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"!