Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer
Comics/Graphic Novels

Five Things I Want to See in the Blue Beetle Movie

Eileen Gonzalez

Contributing Editor

Eileen's primary literary love is comic books, but she’s always on the lookout for her next literary adventure no matter what form it takes. She has a Bachelor's in media studies, a Master's in digital communication, a smattering of published short stories, and a seriously cute dog. Follow her on Bluesky.

When Blue Beetle flies into theaters in August 2023, it will be DC’s first superhero film to star a Latine hero. By rights, that honor should have gone to Batgirl, but DC shelved it for sketchy reasons. But that’s another story.

For those unfamiliar, Blue Beetle will star Jaime Reyes, the third character to take on that identity. In the comics, he’s an ordinary teenager from Texas, until he suddenly gains powers when he fuses with an alien scarab that can manifest high-powered (and highly weaponized) armor. Jaime will have to learn to work with the Scarab to discover its true origins and save Earth from the aliens who created it.

I have been waiting for a Blue Beetle movie for over a decade at this point. I remember when Jaime appeared in the last season of Smallville. (That was back in 2011, kids.) There was talk at the time about how Jaime might soon get a film of his own, and we even got a glimpse of some test footage…and then nothing. Since 2011, I have been sitting here waiting for my Blue Beetle movie. Picture that bit from Thor: Ragnarok where an aggrieved Loki yells “I have been falling for thirty minutes!” but it’s me screaming at Warner Bros.: “I have been WAITING for TEN YEARS!”

And now the movie premiere is less than a month away! Excitement!

After waiting so long for this movie, you bet I have a checklist of stuff I’m hoping to see on the big screen. They’ve had to make a few changes from the source material — Jaime and his sister Milagro have been aged up a little, for instance — and that’s fine. I get it. But there are still a few things I’m really hoping to see when Blue Beetle finally, finally, hits theaters.

Acknowledgment of Jaime’s Heritage

The first thing out of my keyboard in this article was the fact that Jaime is Latino. Mexican, to be exact. He lives on the border, speaks Spanish, and, somewhat infamously, eats tacos.

So the first thing I want from the Blue Beetle movie? Acknowledge that. Don’t make him functionally a white guy while burying his heritage, either due to creator ignorance or the desire to avoid making bigots uncomfortable. Let’s see him watching soccer on Telemundo or using a tortilla press. Show a picture of the Virgin on his wall, or a stack of Mexican comic books on his nightstand.

I have high hopes that this will come to pass: there are apparently several scenes in Spanish, the writer is Mexican, and the director is Puerto Rican.

The Reyes Family

Jaime has one of the most badass and supportive families in comics. His dad Alberto is an endless fount of wisdom and emotional support. His mother Bianca regards him as nearly perfect but doesn’t let him (or his giant, scary pseudo-mentor Peacemaker) get away with even a shred of nonsense. And Milagro is…she’s just the best, okay.

Jaime gifts Milagro a Booster Gold action figure. Disgusted at first, she soon happily has the Booster doll kiss her Blue Beetle/Ted Kord doll.

From the trailer, it looks like we’ll be getting the Reyes family, in spades: not only do we get Alberto, Bianca (renamed Rocio), and Milagro, Jaime’s uncle and grandmother will get to join the fun too!

Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beetles!

As I mentioned before, Jaime is the third person to carry the Blue Beetle name. The first two were white guys: archaeologist/thief Dan Garrett and tech genius Ted Kord. There hasn’t been a ton of interaction between the three — Dan and Ted both have been/are dead — but I do love Ted and Jaime, and I’d love to see some beetle solidarity here.

A quickie shot in the trailer shows several Beetle suits in glass cases in the background, so they’ll at least acknowledge the legacy. But while there are a couple of characters named Kord, there’s no sign of Ted (or Dan) himself. I’ll hold out hope until the end of the end credits, but it doesn’t look like this particular wish will be granted…at least, not this time around.

Jaime the Dentist

Okay, we’re getting really specific now, but let me explain. In Blue Beetle #16, the villain Eclipso forces Jaime to embody his “darkest fantasies of ultimate power.” This prompts him to turn into…a dentist.

A magicked-up version of Jaime as a dentist explains to an incredulous Eclipso why he wants to be a dentist. His friend Paco hits him with a stick.

Not only is this so hilarious it’s stuck with me for years, it tells us something really sweet about Jaime: he’s a genuinely good person who loves his family more than anything and lacks the “dark side” that practically seems to be a prerequisite of superheroes nowadays.

I know it’s unlikely we’ll see this specific scene, but I’m hoping we’ll get something similarly funny and heartwarming. Then again, in the trailer, the Scarab does say, “Whatever you can imagine, I can create.” That definitely implies it could make Jaime a dentist if he imagined it, right?

A Good Time!!

I don’t need groundbreaking special effects. (Though to be clear, the Beetle suit looks amazing). Nor do I need Oscar-worthy writing or cinematography, or an intricate launching-off point for some extended cinematic universe. After over a decade of waiting for my dude Jaime to hit the big screen, all I want is to enjoy it.

From what I’ve seen so far, it looks like the creators have veered away from excessive violence and gloominess, and focused in on everything that makes superhero flicks good fun. The trailer has really raised my expectations for this movie, and I look forward to seeing if they are met.