Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Steve Ditko's Blue Beetle is Ted Kord, a guy able to design all kinds of nifty techno-gadgets that a superhero would find handy, who also has enough money to build them. In his case, the main gadget is a beetle-shaped airship, in which he regularly sallies forth in his never-ending battle against evil.

You can see easter eggs for Kord Industries in CW's Arrow & The Flash! Sorry to say we haven't seen the man yet.

Detail from the cover of The Blue Beetle #1.

This Silver Age version of The Blue Beetle was created by Steve Ditko, whose other credits include Mr. A, The Creeper and Spider-Man. Scripter Gary Friedrich did dialog for his early appearances, but the plot and concept were pure Ditko. This Beetle first appeared as a series of very short back-up stories in Ditko's Captain Atom, starting in #83. Early on, Ditko dropped intriguing hints that this Ted Kord character had a connection to another Blue Beetle Charlton had published, whose series had been discontinued several months earlier. Reader interest was piqued, and The Blue Beetle moved out into his own comic.

What a wonderful line-up it was!
It didn't last long unfortunately, as Charlton cancelled its entire superhero line less than a year later. Only five issues came out, with the last was several months late.

Exact reprint of Charlton issue #3, except one page cut from the main story, newer ads and different cover copy (Modern Comics logo, 35c cover price & "Power-Packed Issue!" blurb.)

Blue Beetle #3
"The Madmen"
A reign of fear and madness is created by the Madmen (in costumes resembling Steve Ditko's The Creeper.)
Written (as D.C. Glanzman) & drawn by Steve Ditko
I threw in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ad simply because I'm such an U.N.C.L.E. fan. 

A page from Ditko's sketchbook showing his early designs for Ted Kord's costume. I'd hate to think anyone missed this wonderful piece.

Until recently, I didn't realize The Madmen appeared in the DC series.
The Madmen showed up again, in DC's Blue Beetle #3, hired to break into Kord Industries and steal a supply of Promethium. 

The entire run of Charlton's Blue Beetle is reprinted in this wonderful hardcover Archive edition!
Live Large My Friends and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank You! 

Blue Beetle briefly appeared with Booster Gold in the last season of Smallville.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Who didn't like Jack Kirby's The New Gods? The only trouble was that it ended too soon, but wait, there's more!

In 1976, the New Gods were featured in the last issue of 1st Issue Special. The issue featured a new, more mainstream superhero costume for Orion, which he would wear for the next few years, but failed to lead to a relaunch.

Original art from this issue!
Darkseid once again prepares for war on Earth, and draws Orion into the fray with a Para-Demon attack on New Genesis. Orion goes to Earth, defeats Kalibak and other Apokolips soldiers in combat, and closes on Darkseid. But the Source indicates to Highfather and Metron that Earth will be destroyed if Orion slays Darkseid, and Darkseid reveals to his son that he has attuned his own heartbeat to the rhythms of Earth's sun. If he is destroyed, the sun will go nova and destroy Earth and its entire solar system. Darkseid admits that he has brought Orion there to taunt him, and sends him back to New Genesis with Highfather and Metron. However, Darkseid admits that Orion has damaged his forces, and that he will have to build anew.

1st Issue Special #13 Return of the New Gods
Dick (Stephanie Starr) Giordano cover.
"Last Night Fall Forever"
Orion fights Kalibak and the New Gods are attacked by Parademons on New Genesis.
"A Secret Unveiled"
Orion travels to Earth looking for Darkseid and finds only Kalibak and Granny Goodness.
Orion finally reaches Darkseid, only to find that he can not attack him without destroying the Earth.
Plot by Gerry (Law and Order TV series) Conway with Denny (Batman) O'Neil dialogue & Mike (Archer & Armstrong, Black Canary) Vosburg artwork. 
"The Story Behind the Story" 

Background information on the New Gods.
Mentions that this is the last issue. 

For me, I did enjoy the breakdown into chapters, like Kirby did!

On the relaunch, the numbering continued from the original Kirby series.
Love the Don Newton art in the relaunch!

The New Gods series relaunched in July 1977, with 1st Issue Special still a relatively recent publication, it picked up where the storyline of that issue left off. Although the title remained The New Gods in the indicia and retained its original numbering, launching with #12, the covers used the title The Return of the New Gods. Gerry (Amazing Spider-Man) Conway wrote the series and Don (The Phantom, Shazam) Newton providing the pencils.

In the last issues of the Pacific Comics series, Captain Victory, Kirby crafted an origin story for him (#11 & #12), tying into the New Gods comic book that he had written and drawn for DC Comics in the 1970s. It was suggested that Captain Victory was the son of Orion, of the New Gods. Orion was not specifically named, but a number of clues were planted, including equipment said to belong to Captain Victory's father that was identical to the astro-harness ridden by Orion in the earlier series. Additionally, Captain Victory's grandfather, Blackmaas, was illustrated only as a cast shadow, but a shadow that to many readers bore a resemblance to Orion's father, Darkseid.

Wouldn't it be nice to see this collection? Dreaming!

Good times back then, hope you enjoyed them as much as I did. 

Here's some further reasons I enjoy Vosburg artwork!

Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!