• Blue Beetle sets up a potential reunion between Jaime Reyes and Ted Kord in the sequel, as the post-credits scene hinted at Ted’s return.
  • References to Superman and Batman in Blue Beetle indicate their existence in the DC Universe and their role in future films.
  • Teases of Deathstroke, Cyborg, and The Reach hint at potential team-ups and crossovers with other DC characters in the future.

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Blue Beetle!

Blue Beetle may be a self-contained story without specific ties to a wider shared universe, but it does potentially set up a whole host of superheroes and villains who could appear later in James Gunn’s new DCU. The superhero-action movie follows Jaime Reyes (Xolo Maridueña), a law graduate from Palmera City, Texas who accidentally assumes control of a high-tech scarab beetle (Khaji-Da) that forms a symbiotic relationship with its host. Chosen by the Scarab, Jaime becomes the all-powerful Blue Beetle, hunted by Kord Industries CEO Victoria Kord (Susan Sarandon), who wants the Scarab to create her own weapons.

With James Gunn and company announcing plans for the new DC Universe, it was initially uncertain whether Jaime Reyes would have a DC Universe future. This question has been cleared up with Gunn clarifying that, while the DCU will officially kick off with his Superman: Legacy movie slated for a 2025 release, Blue Beetle is part of the DCU and will be its first official character. As part of the DC Universe, this means that Blue Beetle has the potential to set up a number of superheroes and villains for future DCU movies and shows. Here’s a collection of all those set up in the film.

9 Ted Kord’s Blue Beetle

Ted Kord, in a blue superhero suit marked with a beetle over the chest, rises up from a background of blue lights.

Ted Kord doesn’t appear in person in Blue Beetle but is referenced several times by daughter Jenny Kord (Bruna Marquezine) and sister Victoria. Formerly, Ted was CEO of Kord Industries before being replaced sister, who holds resentment towards him, furious that their father gave Kord Industries to her “irresponsible” brother first. In the comics, Ted Kord was the second Blue Beetle and benefactor to Jaime Reyes, which makes the movie’s choice not to include him an interesting decision. However, it certainly gave more space for Jaime to explore his identity as a hero and for Jenny and Victoria to carve themselves out a space as fully-realized, compelling characters.

First appearing in comics back in 1966, Ted Kord’s Blue Beetle inherited the Scarab from mentor Dan Garrett but was never able to activate it. Instead, Ted built his own high-tech suit to become a crime-fighting hero. When a comic book Jaime Reyes approaches him as the new Blue Beetle, Ted creates a mobile command center for him and returns to heroism as Jaime’s partner. Seeing as the ending of Blue Beetle left viewers on a major cliffhanger and the Blue Beetle post-credits scene showed Ted Kord alive after his disappearance, it’s likely he will return in Blue Beetle 2 to reunite with Jenny and mentor Jaime.

8 Superman

Superman Movie TV Actors Versions

Blue Beetle director Ángel Manuel Soto revealed that the film would include references honoring the Man of Steel, but it appears only two brief nods made the cut. In a quick line while transforming into the Blue Beetle and realizing he can fly, Jaime is compared to Superman and exclaims he couldn’t be, he’s no Superman. Furthermore, Rudy (George Lopez), mentions Superman as he explains which city different Superheroes are based out of.

While the film’s ending seems to lean more towards Jaime’s acceptance of his new role, it also sets up the DCU’s newest Superman. With The Flash setting up the DCU’s Multiverse, it’s unclear which Superman Blue Beetle refers to, but it gives Gunn’s new take on Superman a clear road to run down. The 2025 movie will recast Henry Cavill as Superman with 30-year-old David Corenswet, who will be joined by several other DC superheroes in Superman: Legacy.

7 Batman

Robert Pattinson's Batman in his costumer and cowl, looking menacing.

Appearing first in the trailer, Batman is referenced three times throughout Blue Beetle. In the trailer, Uncle Rudy calls Batman a fascist in a line hilariously befitting of his character. There are two other rapid references as well: first, when Jaime explores Ted Kord’s Beetle Nest and compares his utility belt to Bruce Wayne’s gadgets, and second when a Spanish-speaking broadcast mentions Bruce Wayne in the background of Jaime regaining consciousness following his first round in the beetle exosuit.

6 The Flash

An image of The Flash and Supergirl

The Flash makes up the final reference to the Justice League team in Blue Beetle, mentioned in a fleeting comment about being the protector of Central City. The comment comes in a scene that implies Jaime may well become a similar protector of his own town, rounding off the film’s message about the importance of family and heritage.

A box office disaster for DC, The Flash marked the end of the DCEU – and a colossal flop for the franchise. While Blue Beetle‘s passing reference to The Flash could be a hint that Ezra Miller’s superhero will remain quietly off-screen somewhere in Central City, it could also be a hint that his character will be back in the future. Gunn and DC Studios partner Peter Safran have both been tight-lipped on Miller’s ongoing legal issues, delivering a noncommittal, “We’re just gonna have to wait and see” (via AP Entertainment).

5 Deathstroke

A comic book drawing of Deathstroke wielding two swords in a blue and orange masked costume against a dark city backdrop.

