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Tuesday, December 04, 2018 

A politically correct Blue Beetle movie in the works?

The Wrap's announced that there's a Blue Beetle movie planned, using the most easy-peasy choice for star: Jaime Reyes, the Latino protagonist introduced after Greg Rucka, Geoff Johns and Judd Winick's horrible Countdown to Infinite Crisis from 2005, which saw out-of-character Max Lord murder the 2nd wearer of the costume, Ted Kord (via Newsarama):
DC and Warner Bros. are developing their first Latino superhero movie about Jaime Reyes, aka the “Blue Beetle,” individuals with knowledge of the project exclusively tells TheWrap.

[...] In the comics, Mexican-American teenager Jaime Reyes is the third character to assume the mantle of the Blue Beetle after Dan Garret and Ted Kord. Created by Keith Giffen, John Rogers, and Cully Hamner, the character made his first appearance in the comics in 2006’s “Infinite Crisis” #5. His own monthly series debuted two months later with “Blue Beetle” #1 in May 2006.
Predictably, they couldn't be bothered to tell about the happenings preceding this - Max Lord terminating Kord in one of the most disgustingly forced storylines of the century. If it hadn't been for the repellent abuse of Ted Kord, this wouldn't be so troubling. But because they went to such lengths and made little effort since to repair the damage, that's why it's another superhero movie I'm just not enthusiastic about seeing. What this does suggest is that Reyes was created just so they could have another diversity quota filler to use for extended merchandise ventures, and not so he could actually become his own agency.
Jaime Reyes discovered the Blue Beetle scarab on the way home from school with two of his best friends Paco and Brenda, half-buried in a disused lot. Reyes took the scarab home, curious as to what it might be. That night, the scarab came alive, and grafted itself to the base of Jaime’s spine, and provided him with a suit of extraterrestrial armor which can be modified to enhance his speed and strength, as well as to create weapons, wings and shields.
And this part sums up what's wrong with a lot of these newer takes on older roles - spectacle and style over substance. Just as the following seems to suggest the movie venture isn't based on artistic merit, but rather, on WB's hopes they'll be able to draw in a Latino audience based on the casting choice alone:
According to the MPAA, in 2017, Hispanic/Latino audiences had the highest per-capita attendance at the movies, going to the movie an average of 4.5 times a year. Latinos make up 18 percent of the population, and they buy 24 percent of the movie tickets sold in the United States. It is also worth noting, superhero movies tend to draw the most diverse audiences as Latinos made up 22 percent of the audience for “Wonder Woman” and 21 percent of the audience for “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
But does the trade site think nobody's going to take the finished product's artistic merits into account? Let's consider that the 2004 Catwoman movie had a black lady lead, Halle Berry, and was a huge failure. So too in fact was a 1997 movie starring Shaquille O'Neal based on Steel, the Iron Man clone co-created by Louise Simonson/Jon Bogdanove circa the Death of Superman "event" in 1993. If this planned Blue Beetle movie is as dreadful as the Justice League movie turned out to be, it'll only further enforce the opinions of people like John Nolte that the DC movieverse has to be retired as it clearly isn't working for them. Let's also remember that none of the diversity-based Blue Beetle titles of recent (at least two, last time I looked) have been long-running successes, so it's not like this would be based on something that ever became a real classic.

I'm sure that, if DC and WB wanted to, they could've created a new Latino character who's his own agency, or at least avoided concocting a story as atrocious as Countdown if they had to replace Kord with a new character in the same costume. Why, it could even be Vibe, and it goes without saying it wasn't Cisco Ramone's fault he was portrayed with a stereotypical accent when originally introduced in the mid-80s in JLA, but rather, creator Gerry Conway's; he could've avoided using such a ridiculous approach if he'd wanted to. In any case, their track record's been proven rather steadily over the past several years that they don't know how to make a good superhero movie by and large, let alone a continuous franchise like Marvel did with Avengers related characters, and that's why we shouldn't expect much from any of the people involved in this latest DC project.

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I don't know, PC agenda or not, I don't think any of the Blue Beetles can carry a solo movie on their own. Maybe as a part of a group, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

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