Blue Beetle Just Set Up the Return of a Major Justice League Hero

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This Blue Beetle article contains spoilers.

James Gunn and Peter Safran have taken the reins of the new DC Universe of movies and TV series, the new cinematic univese born from the ashes of the DCEU that began with 2013’s Man of Steel. Interestingly, the new DCU will also kick off with the Last Son of Krypton, this time in Gunn’s upcoming Superman: Legacy, starring David Corenswet and Rachel Brosnahan. But although Superman: Legacy is set to be the DCU’s first official installment, Xolo Maridueña’s Blue Beetle has been confirmed to be the “first” DCU character.

Ángel Manuel Soto’s Blue Beetle comes in the wake of The Flash’s box office disappointment, and according to the first reviews, it’s a movie with real heart. The end of Blue Beetle neatly sets up Jaime Reyes for a sequel, but beyond that, the movie also secretly teases another major DC hero waiting in the wings. If you were looking closely, Blue Beetle cues Green Lantern’s debut in the upcoming DCU.

Blue Beetle’s opening is a love letter to DC Comics, while also offering up a backstory for the Scarab artifact that turns Reyes into the titular hero. Various Scarabs are launched into space (hinting at multiple Beetles out there), but in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, our Scarab comes across a green light while out in the stars. There’s no further mention of it, and it isn’t expanded on as we learn about the history of the Khaji Da Scarab. But since we know the Lanterns live out in the cosmos, this easter egg clearly wants to remind us the Corps is out there, waiting to make their debut back on Earth. 

We already know a revamped Green Lantern TV series called Lanterns will be a foundational entry of the DCU’s Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters. Described as a superhero version of True Detective, Lanterns will see Hal Jordan and John Stewart investigating a mystery on Earth “that leads into the overall story that we’re telling throughout the different movies and television shows,” according to Gunn. “We find this ancient horror on Earth and [Hal and John] are basically super cops on precinct Earth.”

Jordan and Stewart are two of the most famous characters to don the mantle of Green Lantern, and while there’s no news on casting, there’s plenty of hype surrounding the project. And it actually makes a bit of sense to start teasing out the future of the Green Lanterns in the comparatively more grounded adventures of Jaime Reyes.

Blue Beetle and Green Lantern share some interesting comic book history, further backing up the idea that Blue Beetle’s reference is more than a throwaway easter egg. In fact, Blue Beetle and the Green Lanterns have comic book beef, especially between Jaime and Lantern Guy Gardner. Following Reyes’ introduction in Infinite Crisis, his solo series fleshed out the history of the Scarab. The Scarab was created as a weapon by the ancient race known as the Reach, and when Blue Beetle came across Gardner, the latter’s ring sent him into a fit of rage and briefly made him Reyes’ enemy. The Scarab is so afraid of the Lanterns, it even shifted Jaime out of the universe and into an an interdimensional plane between universes known as the Bleed to avoid them. Equally, the Scarab can penetrate a Lantern ring’s shield.

Blue Beetle and Gardner’s Green Lantern eventually became allies and fought to stop the Reach from invading Earth. Because of this history, there were theories that Gardner could cameo in Blue Beetle, but unlike The Flash and its plethora of cameos, Soto’s movie only references other heroes like Batman, Flash, and Superman. But, while we’re still a way off seeing Gardner in the DCU, it’s possible we could eventually see some of these comic book arcs in live action. As for how Blue Beetle teases this, it all circles back to the mystery of Ted Kord.

Jenny Kord (Bruna Marquezine) is Jaime’s love interest in Blue Beetle and is the daughter of Ted – who is presumed to have died before the events of the movie. Like in the comics, Ted is the second Blue Beetle and takes on the name after the death of archaeologist Dan Garrett. The Scarab doesn’t bond with Kord, but instead, he uses its powers to create the various alien technologies we see in his superhero lair. When Jaime and Jenny return to Ted’s underground hideout, an audio transmission comes through, confirming that Ted is alive but has been stranded somewhere for decades. In his quest to figure out the Scarab and unleash its true potential, was Ted marooned in space or kidnapped by the Reach? 

Superman: Legacy is next up on the docket for the DCU, and since that movie is also set to introduce movie versions of other classic DC heroes like Hawkgirl (Isabela Merced) and Metamorpho (Anthony Carrigan), there’s a chance Maridueña could also make an appearance, especially since the film will also conveniently mark the debut of Nathan Fillion as Guy Gardner. Even if Jaime doesn’t appear in Superman: Legacy, Gardner could return that Blue Beetle easter egg favor by mentioning the Scarab to add more connective tissue to the DCU. 

For now, there’s no news on a potential Blue Beetle sequel, although his DCU status points to the character’s imminent return. After the disappointing way the DCEU set up the Green Lantern Corps but never delivered the payoff, fans should temper their expectations for a Blue Beetle and Lanterns crossover. Still, if Gunn does decide to go down this route, look out for Maridueña’s Blue Beetle butting heads with Fillion’s Gardner.

Blue Beetle is out in theaters now.

The post Blue Beetle Just Set Up the Return of a Major Justice League Hero appeared first on Den of Geek.

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