Meet Xolo Maridueña, DC’s first Latino superhero in Blue Beetle
DC Studios’ latest instalment Blue Beetle came out last weekend, introducing superhero fans to the most recent new character in the DCU.
Played by Xolo Maridueña (the actor in Netflix’s Cobra Kai), Blue Beetle aka Jaime Reyes is a recent university graduate who’s chosen to host an ancient alien relic’s armour. Although Blue Beetle may seem like a new superhero, he actually has origins dating back to 1939 and the character has gone through several iterations, with the most recent one being Jaime Reyes.
So how has the film fared so far? It’s been an eventful start for sure. Blue Beetle dethroned Barbie at the US box office after the pastel-pink blockbuster dominated theatres at No 1 for four weeks straight, per Digital Spy. However, although the DC film has received rave reviews, its lower-than-expected earnings have made this film one of DC’s lowest-ever debuts according to the same source.
Nevertheless, it’s marked the beginning of Maridueña’s fruitful career to come, with him being the first Latin-American lead in a DC superhero film ever. So, what do we know about him?
Maridueña was born on June 9, 2001 and raised in Los Angeles, California. The actor has a mix of Mexican, Cuban and Ecuadorian heritage, and his name means “dog star” in the indigenous Nahuatl language, as per IMDB.
Although writers and actors aren’t currently promoting their work as the Hollywood strikes continue, Maridueña has been getting endless support from his family, including his parents and the Latin-American community for the film’s release, according to the LA Times.
He was a child actor
Maridueña has been in the industry for longer than many realise. He got his first big break when he was 10, appearing on the TV series Parenthood from 2012-2015, per Variety. The actor then landed a few sporadic roles, starring in episodes of Fast & Furious Spy Racers (2020), Cleopatra in Space (2020-2021), Wu Tang: An American Saga (2021) and Batwheels (2022), as seen on his IMDB.
By the time Maridueña turned 16 in 2018, he started his role as Miguel Diaz in Netflix’s hit show Cobra Kai, an American martial-arts comedy TV series and sequel to the original The Karate Kid films. There are currently five seasons of Cobra Kai, with the sixth and final season announced earlier this year.
He’s trained in martial arts
Before scoring his life-changing gig in Cobra Kai, Maridueña already had some prior training in martial arts as a kid, as seen in photos posted by the star.
But that doesn’t mean he didn’t need a refresher before showing off his moves on screen. He told GQ that he had a crash course in karate prior to filming the TV show. “A lot of the training is kick-boxing and cardio, getting your legs stronger. Stretching is the biggest part. The karate really comes in when we’re working with choreography and designing the fights,” he told the publication.
He’s also a singer
Is there anything Maridueña can’t do? Last week, amid the debut of his first DC film, the 22-year-old released his debut single “On My Way”, a nostalgic tribute to 90s hip-hop and pop culture. He told Entertainment Weekly: “I have such a great appreciation for the music world; especially the hip-hop world, it really helped raise me.” His main inspirations, he said, are groups like A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan and Public Enemy, as well as Fresh Prince.
Adding to his ever-growing list of achievements, Maridueña also has a podcast called Lone Lobos which is available on Spotify. Hosted by Cobra Kai co-stars Jacob Bertrand and Maridueña, the podcast covers topics like break-ups, film school experiences and Paris Fashion Week.
VIP fashion events
This rising star is already gaining clout in the fashion industry.
From Givenchy to Columbia Sportswear, this young A-lister is already being invited to top events.
Is he dating anyone?
According to reports, it seems Maridueña isn’t currently dating anyone, but he was previously linked to Cobra Kai co-star Hannah Kepple.