Real Name: Dan Garrett
Occupation: Police officer
Affiliations: Mike Mannigan (partner to his cop secret identity); Joan Mason (girlfriend, reporter), Sparky (Sparkington J. Northrup, sidekick)
Enemies: Madam Fang
Base of Operations:
First Appearance: Mystery Men Comics #1 (Fox Features Syndicate)
Powers/Abilities: For an unspecified period of time after taking the vitamin Garrett has superhuman strength. He wears a bulletproof blue chainmail costume.
History: Rookie cop Dan Garrett was an undeniable good man. So good in fact the eccentric scientist Dr. Franz felt he was the only man who could be trusted to be given his new body enhancing "vitamin 2-X". Upon taking it he would temporarily gain superhuman strength. Following the lead of others like him, Dan Garrett decided to adopt a superhero persona to battle crime, becoming the Blue Beetle.
He designed a blue costume of bulletproof chainmail, and drove around in a souped-up roadster. He would play on criminals' fears by lowering beetles-on-a-string on them (pretty childish really) or flashing a beetle insignia on walls to frighten them. Since the Beetle soon gained a reputation for shooting first and killing enemies in cold blood, knowing he was around probably scared the beejesus out of most villains. His non-powered sidekick was Sparky.
Comments: For reasons unknown to me, Blue Beetle #12 through #30 were published by Holyoke, after which Fox resumed publishing the character. Fox eventually sold Blue Beetle to Charlton, who revived the character (at least in name, if not in content - see Blue Beetle), and then introduced a totally new Blue Beetle. Then Charlton was sold to DC in the mid-eighties, and both Beetles transferred there.
Alan Moore planned to use the Charlton characters when he was working on one of his first mini-series for DC. When that company realised just how apocalyptic his series would be, they asked him not to use the characters they had just bought. Moore changed all the names, and the series, Watchmen, saw the introduction of Night Owl instead.
Thanks to Mike Murphy for the top two images used on this page. Thanks to Lark Yenbad for the bottom right image, showing the Blue Beetle's original costume, in a panel from his first appearance.
Real Name: Sparkington J. Northrup
Identity/Class: Normal human
Occupation: School boy
Affiliations: Blue Beetle
Enemies: Madam Fang, Hautman
Known Relatives: Lord Northrup
Base of Operations: U.S.A.
First Appearance: (cover and interior text piece) Blue Beetle #14 (Holyoke, September 1942); (in-story) Blue Beetle #15 (Holyoke, October 1942)
Powers/Abilities: Skilled fighter.
History: The son of an English lord sent to America during World War II for his own safety, Sparkington J. Northrup was targeted for kidnapping upon his arrival by the Nazi agent Hautman, but rescued by the Blue Beetle. Discovering the Beetle's secret identity, Sparky became his sidekick.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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