The first trailer of the much-anticipated DCEU movie, “Blue Beetle,” has been released online, and fans have been gushing over it ever since. With the release date scheduled for August 18 of this very year, it was surprising how ‘under the wraps’ the production of the movie was and the fact that we are getting a look at the production with only three months to go till the release date. However, as the audience reaction signifies, the action-packed, boomy, vibrant trailer has managed to win hearts worldwide, and DC’s teenage superhero movie has all the necessary markings needed to guarantee a sure-shot blockbuster. We will do a brief breakdown of the trailer to bring the readers up to speed with the characters, possible plotline, and Easter eggs, as highlighted by the trailer of DC’s iteration of a bug-themed character that sounds way cooler than Peter Parker or Hank Pym’s aliases, no offense to Marvel.
Meet Jaime Reyes
We meet the protagonist of the movie at the very beginning of the trailer, Jaime Reyes, standing in front of a luxurious sea-facing mansion. Upon being addressed as Mr. Reyes, he looks back in his best debonair impression, and he is quickly taken back to reality as his sister asks him whether he is going to scrape gum off the lounge. A giant signboard for Palmera City is shown, followed by a shot of Jaime and his sister Milagros sitting on the rooftop of their house as they look at the glowing cityscape from afar. Jaime ponders about his life and gets assurance from his sister.
How Does Jaime’s Get His Powers?
“Blue Beetle” trailer shows Jaime standing in front of Kord Industries headquarters for what seems to be a job interview, with his whole family having arrived to see him off. An embarrassed Jaime makes a sly joke to someone in a vain effort to distract from his family’s antics, and the next scene takes viewers inside the building, where Jaime meets his friend Jenny, who is seen to be evading the building’s security. Jenny entrusts him with a takeout burger box and asks Jaime to guard it with his life without opening it. As things usually go in situations like these, Jaime ends up opening the box and seeing a mechanical insect inside it. Moments later, it’s on the palm of Jaime’s hand, living and glowing, and just as Jaime thinks the ‘creature’ has taken a liking to him, the insectoid jumps and latches onto Jaime’s face.
The insectoid seems to be transforming into an exoskeleton around Jaime’s body, and the family watches in shock and horror as Jaime gets helplessly covered by the exoskeleton. In his effort to free Jaime, Uncle Rudy ends up getting electrocuted and thrown across the room. After the transformation process is complete, viewers see Jaime inside a blue-black alien-looking armor, and we’re given a glimpse of his vision from the inside of the suit. Before they can understand what is happening, the suit’s AI remarks about the host being acquired, takes Jaime right through the roof to space, and brings him back to earth by initiating a freefall that stops right above the sea surface.
What Does The Scarab Suit Do?
Jenny states that the ‘being’ named Scarab is a world-destroying weapon that is designed to protect the host—the being it binds itself with, in this case, Jaime. Standing in the middle of a street, Jaime gets protected by the suit’s mechanism as it splits an oncoming bus right through the middle. The exoskeleton, the being, is said to be sentient, and it obeys the host’s commands according to its own convenience. After a scene showing perhaps the origin of the Scarab, Susan Sarandon’s character Victoria Kord is seen to be stating that the Scarab chose Jaime, but it belongs to her. A bunch of heavily armed private military/SWAT team members are seen breaking into Jaime’s home and surrounding his family, as the voice of Raoul Trujillo’s character, who is supposed to be playing the villainous Carapax, the indestructible man, can be heard stating Jaime’s love for his family makes him weak. During the next sequence, Jaime is seen taking on multiple SWAT team members in an underground location. A fly-shaped flying vehicle can be seen, which is being piloted by Uncle Rudy as the rest of the family boards it, and Jaime continues displaying the defensive capabilities of the suit by creating protrusions and stopping a missile in its tracks.
Rudy tells Jaime that the universe has sent him a gift in the form of the Scarab, and it’s up to him to decide how he wants to use it. Jaime’s home can be seen getting burned during the SWAT team’s assault, and the suit’s defensive capabilities are once again highlighted as it allows Jaime to create whatever Jaime conceptualizes—a big broadsword in this case—much to Jaime’s excitement. The trailer ends with showing a lair that is supposed to be of the Blue Beetle legacy, with Milagros getting amazed while wielding a shield of the similar technology that Jaime’s suit operates in. Seeing all the tech and gadgets lying around, Jaime remarks about the similarity with Batman, to which Uncle Rudy reacts by saying Batman is a fascist, and the trailer ends with this funny exchange.
Where Did The Scarab Come From?
