It’s not very often that we get a film where a young adult is bestowed with great power and must pursue a higher calling for the sake of those around him. Alright, maybe that has happened quite a bit in the past decade with a myriad of Spider-Man films, two Shazam! movies, the recent Ms. Marvel series, and more. But Blue Beetle isn’t just a simple story of tragedy or superheroics, it’s ultimately a tale about the strength that lies within the bonds of family.
Actor Xolo Maridueña (Cobra Kai) steps into an alien bio-organic suit as young Jaime Reyes and is gifted with seemingly limitless power. He must now stop a corrupt corporation led by the sister of the famous previous Blue BeetleTed Kord, from developing weapons capable of razing the Earth. But at the end of the day, his true strength lies in the power of his familial connections. There are no throwaway characters in Blue Beetle. Everyone, including each and every person in Jaime’s family, plays an integral role in the narrative. That’s the beauty of Blue Beetle. With that said, let’s take a look at the film’s best characters.
Warning: There are mild spoilers ahead for Blue Beetle.
7. Ignacio Carapax
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The true antagonist of the film is Victoria Kord (Susan Sarandon) who aims to strip the Scarab’s code to use in her own weapons systems and become filthy rich doing so. It’s a villainous story as old as time and probably one of the duller aspects of Blue Beetle. However, her bodyguard, Ignacio Carapax (Raoul Max Trujillo) winds up becoming the hulking monstrosity at the end of the film that Jaime must contend with. He’s a man of few words, but his temperament and visual appearance tell a rather sordid story.
Despite his unending loyalty to Victoria, he clearly resents her. The scarring across his body is a visual representation of what his relationship with her has ultimately done to him. He’s her guinea pig, but she keeps promising him fulfillment. When battling Jaime on multiple occasions to retrieve the scarab, he tells the hero that his love for his family is a weakness. It’s a statement that causes Jaime to reflect on his true power. In a heartrending moment, we learn Ignacio’s tortured past and the terrifying brute instantly becomes a sympathetic character making him one of the more layered villains we’ve seen on screen in recent history.
6. Miracle Kings
Jaime’s sister, Milagro (Belissa Escobedo) is a strong source of sarcastic wit and humor in the film. She loves her big brother, but she never misses an opportunity to goad her well-meaning and optimistic sibling. Despite her knack for ridicule, Milagro represents everything that is wonderful in Jaime’s life.
Jaime might not have much in the way of material or monetary wealth, but he has Milagro – a sister who’s always ready to offer up an ear and punch a few highly armored guards with a holographic fist in order to save his hide. That’s sisterly love. At the end of the day, it’s hard not to enjoy seeing a character who knows what she wants and doesn’t take punishment lying down.
5. Alberto Reyes
There’s nothing more impactful than a parent who loves and supports their children through anything. That’s exactly what Alberto Reyes (Damián Alcázar) is to his son, Jaime. He’s the ultimate nurturer and guide that all children should have in their lives. He has nothing but pure love for his son and encourages him to embrace the calling he’s been given via the Scarab.
In an integral moment where Jaime’s life is hanging on by a thread, his father gives him the strength to push forward. He explains to Jaime that this was always his purpose, to be there for his son in the exact moments that he needed him. Alberto is clearly an incredible father who had a greater impact on Jaime being the hero he becomes than the Scarab ever did.
Yes, even Nana (Adriana Barraza) plays a significant role in the outcome of this film. When the family is at their lowest point, it’s Nana who gives them the pep talk to buck up and fight. It’s even hard not to laugh at her wielding Ted Kord’s colorful version of an M134 Minigun to mow down baddies. Despite the funny image of a nice seasoned woman taking up arms for her family, it’s heavily implied that Nana was always a fighter.
Without Nana guiding the family through their most pivotal moments, they’d be lost and Jaime might very well be dead. She is spunky, adorable, and hilarious. It’s impossible to not love Nana.
3. Jenny Kord
Fans of DC comics, and Blue Beetle in particular, will be enamored by the attention to detail and legacy that the film pays to the character and those that came before. In DC history, there are three individuals who took on the title of Blue Beetle: Dan Garret, Ted Kord, and Jaime Reyes. Jaime aside, both Dan Garrett and Ted Kord are also acknowledged in the film as crucial pieces of the superhero’s legacy. Jenny Kord, the daughter of Ted, is the key to that past.
While Jenny is the ultimate catalyst that puts Jaime in the position to fuse with the Scarab, it’s her deeper connection to the artifact’s history that brings a lot of intrigue to the film. She eventually unveils her father’s ’90s-era lab which contains his old suits and gadgets. Jenny also explains that he studied the Scarab endlessly including its previous host, Dan Garrett. She has a wealth of knowledge concerning the Scarab, and without her, we wouldn’t have had that glimpse into the past.
2. Rudy Reyes
Jaime’s fun-loving uncle, Rudy (George Lopez), is a true highlight of the film. Most of the comic relief comes from this loveable oaf. Despite his radical rat tail hairstyle, his gnarly beard, and his pride and joy, Taco (his souped-up truck), he’s far more intelligent than any early judgments of his character will give him credit for. He’s very much anti-establishment and constantly warns the family that the government works in tandem with corporations like Kord Industries and they have eyes everywhere. It’s easy to chuckle at the notion, but to some degree, he’s not wrong.
Rudy has a knack for building tech and uses this skill to aid Jaime. Despite his hilariously shrill screams at the sight of the Scarab fusing with Jaime, he’s truly rather fearless in the face of danger. He proves his worth countless times throughout the film which is why he’s ranked so highly on our list.
1. Jaime Reyes
Of course, Jaime is the heart and soul of Blue Beetle. The film wouldn’t be doing its job if its lead character wasn’t, in fact, the most interesting person on screen. Watching Jaime transition from utter shock over the idea of being overtaken by an alien Scarab to the commanding persona he has over the suit at the end of the film is a true delight. From the get-go, Jaime makes it clear to Khaji-Da (the sentient Scarab suit), that he’s not out to kill others despite the Scarab being designed specifically for that purpose.
The bond he shares with Khaji-Da becomes so powerful that the alien suit takes Jaime’s concerns and position on the matter to heart. In a moment, when rage has overtaken Jaime and he nearly goes against his own principles to take a life, Khaji-Da flips the script and stops him, offering him the same counsel he shared with the sentient being earlier in the film. Khaji-Da even shows him why he should have compassion for this particular enemy. There’s absolutely nothing better in the Blue Beetle film than watching Jaime overcome the adversity that’s placed in his path.