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June 18, 2013
The Unparalleled Crime-Fighting of the Original Blue Beetle!
With enemies like these…?
Have you ever pined for the chance to be a superhero? Perhaps someone with awesome powers fighting the good fight, or an average Joe with cool gadgets and a kick-ass costume? Personally, it’s not something I’ve ever really wanted for myself. After years of reading comic books and seeing superhero movies and shows, it’s obvious that being a superhero would kind of suck. Sure, you could have some cool powers and helping folks is a good thing – but the amount of crap you have to put up with is just insane. How often is the hero beaten to a bloody pulp or stabbed or forced to watch as loved ones suffer, or, well, you get the picture. It’s a sad truth, the bigger you are, the more people that are gunning for you.
Unless I got to be the original Blue Beetle (Dan Garret) from the 1940s – I’d be totally cool with that. The Dan Garret Blue Beetle character from Blue Beetle #38 (Summer 1945) to be exact, and the following tale will tell you why…
Well, I wouldn’t be the Blue Beetle for the costume, that’s for sure. I can’t pull off the skirt ensemble.
Okay, see, to be the Blue Beetle you don’t even need any crime fighting experience. The guy’s a ROOKIE POLICEMAN in his day job. Seriously, that’s his career in the entire issue. Not policeman, but rookie policeman. Could you imagine if Clark Kent were a Cub Reporter at the Daily Planet for 75 years? Or that Tony Stark was simply an entry level engineer at his father’s company? Or Peter Parker was an unpaid intern at the Daily Bugle instead of a photographer? Doesn’t have the same ring, does it?
And thus Joan Mason’s three-way is blocked again.
Also, Miss Matilda seems to enjoy writing her letters in a slant – that’s very accommodating of her as it allows her letter to fit the angled comic panel. How nice.
These three panels are also quite indicative of the quality material you can expect from a Fox Magazine publication (the original, not the newer right-wing Simpons conglomerate). Here, I’ll clarify it for you…
Yes, I know there could be a number of explanations for this event, but trust me, it gets worse…
So, why did Dan have to cold-cock Joan so rudely?
That’s the spirit Blue Beetle! Help everyone – even the uglier ones!
In terms of superpowers, Blue Beetle is no slouch in the strength department able to leap tall buildings in a single jump, much like another red and blue clad hero used to do (able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!!)…
And hey, did I mention that Dan Garret, rookie cop, could afford a Beetlebird airplane and a Beetlecar?
Ahem… they say imitation is the greatest form of flattery.
At least Batman was a multi-millionaire, how the heck does a rookie cop afford a plane and a car for his alter ego?
Anyway, back to our story…
You’ve got to believe that with a last name like Debunker that the poor guy’s future career path was determined WAY before he was even born. Bet you he wanted to be a Gynecologist, but no, his parents forced him into amateur Scooby-Doo sleuthing.
Turns out Blue Beetle is on the wrong side of the law for some reason. I’d explain, but really, the book doesn’t bother so why should I? I guess having a rap-sheet would be in the negative column for wanting to be Blue Beetle, but then you realize just how effective law enforcement is in this area of the USA…
What the hell are they so freaked out about? The stupid bell hasn’t done anything yet!
When the Beetle dropped his Blue Beetle Sign, did he have to throw it like a curveball, the big showoff.
So, pretty exciting so far, am I right? Yeah. Isn’t it funny how a guy like the Beetle can jump over skyscrapers one minute, and the next he needs Mike’s help to get up a hill? I wonder how well their stakeout will go…
“Way to go Beetle Goat! You’ve served me well!” says the Blue Beetle as he tries to save face after a goat shows him up.
Another good point for being the Blue Beetle – you don’t actually have to do any crime investigating. Just when the case seemingly has you beat, don’t worry, some random event will occur that will help break it wide open! Be it a goat or random message in a bottle or buying the zombified remains of your friend, it doesn’t matter how unlikely, something always pops up when you need it! And I wish I were making up those examples, but they’re all in this issue.
So, Blue Beetle is super strong, like Superman, but a blackjack to the back of the head by Zartan from G.I.Joe and he’s out. Seriously, the villain is Zartan?
It sure looks like Zartan – maybe it’s Zartan’s pappy?
Not to worry though, Blue Beetle’s friends are nearby. Surely they’ll come to the rescue?
Upon seeing Mike get hit on the head from behind, Joan suffers from a sudden attack of Yellow Envy Fever and faints. Yeah, it’s a stupid explanation, but do you have a better one? I mean, no one even lays a finger on her!
Jeepers, a watery grave! How will our hero, he of super strength, be able to escape his watery demise? And why didn’t the villain just kill them first then dump their bodies in the water?
Oh, I get it, the villain is a FREAKING IDIOT!!! How else can you explain tossing the very thing that his captives need to escape death? It’s not even a dull axe, but sharp enough to INSTANTLY slice through the Beetle’s bonds!
Now there, that’s a BIG plus for being the Blue Beetle of the Golden Age. If you’re going to fight an evil villain, you might as well fight the ones that go out of their way to help you escape their death traps!
Never mind that the Beetle is super strong and could’ve just burst through is bonds instead of untying them – but it was 1945 and there was a war on, so maybe he was trying to conserve rope. Who knows?
Methinks Mike is a little too lonely, judging by how eagerly he’s hugging the cross-dressing Miss Matilda.
And wasn’t Mike supposed to be guarding the prisoners? And where did Miss Matilda’s gun and wig go so quickly?
Okay, another point in Blue Beetle’s favor, he gets to fight some of the stupidest and slowest criminals the world has ever seen. How else can you explain Beetle getting the best of Miss Matilda without him/her firing a single shot? And about Miss Matilda, remember at the beginning of the story that SHE WAS THE ONE TO ACTUALLY CONTACT THE BLUE BEETLE IN THE PAPER!!! Hell, if you’re Blue Beetle you don’t even have to look for crime, the criminals just ASK YOU TO COME BY AND INVESTIGATE THEIR CRIMES!! That, my friends, is F-ing hilarious! If Miss Matilda (or Killer Kane) never bothered writing the letter, it’s unlikely Blue Beetle would’ve even bothered to investigate. I mean, seriously, what superhero would bother checking out a “haunted bell” in the boonies when there are muggers to cripple in the city?
And the icing on this craptacular cake is that the crooks used the bell to hide loot that needed smuggling. They would ring the bell using a magnet to tell the crooks at sea that is was safe to come ashore and get the loot, presumably because the town, rather than investigate the bell’s ringing, chose to simply ignore it like a bunch of morons each night. And the boss chose to contact Blue Beetle to solve this case for some reason, as well as allowing a professional spook buster to snoop around, for some reason. And, you know what, I’m just going to stop right there because, honestly, none of this makes any sense, and I’m getting a headache.
But that’s not the end of it…
IMAGE WITHIN AN IMAGE
Here’s a strip of panels from the Joan Mason story in the same issue. See if you can spot the problem…
So, what exactly happened here? The crook leaves Joan and Mike in the dust, but apparently Joan, using her previously unknown power of super speed, gets ahead of the crook. The crook then smacks her so hard that she winces in pain and has her left arm fall off from the elbow down. Next, the crook is apparently peeved that Mike got to the subway ahead of him, for some inexplicable reason. Yes, FOX wasn’t really known among comic circles for its rigorous quality control.
And you know what; this issue just keeps on giving. But rather than leave on a low, let’s leave on a high as a filler story about golfing gets metaphorical…
Yes, yes I get the ball-in-hole reference.
Well folks, that’s all for now, until next time…