Saturday, 28 April 2012
Free Comic Books: Secret Origin of the Blue Beetle
Here's a little bit of comic book history to start off at. The Blue Beetle is one of those superheroes with a very rich history dating all the way back to the "Golden Age" of comics with his 1st appearance in Fox Features Syndicate's Mystery Men Comics #1 in August 1939 by artist Charles Chuck Wojtkoski. He became a popular enough character that he even got his own radio series in 1940.
By the Mid-1950s Fox went out of business and sold the rights to Charlton Comics. When the popularity of superheroes started up again in the 1960s during the Silver Age of comics, Charlton revised the characters origin in 1964 as an archaeologist who finds an ancient Egyptian Scarab artifact that gives him superpowers.
The creator didn't really catch on so they gave him to artist Steve Ditko to rework again. Ditko had just come off Marvel Comics' Amazing Spider-Man, so Ditko transformed the Blue Beetle into somewhat of a Spider-Man clone in the back pages of Captain Atom #83 (Nov. 1966).
By the in mid-1980s DC Comics purchased many of Charlton Comics "Action Heroes" as a in-house gift for editor Dick Giordano.
DC reintroduced the Charlton Action Heroes on the newly created Earth 4 in their massive opus maxi-series, Crisis on Infinite Earths, which would re-intergrate the whole DC Mulitverse into one contained Universe.
With that all set & done, DC then set to explain the origins & careers of the men who were the Blue Beetle in the new post-Crisis continuity in the pages of Secret Origins #2 by writer Len Wein & artist Gil Kane.
When all was said & done, the Blue Beetle was chosen over many more well establishment DC characters for his own on-going DC series (which lasted 24 issues, June 1986 to May 1988), written by Len Wein and drawn by Paris Cullins.
Not bad for a character who hadn't had his own series since 1968.