Race + Comics Notes: Blue Beetle, Aqualad & SDCC documentary hopefuls

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

As if to make up for Ian Sattler’s unfortunate comments last week, DC Comics’ Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns unveiled screen shots from a special-effects test for a possible Blue Beetle live-action series.

The images, posted by Johns at the DC Comics blog, show Jaime Reyes’ transformation into his blue suit of armor, powered by the extraterrestrial scarab on his back.  Johns was quick to point out that this was only a test, without mentioning when it took place. Obviously it couldn’t have happened in the direct wake of Ian Sattler’s unfortunate statements, but the timing’s still a little … interesting.

In any case, Johns did say that the Beetle would be featured in most episodes of the Batman: The Brave And The Bold animated series this coming season, and promised to show the screen test at San Diego Comic-Con, and that’s encouraging. Which is more than I can say for some of the responses on Newsarama:

just because a property is interesting, doesn’t mean it needs a tv show. Bottom line is it could barely support itself as a comic for three years, and though he’s in Brave & Bold … this is the kind of thing that will kill the comic interest in surrounding genres. Halle Barry as Catwoman, Nicholas Cage as Ghost Rider, anything about X3 … just because there is an idea and someone is willing to do it, doesn’t mean it should be done.

I think a live-action Ted Kord – Blue Beetle series stands a better chance of catching on.

Get Seth Meyers to play Ted, crank up the laugh-factor ala “The Tick”, or a more classic Adam West-inspired camp approach…put it on FX, so it can have a little bit of a sack, maybe a couple s-bombs every now and again, and THAT, my friends, would work.

Dear Dc,

If this show is about Jaime Ryes, then please…let it go.
Nobody wants him around – people want Ted Kord back.
You had your chance in the Blue beetle comic which was cancelled.
Jaime had a backup in Booster Gold which is now no more…
Jaime was in batman : Brave and the bold and even then, he didn’t work.
Seriously, the overexposure of Jaime is getting to ridiculous proportions to the level of Marvels Deadpool.
His likability factor to very low compared to Ted.
Let him go and move on, just like you have Rob Choi, Artie Joe Aquaman and Jasonstorm.
Your fans will be grateful.

And here’s a gem from Johns’ original thread:

ugh, i hate spidermanmexibeetle with such an unrelenting burning passion. ted kord is the only blue beetle ever.

(Speaking of responses, a quick aside: a couple of weeks back, when DC’s handling of Asian characters was the internet cause celebre, Marvel chose the moment to spotlight Jimmy Woo and Amadeus Cho on its’ website. Quite the, uh, spontaneous display of Asian pride, wouldn’t you say?)

Johns also went into more detail on the second incarnation of the new Aqualad. Besides the animated version that will debut in the upcoming Young Justice cartoon, the Brightest Day comic will introduce his print counterpart. Jackson Hyde. Johns says the New Mexico native allegedly undergo “certain changes” when he goes into water. Must make the whole bathing thing quite the adventure. Dollars to donuts that Jackson ends up related to Black Manta somehow.

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In hopefully less-contentious news, the audition process is underway for an upcoming documentary film about SDCC. The movie will reportedly follow seven “superfans” on their journey through the con experience. While it’s unlikely that people putting the spotlight on the event will have to wait in line for hours or wade past the Twihordes to get into a panel – you know, like the rest of us will – let’s take this opportunity to give some shine to two POC applicants. Here’s blogger Tony Kim’s video:

And here’s the audition reel for Ron Simmons and friends (NSFW advisory: one f-bomb here):