Recommended Comic Book Reading Before Watching ‘Blue Beetle’

DC live-action ventures on the silver screen might be struggling to find a steady audience, but thanks to the new management of DC Studios, represented by James Gunn and Peter Safran, the connection between comic-book media adaptation and source material is stronger than ever. As a director who prioritizes the storytelling aspect of moviemaking the most, Gunn has cooperated with notable comic writers and actively advocated for promoting the creator’s comic books through cinematic ventures, leading to a recent resurgence in comic sales as well.

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Superman: Legacy is going to be the movie that officially inaugurates the new DC Universe in 2025, but two years ahead of that, the upcoming DC movie Blue Beetle, which isn’t strictly connected with the DCEU, has been inducted into the new universe’s canon. It goes without saying that the movie holds much importance, which is why the first trailer carried a reading recommendation that will help interested viewers form a basic idea about the character. Let’s take a look at the suggested comic books to appreciate the journey of the character so far outside of cross-media adaptations.


Infinite Crisis (2006)

The second major crisis event in DC comics, Infinite Crisis, led to several significant changes to the DC multiverse, among which was the introduction of the third version of Blue Beetle, Mexican teenager Jaime Reyes, in the third issue of the series. Before Jaime, Dan Garrett and Ted Kord were the first superheroes to adopt the moniker of the Blue Beetle. Dan Garrett, an archaeologist, had received several superhuman powers from a mystical azure scarab beetle conduit he had discovered in Egypt, and operated as a crimefighter, taking the name Blue Beetle. After Dan Garrett’s demise, his student, Ted Kord, took the mantle of Blue Beetle out of respect for his mentor and operated as a self-made grounded hero, as he didn’t receive any such superpowers from Scarab. During the events of Infinite Crisis, a massive shakeup happens in the established DC Universe as an anti-metahuman conspiracy grows strong, and Ted Kord finds himself captured by the former JLI (Justice League International) ally Maxwell Lord, who has turned rogue ever since. As the Lord provides him with an ultimatum to either side with him in the anti-metahuman conspiracy or choose death, Kord scoffs at his proposal and receives a bullet in his head. Dan’s Scarab, which Ted had entrusted to Shazam, was kept in the Rock of Eternity, which was destroyed, resulting in the Scarab being lost.

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The Scarab ended up with teenager Jaime Reyes and fused itself with his body, thereby unlocking its full potential and granting various abilities to Jaime. The Scarab turned out to be alien in nature as it allowed Jaime to access advanced technology with ease, and using it, Jaime was able to help other superheroes take down Brother Eye, the chief mechanism built to serve the anti-metahuman conspiracy.


Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes, Book One (2006)

The first series centered on Jaime Reyes’ version of Blue Beetle starts right in the aftermath of “Infinite Crisis.” The opening issue opens in the midst of a battle as hothead Green Lantern Guy Gardner starts attacking Blue Beetle armor-clad Jaime. However, after learning his real identity as a human teenager, Gardner stops his assault, and it is revealed that his lantern ring started acting aggressively, which led him to inexplicably attack Jaime. The next few issues shed some light on Jaime as a person, how much his close-knit family means to him, and the experience of living in a working-class Mexican family in the United States. Also, as a departure from most teenage superheroes’ origins, Jaime reveals his identity as Blue Beetle to his family. Soon, the presence of a teenage superhero is known to the world, and several established characters like Oracle and even cosmic powerhouses like Phantom Stranger seek him out. Eventually, Jaime learns about the alien origin of the Scarab beetle, which was designed by a super-advanced race of creatures known as Reach for the means of invading universes, but thanks to some tinkering in the past, his Scarab wasn’t being controlled by the alien aggressors. The Scarab named Khaji Da builds a symbiotic relationship with Jaime and overcomes its nefarious programming, thereby becoming fully inclined to protect Jaime and aid in his world-saving shenanigans as Blue Beetle. As Gardner later returns, Jaime gets to know the default adversity programmed in the Green Lantern Ring and the Reach’s technologies, which explains the first attack on him. At the end of the first volume, the Reach arrives on Earth, finds out about Jamie, and offers their assistance for Earth’s defense while secretly plotting to infiltrate the planet by exploiting the new alliance with Jaime.

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Blue Beetle Graduation Day (2023)

Lastly, the recently concluded six-issue miniseries Blue Beetle: Graduation Day pits the eponymous hero in a precarious situation where he has to balance his career, family responsibilities, and superhero duties. Out of nowhere, Jaime is alerted about the arrival of a rival group of Reach, known as Horizon to Earth, and his Scarab suit temporarily seems out of control. This leads Superman to drop by on his graduation day and suggest that he take a break from superhero duties.

Jaime is sent to Palmera City to help out his aunt in her diner, and at the same time, the appearance of a mysterious yellow beetle starts making the rounds across the world. As Jaime goes to Kord Industries, the prime tech hub of the city, he is attacked by the Yellow Beetle, and once again, his Scarab, Khaji Da, starts malfunctioning. Ted Kord, the second Blue Beetle, appears and saves Jaime, and they get to know the person behind the Yellow Scarab, a school teacher named Xiomara. Soon enough, a third Green Beetle, Nitida, emerges and seeks to hunt down Jaime, and the Justice League gets involved in the conflict as well. However, the Yellow and Green Scarabs were created by the faction called Horizon as a deterrent against the Reach, and finally, after a brief conflict, Jaime manages to turn them to the side of good. The Horizon arrives on Earth, and although they express initial animosity towards Blue Beetle due to his affiliation with Reach, the rest of the Beetle hosts defend him. The series ends as Jaime gains respect from the veteran heroes of the League and gains enough confidence to tackle the drudgeries of another day.

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The three aforementioned series will provide viewers with enough material to get to know Jaime better, learn about his individuality and relatability factors, and recognize the position of importance he holds as a teenage Latino superhero. Hopefully, the upcoming movie manages to capture the core essence of the character, flaunting his uniqueness on the grand platform of the DC universe.


Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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