Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Text Tuesday: "The Mystery of the Vanishing Corpses"

Text Tuesday is back, but instead of Charles Nicholas, this one is credited to N. N. Nathaniel. I tried a few quick searches to find out more about Mr. Nathaniel, but couldn't find much. ComicbookDB indicated he was also credited as Nathaniel Nitkin and worked primarily as a writer in the 1940's on several Fox and Fawcett titles, and lettered several issues of "Victory Comics" as well.

So, from 1940's "Blue Beetle" #4, here's N. N. Nathaniel's "The Mystery of the Vanishing Corpses"... 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Super-Team Family Sunday #13

Welcome to another Super-Team Family Sunday! This time Ross gives us a nifty little "What If?" scenario...and it works! Can't you see Ben Grimm fitting right in with the old Justice League International team? I sure can!

I hope all you Beetlemaniacs have enjoyed these comicbook mash-ups of Ross Pearsall. I think I've tapped all of his Blue Beetle related material for now...but if we hold our breath, make a wish, and count to three*, maybe he'll put together a few more? In the mean time make sure you check out his page to see many, many more inspired team-ups that never where!

*seemed as good a spot as any for a "Willy Wonka" reference

Saturday, July 26, 2014

What are DC's plans for Ted Kord?

So a while back we saw reports that seemed to indicate good old Ted was set to appear on the new season of "Arrow"...but then, instead it was announced Ray "the Atom" Palmer would appear, played by former Superman, Brandon Routh. 

Now we find out the creative team behind "Arrow" wanted, but we're denied the use of, Ted.

So...what do you think DC are planning for our favorite Blue Beetle? Give me your thoughts Beetlemaniacs! 

Showcase '94 #4

Well Beetlemaniacs, we're now at the end of out look at Blue Beetle's adventures in "Showcase '94" inspired by our friends at the Fire and Water Podcast's coverage of Aquaman and Firestorm back-up stories. (If you missed part 1 click here, and part 2 here) Today we take a look at "Caged City, Chapter Three: Bug War" written by Brian Augustyn, with pencils by Patrick Rolo and inks by Dick Giordano. 

Last issue ended with a cliffhanger situation worthy of Mister Miracle or Harry Houdini...Ted, attempting to escape Freemont in a BUG, had a missile hot on his tail. How will he get out of this? Read on...

Just like a magician or escape artist, Ted manages to survive. He laments he can neither fly, nor return from the dead...so what's a guy to do? He lands on the roof of one of Kurtz' BUGs and slips in via the escape hatch. Once inside he quickly dispatches the two Kurtz cops piloting the ship and sets out to get revenge! With some spectacular aerial maneuvers he dents, dings, and disables the other BUGs. 

"You all better limp back to base before you kill yourselves!" he says, flying toward Kurtz' tower. But as we've already seen, Kurtz doesn't take losing well, and certainly not losing his entire fleet of BUGs. He orders his right hand man Marcus to seal the entrances, scramble ground troops and fry Ted if he's "stupid enough to return" and, just to be safe, calls for a pursuit ship to blow Blue Beetle out of the sky. The pursuit ship tries taking out Ted with lasers, but some fancy flying lands the attacker in the same tangled heap as the other BUGs. Kurtz is outraged! How can Blue Beetle keep evading him? Why can't he just understand that Kurtz is a "simple public servant, trying to do the job I was elected to do"? Ted is taking this pretty personally. After all this nut is using Kord patents to run his police state, he has to go down! So he does what any revenge seeking hero would do when dealing with a power mad dictator...

Yup, he crashes the BUG right into Kurtz' office! Then leaping into action he takes down Kurtz with a tackle! Without his thugs to back him up, Kurtz goes down fast! It's over! The only thing left? How did Kurtz get his hand on Kord technology? 

Ted's dad?! Now there's a twist I didn't see coming! 

This really was a fun three issue story! In fact, I really wish there were more. Quick pacing, solid action with cliffhanger excitement, and nice art. What's not to love? Did this father/son betrayal really get paid off in "Justice League" as the final caption promises? I honestly don't remember...I'll need to dig those issues out and check...maybe we'll see in a future post? 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

"The Past Is Another Country"

Jaime Reyes had been missing for a year, but for him no time has passed. So why is his family so surprised to see him? Keith Giffen and John Rogers return to weave another tale of our insect hero, with Cynthia Martin on pencils, and Philip Moy on inks, for "Blue Beetle" #3!

This issue opens, not with Jaime and his family, but at an out of the way gas station mini mart. Inside a lone military man thwarts an attempted robbery. Not because he's a hero, but because he's "dreaming the blue dreams and following the trail." Apparently he has a friend in the area, a friend who "just doesn't know it yet."

