Saturday, April 25, 2015

Return of the Scarab!

In 2008, Alex Ross and Jim Krueger, along with several other artists, brought us Dynamite's "Project Superpowers" series, and with it the return of quite a few golden age heroes. One of them was updated version of the Scarab! And in "Project Superpowers: Meet the Bad Guys" #4, the he really got a chance to shine! The main story was plotted by Alex Ross and Joe Casey, with art by Jackson Herbert.

Twenty thousand miles above the Earth, a clandestine meeting is taking place among the members of mysterious Supremacy...a group bent on world domination. They don't even trust each other enough for a face to face meeting, so they're all present via holographic projections. One member, Black Baron, reveals his suspicions that there is a traitor among them. 

The other members dismiss him, more concerned about the super powered heroes that oppose them, but one member, Amon Khadul, seems to share Black Baron's concerns. 

Some time later, down on the ground, Khadul arrives at the Baron's base for a face to face meeting to further discuss the possible traitor. 

The Baron assures him that his security drones are quite capable of dealing with any threat the Supremacy may face...and urges Khadul to be just as vigilant.

Still later, the Scarab arrives at the villain's desert hideout, attacking the Baron's drone defenses! The drones look a lot like ED-209 from the original "RoboCop" film. 

The hero easily takes on the robotic drones, until one blasts him with some type of dark liquid, presumably oil, which then ignites the hero. He's not down for long though! The raid is brought to the attention of Black Baron, who personally takes control of one of the drones...essentially taking on the Scarab in one on one combat. The Scarab, still burning, uses his wings to clear the fire from his own body and use it against the drone. 

Then as the Baron tries to remove the drone, the Scarab reveals a new power of his own...he can shut down electronics! And he does, finally disposing of the Baron's drone.

Back at the satellite, holo-Black Baron meets again with holo-Emperor Seng to discuss this recent turn of events. They believe the Scarab's attack was actually a recon mission, an attempt to gather information, as it served no other obvious purpose. The Baron argues that not only that...the attack is further proof that they have a spy in their midst!

The issue closes with the origin of this new Scarab, written by Jim Krueger with art by Doug told by the original ScarabPeter Ward.

Amon Khadul found the scarab ring that gave Ward his power, but the new owner wasn't aware of the magic it contained. Instead, he sold the gem for a fortune and used his new wealth to build a life of power. He became a member of the Supremacy, but once he saw how corrupt they were he built a suit of super-armor to combat them as the new Scarab. 

Ha! So there was a spy after all!

Pretty interesting, all that mystery and intrigue. So it's been a while since I reread "Project Superpowers", but I seem to recall the Scarab taking a back seat to some of the other characters, which is too bad. When he was on the page he was a bit of an enigma, and pretty bad ass one at that! With his origin revealed it makes more sense now. He was a spy...a double agent. In some ways he reminds me of the Scarlet Scarab, at least in attitude, definitely not appearance his look puts me in mind of a certain blue insect from the alternate future known as "Kingdom Come". Both were designed by Alex Ross, so I guess it makes sense. Odd, it's like I never stopped covering that character at all, huh?


  1. Looks a whole lot like Silver Scarab to me. Only not as inspired, costume-wise.

    As characters go, I'll take the original Peter award Scarab over this version. Still think I might draw a story using some of those public domain heroes from the Golden Age. Show Dynamite how to do it right ha ha

  2. I was totally thinking Blue Beetle from DC's "Kingdom Come", but now that you mention it Matt...there is a definite similarity to Silver Scarab too.

  3. Haven't read Kingdom Come, only know it from hearing about it here and there, so I can't say.