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DCU Theory: Here's Where Blue Beetle Fits Into James Gunn's Plans

With "The Flash" bombing at the box office and the DC Extended Universe going through a major reboot into James Gunn's DC Universe, it's understandable that some fans may be worried about "Blue Beetle." The superhero movie about young Jaime Reyes (Xolo Maridueña) acquiring a beetle-themed alien super-suit seems very comic booky — not unlike like "The Flash" and its fellow flop, "Shazam! Fury of the Gods." Since it's also based on a comparatively obscure character, it seems entirely possible that the 14th and penultimate DCEU movie will die the same pauper's death at the box office as its immediate predecessors did.

That's one way things can go, certainly. However, there's another, much more intriguing road the character could take. While some may assume that "Blue Beetle" is doomed, a closer inspection at the character shows that Jaime may very well feature pretty heavily in James Gunn's DC Universe soft reboot plans ... and could even end up in the next iteration of the Justice League. Here's how Maridueña's character may yet become one of the most valuable pieces in the DCU puzzle.

Blue Beetle is a perfect fit for Gunn's style

By now, even casual moviegoers are probably familiar with James Gunn's preferences when it comes to superhero projects. From "Guardians of the Galaxy" to "The Suicide Squad" and its offshoot "Peacemaker," his work has been all about teams, usually anchored by a relatable, fallible central character, or a handful thereof. This is good news for "Blue Beetle." Though technically a solo superhero movie, it breaks every conventional rule of the genre by having a main character whose family members are alive — and a family who is fully aware that he's a superhero, and actively participating in the adventure. 

By being a highly visual, colorful character with his own distinctive style, Jaime fits Gunn's aesthetics to a tee. Thanks to his family, he also comes pre-packaged with a team, especially as it seems that director Angel Manuel Soto will lean pretty heavily on the family aspect of the story. As such, Blue Beetle is basically already a James Gunn superhero, even though the movie has been in the works well before Gunn started his tenure as the co-head of DC Studios.

Blue Beetle is the DCU's answer to the MCU's most popular characters

DC has plenty of great characters at its disposal, but just like Marvel doesn't have direct answers to the mega-popular likes of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, Gunn's DCU is sorely lacking on the wise-cracking, tech-savvy front ... especially now that "The Flash" flopped big time and it's probably fair to assume that the speedster's future is in limbo. This is a big problem for the DCU because that kind of character works on the big screen like no one's business. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) have been the MCU's heavy hitters, and Holland still has who knows how many movies in him. Even when Holland eventually calls it quits, Miles Morales is right there, waiting to be tagged in. Who does Gunn have to counter that kind of character?

Jaime Reyes, that's who. Based on what we've seen so far in the trailers, his highly advanced, flying Blue Beetle suit isn't terribly far removed from some of Iron Man's more advanced armors, especially after Tony Stark starts incorporating nanotechnology in his creations. What's more, Jaime's relationship with the suit and its AI (Becky G) seems similar to the chemistry between the MCU Spider-Man and his Stark tech suit, while also having a hint of the Eddie Brock and Venom dynamic, still being different enough to be its own thing.

Gunn knows Xolo Maridueña has what it takes to carry the Blue Beetle franchise for a long time

The film's secret weapon, of course, is Xolo Maridueña. As one of the main characters in "Cobra Kai," the young star has already proved that he has what it takes to work in a successful franchise, and his copious voice-acting roles mean he's the perfect guy for a movie where he spends much of his time covered by a high-tech CGI suit, trading barbs with its AI control system. "Blue Beetle" is not just Maridueña's most significant role to date — it's also the DCU's chance to lock the talented young actor into the role for who knows how many movies.

Since Blue Beetle's power set is equally applicable for cosmic adventures, Batman-style street-level stuff, and large-scale "Defender of the Earth" superhero antics, he has all the necessary ingredients to become the Swiss army knife superhero of the DCU, and could even replace Ezra Miller's Flash as the comparative everyman viewpoint character in the grand scheme of DCU things. 

During his years playing the allegiance-shifting Miguel Diaz on "Cobra Kai," Maridueña has already shown that he can shoulder such utility player responsibility with ease — which he demonstrates in the trailers as he effortlessly switches between cool, goofy, horrified, and insecure versions of Jaime. Provided that "Blue Beetle" isn't an absolutely horrible flop, it's hard to see James Gunn not realizing the possibilities the character (and the actor) brings.

Blue Beetle could be a core player in Gunn's Justice League

When James Gunn puts together his version of the Justice League, it's probably not going to be a collection of well-known heavy hitters. His entire history with superheroes has shown an interest in plucky underdog B-listers and C-listers, so it's more than likely that the team he'll eventually bring to the DCU will be closer to the comics' Justice League International – the late-1980s and early-1990s version of the team where Batman is the only holdover from the lineup fans remember from the Zack Snyder era.

A number of JLI members are already confirmed to be on their way to the DCU, from the most obnoxious Green Lantern, Guy Gardner (Nathan Fillion, recently cast in "Superman: Legacy") to Booster Gold (set to get his own DCU show). As it happens, the Ted Kord incarnation of Blue Beetle is a core member of the team, so it'd be pretty surprising if the DCU Jaime Reyes one wouldn't get a spot in the squad ... especially if he proves to be even half as important to the DCU as we suspect.