Jaime Reyes, aka Blue Beetle, is making his first movie appearance – and getting a stand-alone movie, that is, in the DCU. It will be his first live-action portrayal in movies – but not his first live-action appearance overall. So, was the Blue Beetle ever in ‘Smallville,’ and if so, in what episode did he appear?
Blue Beetle appeared in ‘Smallville’ Season 10, Episode 18, titled ‘Booster.’ All three Blue Beetles from the comics either appeared in some capacity – Dan Garrett, Ted Kord, and Jaime Reyes – but only Reyes actually bonded with the blue scarab and became the superhero Blue Beetle in the episode.
That being said, the story of how this version of Jaime Reyes became the Blue Beetle is quite different from the one in the comics – and will most likely be much different from the one we’ll get to see in the ‘Blue Beetle’ movie. So, without further ado, let’s dive into Jaime Reyes’ first live-action appearance and what parts of it may translate to the DCU debut.
When did the Blue Beetle appear in ‘Smallville’?
‘Smallville’ was a highly successful TV series that spanned over ten seasons about a younger version of Clark Kent before he actually became the Man of Steel, aka Superman. Throughout those ten seasons, we’ve met a ton of characters from the Superman lore, but most of them were altered slightly to fit the show better.
One such character was Jaime Reyes, who appeared in the show briefly and very late, if I may add. Jaime appeared in Season 10 Episode 18, titled ‘Booster’ – only three episodes before the show’s eventual finale.
Jaime Reyes – portrayed by Jaren Brandt Bartlett – is a shy, reclusive teenager who his peers often pick on. When we first see Jaime, he opens a can of soda among his ‘friends’ that sprays all over him. Everyone laughs at him, but Reyes says nothing. Lois Lane witnessed what happened and urges Jaime to stand up for himself – but he just refuses to do so.
At the same time, we meet Ted Kord (the second Blue Beetle in the comics), the owner of Kord Industries, who conducts tests and experiments on certain artifacts. One foreign ‘weapon’ that was in his possession was a blue scarab of extraterrestrial origins.
One of the researchers in Kord Industries, Dan Garret (the first Blue Beetle in the comics), was taken over by the scarab and encapsulated in a very powerful exoskeleton/suit of armor. Dan went berserk and killed three people, only to die himself while trying to remove the scarab. The artifact was lost, and Ted Kord hired Booster Gold to try and find it.
For those who don’t know, Booster Gold is Ted Kord’s best friend in the comics – a loser guy from the future that uses 25th-century technology to come back in time and pretend he’s a superhero – but here, they’re just work acquaintances.
Anyways, as Jaime Reyes is crossing a road, a car almost kills him, but he is saved by Booster. As Jaime says thank you, we learn that the scarab was somewhere attached to the car and has now crawled up into Reyes’ backpack.
Shortly after that, the scarab bonds with Jaime, and he becomes the Blue Beetle – only, much like Dan Garrett, he has no control over the armor, which starts a rampage. The armor (with Jaime in it) attacks Booster Gold and has him in a deadly chokehold, ready to end him.
However, Booster tells Jaime that it’s not the armor that’s making him a hero – it’s what’s within him. That’s when Reyes fights back and manages to take control of the scarab and the armor, becoming the Blue Beetle fully.
Later, Jaime speaks to Lois Lane and Ted Kord about the scarab, and Ted reveals to him that he is the only person who ever managed to control the armor. He offers Reyes to remove the scarab, but Jaime refuses, asking him to keep it and become a hero.
Ted Kord agrees, and Booster takes Jaime under his wing to help him discover and harness all the powers of the Blue Beetle and become a true hero – like himself.
‘Smallville’ Season 11 – what was it, and did Blue Beetle appear again?
Believe it or not, ‘Smallville’ did actually have an eleventh season! Well, not on-screen, but rather in DC’s original form – the comics. The company decided to blast out a comic book series that’d continue the plot where ‘Smallville’ Season 10 left off. And it was actually quite an amusing series, with numerous new storylines.
And, yes, this particular version of Jaime Reyes and the Blue Beetle did appear again. He appeared in the fifth story arc of ‘Smallville Season 11’, titled Argo, where things started off with Jaime saving Booster Gold after his Legion Ring stopped working.
He also appeared in the eighth story arc titled Hollow, although it was only a cameo appearance.
Who portrayed Jaime Reyes in ‘Smallville’?
As mentioned, Jaime Reyes was portrayed by Jaren Brandt Bartlett, a Canadian actor that, at the time of his Jaime Reyes role, wasn’t really a well-known name in the business.
Jaren was born on February 3, 1988, in Vancouver and started his acting career at the young age of 11 in a show called ‘Cold Feet.’ He has appeared in episode roles in numerous shows but one could argue that his Jaime Reyes role in ‘Smallville’ was the biggest he had up until then.
Bartlett has continued acting and has appeared in more prominent roles in several TV shows, including ‘Arctic Air,’ ‘Blackstone,’ ‘iZombie,’ and ‘Tribal,’ but his more prominent role was likely the co-lead in the movie ‘If I Had Wings’ where he portrayed Brad Coleman – a young juvenile offender tasked at being a cross country running partner to a blind high-school kid.
Who portrayed Ted Kord in ‘Smallville’?
Ted Kord was the second Blue Beetle in the comics and the only one who never really bonded with an alien scarab. Instead, he was kind of a Batman or Iron Man-type superhero – using his incredible wealth to develop technology, equipment, and gadgets to become a superhero without having superpowers.
He appeared in the same episode of ‘Smallville’ as Jaime Reyes and was never the Blue Beetle here. Instead, he was the CEO of Kord Industries, who were in possession of the alien blue scarab that turned people into the Blue Beetle.
Ted Kord was portrayed by Sebastian Spence, a talented Canadian actor born on December 6, 1969, and is usually recognized as ‘Cowboy’ Cliff Harting from Hallmark’s original TV show, ‘Cedar Cove.’
Spence also portrayed Lt. Noel Allison, aka Narcho, in ‘Battlestar Galactica’ and gave his voice to Mark Curry in ‘Marvel Knights: Eternals.’ I know Sebastian Spence from his minor role as Tom in ‘Supernatural,’ but his longest-tenured role came at the turn of the century in the show ‘First Wave,’ where he was Cade Foster for 65 episodes.
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