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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

DC’s First Latino Superhero

Photo Credit: IMDb

The 1939 DC comic book character Blue Beetle was officially brought to the big screens on August 18, 2023. Though the character’s origins date back over eight decades, the film “Blue Beetle” takes on some major changes.

Originally, the main character’s name was Dan Garret, however, the film adaptation introduces Jaime Reyes. The name change is not the only distinguishable alteration in the movie; in the superhero’s early life, he is introduced as a rookie police officer with an alter ego whose superpowers are fueled by a so-called “vitamin”.

The film takes a completely different route, but the storyline isn’t entirely new. Jamie arrived back in 2005 and is much more similar to the 2023 rendition we received. A fresh college graduate ends up in the possession of a piece of alien biotechnology that chooses him as a symbiotic host, earning a suit of armor capable of some extraordinary, uncontrollable powers.

Most reviewers have expressed that the film is a run-of-the-mill superhero flick with a “predictable” storyline. This shouldn’t discourage people from watching the film since it has a 78 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 92 percent audience score–relatively high considering the scores of the majority of recent superhero movies.

Even if the plot is nothing new, the movie has a unique approach that definitely clicks with viewers and becomes a major selling point. This is a rare family dynamic, unlike the majority of the Batman-esque archetypes that depict lonely characters lacking any type of strong familial bonds.

Viewers wasted no time sharing their opinion and others similar to it. On Rotten Tomatoes, Dave Lee left his personal review, “With a smaller scale and beautiful focus on character, family, and culture…a genuinely refreshing change of pace from all the bombastic, overblown superhero features…a passionate effort that might just stand as one of the best solo origin flicks.”

While it might be true that the movie follows a sequence of events that, to some, is considered “overdone” there is another detail that I can especially appreciate. “Blue Beetle” is the first superhero film with a Latino lead, not a sidekick or villain, but finally, we get to see a Latino be the hero.

This is why I feel I can easily disregard the critiques about the plot, even if we get a basic adventure, the Latin community deserves their own standard superhero. Representation matters even when you can find similar characters in other movies.

Feeling like your culture is acknowledged allows you to connect to a character in a way that would be impossible without it.

It is incredibly excluding when kids around you can look up to characters like Superman and Captain America and find similarities with a conquering hero, but you can not. 

Lack of representation can cause people to grow up ashamed of their culture, but “Blue Beetle” helps to combat this issue. Not only does the film introduce the first live-action Latino superhero lead, but the very first immigrant family is also presented. This element, combined with how involved the entire family is throughout the movie, creates a heartwarming appeal that you may be able to relate to.

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