Sunday, February 7, 2010

Beetles and Squids

Your resident Android digs back into the Big Box for you.
This week I've unearthed a bug beating on a mollusk
followed by a Question.

Blue Beetle 
Modern Comics: No.1, 1977

"The Blue Beetle...Bugs the Squids"
Script:D.C. Glazman   Pencils/inks:Steve Ditko 
Lettered:A. Machine (really, it's in the credits) 

This should have been an easy one.
 When I pulled this issue out I got all excited. Not so fast.
It's not really a BB#1. It's just a Modern Comics reprint of a
1966 Charlton Comics BB vol.4 #1. 
For the record (and because I think it's cool)
 here's where Blue Beetle started out.

Then he showed up in:

And he ends up at:

But some time in between Charlton and DC He showed up at
Modern Comics in reprints.
The book I hold in my alien hands is one from a polybagged 3-pak.
(Captain Atom #83 and Judo Master #93) 

It's a simple story but a solid one. I rather enjoyed this mag.
We get to know the wise-cracking Blue dude and the sweet ride
he calls "The Bug". Ted Kord aka Blue Beetle is revealed to us
after his first go-round with the bad guys known as "Squids".


He is of course conflicted between telling the cops and his lady
what happened on Pago Island and keeping his hero secret.
We don't find the Pago secret out in this issue.

The Squids move on to plan "B" robbing a charity costume ball
 held on a yacht owned by Todd Van III. Yes, he's the head Squid.
The evil plan works as the Squid squad uses a goon
 to pose as Todd Van while he leads the robbery.
Enter Beetle and they fight again as BB jokes the whole time.

When the gun fire starts Beetle bugs out and follows them in "Bug".
After grabbing the boat and holding it steady
BB moves in for Squid #1.

It's over. Blue Beetle wins and the police arrive.

Check that last panel. What a classic way to end a first issue.
I can see why BB has survived through the years.
He's fun, looks cool and has that giant bug at his command.
It's a wonder kids didn't make him more of an icon in his time.
At least he's still around.

There was a second story in this issue as Ditko would do.

Newscaster Vic Sage alias, The Question.
The "?" fights a gambling ring and
finds unexpected ties to a do-gooder.

Classic Ditko. Classic hero.
Top rate artwork all throughout this comic. If you can find it, read it.
Find the collected works, find reprints, find it on-line.
 You will have fun.

I can't help it.

How could I not show this?


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