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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Blue Beetle Silver Age Key Issues


Ah, I'm going to try something different here with this character since it is a lot easier to do so with this character than some others. So, if you haven't noticed, this Blue Beetle key issues list will be sectioned by era such as Silver Age, Golden Age, Copper Age and Modern Age.

Yep, and I am starting with Silver Age. Blue Beetle's career as a comic book crime fighter really doesn't have a whole lot of appearances during this era, nor key issues worth mentioning.

However, there are a few that are important to the mythos and evolution of the character. We will only be covering those, and here we go!






BLUE BEETLE #1 VOLUME 2
1st appearance & origin of S.A. Dan Garrett Blue Beetle
1st appearance of Blue Beetle Scarab


This is when Charlton Comics bought the rights to Blue Beetle and took over the character's adventures. While still based off the Fox version of the character, Blue Beetle was revamped during the Silver Age.

This is the 1st Silver Age appearance of Dan Garrett as Blue Beetle. The last name now has an extra "t", and the character's origin was completely overhauled. 

No longer a police officer and the son of one, Dan Garrett is an archeologist who stumbles upon a mystical scarab while in Egypt. Unlike the previous Golden Age version who gained enhanced strength, energy, and speed, this version of Dan Garrett had more super powers and could project lightning bolts.


The Blue Beetle Scarab also made the Blue Beetle invulnerable and gave him the ability of flight. At first the Scarab was mystical, but it was later retconned that the Scarab is actually a technological weapon created by an alien civilization called The Reach.

I suppose we'll get into that later since none of that was even mentioned during the Silver Age Blue Beetle stories. So different kind of scarab that the Golden Age Blue Beetle would leave behind to mark that he was there, and it is the first appearance of this Blue Beetle Scarab that DC Comics would later use and expand on after they bought the rights to the character.

Not that easy of a find currently online. Blue Beetle #1 volume 2 has the cover date of June, 1964.

eBay | mycomicshop | ComicLink | ComicConnect






CAPTAIN ATOM #83
1st appearance of S.A. Ted Kord

Created by Steve Ditko, Ted Kord was the successor of Dan Garret after his death. This version of Blue Beetle was different than the Silver Age Garrett version and was a genius-level inventor.

Kord as Blue Beetle used technology instead of the Blue Beetle Scarab. In fact, it was later revealed that he couldn't use the Scarab or get it to work.

Legend Steve Ditko wanted to keep the Ted Kord version super power free and redesigned his costume. At the time of Ted Kord's debut, Charlton still published the character but with very little success.

As we all know, DC Comics would later acquire the rights to this character and even integrate the roots of the character in the DC Universe. DC revamped very little when it came to that.

Obviously an important Blue Beetle key issue and definitely one to get if you're a fan of the character. Ted Kord's 2nd appearance as the Blue Beetle would be in the next issue, and his third appearance would be in issue #85.


2nd Ted Kord  Captain Atom 84 | 3rd Ted Kord Captain Atom 85

1st appearance of Ted Kord as Blue Beetle in Captain Atom #83 has the cover date of November, 1966.








BLUE BEETLE #1 VOLUME 4
4th appearance Ted Kord as Blue Beetle
 1st Ted Kord Blue Beetle self-titled series
1st appearance of the Question


After being a back up feature in the Captain Atom comics for three issues, it was time for Ted Kord as the Blue Beetle to star in his own self-titled comic series. The series only lasted five issues though, but the series would publish a pretty important issue.

Aside from being the 1st series to star Ted Kord as Blue Beetle, I don't think any of the supporting characters introduced in the volume 4 series actually make it in the DC Universe besides Dan Garrett and Jarvis Kord. This comic does have the 1st appearance of the Question and he was used by DC Comics.

Only 143 total submissions at CGC so far or at the time of this writing. There are currently five 9.8s and seven 9.6s.  

I think this comic is pretty over-looked currently. Not really super in-demand. Overstreet currently guides this issue at $350 for a 9.2 or low NM.

4th appearance of Ted Kord as Blue Beetle in Blue Beetle #1 volume 4, and it has the cover date of June, 1967.









