Saturday, July 11, 2015

Blue Beetle #50 (Charlton)

I know, I know..."Issue #50?! You just covered #5 a month ago!" Yes, I did. See, Charlton decided (for reasons unknown to me) to cease their book "Unusual Tales" at issue #49, and have Blue Beetle pick things up with #50 just a couple months after #5 hit the stands. It's probably best not to think about those decisions too hard, and just jump into the story instead. So from writer Joe Gill, and the art team of Bill Fraccio and Tony Tallarico here's "Blue Beetle Meets The Evil Mister Crabb And His Monster Of Doom...The Scorpion"!


Miss Doris Byers has asked Dan Garrett to accompany her to the Texas Gulf. She's hoping he can help her locate her father, who disappeared from a collapsing oil rig. 

The duo approaches a nearby rig owned by Crabb Oil and are greeted first by a billy-club wielding bully, then by a gun toting thug. They're eventually led to Crabb, who Ms. Byers says is an outsider, a new comer to the oil business. Dan immediately suspects he may have had something to do with the disappearance of Mr. Byers, and when one of Crabb's men lets something slip about Byers and an oil rig it looks like his instinct is correct. For his part Crabb has heard of Garrett "a notorious meddler", and he's none too happy about them asking questions. He calls for one of his thugs to deal with Garrett and Byers, but the duo escapes. Dan shouts for Doris to dive into the sea, while he holds back Crabb's men. 

He then follows her into the sea shortly after, and uses the cover of the ocean to take the scarab from his pocket and become the Blue Beetle! Just in time too, as Doris went from the frying pan and into the fire...a hammerhead shark is soon circling them in the water! As the Blue Beetle he takes out the shark with a single blow, and rescuing Ms. Byers assures her Dan Garrett is safe...and that's when a giant mechanical scorpion from the depths of the ocean and snatches Ms. Byers in its claws!

Blue Beetle follows the metal beast down into the water, but soon finds himself captured in a giant metal claw. He fights with the strength granted him by the Pharaohs and nearly frees himself before being grabbed by the second claw and "stung" by the scorpion's stinger! 

Mr. Crabb pulls his body inside the mechanical monster to prove to Ms. Byers that no one can stop him. They make their way to an undersea base, where we learn that Mr. Byers is still alive, and has been held captive by Crabb. The villain wants Byers to sign away all of his oil rights, but so far he's held out. Using Doris as leverage he believes he'll get what he wants. But when one of the thugs brings Doris to her father's cell, something unexpected happens. Mr. Byers manages to knockout the henchman and steal his gun! 

If that wasn't enough, Blue Beetle leaps back to action, taking out three more of Crabb's men...before finding himself trapped behind a steel door as Crabb fills the room with deadly carbon monoxide gas. It's the Byers family to the rescue! Mr. Byers tries to get the drop on Crabb, but the villain is surprisingly quick on the draw! It's enough of a distraction to allow Blue Beetle to punch through the wall. 

Crabb manages to slip away. The trio discovers Crabb has been collecting barrels upon barrels of oil and gasoline. They also learn that even though Crabb has vanished, his thugs haven't. With Blue Beetle back and at full power again, the thugs don't stand a chance! 

He takes them out with relative ease, and then moves on to tearing apart the scorpion! During the fight though several barrels were damaged. Oil and gas are leaking and in danger of catching fire, locating Crabb will have to wait. Quickly Blue Beetle grabs Byers and his daughter and rushes them to safety. Crabb has gotten away for now, but if he ever turns up Blue Beetle will be ready for him!

Ok...I have to confess, as much as I've loved these silver age adventures, this one left me a little flat. I mean, Crabb got the better of Blue Beetle not once, but twice! Our hero seems to stumble through this story getting by on dumb luck, not how I prefer to see him. Crabb's motivation, his plan and purpose, are never really fleshed out either. He's hoarding oil and gas, presumably it's a money making scheme, but its not really clear. On the plus's a Blue Beetle comic, and that's something we don't have right now.

1 comment:

  1. I know when I need to locate a missing person, the first thing I think is "Better contact an archaeologist specializing in ancient Egypt!"