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Blue Beetle Is Facing Backlash From Comic Book Fans (& It's All About El Paso)

Comic book fans are notoriously hard to please, but when a big part of a character's origin story gets switched up for a movie adaptation, it's hard to disagree with their choice to cry foul. In the case of DC Studio's upcoming adaption of the witty "Blue Beetle," fans watching the film's first trailer noticed something startling; Jaime Reyes ("Cobra Kai" star Xolo Maridueña) suddenly hails from the fictional town of Palmera City instead of El Paso, Texas, the character's comic book point of origin. 

That's apparently an intentional choice that was made by the movie's creative team, per director Ángel Manuel Soto, who explained their decision-making process during a press conference attended by CBR.com. The choice to give Jamie and his family their own unique city was an attempt at establishing him as an important hero on the level of Batman and Superman, who obviously each hail from fictional (and signature) metropolises. "In service of positioning Blue Beetle as a potential leader in the DCU, Palmera City came to life. Thanks to Palmera City and the bigger world building around it, that's what got us the theatrical [release]," said Soto.

Unfortunately, a number of die-hard Blue Beetle fans don't see it that way. "The Blue Beetle movie isn't set in El Paso. It's not even a DC-ified El Paso. They couldn't just let us keep our hero," said @Coolluck.

Fans are not interested in visiting Palmera City

Though Ángel Manuel Soto may have an eye toward creating a unique universe for the Reyes family, comic book fans are definitely dismayed that Jaime's hometown has switched up. Twitter users did not hold back their disappointment in this creative choice.

"Hold up... Blue Beetle is from El Paso, Texas. That said Palmera City... they better [not] have changed it up," said @Kenobi_Shinobi_. In response to an op-ed in Texas Monthly decrying the change, @dansolomon wrote "it is just so vanishingly rare that folks in border communities get to see themselves as the heroes." 

Twitter user @DaBalloonAnimal wondered if the hometown change might be a result of DC Comics hoping to copyright something unique that they could market to fans. Obviously, they cannot copyright a real place or a real town and hope to market it to audience members as a unique property. "it's weird that the setting is going from small Texas town to DC's version of MIAMI/LA," they added.

Soto stressed during the press conference, however, that El Paso is still a huge part of Jaime's life. "That doesn't mean El Paso isn't dope. El Paso is awesome. El Paso is very much present in the life of the family," he said. On August 18, fans will find out if El Paso is done justice at all when "Blue Beetle" hits theaters.