Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Who's Who '87 Carapax

It's the return of Who's Who. I realized while listening to the Fire & Water Podcast Who's Who episodes recently just how much coverage Blue Beetle got in the '87 updates! And since we've been following the arc involving Carapax recently I figured this was a good time to share this entry by Paris Cullins and Bob Lewis from "Who's Who '87" #1.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

In Combat With...Carapax!

Last issue, it was a party on Pago Island! Well...not exactly a party, more like a slaughter! When the dust settled only three men were left standing, Lt. Fisher, Blue Beetle, and Carapax! Len Wein, Ross Andru, and Dell Barrass are here to resolve that literal cliffhanger in issue #15, "In Combat With...Carapax!"

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Name checked in the DCCU!

So, as we continue to build toward Batman V. Superman, it's interesting to see Kord industries get another name check!

In this graphic, from a Wired interview with Lex Luthor it looks like Ted Kord's company is #2 behind LexCorp in it's 2015 research and development budget...more than Stagg (Metamorpho), Queen (Green Arrow), Geshaft Krieg (Cyborg) and Wayne Enterprises (Batman). 

Does this mean we'll see Ted Kord and Blue Beetle in the DCCU (DC Cinematic Universe)? Will the military be using versions of the BUG or BBGun? We'll have to wait and the meantime it's cool that Kord gets that kind of high profile mention!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Blue Beetle #53 (Charlton)

What the what? Issue #53? Where's issue #52? Well, if you're just joining us I covered that way back in March of last year! I know, I covered that one out of order, but cut me some slack it was the first Dan Garrett issue I'd ever bought! So we're now down to the final two Charlton Dan Garrett adventures. Instead of dwelling on how sad that is, let's jump right in and look at "The People Thieves" from writer Joe Gill, and the art team of Bill Fraccio and Tony Tallarico...featuring the return of the Praying Mantis-Man!

Hunter Mann, aka the Praying Mantis-Man, who we last saw way back in Blue Beetle #4 is at work in his lab. His assistant? A giant army ant named 119! Mann plans on using a colony of giant ants to take over the world. Will Blue Beetle stop him? He'll try...but the Praying Mantis-Man will be ready for him! 

Dan Garrett heads back to his own lab, after helping to put out a fire as the Blue Beetle, just in time to finish an experiment before his dinner date, Diane, arrives. Apparently Dan hasn't forgotten about Mann, and has been developing a bug spray in his free time just in case the villain returns. What an odd coincidence! As Dan and Diane head off to dinner, the Praying Mantis-Man and his army of ants attack a subway train. When the police arrive and try to stop him he trades insects for ice and freezes them with a gun that sprays carbon-dioxide "snow". 

He orders the ants to load their victims into waiting trucks, then the ants drive them to his secret mountain base. Dan's dinner isn't going as well as expected. The chef didn't show up for work, and the waiter tells Dan and Diane he heard a whole subway train full of people is rumored to have vanished! That's all Dan needs to excuse himself and begin his own investigation as...the Blue Beetle! And once at the subway station he discovers Mann's carbon-dioxide gun and a frozen police officer. 

Instead of thinking this was a cross-over event, and Captain Cold or Mr. Freeze was involved he deduces that this must be the work of the Praying Mantis-Man?! Really? Meanwhile, using spy pigeons (not sure why he ditched the insect angle so soon) Mantis-Man learns that Dan went to the restaurant with his date, but Blue Beetle Garrett must be the hero! Doing what any gentleman villain would do, Mantis-Man calls the restaurant pretending to be Garrett and orders the lady a cab. 

Of course he happens to be driving it when she steps out, so he kidnaps her, taking her to his mountain hideout to act as bait for the Blue Beetle. When Dan gets back to the restaurant and the doorman mentions his date leaving with a cabbie who looked a little "green", it's quickly time for Blue Beetle to go back into action. He takes to the air, and spots a caravan of trucks driven by ants and follows them back to Mann's secret mountain lair. In the meantime Mann takes out a plane full of people...more than 100 people to add to his "colony". 

Both men arrive back at Mantis Mountain at nearly the same time, but Blue Beetle stares at the cave walls, fascinated...there's something familiar about them. Stopping to look at the cave walls was a mistake, as Mann quickly sneaks up on Blue Beetle and blasts him with the Carbon Monoxide freeze gun! While his insect army hauls Blue Beetle's body away, Mantis-Man reveals more of his plan to Diane. First, the mountain it seems isn't a mountain at's a giant ant hill! Next he unleashes giant wasps. Their sting will prove to be deadly within seconds. And then gargantuan termites to obliterate the nearby cities. Diane decides her best chance of survival is to flirt with the Praying Mantis-Man. When she asks for somewhere she can clean up, Mann directs her to a nearby steam room. She opens up the valves, leaves the door open, and starts looking for Blue Beetle's frozen body figuring the steam should warm things up enough to thaw him out. The process is sped up when she touches the blue scarab on Dan's belt. 

