Blue Beetle: who is DC superhero in new film, what are his powers, when was first comic book appearance?

One of the strongest human DC superheroes, Blue Beetle, gets a live action cinematic debut this month
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Blue Beetle was a mainstay of the golden age of comics, but is less known to modern fans of superhero movies, despite being one of the most powerful superheroes in DC’s back catalogue.

The hero has been through several incarnations over the more than eight decades since it debuted, but this month will mark the first time the hero has featured in a live action movie.

DC has overseen several recent box office flops, with Black Adam, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and The Flash, so there’s some pressure for Blue Beetle to buck this trend, even though it’s an origin story movie with few big name stars.

But the titular hero could bring in the audiences, as Blue Beetle is a formidable DC hero with an interesting backstory and a long list of superpowers.  

Blue Beetle was first introduced in DC Comics in 1939Blue Beetle was first introduced in DC Comics in 1939
Blue Beetle was first introduced in DC Comics in 1939

Who is Blue Beetle?

Blue Beetle is the name given to several characters in the DC Universe who have used the alien artefact, The Scarab, to become a superhero. The first Blue Beetle incarnation in DC comics came in 1939, with The Scarab being used by archaeologist Dan Garret.

Ted Kord appeared as the Blue Beetle in 1966 and the most recent incarnation, teenager Jaime Reyes, created by Keith Giffen, John Rogers and Cully Hamner, was introduced in Infinite Crisis #3 in 2006.

The Blue Beetle became a member of the Teen Titans in 2007. The hero has also been a member of super groups The Justice League, Justice League International, Young Justice, and Secret Six. 

Reyes is the incarnation to feature in the upcoming DC movie, and the character will be played by Xolo Maridueña, an actor best known for his roles as Victor Graham in Parenthood, and Miguel Diaz in Cobra Kai.

Blue Beetle has had several major enemies throughout his comic appearances, including Texan crime lord La Dama, cyborg gorilla Silverback, and a villain impersonating himself, The Black Beetle.

The main villain to feature in the DC movie, however, is Carapax the Indestructible Man, who in the comics is an enemy of the second Blue Beetle, Ted Kord.

Carapax gained his abilities when he discovered an intact indestructible robot at a secret laboratory once owned by Ted’s uncle. On trying to reactivate the robot, he was electrocuted and his mind was transferred into the robot. Since then he has been a frequent opponent of the Blue Beetle. Carapax is played by Mayans M.C. star Raoul Max Trujillo in the upcoming film.

Xolo Maridueña plays Blue Beetle in the DC filmXolo Maridueña plays Blue Beetle in the DC film
Xolo Maridueña plays Blue Beetle in the DC film

What are Blue Beetle’s powers?

All of the Blue Beetle’s powers come from the Scarab armour, much like Marvel’s Tony Stark/Iron Man.

The armour provides the wearer with a series of melee weapons, can translate alien languages, produce an energy shield, manipulate sound and unleash energy beams from the hands. 

Additionally, the suit has the power of technomorphy (shapeshifting), pyrokinesis (the ability to create and control fire with the mind) and mechanokinesis (control of technology with the mind).

The Scarab artefact gives Blue Beetle a great arsenal of abilities, making the character stronger than almost any other human superhero in the DC universe, though he would still get his ass handed to him if he went up against non-human heroes such as Superman or Wonder Woman.

When is Blue Beetle in cinemas?

Blue Beetle arrives in UK cinemas on Friday 18 August - the movie is not yet slated for a release on any UK streaming services.

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