The DC Showcase brand allows lesser-known characters within the DC Comics canon to shine in their own animated short films. Take, for example, Ted Kord, aka the other Blue Beetle (not to be confused with Jaime Reyes, Blue Beetle gets his own movie), who originally debuted as a Charlton Comics character in 1966, but was incorporated into the DC universe with the rest of the his Charlton cohorts in the mid-1980s. That Blue Beetle briefly marks Ted Kords’ first time starring in his own animated story, and he is accompanied by The Question, Nightshade, Captain Atom and Doctor Spectro, all of whom also hail from Charlton. Jeremy Adams, who made Blue Beetle‘s story, talked to CinemaBlend about why he decided to turn this short event into a Charlton era event.
Blue Beetle originally linked to Batman: The Long Halloween – Del 2 last year, but now it is being re-released as part of DC Showcase – Constantine: The House of Mystery collection, together with the title extended card, Kamandi: The last boy on earth! and The losers. Along with learning what Jeremy Adams hopes to see off Lightning film (considering that he is currently writing Lightning cartoon), I also asked during the interview why he included the other Charlton characters, as opposed to telling a more independent Blue Beetle history or draws from Ted Cord’s years in Justice League International. Adams replied:
As Jeremy Adams noted, the late Steve Ditko helped create Marvel heavy hitters such as Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, but he was also behind the Ted Kord incarnation of Blue Beetle and all the other Charlton characters who appeared in this animated short film, either alone or while partnering with another creator. Peacemaker also hails from Charlton, and with John Cena’s incarnation of the anti-hero of the DCEU, who is now enjoying worldwide popularity thanks to The suicide group and his own HBO Max series (which has been renewed for another season), so Adams Blue Beetle short as a way to enhance the profiles of these other Charlton characters in its own way. This is not to say that they will ever get to the level of fame of Batman and Superman, but Adams wanted to provide a platform where they could be discovered by many people.
Blue Beetle marks Ted Kord’s third time being portrayed in animation, in which Will Wheaton expresses himself in Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Max Mittleman expresses himself DC Super Hero Girls. Jeremy Adams also talked about his appreciation of The Question, Ted’s crime fighting partner in this card. In his words:
Performed in the style of a superhero cartoon from the late 1960s Saturday morning, Blue Beetle sees the eponymous hero and The Question investigate a crime attack launched by Doctor Spectro, and they cross paths with Captain Atom and Nightshade along the way. The voice cast includes Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Jupiter’s inheritance actor Matt Lanter as Ted Kord, David Kaye as Question, Tom Kenny as Spectro, Jeff Bennett as Captain Atom and Ashly Burch as Nightshade. Green Lantern: The Animated Series‘Jennifer Keen wrote Blue Beetle manuscript based on the story of Jeremy Adams, Freedom Fighters: The RayMilo Neuman directed the short film.
You can witness the insanity in Blue Beetle to yourself by picking up DC Showcase – Constantine: The House of Mystery recording on Blu-ray and 4K from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment from tomorrow, May 3rd. If you’re wondering what DC is up to in feature film length storytelling, take a look through the upcoming DC movie selection.