BLUE BEETLE #2 VOLUME 4
Origin of S.A. Ted Kord Blue Beetle
1st Jarvis Kord 
1st appearance of the Banshee


The origin of Ted Kord and how he becomes the Blue Beetle is finally revealed in this issue. It is told in flashback and Kord is telling his love interest how he became the Blue Beetle after he reveals his identity to her.

Ted Kord was a former student of archeologist Dan Garrett and the two had formed a close friendship. When Ted Kord suspects his uncle Jarvis Kord of being up to no good, and in this case that meant creating an army of androids to take over the world with, he tells Dan Garret and the two go to investigate and end up being captured.

Garrett brings out the Blue Beetle Scarab and turns into the super-powered hero to the surprise of Ted. Garrett ends up being mortally wounded in the conflict. Before dying, he passed on the legacy to Ted Kord.


The mystical Scarab is simply not passed to Ted Kord in this origin, but in later comics published by DC, it would be revealed that Kord was given the Scarab by Garrett before his death but simply couldn't make the thing work. Of course, this origin would be tweaked and expanded on later but for the most part, the basic roots were kept in tact.

Not really a main villain for Blue Beetle, but Max Bine as the Banshee debuts in this issue. He was a frequent foe of the Question during their Charlton days. Don't think Max Bine survived the Crisis on Infinite Earths story.

As of this writing, the origin of Blue Beetle in Blue Beetle #2 volume 4 has a very low CGC Census. Only 41 at the time of this writing. 

There are already four 9.8s and nine 9.6s so far. Not quite sure if it's because these Blue Beetle Silver Age comics are really that hard to find or they're just under the radar or not really all that cared about in the current market.


Maybe all three, but I'm sure there are quite a few lower grade raw copies out there. Judging that there aren't many lower grade submissions in the CGC Census, it does make me think that this comic is over-looked or not all that regarded currently. August, 1967 is the cover date for Blue Beetle #2 volume 4.







Both the Silver Age Dan Garrett as Blue Beetle and Silver Age Ted Kord as Blue Beetle did not have many appearances during this era. However, both characters, their origins, and many elements and attributes were carried over into the DC world of comics.

The Golden Age Blue Beetle was left out and does not exist in DC Comics. While Steve Ditko created the Ted Kord version and Joe Gill and Bil Fraccio create the S.A. Dan Garrett Blue Beetle, other writers and creators would continue to expand on the Blue Beetle mythos.

Blue Beetle was absent for much of the Bronze Age except for the Charlton Bullseye #1 comic, Americomics Special #1 and Americomics #3. The last two were published by AC Comics.

Oh, which way to go - Golden Age or Copper Age? 




<< GOLDEN AGE | SILVER AGE | COPPER AGE | MODERN AGE >>





6 comments:

  1. There seems to be a pretty good market for the Charlton comics of Capt. Atom 83 and Blue Beetle 1. They can be tough to locate in high grade and always go for over guide prices in most all grades. I think these books were not produced in high numbers either. When they usually come up to sell or auction they can be hard to snag. Was able to get a nice VF copy of Blue Beetle 2 though.

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    1. I think those Silver Age Blue Beetle keys from the Charlton era are pretty over-looked. Ted Kord's origin is definitely over-looked from Blue Beetle #2. Well, least it was when I wrote this part. There aren't a lot of high grade copies being recorded so far.

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    2. Well Mayhem. Captain Atom 83 is no longer overlooked. The last CGC 9.4 copy went for $1600. I say some people are starting to recognize this book.

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    3. Pretty sharp drop from the 2015 sale of $2,100 on ole eBay.

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  2. I know it's petty but you keep saying "THE cover date," like, "It has THE cover date of April, 1967." It's "a" as in, "It has a cover date of April, 1967." Otherwise, great stuff! Thanks!

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    1. Heya Jonathan, I know it's repetitive as shit, and trust me, I get tired of writing it as is, but I use cover dates as markers to feature comics before or after the other.

      If they have the same cover date, I'll use the LoC (Library of Congress) copyright date to determine which came out before. If they have the same cover and LoC copyright, I'll try to find out where the story fits before or after canonical wise.

      Cover dates aren't the same as publishing dates as once thought of. They were dates used to determine when a newsstand vendor should pull that comic off their racks.

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