Blue Beetle leads Diane to Mann's lab where he mixes up a batch of the insect spray he was developing at the start of the issue. Now armed, the duo head off into the giant ant hill and begin taking out the enormous insects! Seeing his plans falling apart, Praying Mantis-Man takes to the air on his dragonfly to make his escape. Blue Beetle approaches, and in a surprising moment of super dickery, he blasts the dragonfly and refuses to rescue the falling Dr. Mann.

WOW! This was a balls to the wall crazy story! Non-stop craziness! I mean insect themed villains using spy pigeons?! Really? I for one, enjoyed every wacky minute of it. It makes it that much sadder when you realize there's only one more Charlton Dan Garrett story left! And we'll be looking at that next month.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Blue Beetle #6 (Fox) Part 1

"Smashing down upon the underworld rackets comes the Blue Beetle...made almost invulnerable by special armor, and given super-energy by vitamin 2-X, he crusades with hard-hitting fists for law and reality he is Dan Garret...rookie police man"

Yes, Beetlemaniacs, it's time once again for a Golden Age Blue Beetle adventure! Here's the first of three stories from Fox's "The Blue Beetle" #6, which sees our hero taking on a criminal known as "the Eel" who is bent on controlling the city's truck companies and food supply!

My only question? Why does Blue Beetle have red gloves on the cover, but yellow in all three interior stories? Hmmm...

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Blue Beetle: 1st Thursday with Memed

I was blown away by this Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle by Memed when I spotted it on deviantArt! So blown away, in fact, that I had to share it here with you!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Future of the Phantom

I got some great feedback and response to my October look at the Ghost Who Walks. I had trouble deciding how to approach the character at first, eventually deciding to follow a similar pattern I use with Blue Beetle. We started with the 60's Gold Key book, jumped to this 80's DC title, and then closed the month looking at some more recent entries into the Phantom mythos.

Like I said, the feedback I got was great, so I've decided to continue my exploration of the Phantom by creating a new page...The Phantom's Skull Cave! Blue Beetle will still my main focus, and take up most of my time, but I think I can manage at least one Phantom post a month over there for the moment...and I've got plenty to look at thanks to the Hermes Press "The Phantom: The Complete Series", as well as the other assorted Phantom comics I own. So be on the lookout starting January 8th for "Phantom Fridays" and Gold Key's 2nd issue, "The Rattle"!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Inside Man

Last issue Jaime, Brenda and Peacemaker took a road trip to meet Dan Garrett's granddaughter, Danielle. We got a peek at the Blue Beetle legacy, saw the return of Bottom Feeder, and saw just how connected Peacemaker still is. Well, now Keith Giffen, John Rogers and Duncan Rouleau are back to peel back a few more layers of this story with issue #9, "Inside Man"!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Phantom of Pago Island!

Sometimes, the planets align, fate intervenes, and everything just falls into place. I kind of feel like that with this post. Our first Ted Kord post after a month of covering the Ghost Who Walks has the word "Phantom" in its title! Coincidence? I think not. So with the Teen Titans and the Hybrid behind us (mostly) we move into a new story...let's see what Len Wein, Paris Cullins and Dell Barras have for us this month in issue #14, and a story called "The Phantom of Pago Island!"

Saturday, November 14, 2015

UPDATE: The Charlton Blue Beetle Contest That Was

Hey Beetlemaniacs! I have an update on the 1964 Charlton Blue Beetle contest I covered here and here

In case you don't remember, or don't feel like following the links, in Charlton's Blue Beetle #4, they ran a contest asking fans to vote on a costume for Dan Garrett. Winners were selected at random and awarded pieces of original art. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Blue Beetle #5 (Fox) Part 4

Here it is, the final of 4 stories from Fox's "Blue Beetle" #5, by Charles Nicholas. Blue Beetle takes on the Catelli Mob. This story has it all, explosions, gangsters, some surprisingly moody art...and a giant python!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Dynamite: The Last Phantom #1

Well, here we are...the 4th and final entry in Phantom October! And it seems especially fitting that last story is "The Last Phantom". Released by Dynamite in 2010, written by Scott Beatty with art by Eduardo Ferigato, the story sees Kit Walker (who's given up being the Phantom to run a charity organization) drawn back into the hero biz.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fan Art Friday: The Phantom by Dr. G

There's at least one fan that's happy with the theme of the blog this month! Gautam Sheoran (aka Dr. G: Man of Nerdology). Just days into my Phantom October he was gracious enough to message me on Twitter and offered to share some digital art he created...and it looks great! Be sure to check out more of his stuff on Tumblr and his Pulp2Pixel podcast! 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Moonstone: Julie Walker Is...The Phantom

We're at the 3/4 mark of Phantom October and I wanted to take a look at an interesting note in the character's history. Julie Walker, twin sister of the 17th Phantom and, for a brief period of time, a Phantom herself! Created by Lee Falk in 1969, she's had a handful of adventures since. Today, we'll take a look at one of them...from 2010, written by Elizabeth Massie (with input by Rafael Nieves) and art by Paul Daly, here's Moonstone Comics "Julie Walker Is...The Phantom"!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

DC Comics The Phantom #01 (mini-series)

