The first reactions to Blue Beetle are in.
Fans and influencers are tweeting their impressions of the newest superhero title and the general takeway is this: Blue Beetle is a surprisingly solid superhero origin story with a winning performance by star Xolo Maridueña (Cobra Kai) and plenty of heart, humor, and a warm embrace of Latin culture.
The new film, directed by Angel Manuel Soto, stars Maridueña as Jaime Reyes, who gains superpowered armor following an interaction with an alien scarab. It’s DC’s first film to center on a Latino superhero and the second-to-last project from DC’s old guard before James Gunn and Peter Safran took the reins (there’s still Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom coming in December). DC certainly hopes will break the superhero fatigue glut and perform better than the recent disappointment of The Flash.
Given that the following are not official film critic reviews, they should be taken with some skepticism as first reactions tend to skew positive (just read The Hollywood Reporter‘s rundown of hyperventilating The Flash reactions — “among the best superhero films ever made” — from CinemaCon for a sense of how such tweets sometimes age poorly).
The official description: “Recent college grad Jaime Reyes returns home full of aspirations for his future. As he searches to find his purpose in the world, fate intervenes when Jaime unexpectedly finds an ancient relic of alien biotechnology: the Scarab. When the Scarab suddenly chooses Jaime to be its symbiotic host, he is bestowed with an incredible suit of armor capable of extraordinary and unpredictable powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the Super Hero BLUE.”
Blue Beetle was initially slated to be an HBO Max release back when DC was planning to make a string of movies for the streaming service that’s since been rebranded Max.
Gunn confirmed on the Inside of You With Michael Rosenbaum podcast that Blue Beetle is “the first DCU character” and that “the first full DCU movie is Superman.”
While Maridueña told THR last year: “The family aspect to this movie and to the character is inherent to the comics and so special. The family we’ve been able to create in the movie — the mom, dad, uncle, sister, grandmother — I feel like that aspect of being a superhero hasn’t been tapped into a ton.”
Blue Beetle hits theaters Aug. 18.
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