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In many ways, Blue Beetle is a delightfully refreshing superhero movie, as it introduces us to a new hero for the big screen and offers some much-needed Latinx representation. That said, Jaime Reyes' nano-tech powered suit of armor naturally recalls Marvel's own Armored Avenger, the one and only Iron Man. If you think about it, there are actually a fair few similarities between the suits worn by Tony Stark and DC's newest hero.
Both suits contain cutting-edge tech hailing from a major industrial company (Kord Industries versus Stark Industries). Both gift the hero many of the same powers, such as flight, energy blasts, and advanced shielding. Even both heroes have suits that feature a handy-dandy A.I. interface able to interact with the hero, offers them guidance on how best to save the day. These suits also allow a lucrative voice actor to be added to the credits, which is always important.
But here's the big question: who is stronger, Blue Beetle or Iron Man? Unfortunately, until the day James Gunn finally makes history happen by teaming up with Kevin Feige to greenlight a Marvel/DC crossover, we won't see this play out on screen anytime soon. So let's put our thinking caps on to play detective and determine the victor of this battle of the battle-suits.
Who wins in a fight between Iron Man and Blue Beetle?
Photo via Warner Bros.
First of all, let's address the elephant in the room right off the bat: Yes, Iron Man is naturally the favorite to win this fight. As one of the Big Three Avengers, Tony is one of the most esteemed of Earth's Mightiest Heroes in the Marvel universe. On-screen, we've seen him sacrifice himself to defeat evil overlord Thanos single-handedly (literally, thanks to the Infinity Gauntlet). Meanwhile, Blue Beetle has taken down a couple of antagonists who, in Marvel terms, translate to an Ant-Man 1 or 2-level threat.
But here's the thing we shouldn't overlook: Khaji-Da. Jaime's sentient Scarab suit is almost like a walking, talking Green Lantern Power Ring, as she can generate any weapon Jaime can think of in a combat situation. Plus, the suit's regenerative abilities can heal Jaime on the go. Despite Stark's constant new models and upgrades of his Iron Man armor, even his Bleeding Edge armor, none of his suits created to date have such limitless capabilities. Sure, he could go away and attempt to make an even better armor afterward, but in the thick of the fight, the Scarab armor can adapt immediately, and Tony's can't.
As proof of just how surprisingly powerful the Blue Beetle suit is, Jaime has taken down both Batman and Superman, and he lasted much longer than most heroes when he tussled with the Spectre, a supernatural being with powers bestowed by God who is literally one of the most powerful DC characters of them all. Reyes could perhaps have even killed Spectre (or at least temporarily discorporated him, anyway) if he hadn't stopped Khaji-Da from initiating lethal force.
What is the primary difference between Blue Beetle and Iron Man?
via Marvel Studios
But therein lies the flaw in Jaime's potential victory. While it can be argued that the Blue Beetle suit has the edge over Iron Man's armor, with the men inside the suits it's a different story. Tony Stark is one of the smartest men on Earth, and wherever you pluck him from in his timeline in order to enact this imaginary melee, he'll have more life experience and likely combat experience than a young hero like Jaime. Khaji-Da's unique personality means there will always be some disconnect between the host and the suit's fighting instincts, whereas Tony is in full control of his suits, regardless of JARVIS or FRIDAY's assistance.
courtesy of wegotthiscovered.com
Of course, the obvious counterpoint to this scenario is: what if the Scarab hijacks Jaime and takes full control herself? This has happened in the comics on occasion, including during the Blackest Night arc when Khaji-Da was corrupted by the Black Lantern and took over Jaime's mind and body, forcing him to go on a rampage against his friends. In this situation, even Iron Man's genius would probably do little good against a lean, mean alien killing machine.
Ultimately, the battle between Iron Man and Blue Beetle comes down to alien intelligence versus human ingenuity. In terms of the strength of their suits alone, combat would be neck-and-neck but Jaime might just have the edge thanks to his suit's super-adaptive, intuitive nature. And yet Stark's superior mind and experience could still give him the jump on the more hesitant Jaime. Although, if he's unlucky enough to face a corrupted Khaji-Da alone, then he has little chance of survival.