Meanwhile, back at the Reyes house in El Paso, Jaime tries to account for the missing time. "No, I helped Superman. It was the crazy Green Lantern who tried to kill me, after. The the redneck trucker gave me free pants." Needless to say, they don't believe him. Not until he suits up that is. Then his sister, Milagro, screams and runs, quickly followed by his mother. Oddly, or maybe comfortingly, his dad takes it all in stride. He'll talk things over with Jaime's mother, for now though it's best if Jaime leaves...his dad hands him a cell phone, saying he'll call Jaime when everything is ok.

Jaime heads off into town, exploring his new powers. "I can fly. That's got to count for something." Landing on a rooftop, he asks the scarab to show him a few more features. It turns on something akin to Superman's super hearing and telescopic vision, before creating shields, swords, the jaws of life, and energy blasts! Not too shabby! It then reveals another trick...when transforming back into plain old Jaime, the scarab can create clothes! "Now you show me this...yes it would have been useful." Jaime leaves to look for his friends, Paco and Brenda...but accidentally leaves the phone behind.

Unable to find them at school, and seeing Brenda's old house for sale, Jaime's not sure where to look. Until the scarab reveals another trick...it can track anybody Jaime's met since the scarab bonded with him. It seems Paco is at the border to Mexico with Damper, of the Posse, and they're being trailed by some guys who look like they belong with Will Smith in "Men In Black". They're working for someone called "La Dama"

Apparently La Dama wants them to bring in a member of the Posse, and Damper fits the bill. Luckily for Paco, and Damper, the scarab has led Jaime to them in the nick of time as the MIBs prepare to fire some energy weapons. Blue Beetle makes the save, creating a shield to block the blasts. 

A brief fight ensues, but gets interupted by the appearance of Homeland Security. Jaime grabs Paco and takes to the air, presumably leaving Damper to fend for himself and fade from sight. They head to Juarez, Mexico as Jaime explains that the night Booster Gold grabbed him and took him to space, "That big fight is the last thing I remember."* Paco fills Jaime in on somethings. Brenda's dad died in a DUI, but no great loss...he was beating her! Luckily, her aunt took her in and she's now living in a big mansion in Juarez. Brenda gives Jaime a punch "for making me worry!", but follows it up with a hug...curiously, La Dama, is watching nearby!

I have to say, the tattoo on the guy at the mini mart, "Peacemaker" got me curious and I did a little search. That gentleman dreaming "blue dreams" is none other than Christopher Smith, the Peacemaker, as in Charlton Action Hero the Peacemaker! Looking forward to seeing where that goes! Lastly, I need to acknowledge Cynthia Martin and Philip Moy's art...it is gorgeous and flows almost seamlessly with with Cully Hamner's work on the previous two issues!

*Infinite Crisis

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Blue Beetle #2 (Fox) Part 2

It's time to enjoy some more Golden Age goodness, with two more stories from 1940's "Blue Beetle" #2

(click the pages to enlarge)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Dan Garrett Costume design?

From Charlton's 1965 "Blue Beetle" #5, a "fan", Alan Weiss, submitted this new look for Dan Garrett.

Now I did some digging and according to Christopher Irving's awesome "Blue Beetle Companion" this is Alan Lee Weiss who's worked for Marvel and DC on numerous titles as a writer and artist since the early 70's! 

At that point Alan wasn't familiar with the Golden Age Blue Beetle, or the fact that Charlton's Blue Beetle was modeled on the original's look, he was just looking to spruce up what he felt was an otherwise dull look.*

He revisited the idea in 2006, with this design.

Of this look, Alan said he was aiming to combine all the elements of the character at that point, the chain mail suit, the Egyptian motif (expanded beyond the scarab to now include a Egyptian styled headpiece).*

Very cool! I particularly like the 2006 design myself, and would love to have seen Dan Garrett return to comics with that look!

*I tried searching Facebook and Twitter, along with a couple other web searches but can't seem to find any contact info for Mr. Weiss, so this info is per the previously mentioned, "Blue Beetle Companion". If any one knows how to get in touch with him, drop me a line at kordindustries2013@gmail.com 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Back to the Futures End!

You've got to come back with me...Back to the Futures End! Follow this link and hop on over to Firestorm fan and check out my second recap of Futures End covering issues 4-7!

What the Kaji Dha Wednesday...Custom Action Figures!

The other day I got a message from a fan on the Kord Industries Facebook page. He's a customizer that goes by the name "unknownsoldier13", a long time DC Universe fan. He was gracious enough to let me share these pics of his awesome Blue Beetle and Booster Gold custom figures! Wanna see more of his stuff? Head over to figurerealm.com or joecustoms.com