Victoria Kord, scientific mastermind and power-hungry inventor, gives a few speeches about her work throughout Blue Beetle. One of these mentions Promethium. Based on a real element, DC’s Promethium is an artificial alloy created by Dayton Industries and based on the Greek myth of Prometheus. The development began with the intention of creating indestructible vehicles to reduce crash-related deaths before it became a goal to affect total biological regeneration. The comics reveal that the alloy produces infinite energy that can be used to promote physical repair of injured organic tissue. However, it quickly became a tool to create some of DC’s most diabolical weapons.

Slade Wilson, better known as Deathstroke, is a ruthless assassin often fighting the Justice League and Teen Titans. He’s appeared in Titans, Justice League, and Arrow, but Deathstroke has been cropping up in DC media for years. His mesh armor and sword are both made of Volatile Promethium, an exaggerated depiction of real-life uranium. With the existence of Promethium confirmed for the DCU and a cryptic almost-confirmation from Gunn, Deathstroke could well make another screen appearance.

4 Cyborg

A comic book drawing of Cyborg staring directly at the camera and pulling apart a bloody jacket to reveal his metal prostheses chest. The dialogue bubbles read:

Promethium is also behind Cyborg’s creation, a starring character of Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go! Victor Stone was experimented on by his scientist parents as a child, and later, to save his life following an incursion with a monster from an alternate dimension, his father used Promethium to graft experimental prostheses onto his body. Following a harrowing exploration of his new identity, Victor eventually realizes the potential for good with his new powers and later joins the Teen Titans before becoming a member of the Justice League of America.

Following Ray Fisher’s portrayal in Justice League, the actor publicly accused director Joss Whedon of a hostile set and vowed never to work with DC Films head Walter Hamada again. However, seeing as Gunn has replaced Hamada, it’s unclear what future Cyborg will have in the DCU, but considering his expansive screen credits and Blue Beetle‘s reference to Promethium, it’s a possibility that he could return.

3 The Reach

A comic book fight scene between The Reach and the Green Lanterns.Three central characters: a human with long brown hair in pink wields purple fists, a green muscled creature in orange costume is about to deliver a flying punch to an armored alien, and a blue long-horned alien shoots from their fist.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Soto confirmed that Blue Beetle has been given a future in the DCU and continued, “Let’s see if we end up beating up The Reach at one point.” A race of interstellar conquerors, The Reach travel between planets enslaving native species. Considering the current development of Lanterns, a new Green Lantern series starring DC’s best-known lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart, Blue Beetle could be laying the groundwork for a team-up between Jaime and the Lanterns.

In the comics, both Blue Beetle and the Green Lantern Corps interact with The Reach. The Lanterns signed a peace treaty with them after an ancient war, but it’s this that inspires the creation of the insidious Scarabs. In Blue Beetle, the Scarab bonds with Jaime giving him superhuman powers, but in the comics, The Reach use these Scarabs to reprogram the user and force the host to betray their species, easing the colonization by The Reach. The connection would certainly make for an effective set-up to a Green Lantern x Blue Beetle crossover in the future DCU.

2 Lex Luthor

Jesse Eisenberg as DCEU Lex Luthor in front of comic art of Superman's logo

In two references – one passing and one very clever – Lex Luthor appears in Blue Beetle. The most obvious is in a skyline shot of Palmera City that clearly shows a tower marked LexCorp, the building and company owned by Superman’s rival Lex Luthor. The second is a much subtler reference for eagle-eyed fans. The burger box that Jaime hides the Scarab in when smuggling it out of Kord Industries is marked Big Belly Burger, a fast food chain that reoccurs constantly in DC Comics. Most interestingly, it’s canonically a subsidiary of LexCorp.

1 The Joker

(Left) Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker wears a full face of clown makeup with his characteristic green hair, looking morosely at the ground. / (Center) A vat of green chemicals. / (Right) Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn with her pink and blue short bunches, grinning maniacally.

Just a few towers over on the skyline from LexCorp is Ace Chemicals. A highly toxic chemical manufacturing plant, Ace Chemicals’ headquarters is in Gotham City, but the company clearly has separate branches built elsewhere. In the comics, the will-be Joker falls into a chemical vat in the factory and is reborn with his characteristically white skin and green hair. Later, after he is broken out of Arkham Asylum by psychiatry intern Harleen Quinzel, he takes her to Ace Chemicals, where they dive into the same vat together and she is transformed into DC villain (and occasional anti-hero) Harley Quinn.

Related: 10 Bold Predictions For Joker 2 We Think Will Come True

In Birds of Prey, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) destroys Ace Chemicals after her break-up with The Joker (Jared Leto). Despite being the best part of the Leto as Joker saga, Robbie’s Harley Quinn and the rest of the Birds of Prey haven’t been confirmed for the DCU, and it’s unclear whether they’ll return. Meanwhile, though Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker has a sequel greenlit for 2024 co-starring Lady Gaga. He will remain a part of DC’s Elseworlds banner and not be a part of the DCU as Blue Beetle is expected to be.

Key Release Dates

Source link