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Blue Beetle

The three Blue Beatle, art by Tom Feister

Blue Beetle is the name of a superhero comic character whose mantle was taken by three various fictional characters, namely, Dan Garrett, Ted Kord, and Jaime Reyes. Initially, Blue Beetle was created by Fox Comics. Although after several years, it was owned by Charlton Comics and later taken over by the DC Comics.

In 1939, Dan Garrett, the first Blue Beetle, first appeared in the Mystery Men Comics issue #1 published by Fox Comics. It was written by Will Eisner and artist Charles Nicholas Wojtkoski. In its original story, Dan Garrett, a police officer, took Vitamin 2X in which he got his super-energy. Garrett –now Blue Beetle, with the assistance of a pharmacist, fought crimes and bad guys together.However, just like any other Golden Age heroes, Blue Beetle’s comic series declined in the 1950s, in addition to its several publication anomalies. Consequently, Fox Comics went out of business, and Blue Beetle was then sold to Charlton Comics.

Before the character was revamped in 1964, Charlton Comics had published few occasional adventures of Dan Garrett. They had also tried to feature the character on its own series, although its new series was short-lived. Following the attempt, Charlton introduced Garrett’s successor, Ted Kord, on the Captain Atom comic series, issue #83. In 1967, Ted Kord, as the new Blue Beetle, obtained his own series. However, it ceased in 1968. The rest of Kord’s comic line-up was then sold to DC Comics in 1983.

In 2006, Jaime Reyes, the third Blue Beetle, was introduced. The new Beetle’s series was initially written by John Rogers and Keith Giffen with the artist Cully Hamner. During the series issue #10, Rogers took over the writing duties after Giffen left. Although at issue #25, Rogers also left and was replaced by Lilah Sturges as the main writer, then the new series was canceled with issue #36. In 2011, a new Blue Beetle series was launched. It was rebooted with a new origin without Garrett and Kord’s connection as the former Blue Beetles.

Blue Beetles Personas: Comic Origin

Dan Garrett

Dan Garrett in Mystery Men issue #1, 1939

Initially, Rookie police officer, Dan Garret fought crime as the Blue Beetle even without the advantage of superhuman abilities. However, he temporarily obtained superhuman stamina and strength by ingesting the mysterious “Vitamin 2X.”Eventually,Garret put on a bullet-proof blue costume. He describedit to be “as light and thin as silk but is actually stronger than steel.”

The ensemble cast remained relatively stable throughout the whole original run. The Blue Beetle casts include Joan Mason, a gorgeous blond reporter of the Daily Blade, and Mike Mannigan, Dan’s Irish partner –who believed that the Blue Beetle was a criminal and was always trying to arrest him with very little success. Also, it includes Dr. Franz who played a significant role in early issues. He was the pharmacist and inventor of the bullet-proof suit and Vitamin 2X.

During the Silver Age, in 1964, Charlton Comics revised Blue Beetle.  Dan Garrett became an archeologist who obtained superpowers because of a mysterious scarab that he found in Egypt. During this Blue Beetle version, whenever Garrett would shout “Khaji-Da,” he would transform into Blue Beetle.

Ted Kord

Ted Kord as Blue Beetle, art by Dick Giordano

Ted Kord, a former student of Garrett, was a brilliant inventor and a talented athlete. His most iconic equipment, as the Blue Beetle were the bug-shaped aircraft, along with a pistol that can emit a blinding flash of light, and a powerful airblast, useful for gaining an advantage when in hand-to-hand combat. In the comic series, Garrett and Kord were investigating Kord’s uncle. Following their investigation, they learned that he was a villain trying to make an android to take over the Earth. During their mission against Kord’s uncle, Garrett died. From then on, the responsibility of being the Blue Beetle was entrusted upon Ted Kord, Garrett’s student.

Jaime Reyes

Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle, art by Cully Hamner

Jaime Reyes is the third Blue Beetle and was the successor of Ted Kord, the second Blue Beetle. He was an adolescent who lives with his father, mother, and little sister in El Paso, Texas. Reyes becomes the third Blue Beetle after he found the scarab on a vacant lot, and it fuses with him while he was asleep.

In the subsequent series, Reyes was caught up in the climactic battle with Brother Eye during Infinite Crisis, after Booster Gold revealed Jaime’s new powers to him. Later on the series, He becomes a Teen Titans member, and become good friends with Rose Wilson (Ravager), Static, Robin, and others. Although in Teen Titan Volume 3, issue #83, Reyes took a break from the team to be with his mother.

Superpowers and Abilities

When the scarab is activated, it will crawl on the host’s back and generate a suit of powered armor around the host’s body. The costume can be reconfigured to produce a wide range of weapons during use. Common features include a sword and shield, energy cannon, a grappling hook, a communications satellite device, and a set of foot-long powered blades that can shear through the tree trunks. Additionally, the suit can produce a set of wings that can also act as shields. The suit’s weapons were considered to be powerful enough to damage even the Spectre, one of DC’s most powerful characters.

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