It’s hard these days to make a superhero movie without teasing another superhero movie to come, and DC’s Blue Beetle is no exception. The film — technically the first release in James Gunn and Peter Safran’s complete reboot of the DC movie universe, now branded as the DCU — saves one of its bigger mysteries for a possible sequel, and teases that sequel in a mid-credits sequence. There’s an end-credits sequence, too, but that one does its own thing entirely. Let’s dig in. (Spoilers ahead for Blue Beetle.)
Does Blue Beetle have a mid-credits sequence?
Blue Beetle is the origin story of what appears to be, in the DCU, the second incarnation of the hero Blue Beetle. Jaime Reyes (Xolo Maridueña) is a Mexican-American 20-something who’s just graduated from a pre-law program. Shortly after returning to his family in his fictional hometown, Palmera City, he encounters a piece of alien technology that gives him fantastical powers. (Venom by way of Iron Man — or Kamen Rider by way of Ultraman.) But an opening montage and various references throughout the film make it clear that the first Blue Beetle was a man named Ted Kord, who co-founded the immense corporation Kord Industries, then disappeared.
This is close to how Blue Beetle works in the comics — Jaime picked up the mantle after the death of Ted Kord, who picked up the mantle from Dan Garret, the original original Blue Beetle. There are some blink-or-you’ll-miss-it references to Garret being one of Kord’s mentors in Blue Beetle, too.
But the movie diverges from comic canon with Ted’s sister, Victoria (Susan Sarandon), who takes over Kord Industries following his death and directs it toward capital-E Evil. It even starts to seem likely that she somehow had Ted killed so she could seize control of a business she resented being shut out of. But when she gets her chance at a villain monologue aimed at Ted’s daughter, Jenny (Bruna Marquezine), Victoria doesn’t share any big reveals about what happened to Ted — it’s left as an open mystery.
And in the mid-credits scene, a screen in Ted’s empty secret Blue Beetle hideaway lights up, then starts playing Air Supply’s “All Out of Love” for some reason. As the song starts skipping, a staticky voice from the computer asks whoever turned the machine on to tell Jenny that her father loves her, and is still alive — “Ted Kord is alive,” it repeats. What happened to Ted, where is he, and does the audience have any reason to care about this guy they know almost nothing about? That’ll all have to wait for a sequel.
Will there be a Blue Beetle 2?
Blue Beetle director Ángel Manuel Soto has repeatedly said that he wants to make a Blue Beetle trilogy, with the first movie serving as an introduction to the character, and the other two representing a three-act structure as Jaime matures and the films grow along with him. But no sequel has been greenlit yet — Soto told Yahoo in August that Warner Bros. is waiting to see whether the first film makes money before agreeing to any further films. That caution makes sense, given how poorly The Flash and Shazam 2 performed earlier this year, and how hard it’s been for DC’s non-Batman superhero movies to make money at all in recent years.
If nothing else, though, Blue Beetle was originally planned as a straight-to-streaming project for Max. So even if Blue Beetle 2 doesn’t get the nod for a full theatrical release, it might wind up as a streaming project.
Does Blue Beetle have a post-credits scene?
Viewers who stay through the credits won’t get any further Blue Beetle 2 teases, but they will get a continuation of a gag from early in the film: a little stop-motion cartoon featuring a Spanish-speaking superhero with “CH” inside a heart printed on his chest, seen earlier in the movie when Uncle Rudy (George Lopez) hijacks a Kord Industries security feed and turns all their cameras into a broadcasting system for the animated clip. After the credits, that character is back, bumbling through a few small struggles — he isn’t strong enough to pick up a bag of groceries or open a baby’s bottle.
Who is the animated character in the Blue Beetle cartoon?
He’s El Chapulín Colorado, the star of a 1970s Mexican TV comedy about a hapless masked hero. His appearance is just one of many Mexican pop culture references in Blue Beetle. (Shoutout to María la Del Barrio, which gets an on-screen clip and prompts a little family singlong.)
El Chapulín was played by tremendously popular Mexican writer-actor-artist Chespirito (nee Roberto Gómez Bolaños) whose 40-year career in TV had a massive impact on Latin American comedy. His series El Chavo del Ocho at one point reached 350 million viewers worldwide. And if you’re a Simpsons fan who sees a certain resemblance, Matt Groening has also said that The Simpsons’ Bumblebee Man — a not exactly worthy portrait of Mexican TV comedy — was inspired by catching El Chapulín on late-night TV in a New Mexico hotel room. (Tellingly, as far as those origins go, the actor who plays Bumblebee Man within the Simpsons world is named Pedro Chespirito.)
The original live-action series El Chapulín Colorado wickedly satirized American superhero fare, and a traditionally animated kids’ series followed in 2015. Blue Beetle stop motion clips appear to either be lifted from stop motion scenes made for El Chapulín’s intro, or created whole cloth for the movie — either way, it’s a fun nod to Mexico’s own homegrown, bug-based superhero with a color in his name.