Where last weeks "The Phantom" #01 from Gold Key jumped right into the thick of things, this weeks adventure from DC Comics' 4-part 1988 mini-series, written by Peter David, with art by Joe Orlando and Dennis Janke, gives a little hint at the origin and history of the Ghost Who Walks...and unfolds across two different eras; those of the 13th and 21st Phantoms! 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues!: Aquaman and The Phantom

I've said it before, Aquaman is one of my favorite characters! If Rob Kelly didn't already run the amazing Aquaman Shrine, I may well have started an Aqua-blog myself. That said, imagine my pleasant surprise when I see that the incredible Ross Pearsall has posted a meeting of these two great characters! Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues!: Aquaman and The Phantom

Be sure to follow that link and check out this and many more awesome team-ups that never were on Ross' blog, Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues! You'll be glad you did!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Gold Key The Phantom #01

When Diane Palmer is kidnapped, the Phantom is forced to play Prince Ragon's deadly game. Can he make it through the Prince's seven deadly traps, save Diana and put an end to the game? Writer Bill Harris and artist Bill Ligante unveil this tale of the 16th* Phantom in Gold Key's "The Phantom" issue #1 from 1962.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

For those who came in late...

If you saw the recent 1st Thursday post, then you've already pieced together that this October, Kord Industries is celebrating Lee Falk's classic hero...The Phantom! The Ghost Who Walks! The Guardian of the Eastern Dark! The Man Who Cannot Die!

I suppose it is possible for you to not to know who I'm speaking of...luckily, the panels below give a short, sweet, recap of the hero's origin.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Phantom's Skull Cave: 1st Thursday with Martin Orona

Let's start out this month celebrating Lee Falk's classic Phantom right with a 1st Thursday post. Here's a very cool piece I found on deviantART by Martin Orona. He did another, in the traditional purple costume, but something about this black & white version really appealed to me!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Blue Beetle in "History of the DC Universe"

A couple months ago Shag Matthews and Rob Kelly of Firestorm Fan, the Aquaman Shrine and the Fire and Water Podcast took a look at 1986's "History of the DC Universe" by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. It had been a while, years actually, since I'd looked at it myself. While listening to them recap it I found myself thinking several times "Wow...I didn't realize Blue Beetle was mentioned that much!"

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What the Kaji Dha? Ch-Ch-Changes

Hey there Beetlemaniacs! You may have noticed some slight tweaks to the way posts were displayed this month. I've just recently started to take advantage of Bloggers "page break" option after seeing it in use on another page I contribute to...the Legion of Super-Bloggers. You'll now see the beginning of an article, a picture and then a "read more" link to the rest of the story. This way I can get more posts visible on the main page! I hope it's as helpful for you the reader as it is for me.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Prometheus Unbound!

Previously, Ted's friend and employee Curt Calhoun got doused with molten promethium, Blue Beetle and the Teen Titans took on team of super-villains known as the Hybrid, led by former Doom Patrol member Mento...who then revealed that Calhoun, renamed Prometheus, was the latest member of his team! So what happens next? Len Wein, and the art team of Paris Cullins, Del Barras and Pablo Marcos are back with the final piece to this puzzle, "Blue Beetle" #13, and a story called, "Prometheus Unbound!"

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Charlton Blue Beetle Contest That Was Part 2

So, remember that post about the 1964 Charlton Blue Beetle contest? Pick which costume you prefer and win original art? Well, issue #50 listed the winners...

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Blue Beetle #5 (Fox) Part 3

The fun just keeps coming with the 3rd of 4 stories from Fox's "Blue Beetle" #5, by Charles Nicholas! Plans for atomic dynamite have been stolen, the city will be panic stricken! Who can save the day? Blue Beetle!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Blue Beetle: 1st Thursday with ronsalas

Hey Beetlemaniacs, welcome to another Blue Beetle: 1st Thursday!

Today we have a cool black & white piece by ronsalas from deviantART

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Road Trip

Last issue Jaime and his family took a trip out into the desert to try to uncover what happened to him on his first night as Blue Beetle. It was...quite sad actually, even if it did explain a few things and confirm what Peacemaker had been saying about the scarab being alien tech. Well, now Keith Giffen, John Rogers and Cully Hamner are back with the next chapter in the story of Jaime Reyes. Here's issue #8, "Road Trip"!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

"Man In The Middle"

Last issue, Ted's friend and employee Curt Calhoun got doused with molten promethium, Blue Beetle ran into a semi-reluctant team of super-villains led by former Doom Patrol member Mento...and then the Teen Titans showed up. And that's just the big stuff...there was a LOT going on! So what happens next? Len Wein, and the art team of Paris Cullins and Del Barras are about to reveal all with "Blue Beetle" #12, in a story called, "Man in the Middle"!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Blue Beetle #51 (Charlton)

We're (sadly) inching closer to the end of Charlton's adventures of Dan Garrett...the Blue Beetle. There's only 4 issues left, and I've already covered one of them! (#52...the first Dan Garrett book I ever bought!) So from writer Joe Gill, and the art team of Bill Fraccio and Tony Tallarico here's "Mentor The Magnificent"!