From burger boxes to oversized swords, there’s a lot to unpack in Blue Beetle! DC’s newest movie—its third this year—is a coming-of-age tale that combines superhero action, high-stakes drama and lighthearted comedy. You don’t have to be a longtime comic book reader to love this movie, but if you are, there are plenty of cool things to feast your eyes on. Blue Beetle brought so many characters and concepts to life that I never thought we would see in a live action film. Did I make a list of Easter eggs? You bet I made a list of Easter eggs! Let’s break them down…
- Within the first few seconds of the film, we see the Kord Industries logo. Although it’s never risen to the heights of Wayne Enterprises or LexCorp, Kord Industries is one of the DC Universe’s biggest conglomerates. The corporation was introduced in 1986’s Blue Beetle #1.
- We’re immediately introduced to Victoria Kord and Conrad Carapax. While the movie version of Carapax is a mercenary, the comic book version was an archaeologist. He was also first introduced in 1986’s Blue Beetle #1. Victoria Kord is an original character created for the film. However, due to some advanced planning from DC, the character was able to make her first comic appearance ahead of her big screen debut. Victoria can be seen in the 2022 limited series Blue Beetle: Graduation Day.
- We’re given our first glimpse of the Scarab, a sentient artifact that can turn humans into Blue Beetles. The Scarab has gone through an interesting evolution in comics. When Dan Garret (note the original spelling) was first introduced in 1939’s Mystery Men Comics #1, he got his power from vitamins. Yes, vitamins. When his origin was revised in 1964’s Blue Beetle #1, the Scarab was introduced for the first time. This time around, it was an ancient Egyptian artifact that would turn Garrett (now spelled with two Ts) into Blue Beetle when he yelled “Kaji Dha.” (The spelling would later change.) By the time Jaime Reyes got the Scarab, it was revealed that it had extraterrestrial origins. (You can read a lot more about Khaji Da’s history here.)
- The introduction montage features references to Dan Garrett and Ted Kord, the first two Blue Beetles. If your eyes are fast enough, you’ll spot a few Daily Planet banners.
- The introduction also contains a reference to OMAC, which stands for One Man Army Corps. The concept was introduced by no less than Jack Kirby in 1974’s OMAC #1, which centers around a man named Buddy Blank who is transformed into a superhuman. The idea was revamped in 2005’s The OMAC Project #1, when a satellite created by Batman went rogue, creating an army of super-cyborgs. We later discover that Victoria Kord intends to create a squadron of enhanced soldiers called OMACs using the power of the Scarab.
- Welcome to Palmera City! Like Victoria Kord, this fictional city was created for the film, but was technically first introduced in Blue Beetle: Graduation Day.
- By the way, if you look at the various skyscrapers, you might spot one with an Ace Chemicals logo. The infamous chemical plant was first named in the 1988 graphic novel The Killing Joke.
- Meet the Reyes! Don’t you just love them? Jaime’s father, mother and sister were all introduced in 2006’s Blue Beetle #1. However, in the comics, his mother’s name was Bianca instead of Rocio. Nana Reyes was introduced in 2008’s Blue Beetle #26. Uncle Rudy is an original character created for the movie, and we’re pleased to meet him. Who doesn’t love more George Lopez?
- The Reyes home is located on El Paso Street. This is a reference to their hometown in the comics.
- Victoria and Jenny Kord discuss Pago Island, an important setting in Blue Beetle lore. The mysterious island is where Ted Kord first became the Blue Beetle after the death (he got better later) of Dan Garrett. It was first seen in 1967’s Blue Beetle #2.
- Jaime can be seen wearing a Gotham Law sweatshirt. It’s nice to know that one of the DC Universe’s most corrupt cities has its own law school.
- Jenny Kord hides the Scarab in a Big Belly Burger box. The fast food chain has been a part of the DC Universe since The Adventures of Superman #441. In fact, the mascot in the movie is nearly identical to the one depicted in the comics.
- Batman and Superman are both referenced in the same scene. When Jaime wakes up after his Blue Beetle flight, Bruce Wayne’s name can be heard on a news report in the background. When Jaime tries to make sense of his recent flight, he mentions Superman’s ability to fly.
- Thomas Kord, father of Ted Kord, is mentioned when Jenny gives her family backstory. In the comics, Thomas Kord was the founder of Kord Industries, which was later passed on to his son Ted.
- Get a load of that underground laboratory! Ted Kord’s amazing headquarters was first seen in 1966’s Captain Atom #84.
- Dan Garrett and Ted Kord’s Blue Beetle costumes are seen in the laboratory, looking very comic accurate.
- Jaime wears one of Ted’s robes, which is monogramed TSK. In case you didn’t know, Ted’s middle name is Stephen (author note: mine too!). This middle name was added to the post-Crisis incarnation of the character as a tribute to his creator Steve Ditko.
- We got the Bug in live action! We got the Bug in live action! Doesn’t it look great? Ted Kord’s awesome airship was first seen in 1966’s Captain Atom #83. It was also the inspiration for Watchmen’s similarly-shaped Owlship.
- Wonder Woman has her Lasso of Truth, Batman has his batarangs and Blue Beetle has his beetle-guns. Yes, Ted Kord used a variety of guns when he was Blue Beetle, but don’t worry, most of them were only meant to stun his enemies. We get a look at some of these iconic weapons when the Reyes family goes through Kord’s armory.
- I can spot comic book Easter eggs, but I’ll admit, I don’t know too much about video game lore. Luckily, I have gamer friends who were able to tell me that Jaime used the Scarab to conjure up the Buster Sword from Final Fantasy VII.
- During the film’s epilogue, Jenny Kord gives an interview with GBS. Galaxy Broadcasting Systems is a media corporation which has been around since Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #133. During the Bronze Age, Clark Kent served as their nightly news anchorman.
- Ted Kord’s computer message isn’t a reference to any particular storyline, I just think it’s cool that he’s alive and hope we get a sequel that picks up this thread.
- Did you stay until the very end? Don’t worry if you didn’t, the mid-credits scene is the big one, but there technically is a post-credits scene as well. It’s a return of the stop-motion animated series we saw earlier in the movie—El Chapulín Colorado, a popular Mexican comedy from the 1970s that satirized American superheroes. As for who’s laughing at El Chapulín’s exploits in the final scene, it sounds to me like Uncle Rudy, but your guess is as good as mine!
Did you catch all of these Blue Beetle Easter eggs? Were there any I missed? There’s definitely a lot to look out for in this movie, so I wouldn’t be surprised. Let me know any additional ones you caught over in the DC Community, and I’ll see you at the theater!
Blue Beetle, directed by Angel Manuel Soto and starring Xolo Maridueña as Jaime Reyes, lands in theaters this Friday, August 18th. Visit our official Blue Beetle hub for more news, features and videos about our newest big-screen hero and share your thoughts on the film right now in the DC Community!
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.