Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Sensational Silver Scarab!

Roy Thomas must really love bugs! Last week we took a look at Marvel's Scarlet Scarab...created by Mr. Thomas. This week we look at the introduction of DC's Silver Scarab...also created by Roy Thomas.

First up, lets look at "All-Star Squadron" #25, written by Roy Thomas with art by Jerry Ordway and Mike Machlan. In Washington DC, the All-Star Squadron learn that the Ultra-Humanite has challenged them over a radio broadcast. Hawkman points out that several members are already rumored to have been captured, and Sandman confirms that Atom, Dr. Fate and the Spectre are all MIA, so Wonder Woman suggests splitting up to track the villain down. 

While they formulate a plan, another team of heroes (including Batman, Green Lantern, the Tarantula and more) faces off against Amazing Man in New York. Amazing Man got his powers from the Ultra-Humanite, and is loyal...until Liberty Belle reveals his sinister plan to several cities, including Amazing Man's hometown of Detroit. 

That's all it takes to turn him. He quickly swears his allegiance to the Squadron and they all head off to track down Ultra and put an end to his plans!

Meanwhile, in the villain's hidden lab, we learn that Superman, Robotman, and Firebrand have been captured! 

Ultra tells Cyclotron that she plans to place her (yep...this is the female Ultra, not the albino ape) brain in Robotman's body. And with the heroes of America tied up fighting her new minions, no one and nothing will stop her! New minions you ask? Yup...just a page turn later we get the debut of Nuklon and the Silver Scarab, as the duo arrives at a Brooklyn shipyard to destroy US warships. 

Guardian, Sargent Steel, and Liberty Belle are quickly on the scene, but something strange happens! As Belle grabs the Scarab, and Steel wrestles with Nuklon...the heroes disappear, leaving Guardian to wonder how they can be stopped! In Los Angeles, Batman and Tarantula suffer similar fates trying to take down Northwind and Fury...

...leaving Robin and the Phantom Lady behind and baffled. 

Then, in Detroit, Green Lantern and the Atom (guess he wasn't as MIA as Sandman thought) fall to the touch of Jade and Obsidian, and Amazing Man is left to wonder just who these new costumed beings are? Finally, Brainwave Jr. hears a radio broadcast about the All-Star Squadron's defeat at the hands of the Ultra-Humanite and he jumps into action! He has to organize the remaining All-Stars to defeat Ultra! He's travelled back in time from 1983 and if he doesn't act the world's going to go up in smoke!

Silver Scarab and company stuck around the pages of "All-Star Squadron" for a few more issues (26, 27 and Annual #2 according to comicbookdb) before debuting in their own title, "Infinity Inc". This time, even though the creative team was the same, things were a little different. The JSA have recently returned from Limbo and are about to hold a meeting when...BAM! The doors fly open and 4 costumed people leap into the room. 

The team has no idea who these young heroes are, in fact...they're not even convinced they're heroes at all, so a fight ensues. Hawkman, the Atom and Wonder Woman seem to recognize at least a few of them though, and the Amazon lassos them to try and figure things out. At that point the truth is revealed. 

Hawkman recognizes his son, Hector, as the Silver Scarab and his godson, Northwind. Wonder Woman reprimands her daughter, Lyta aka Fury, for interrupting an important meeting. and Atom scolds his godson Al, aka Nuklon...for his mohawk! Turns out the JSA is on edge because ever since their return Dr. Fate has been sensing trouble was fast approaching. The older members, like Hawkman are firmly against the youth becoming full fledged members, but  Robin argues for them getting a shot. As the JSA debates, we get a quick rundown of each youngster's origin. Fairly quickly the JSA comes to a tied vote, with Hawkman as chairman being the deciding ballot...the kids are out! Not so fast...

...two more applicants arrive on the scene.

But as quickly as they arrived, they're out too! The 6 young heroes decide to head off for a meeting of their own leaving the JSA to resume their conference. There's some ruffled capes though. Huntress, Power Girl, Robin and Star Spangled Kid all think Infinity Inc deserved a shot...and the ladies feel so strong about it, they walk out!

So many questions! See what I mean about Roy Thomas and bugs? Scarlet Scarab last week...Silver Scarab this week, both with ties to archaeology and Egypt. It's as if he was a fan of the golden age Scarab...or somethingNo one remembers the events of "All-Star Squadron" #25? I'll be honest, I didn't read #26, 27 or Annual #2 for this write-up. Maybe its made more clear in those issues? Maybe it's the fact that the JSA and All-Star Squadron have huge memberships...but Atom, Green Lantern and Robin were all around in that adventure and faced off against the members of Infinity Inc, not to mention the fact that Infinity Inc working with Ultra-Humanite would bear some kind of mention in the older team's records. The closest we get is during Nuklon's origin, where he mentions his grandfather Terry Curtis, aka Cyclotron, working for Ultra (a very short reference to the story from #25). That's it! Brainwave Jr. showed up, Terminator style in #25, saying he was coming from to the past to protect the future...but is nowhere to be seen in #1 (except on the cover). I guess we'll just have to keep diving deeper! 


  1. Don't forget Roy's 2nd-ever pro comics job was another insect character with an archaeology background: the original Charlton Dan Garret Blue Beetle.

    I don't recall it ever being explained why Hawkman's son chose the scarab theme. They could have just said it was because his dad thinks he's a reincarnated Egyptian whatever-he-was.

    1. Later in the series it's explained that Hector was destined at birth to be the vessel for an evil entity called the Silver Scarab, who's in league with the Hawk's enemy Hath-Set. Hector supposedly took a cue from this entity, which was lying in wait in his subconscious.

    2. Later in the series it's explained that Hector was destined at birth to be the vessel for an evil entity called the Silver Scarab, who's in league with the Hawk's enemy Hath-Set. Hector supposedly took a cue from this entity, which was lying in wait in his subconscious.