Could the Blue Beetle movie quietly kick off a major DCEU event straight from the comics?
DC may not have invented the comic crossover, but they perfected it with their Crisis events. Beginning in 1985, the point of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths was to explain how the newly acquired Charlton Comics characters made their ways into the current DC Universe. It also gave the editorial staff a chance to whittle away the various splintering timelines from over the decades.
The result was an edgy thriller of a crossover that left both Supergirl and Barry Allen dead…for a time.
Superstar writer Geoff Johns penned the next Crisis in 2005, building on the legacy started by George Perez and Marv Wolfman.
THE DEATH OF TED KORD
We knew we were in for shocking twists and turns from the opening bell. In the prelude to Infinite Crisis, Johns followed the second Blue Beetle, Ted Kord, as he and Booster Gold began to unearth a suspicious paper trail. Like any good detective story, some secret villain was plotting against the duo, setting off explosions and anything else to deter them from their path.
While that was nothing new, what happened when Ted reached the end of the trail that things got very dark. The culprit was Maxwell Lord, the JLA’s suspicious financier. The real jaw-dropping moment was when Lord drew his pistol and executed the Blue Beetle with a gunshot to the head. While that may be too dark for a PG-13 Blue Beetle movie, I wouldn’t put it past DC to at least attempt to get that moment onto the big screen.
The real star of Infinite Crisis is the best alternate Superman ever added to official DC canon: Superboy Prime.
He is based on the original Superboy from DC’s Golden Age. During Crisis on Infinite Earths, his world was destroyed. He, Earth-Prime Superman and Lois, as well as Alexander Luthor, survived in an interdimensional shell. When Lois is dying, Superman breaks free from his “paradise dimension” to get help, which was all part of Luthor’s plan.
We soon discover that Superboy Prime is completely insane. As soon as he arrives on Earth-One, he heads straight for the modern Superboy, Conner Kent. Prime is disgusted by Conner’s mere existence. After the Teen Titans arrive to support their comrade, we see how strong SB Prime really is. Actually, the Earth-One sun makes him even more powerful than Superman himself. Without necessarily meaning to, he single-handedly takes down the entire Teen Titans, with gory decapitations and dismemberments galore. It is a thing of bloody beauty.
After Barry Allen returns from the Speed Force to help subdue him, it would take the combined efforts of both Earth-One and Earth-Prime Superman to stop Superboy Prime.
We wouldn’t see the psychotic Superboy again until he joined the Yellow Lanterns in Green Lantern: the Sinestro Corps War. Johns actually made him more powerful when he gave him a yellow power ring and reintroduced him as Superman Prime.
WHERE BLUE BLUE BEETLE FITS IN
Just as Crisis on Infinite Earths was meant to introduce the Charlton characters to the DCU, Infinite Crisis allowed the Blue Beetle mantle to transition from Ted Kord to Jaime Reyes. By no means was that the core motivation for Johns writing the crossover event, but it did serve to introduce Jaime on a large stage. Obviously, the Blue Beetle movie will be focused on Jaime, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see the original Beetle, Dan Garrett, or Jaime’s predecessor, Ted Kord.
The bigger picture is the Multiverse. We already know there will be multiple Flashes and Batmen in the near future, and there are multiple alternate-reality Superman projects on the horizon as well. Bringing them all together in an Infinite Crisis-level event that could crossover with HBO Max would be a brilliant move on DC’s part…especially if you keep the comics’ maturity level.
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This is why i don’t collect modern comics. What passes for “entertainment” since DC went full explicit in Infinite Crisis is disgusting. Combine that with all the woke insanity and it’s all the worse. DC and Marvel left me many years ago, so i only buy 70’s & 80’s comics as a result. The fun is gone. Can anyone really say that modern comics are fun? Even the covers are boring! I’m so tired of portrait covers. The big two followed Miller’s and Moore’s lead and everything got too dark and too damn depressing. In their effort to make comics come of age for an older readership that felt insecure about being called “fanboy”, they lost what made superhero comics enjoyable in the first place. Fun for all ages entertainment! Extreme and woke content is no substitute for great storytelling, spot-on characterization and art that doesn’t look like a child drew it. All it does is cheapen the product and make it into something superhero comics were never meant to be.. Superhero comics were just fine in the 70’s and 80’s. There was no need for them to change.