The character Blue Beetle is significant for a number of reasons, and the longstanding history of the character in the comic-book universe is a mere part of that. The iteration of character viewers will be introduced to in the movies, Jaime Reyes, is the third person to don the mantle of the Blue Beetle and one of the few Latino superheroes to have made a significant impact in the industry. The movie “Blue Beetle” is going to be the first Latino superhero-led movie, and its cultural significance is not to be considered any lesser than that of “Black Panther” and “Shang-Chi.” In fact, the importance of the Latino origin of the character is highlighted by the Puerto Rican director Angel Manuel Soto through an all-Latino cast choice and deeply family-rooted ethics regarding the character, along with the use of Spanish as a language through the majority of the movie. Actor Xolo Mariduena, of “Kobra Kai” fame was almost a dreamcast for the role, and having been envisioned for the role by the director for a long time, he was basically chosen right off the bat.
In the trailer, the character’s origin and Jaime’s cultural roots are stressed for the most part. The trailer highlights the stark contrast between the affluent life Jaime wants to have and the modest one he is living at the moment. Jenny hands him over the Scarab, which is a sentient, techno-organic being of extraterrestrial origin that is designed for world dominance and chooses its host—someone it bonds with—according to its preferences. If, at this point, anyone starts finding a similarity with Venom lore, they can be assured that there is not much similarity between a scarab and a symbiote (the species of organism Venom and Carnage are linked to), as the former is vastly superior in defensive capabilities and not entirely biological like the latter. In fact, the Scarab shares many similarities with Guyver lore, with the near-invulnerable exoskeleton providing the host with multitudes of defensive capabilities, but at the same time, the intended purpose of its creation—destruction and world dominance—keeps an unwilling host always on his or her toes. The sequence when the scarab bonds with Jaime and creates the exoskeleton by burning away his attire gives a glimpse of the exquisite body horror element often associated with the character as well. The setting has been changed from El Paso, Texas (Jaime’s hometown in comics) to another fictional location in the DC universe, Palmera City.
However, the Scarab was presumably in the possession of Victoria Kord, the sister of the second and most popular Blue Beetle moniker holder, Ted Kord, and the ruthless industrialist will stop at nothing to get it back, sending her private military to Jaime’s home and holding his family captive is a mere part of that. The sense of responsibility Jaime feels toward his family and friends is also accurately captured in the trailer, and needless to say, that and the bond he has with his family will play a key role in him learning the ropes of superheroism with these newfound abilities and controlling the unwilling Scarab from destroying everything. The statement of Scarab’s AI about creating whatever Jaime can conceptualize is surely a signal to DC fans about a possible connection with the Green Lanterns, wielding their willpower to create whatever they can think of—and they’ll be partially right, given the fact the Scarab and the Lantern ring have a deep-seated enmity for each other in comics.
What Could Be Blue Beetle’s Powers?
The flying vehicle is identified as the Bug, a personal airship of the second Blue Beetle, Ted Kord, who has no superpowers of his own as the Scarab didn’t bond with him, and who used his tech genius and family wealth to fight crime, kind of like Bruce Wayne, aka The Batman, hence the cheap shot at Bruce at the end of “Blue Beetle” trailer, no offense to Batfans out there. Fans have been speculating about the possible appearance of their favorite iteration of the character, who might well act as a mentor figure to young Jaime, and the Bug kind of confirms his presence in the movie. In comics, the mystical alien Scarab had actually found its way into ancient Egypt, and archaeologist Dan Garrett, the first Blue Beetle, came across it during excavation, where it bonded with him and granted him superhuman abilities. This should clarify some of those unwarranted comparisons of the character with Ironman or Iron Spider, as the origin of Blue Beetle and Scarab goes way back to the Golden Age of Comics in the 1940s, a period when the other characters hadn’t even been conceptualized. The design of the tentacled, protrusion-creating techno-organic suit is brilliant, as seen in the trailer, and not only is it extremely comic accurate, but with equal parts prosthetic and CGI, it is surely looking like one of the best supersuits we have seen on the silver screen. Again, take notes, MCU.
The reference to Dan Garret/Garrett and Ted Kord, two predecessor heroes of the same moniker as Jaime’s, can be spotted at the very end of the trailer, where Jaime and his family can be seen in the lair of the Beetle. The suits of the previous two iterations of the character can be seen on the mannequin in the lair, and the similarity with the Batcave perhaps ticks Jaime off to make an in-universe reference to Batman. Judging from Uncle Rudy’s reaction, however, we can speculate he spends much of his time on Twitter, and surely the nerdy Jaime will recommend some of the Batman comics to get better informed.