Blue Beetle's debut in cinemas worldwide coincides with a new Blue Beetle comic, which launched this week. The new series reunites the creative team of Josh Trujillo and Adrián Gutiérrez after their work on last year's well-received Blue Beetle: Graduation Day miniseries.
Continuing the adventures of teenage superhero Jaime Reyes as he uses the extraterrestrial powers granted by a cosmic scarab to become Blue Beetle, the comic book hits the ground running right from its opening issue. More than just further establishing Blue Beetle's prominence in the DC Universe, the new series sets up a potential narrative template for a possible Blue Beetle sequel movie to follow, taking advantage of the superhero's rich mythos.
Spoilers for the Blue Beetle film
The new comic opens with Jaime and the Silver Age Blue Beetle, Ted Kord, working closely together, with Ted stepping into a greater mentorship position to support Jaime's burgeoning superhero career. Picking up from Graduation Day, the Blue Beetle legacy is expanding to include fellow scarab-powered heroes Dynastes and Nitida. This growing team is quickly tested by what appears to be a new alien supervillain with similar armor to Blue Beetle, who sees Ted as nothing more than a cheap imposter trading in on the Blue Beetle legacy.
Ted Kord cast a large shadow over the movie Blue Beetle, with his mysterious disappearance allowing his villainous sister Victoria to take over Kord Industries, pivoting it towards more nefarious ends. Meanwhile, Ted's daughter Jenny has dedicated her life to finding her long-lost father. Using Ted's advanced tech, Jaime Reyes and his family defeats Victoria and stops Kord Industries from using the scarab to create an army of mechanized soldiers.
Though Ted himself remains unseen throughout the film, a mid-credits scene suggests that he is alive, albeit still missing. Ted transmits an audio message to alert his daughter that he has survived, setting up a full cinematic introduction for the character in a potential sequel.
The movie beautifully tees up the potential for a mentor-protege dynamic between Jaime and Ted that the new comic book series runs with.
Ted has put in years of superhero work, developing plenty of weaponry and gear to share with Jaime as they work together. Though the scarab's incredible abilities allow Jaime to take point in battle more than Ted, the older hero provides on-the-fly advice and support, with Ted also proving to be no slouch in the action department through his own experience and tech.
With the movie all but bringing Ted back and already establishing his superhero career prior to his disappearance, a cinematic sequel could feature Ted following into a similar mentor role for Jaime.
More than just possessing years of crime-fighting experience and unparalleled technological know-how, the movie reveals that Ted has studied the scarab extensively and likely knows more about it than anyone else on Earth. That would make him an invaluable figure in Jaime's life, if and when he returns from whatever limbo he may be trapped in.
Then there's the matter of the extraterrestrial elements woven into this debut issue. Ever since the scarab was revealed to be alien in origin, cosmic enemies have played a more prominent role in Blue Beetle's adventures. The alien nature of the scarab is confirmed in the movie, though not further explored. With Jaime acclimating to his bond with the scarab, an extraterrestrial threat as in the new comic series could be just the thing to challenge Jaime's grasp over his powers and raise greater questions about the source of his abilities.
Both Blue Beetle star Xolo Maridueña, director Ángel Manuel Soto, and DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn have indicated that they are hopeful for a cinematic future for Jaime Reyes and his superhero alter ego. The movie certainly leaves enough narrative loose ends for a sequel to follow up and the groundwork for the directions it could take are evident in DC's new comic book series. The Blue Beetle legacy is extensive enough to allow more than one character holding the mantle simultaneously and a big screen team-up between Jaime Reyes and Ted Kord opens up exciting possibilities for both heroes.
On sale now from DC Comics in both English and Spanish editions, Blue Beetle #1 is written by Josh Trujillo, illustrated by Adrian Gutiérrez, colored by Wil Quintana, and lettered by Lucas Gattoni. Directed by Ángel Manuel Soto, Blue Beetle is in theaters now, with its digital home release on September 19.
Find out more about Jaime Reyes, Ted Kord, and Dan Garrett in our guide to all three versions of DC's Blue Beetle.