Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Steve Ditko's Blue Beetle is Ted Kord, a guy able to design all kinds of nifty techno-gadgets that a superhero would find handy, who also has enough money to build them. In his case, the main gadget is a beetle-shaped airship, in which he regularly sallies forth in his never-ending battle against evil.

You can see easter eggs for Kord Industries in CW's Arrow & The Flash! Sorry to say we haven't seen the man yet.

Detail from the cover of The Blue Beetle #1.

This Silver Age version of The Blue Beetle was created by Steve Ditko, whose other credits include Mr. A, The Creeper and Spider-Man. Scripter Gary Friedrich did dialog for his early appearances, but the plot and concept were pure Ditko. This Beetle first appeared as a series of very short back-up stories in Ditko's Captain Atom, starting in #83. Early on, Ditko dropped intriguing hints that this Ted Kord character had a connection to another Blue Beetle Charlton had published, whose series had been discontinued several months earlier. Reader interest was piqued, and The Blue Beetle moved out into his own comic.

What a wonderful line-up it was!
It didn't last long unfortunately, as Charlton cancelled its entire superhero line less than a year later. Only five issues came out, with the last was several months late.

Exact reprint of Charlton issue #3, except one page cut from the main story, newer ads and different cover copy (Modern Comics logo, 35c cover price & "Power-Packed Issue!" blurb.)

Blue Beetle #3
"The Madmen"
A reign of fear and madness is created by the Madmen (in costumes resembling Steve Ditko's The Creeper.)
Written (as D.C. Glanzman) & drawn by Steve Ditko
I threw in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ad simply because I'm such an U.N.C.L.E. fan. 

A page from Ditko's sketchbook showing his early designs for Ted Kord's costume. I'd hate to think anyone missed this wonderful piece.

Until recently, I didn't realize The Madmen appeared in the DC series.
The Madmen showed up again, in DC's Blue Beetle #3, hired to break into Kord Industries and steal a supply of Promethium. 

The entire run of Charlton's Blue Beetle is reprinted in this wonderful hardcover Archive edition!
Live Large My Friends and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank You! 

Blue Beetle briefly appeared with Booster Gold in the last season of Smallville.


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