Friday, November 6, 2009

The Blue Beetle from 1944

Published with a cover-date of November 1944, "Blue Beetle # 36" contained three stories featuring the lead character, the first of which is being presented to you today.

Blue Beetle first appeared, simply wearing a blue suit and a mask, in Fox Features' "Mystery Men Comics # 1" (August 1939), alongside other long-running characters such as Zanibar The Magician, Rex Dexter and The Green Mask. By 1940, Blue Beetle had his own series which lasted until the summer of 1950. He appeared in several other titles for Fox, as well as being published by Holyoke Publishing for issues 12-30 while Victor A. Fox got his affairs in order (rumor has it that he was forced to file for bankruptcy in 1942).

After Fox went out-of-business permanently in the 1950s, Charlton Comics began publishing the adventures of The Blue Beetle. Eventually, Steve Ditko, who had created some character called "Spider-Man", redesigned the hero. AC Comics published a couple of stories starring the Blue Beetle in Americomics # 3 and Americomics Special # 1: Sentinels of Justice in 1983. The "Special" featured a story where "BB" teamed-up with other Charlton heroes (Captain Atom, The Question and Nightshade). AC Comics planned to do more with the character, but by the time their two books saw print, Charlton had sold the hero to DC Comics, where two versions of the character have each received their own series. Blue Beetle made a brief appearance in Dynamite Entertainment's first Project Superpowers series before being reworked and renamed "The Scarab" (not to be confused with the Nedor hero of the same name).

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