Ever since the Blue Beetle trailer dropped on Monday, it’s been living rent free in my head. The next DC Universe film is about a teenage boy who bonds with an alien Scarab and becomes a superhero. The only problem is that extraterrestrial bug didn’t exactly come with an instructions manual. It’s like if Batman’s armor and gadgets were alive, but they didn’t always listen to him. That’s the challenge for Jaime Reyes…to say nothing about the powerful figures and forces who want the Scarab for themselves.
But that’s only scratching the surface of this movie. The trailer gives us a lot to chew on over its two and a half minutes, which is why I haven’t been able to stop watching it. From Easter eggs and terrifying villains to awesome action and horrifying body horror, here are some of the cool things we caught in the Blue Beetle trailer.
Xolo Maridueña is Perfect as Jaime Reyes
I’ve been reading comics with Jaime Reyes since he was introduced in 2005’s Infinite Crisis #3, and Xolo Maridueña is perfect casting. He embodies everything we love about Jaime, from his determination, earnestness and devotion to his family. Every reaction he has to the Scarab and his new abilities is entertaining, even when he cuts the poor bus in half. The panic, the sense of wonder and the bravery—it’s all there. By the way, when Jaime says, “Everything right now feels so out of reach,”—should I read into that last word? Longtime Blue Beetle fans know what I’m talking about.
According to the trailer, this film takes place in Palmera City. In the comics, Jaime originally came from El Paso, Texas, but readers of the comics might recognize Palmera City from Blue Beetle: Graduation Day. It’s worth noting that the city was created for the movie, but it appeared in the comics first thanks to some communication between the film’s production team and DC Comics editorial.
Oh man, do I have thoughts about seeing Kord Industries. First of all, Kord Industries is a company that was once owned by Ted Kord, the second Blue Beetle. It was first seen in the 1986 Blue Beetle series. By the way, if you’ve been paying attention, then you would know it’s existed in the DC Extended Universe for some time. There was a reference to the company in a Fortune article that was written as part of the viral marketing campaign for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The presence of Kord Industries is also a reminder that while this movie is about Jaime Reyes, it will also be about the legacy of Blue Beetle as a whole. In fact, seeing Kord Industries and Victoria Kord (more on her later) has me speculating on so many things. Where is Ted? Is he missing or dead? The DCEU already has a version of Maxwell Lord…is it possible that Ted had a run-in with him? Like I said, there is a lot to unpack.
Big Belly Burger
Okay, I have never been this excited about a burger box unless I was about to eat its contents. Our first look at the Scarab comes inside of a Big Belly Burger box. This might not seem like a big deal to my Aunt Tracy or neighbor Max, but that is a bona fide DC Easter egg. Big Belly Burger is a fast food chain in the DC Universe that was introduced in 1988’s The Adventures of Superman #441. It’s been seen throughout the Arrowverse, referenced in video games and now it’s serving Scarabs to curious teenagers. To be fair, those probably don’t come with every meal.
Body Horror in a Superhero Film
The moment the Scarab bonds with Jaime is absolutely horrifying—and that’s a good thing. It looks like the film is not shying away from body horror, which is something you wouldn’t expect from a coming of age superhero film. We’ve seen the trauma of bonding with the Scarab in the comics, but seeing it play out in live action with a real person is an entirely different experience. It’s also a reminder that while this movie will have some fun superhero action, it isn’t afraid to be provocative and horrify us.
The Blue Beetle Suit Looks Perfect
How awesome was it to see the Blue Beetle suit in live action? The suit is a direct lift from the comics, and it’s clear that the costume department understood the assignment. Not only does it look comic accurate, but seeing some of the Scarab’s abilities in live action made me want one for myself. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to pull out a giant sword whenever they wanted? Everyone is going to leave the theater wanting a Blue Beetle suit of their own.
Susan Sarandon is the Evil Girlboss We All Need
We only see Susan Sarandon for a few seconds during this trailer, but what a few seconds it is. First of all, Susan Sarandon is such a powerful actress, that she could play Clark Kent’s necktie and still steal the scene. Her commanding presence is overpowering, and I can’t wait to see what she’ll do in Blue Beetle. If you’re curious, Sarandon is playing Victoria Kord, the older sister of Ted Kord who was introduced in Blue Beetle: Graduation Day. It sounds like she wants to take the Scarab from Jaime, and Sarandon is used to getting what she wants. Speaking of threatening villains…
This trailer also gave us our first look at Carapax, the Indestructible Man, played by Raoul Max Trujillo. We only see him for a few seconds, but his presence is frightening. When we hear Trujillo say, “The love you feel for your family makes you weak,” I got chills. Imagine being a teenager and having to go up against that guy! Scarab or no Scarab, Jaime has his work cut out for him.
In the comics, Conrad Carapax was an archaeologist whose brain was transferred into the mainframe of an indestructible robot. He first appeared in the 1986 Blue Beetle title where he served as a reoccurring antagonist to Ted Kord. He had a brief encounter with Jaime in 2009’s Blue Beetle #35.
I did not realize we would be seeing the Bug in this movie! For those of you who don’t know, the Bug is the name of the aircraft that Ted Kord pilots as Blue Beetle. Think of it like a larger version of the Batwing, only beetle themed. It was designed by the legendary artist Steve Ditko, making its first appearance in 1966’s Captain Atom #86. And if you’ve never read Blue Beetle, but it still looks familiar to you, that’s because it served as the inspiration for Archimedes, the Owlship from Watchmen. The movie Bug is a direct translation from the comics, and it’s glorious. I’m psyched to see it soar through the sky on the big screen.
Those Classic Blue Beetle Costumes
While Jaime is looking around a lab (or perhaps the interior of the Bug?), some classic Blue Beetle costumes can be seen in the background. I don’t know about you, but when I caught a glimpse of them, I had to pause the trailer so I could take them all in. As a longtime DC Universe fan, I never imagined that I would see the Dan Garrett or Ted Kord costumes in live action.
The best part is that they’re both comic accurate. This isn’t some redesign where they try to make the suits look metallic or realistic like some early 2000s comic book film. It’s like they jumped off of the comic book pages. Plus, it’s a cool piece of lore that establishes that Ted and Dan both operated as Blue Beetle in the DC movie universe. This gives the film a nice sense of legacy.
Of course, I should remind everyone that all my speculation is just that—speculation. I don’t know what’s going to be in the movie any more than you do, and honestly, that makes it even more exciting. It means I will get to experience all the surprises and thrills firsthand when the film drops in theaters this August. Until then, it’s back to rewinding the trailer and staring at those awesome vintage costumes.
Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DC.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Joshua Lapin-Bertone and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros., nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.