There has been an uproar among Latino actors portraying notable roles in recent movies and TV shows, such as Pedro Pascal in The Mandalorian and Joel in The Last of Us, Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, and Sasha Calle as Supergirl in the new Flash movie coming out this summer of 2023. Incredible! The last time I felt this excited about seeing Hispanic heroes saving the world was when Spy Kids first came out. Now soon enough, by the end of this summer, we will be getting to see DC’s new movie, The Blue Beetle. Directed by Angel Manuel Soto with the main cast starring Xolo Maridueña as Jaime Reyes, Bruna Marquezine as Jenny Kord, Belissa Escobedo as Milagros, Jaime’s sister, George Lopez as Uncle Rudy, Damián Alcázar as Alberto, Jaime’s father and Adriana Barraza as Nana.
This new Blue Beetle movie will represent a new generational historical monument for many reasons due to the whole premise of the movie. For starters, the main protagonist, Jaime Reyes, is a young Hispanic teenager who comes across the advanced technological alien Scarab, which picks Jaime as its new host. How is this any different from Miles Morales, who is another Hispanic superhero? Miles Morales is a Marvel character and is the son of a Puerto Rican mother and African-American Father. Jaime Reyes is a Mexican-American from El Paso, Texas. Being a Texan alone is enough pride to stand alone. Now adding some spice with being a Mexican-American, oof! This is what stands out the most for the Blue Beetle film. Most of the cast are Mexican or of Mexican descent, and a Latino directs it. Plus, some scenes were shot in El Paso, Texas, during filming for the movie.
No other person could have easily represented the Mexican-American community like George Lopez. Growing up watching the George Lopez show on Nick at Nite with my family. Later, as I grew older, we’d watch some of his HBO comedy specials. He quickly became an icon in the Latino community.
Then when Netflix released Cobra Kai, the world witnessed the potential of Xolo Maridueña to portray Jaime Reyes later. There is a scene in Cobra Kai where Xolo’s character Miguel Diaz has to fight Kyler and his group of friends. Watching this, I could not shake the thought of how much he looks just like Jaime Reyes in Young Justice! It was like an exact rendition of what he would look like in real life! I wonder if this is what Angel Manuel Soto had envisioned when he chose Xolo for the role. Equipped with his fighting skills gained from Cobra Kai, Xolo Maridueña is prepared to take on the role of Blue Beetle.
The main elements that are featured in the trailer are the customs of Latino heritage. My mom once even used rats as a way to describe us Latinos. Seeing as we are not the type to let the birds fly out of their nest. Instead, we’re more like rats, we make the nest bigger. This is shown in how Jaime’s family is openly supportive of him and encourages him in his new endeavors. We see them cheering for him at what looks like his first job. After his transformation into Blue Beetle, we can see the continued support they have for Jaime despite the horrified possession of the scarab as it takes Jaime as its host. There’s a glimpse where his Dad is protecting his family from being captured by VIctoria Kord, played by Susan Sarandon. In another scene, George Lopez is giving young Jaime Reyes a pep talk about how special he must be to have been chosen to wield this newfound power.
Finally, what may have been the most notable scene in the trailer is at the end when Blue Beetle is seen dual wielding and combining his swords into what appears to closely resemble Cloud’s Buster Sword from Final Fantasy. Seeing as how monumental Cloud’s Sword is for the older generation and niche to most gamers, I was quite impressed by this detail. Cloud’s Buster sword in the trailer felt like a representation of the beginning of a new era, a new hero for those who don’t receive much recognition. For fellow nerds and geeks in the Latino community, it is finally our time, 2023 is our year!