DC Announces Latino-led Superflick: Blue Beetle
Whether you love them or hate them, superhero movies run the world right now. At the box office, they’re almost always guaranteed successes and it’d be hard to ignore their massive presence in current pop culture. Well, with DC’s latest announcement, here’s another superhero movie to look forward to in the new future: Blue Beetle.
Who is the Blue Beetle, you ask? Actually, there’s been a few people who have taken on the Beetle mantle like Dan Garrett and Ted Kord, but this particular Beetle is none other than 15-year-old Mexican-American kid, Jaime Reyes. Jaime was introduced in 2006 during DC’s event book, Infinite Crisis, taking on the Blue Beetle title after the death of Ted Kord. Since then he’s become a fan favorite, appearing in shows like 2010’s popular Young Justice cartoon. In 2011 during the company-wide relaunch, DC chose Jaime as their Blue Beetle, giving him a solo series penned by Tony Bedard. Bedard fine-tuned Reyes’ backstory, crafting the tale of a Mexican-American high school student who gets much more than he bargained for when he finds an alien scarab. The scarab attaches himself to Jaime, providing him with armor and a sweet set of superpowers.
Culture is front and center in 2011’s Beetle series, often referencing Jaime’s Mexican roots. Characters will openly speak Spanish, talk about celebrating friends’ Quinceañeras or attending Day of the Dead festivities. During an interview with Wired, Bedard expressed the importance of portraying Latinos of various backgrounds, saying:
“Jaime’s Latino roots give it all a fresh spin for a growing segment of our culture and our national identity…One of the things I want to convey is that “Latino” isn’t always what you expect. I mean, nobody who meets me on the street would guess I’m Puerto Rican. And while Jaime and his buddy Paco are both obviously Mexican-American, their best friend Brenda Del Vecchio is also Latina, even though she’s a light-skinned redhead with freckles.”
With all the negative stereotypes about Mexican-Americans plaguing the media right now, a story like Jaime’s couldn’t come at a better time. Jaime is a regular kid with friends, responsibilities and an incredibly supportive family. He’s not just Latino, he’s unapologetically Latino and the story praises that.
Bedard also has the right idea when he expresses the importance of Jaime’s Latinidad roots. Blue Beetle isn’t just about a superhero, it’s a coming of age story and although the film has yet to announce a release date, it will become DC’s first film with a Latino lead. This becomes incredibly important for young Latinos who will finally get a chance to see themselves represented on the big screen through Reyes. The point of superheroes is that anyone could be behind the mask because anyone has the ability to be super, so why not a 15-year old Mexican kid too?
What do you think? Are you excited for the new Blue Beetle movie? Let us know in the comments below!