Tuesday, March 19, 2019

DC Comics’ “Blue Beetle” will feature first Latino Lead

The American comic book publisher and Warner Bros. are developing the superhero movie “Blue Beetle”, which will feature comic book character Jaime Reyes as the first DC standalone Latino lead.

Reyes is a Mexican-American teenager from El Paso, Texas, who finds his life turned upside down when he discovers the Blue Beetle scarab tool, which gives him the technology to activate a bio-mechanical suit. The Mexican-American superhero was created by Keith Giffen, John Rogers and Cully Hammer and introduced in a comic in 2006.

Hector Gonzalez Rodriguez III, creator and writer of “El Peso Hero” comics and co-founder of Rio Bravo Comics, sees the forthcoming “Blue Beetle” movie as “a positive step towards representation,” but he said it’s important to get Latino culture right, so it doesn’t perpetuate inaccurate Latino stereotypes in Hollywood. “As a comic book consumer and creator, there are reservations, because in order for representation to take hold there needs to be (Latino) writers and creators,” Gonzalez Rodriguez said.

Though “Blue Beetle” is being promoted as the first Latino superhero movie, one way to ensure it reflects Latino culture is to acknowledge that such films already have somewhat of a legacy in the U.S. Movies starring El Santo, (The Saint) a Mexican superhero, were dubbed into English and shown in the U.S. years ago. DC’s competitor, Marvel, has also recently released “Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse,” which stars Afro-Latino Miles Morales as its hero.

Gonzalez Rodriguez suspects that “Blue Beetle” has the potential to become a box office hit, as “Coco” was earlier this year — if it’s done right. “If it’s done respectfully and truthfully, it can be an even bigger hit commercially [than “Coco”] and right now they are focusing on the [Latino] market,” Gonzalez Rodriguez said. “They know more than a quarter of moviegoers are [Latino].”

NBC NEWS