the scarab’s origin, it was given the name “Kaji Dah,” the same phrase Dan used shout in order to access the scarab’s power. Furthermore, what was once thought to be an ancient Egyptian god was actually alien (outer space) in origin, a species known as “The Reach.” The scarab was meant to bond with a host and infiltrate a plant for The Reach to conquer. Thankfully, Jaime was able to appeal to the scarab and changed his perception of humanity, and ultimately fought against the reach.
If you’re interested to know more of Jaime Reyes, I highly recommend checking out the New 52 Blue Beetle comics and the second season of Young Justice.
This movie version of Jaime is very similar to his comic book counterpart, with his scarab armor completely encasing his body; providing the basic superhuman abilities like super strength, flight via a jetpack, enhance stamina and durability. From what we can see from the trailer, the scarab can generate shields and is able to protect its wearer from hazardous environment, allowing to breath underwater or in space.
For offensive capabilities, just like in the comics, the scarab enables Jaime to transform his arms into weapons like claws, bladed weapons, and laser canons. Though, the movie version implies that its capable of creating anything form of weapon- limited by its wearer’s imagination. Almost like Green Lantern like powers, creating using creativity and determination. One notable example is near the end of the trailer where Jaime combines to arm blades to form a massive buster sword- ala Cloud in Final Fantasy VII.
From what we can surmise from the trailer, Jaime gets a hold of the scarab from a girl named Jenny (Bruna Marquezine), who presumably is the love interest of the movie. Also, she happens to be the daughter of Victoria Kord (Susan Sarandon), the sister of Ted Kord, and serves as the antagonist of the film.
Victoria is after the scarab, which is deemed to be a world-destroying weapon. But apparently, the scarab chooses to pair up with Jaime Reyes and turns him into DC’s newest teen superhero, kinda like the MCU’s Spider-Man- just with more tech and firepower.
Blue Beetle his theaters this August!
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