Blue Beetle is being billed as the first movie of the newly rebooted DC movieverse, but it’s not overly concerned about that. This is a small-scale story–a 22-year old kid gets superpowers from an alien relic, and the greedy head of a megacorporation wants that power for a force of armored super-soldiers. There’s not much universe-building going on beyond that–it’s an entirely standalone story with a few scattered references to other existing superheroes, pretty similar to how most DC and MCU movies have been the past several years.

But while it’s not really thinking about what else is currently going on in this new world, it does set up some things for the future, including a direct sequel tease. So while the new DC big screen universe is pretty small today, it won’t stay that way for long. Let’s look at what happened in Blue Beetle and what it might mean for the future.

Warning: Everything after this point is spoilers.

In this film, Jaime Reyes bonds with an alien Scarab relic that gives him the power of the Blue Beetle–but he doesn’t seem to be the first to do so. Decades earlier, a billionaire industrialist (stop me if you’ve heard this one before) named Ted Kord previously served as the Blue Beetle and apparently had the Scarab, but then he and the Scarab disappeared without a trace years before the events of this movie.

After Ted disappeared, his evil aunt Victoria took over the company and got big into weapons manufacturing (stop me if you’re heard this one before, too). Vickie wants the Scarab so she can use its power in suits of powered armor, and apparently she finds it in some humongous orb in the middle of nowhere. Why was it in that orb? No one in the movie ever even wonders about that, and so we never find out–there’s almost certainly a number of deleted scenes from this movie with more Ted Kord lore.

Ted’s daughter Jenny is unhappy about Aunt Victoria’s direction for the company, though, and she manages to steal the Scarab from company HQ. She gets Jaime to help her with that, and then the Scarab, named Kahji Da, decides it likes Jaime and bonds with him, turning him into the new Blue Beetle.

Victoria then spends the rest of the movie trying to get it back. She does manage to capture Jamie, and hooks him into a machine that allows her to copy the code from the Scarab for use in her armor, which she then gives to her top enforcer, Carapax. Naturally, for the climactic super-battle, Carapax fights Blue Beetle. Blue Beetle spares Carapax’s life, and then Carapax returns the favor–he turns on Victoria for all the abuse she’s put him through for decades, blowing himself up and taking her with him.

After all is said and done, Jenny says she’s going to make sure Jaime’s family gets their house back after it was wrecked during the fighting, and then she’s going to go back to her father’s decrepit old mansion to see what she can find there. And Jaime, still Blue Beetle, faces an uncertain future, but at least he’s got his family backing him up.

Blue Beetle mid-credit scene explained

Midway through the film, Jenny took Jaime and Uncle Rudy to her family’s old mansion, where they explored Ted Kord’s old Blue Beetle lair and borrowed his all-terrain Beetle Walker. They didn’t find anything out about Ted during this part beyond establishing baseline info about him being the old Blue Beetle and mysteriously disappearing.

And then we get to the mid-credits scene. This bonus scene is very brief, and it takes us back to that lair. We hear the voice of Ted Kord coming from the main computer. He says that Jenny and the others turning the computers back on gave him the opportunity to reach out–in this scene, though, nobody is present to respond.

There isn’t really a comparable story about Jaime and/or Ted from the comics that matches what’s going on here, and so it’d be pretty tough to guess about what specifically is happening with Ted or where he is. But he’s clearly alive and will be a factor in the future if they make a sequel–in the comics, Ted serves as Jaime’s mentor. Ted Kord, really, is the sort of Tony Stark/Bruce Wayne/Reed Richards character that superhero stories love–could he fill a role like that in the new DC movievers? It’s possible.

Blue Beetle post-credits scene explained

Following the Marvel standard for these things, the post-credits scene is more of a silly Easter egg than a plot thing: it’s a claymation version of a scene from El Chapulin Colorado, a live-action superhero parody TV show that aired in Mexico in the 1970s. El Chapulin Colorado has, naturally, made a bit of a comeback since big screen superheroes have been utterly dominating pop culture, and Blue Beetle makes several hilarious references to it during the film itself.

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