Warning: SPOILERS for Blue Beetle are ahead!
2023 has been a rough time for DC movies. In the first half of the year, Shazam! Fury of the Gods and The Flash were not only met with mixed critical reception, but both bombed at the box office. Blue Beetle has been faring slightly better (albeit still mixed) on the critical front, ranking at 77% on Rotten Tomatoes (though our own Eric Eisenberg only gave the movie 2.5 out of 5 stars in his review), but it’s also been suffering commercially, which is a shame. At the time of this writing, Jaime Reyes’ cinematic debut has only made $81.8 million worldwide off a reported $104 million budget.
While this doesn’t necessarily mean Blue Beetle 2 is off the table now, the chances of a sequel don’t look promising at the moment. The good news, though, is that this doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of Xolo Maridueña’s Jaime Reyes. Not only has DC Studios co-head James Gunn said that Blue Beetle exists in the new DC Universe, but the Blue Beetle movie’s end-credits scene lays groundwork involving Jaime’s superhero predecessor, Ted Kord, that could easily be followed up on in one of the upcoming DC TV shows on the DC Universe’s Chapter One slate: Booster Gold.
How The Blue Beetle Movie Uses Ted Kord
Although Ted Kord never directly appears in Blue Beetle, his presence is certainly felt, primarily through his sister, Victoria, and his daughter, Jenny. However, we also spend some time learning about Ted’s activities when he wasn’t running Kord Industries. Like his comic book counterpart, the movie’s Ted wasn’t able to unlock the power of the Scarab, so he instead fashioned the Blue Beetle superhero identity and built a variety of gadgets and Bugship to combat crime in Palmera City. Think Batman, but with a sense of humor.
Then one day, Ted mysteriously disappeared, leaving Victoria to take over Kord Industries in his place and steer it in a more militaristic direction. While Blue Beetle never explains what happened to Ted, its end-credits scene does reveal that he’s alive. When Jenny, Jaimes Reyes and Jaime’s uncle Rudy visited Ted’s secret laboratory, they turned on its computer to learn more about the extraterrestrial Scarab bonded to Jaime’s spine. Because they left the computer on, a distorted recording of Ted started playing, with the obscured man asking whomever is watching to let Jenny know he’s still out there.
Booster Gold’s Relationship With The Blue Beetles In The Comics
Working off the Blue Beetle movie alone, one wouldn’t be faulted for wondering why Booster Gold would in any way connect to this corner of DC lore, but just do a little bit of research on the character and you’ll quickly understand. Although Ted Kord made his comic debut back in 1966 when Charlton Comics was still a separate entity, his profile got a big boost when he was paired with in the Justice League International.
Formed in 1987, just one year after Booster Gold, a.k.a. Michael Jon Carter, debuted in his own comic book series, this superhero team struck gold by pairing him and Ted Kord together. It didn’t take long for these two to become best friends, and along with combatting threats together, they also found common ground through their shared sense of humor and penchant for crafting ‘get rich quick’ schemes. Even after the original JLI disbanded, Booster and Ted’s friendship persisted, and they remain a fan-favorite DC Comics duo. Just a few years ago, they led their own eight-issue limited series called Blue & Gold.
But Booster Gold’s connection to the Blue Beetle mantle doesn’t stop with Ted Kord. Following Ted’s murder at the hands of Maxwell Lord (don’t worry, these days Ted’s alive and kicking), Booster met Jaime Reyes, Ted’s successor who’s been chosen by the Scarab to wield its power, and recruited the teen to help out during the events of Infinite Crisis. Afterwards, Booster and Jaime officially became friends too, frequently teaming up and the latter recurring in the former’s comic book series that ran from 2007 to 2011.
Why Booster Gold Would Be A Good Fit To Pick Up On The Blue Beetle Movie’s Plot Threads
That’s more than comic book precedence to warrant Booster Gold and Blue Beetle coming together in the new DC Universe, not to mention the fact that Michael Jon Carter, Jaime Reyes and Ted Kord also previously appeared together in the Smallville episode “Booster.” Additionally, director Ángel Manuel Soto told EW that the Blue Beetle movie’s end-credits scene wasn’t just meant to set the stage for Ted Kord, but also potentially tying into what’s coming up for Booster Gold. As he put it:
We all love Ted Kord and Booster Gold, and knowing that James Gunn also has plans for Booster Gold, it felt like the right thing for us to continue with. Ted Kord is still alive, he's somewhere out there in the universe, and whatever the future holds for our hero is open to interpretation. So, whether that is Booster Gold or Ted Kord or if it is both of them [together], the possibility exists and it is something that we want to entertain.
So whether it happens in Blue Beetle 2 or the Booster Gold TV show, this sounds more like a ‘when’ scenario than ‘if.’ But again, Blue Beetle 2’s chances aren’t looking good, so Booster Gold’s looking like the better candidate at the moment, which works out. While Booster is certainly a compelling character on his own and boasts various villains and supporting characters to call his own, he and Ted Kord are so intertwined that it’d be weird not for the non-powered Blue Beetle not to be involved in some way. Plus, you throw in the cast of characters tied to the Blue Beetle mythos on top of what Booster is bringing to the table, that’s more than enough material to keep the show going for more than just one or two seasons.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we’d see Booster Gold and Ted Kord’s friendship forming in the latter’s TV show. Since Ted was Blue Beetle long before Jaime Reyes inherited the superhero moniker, it stands to reason that Booster, who comes from the 25th century, time traveled back to Ted’s superhero heyday and formed his friendship with him then. From there, it would be easy enough for Booster to travel to our present day and then share screen time with a Ted who’s now a fair bit older than him. If that approach is taken, then I hope we at least get a flashback to when Booster and Ted were around the same age battling bad guys together.
But as the headline of this piece states, the Booster Gold show doesn’t, and frankly shouldn’t, only involve the Ted Kord Blue Beetle. With this version of Ted Kord missing in action, it wouldn’t be difficult moving pieces into place to have Jaime Reyes team up with Michael Jon Carter to investigate Ted’s disappearance. This would allow Booster to act as a mentor of sorts to Jaime, although given that Booster is often obsessed with fame and wealth, it’s not as though he’d have his act entirely together.
To take this a step further, perhaps the reason Ted went missing in the first place is because a mission he went on with Booster went south, leaving him trapped somewhere in time. Desperate to retrieve his friend, and after either learning about the footage on Ted’s computer or uncovering a different lead following a long investigation, Booster tracks down Jaime and enlists his help in finding Ted. Somehow the newest Blue Beetle holds the key to bringing his predecessor back, likely through his Reach technology, and in conjunction with Booster’s own resources, they embark on a journey through time, and potentially even space, to accomplish this goal.
Obviously the Booster Gold TV show needs to focus on Michael Jon Carter first and foremost, but he’s too intertwined with Blue Beetle for that to not factor into the series whatsoever. With the prospects of Blue Beetle 2 looking increasingly unlikely, I’m hoping that the Ted Kord subplot and the next chapter for Xolo Maridueña’s Jaime Reyes isn’t dropped as a result. These characters don’t deserve to be abandoned after just one movie, and between the potential of Booster Gold (albeit with a few concerns) and what James Gunn and Ángel Manuel Soto have said, I’m hopeful this won’t happen.