I'm wondering why we haven't heard more from these characters since either the New 52, or shortly after. I think there has to be more content out there for these characters...

Blue Beetle (come on, quit teasing...Ted Kord can be Blue Beetle too...)

Elongated Man and Sue Dibney

Fire (she's still out there, right?)

Ice (see Fire)

Peacemaker

Checkmate (characters are too cool not to use)

Rocket Reds (come on, with the current climate? It writes itself!)

Manhunter Mark Shaw

The New Guardians (I have never understood how these characters are in limbo...)

Captain Atom

Jade and Obsidian (okay...how about the JSA?)

Halo (new Outsiders series on the way...make sure she's a part)

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We can also include Zatara on that list.

Dave Palmer said:

Blue Beetle, in his numerous guises, is in select company:  Superheroes published in every decade from the 1930s.  Using cover dates (which pushes, e.g., Flash and Hawkman into the 1940s) there aren't too many.  Superman, Batman, Human Torch, Sub-Mariner, and Doll Man (if we count I.W./Super in the 1960s) (and I'm assuming he's popped up often enough since the Earth X/JLA story to make every decade since).  There's been a Captain Marvel, often unrelated to the others, in every decade as well.  Did I miss anybody?

Funny story. There was a scene in Crisis on Infinite Earths where the Monitor picked the strongest character from the remaining four or five universes for some mission — and the choice from Earth-4 was Blue Beetle! That was a head-scratcher until Marv Wolfman explained that he didn’t know about (or had forgotten about) Ditko’s version. He had grown up with Dan Garrett, who was the most powerful character at Charlton for a while, and when he put “Blue Beetle” in the script, that's who he meant. George Perez, who is considerably younger, drew the Beetle he knew, Ted Kord, who isn’t the strongest character in any universe, ever. When Wolfman asked who that guy in the art was, he found out about Kord and wrote the right Beetle from then on.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Also, when they first appeared in Crisis, wasn't their Charlton continuity assumed to be intact? It was only after Crisis, when their world was folding into all the other earths, that they experienced the continuity changes. So Kord would have already been the Blue Beetle when that happened. 

Wow, I never knew that!

Welcome to the club. I llearn something new here every day!

Same! That is really interesting. I never noticed that, either.

Still, it reminds me of a story in the Giffen/DeMatties Justice League, where Despero has Blue Beetle in his hands. He says (and I paraphrase), "Interesting. Though you are physically the weakest member, your mind is second in strength only to the Martian's."

I always liked that little touch.

Captain Comics said:

Welcome to the club. I llearn something new here every day!

The Blue Beetle debuted in Mystery Men Comics #1. Mike's Amazing World says this came out in Jun. 1939. In his original form the Blue Beetle was based on the Green Hornet. He posed as a crook, as the Green Hornet did.

In his other identity he was policeman Dan Garret. He changed into his Blue Beetle identity in the back room at a druggist's shop. and stashed the car he used as the Beetle at the druggist's. The druggist, Abe, assisted the Beetle by phoning the crook he was deceiving with a fake tip.

In this story the Beetle carried gas capsules and a wireless telephone that he used to tip-off the police. I don't think he used gas capsules after #1, but he did the phone. A crook disguised as him used a gas capsule in #7.

#1 also introduced an Irish patrolman who was subsequently named Mike Mannigan. He was a comic relief character, but in the stories I've seen he wasn't portrayed as a comic incompetent, like Clancy in "Steel Sterling".

Mystery Men Comics #2 introduced the first version of the Beetle's familiar costume. The idea that he poses as a crook was dropped, but subsequent stories depicted him as still wanted by the police because of his vigilantism.

I thought for years that the Beetle was modelled after the Phantom, but that doesn't seem to be the where the idea for his new costume came from. His new costume was chain mail, and the headpiece was modelled on a coif. Perhaps the idea was that that he should have a shell, like a beetle.

 In #3 a mask was added to his costume, giving him that Phantom-look.

#5 reintroduced the Beetle's druggist friend, and named him Dr Franz. He was the Beetle's confidant and helped him prepare for his forays.

In #7 the Beetle's feature was moved to the opening slot, and he appeared on the cover for the first time.

He was usually cover-featured from this point. The exception was the cover of #9, featuring Rex Dexter of Mars. The covers of Mystery Men Comics #7-#8, #10-#13 and Blue Beetle #2-#3 show the Beetle using a gun, but he didn't use them in the stories, except in the final fight in Mystery Men Comics #13's instalment.

From #1 he often announced his presence with blue beetles. I'd rather suppose they were models, but the one on that page from #3 is described as running along the window, which suggests it's alive. Sometimes he dangled them on strings. This page is from #7.

In #7 he made his first use of a flashlight that projected a beetle image.

#10's story represented his costume as bulletproof.

Blue Beetle #3 has the first mentions I've found of vitamin 2-X. It was supplied to the hero by Dr Franz. (It was also mentioned in Mystery Men Comics #13 the same month. Mike's Amazing World says Blue Beetle #3 came out first.)

According to Mike's Amazing World Blue Beetle #1 appeared in Jan. 1940, the same month as Mystery Men Comics #8. The issue had a new origin story backed by Blue Beetle and Yarko the Great reprints. The text story was a Blue Beetle adventure.

According to the origin Garret's mother died when he was a boy. He was raised by his policeman father, and wanted to follow him into the police. His father wanted him to go to college first. While he was at college his father was fatally wounded in the line of duty. After graduating Garret joined the police and captured his father's killer as the Blue Beetle.

Fox got the Blue Beetle radio show on air and the newspaper strip into newspapers, but I think these might be evidence of the hopes Fox had for the character rather than his popularity. Wikipedia says the radio show ran May-Sep. 1940. Jack Kirby drew the newspaper strip for a time. I think it was his first superhero work.

I've not read enough of the Blue Beetle's appearances to trace his development into a superman. My guess is it grew out of his use of 2-X. These pages from #14 have what might be the Beetle's first superhuman feat. Earlier in the story he lifts two men up at once, one in each hand.

I think the magic scarab was invented for his 1960s revival. The new version of Dan Garrett was an archaeologist rather than a policeman, and the first story was an origin story in which he found the scarab and became the Blue Beetle.

The Fox Blue Beetle's feature was bylined "Charles Nicholas". This is the name by which artist Charles Nicholas Wojtkoski is known, and the GCD takes him to have been the original artist. Chuck Cuidera's middle name was Nicholas and he claimed he was the character's creator, but people who know more about early comics history than me seem to discount this. I don't know what either artist's work looked like at that point and can't judge the matter.

The chain mail costume is the early feature's clever touch, I think, so I like the character most as a non-powered crimefighter. I also like Garret's partership with Dr Franz. It's similar to the relationship of Black Lightning and Peter Gambi in the early issues of Black Lightning.

Images from Comic Book Plus.

Dave Palmer said:

Blue Beetle, in his numerous guises, is in select company:  Superheroes published in every decade from the 1930s.  Using cover dates (which pushes, e.g., Flash and Hawkman into the 1940s) there aren't too many... Did I miss anybody?

The Sandman, Sheena and Ka-Zar nearly qualify, but as far as I can see each skipped at least one decade, even counting reprints. So I can only add to the list by counting characters who originated outside comics.

The first Hercules feature debuted in 1940 in Charlton's Blue Ribbon Comics. But Hercules appeared as a character in the "Zanzibar the Magician" story in Mystery Men Comics #2, along with Venus and Zeus. (Hat-tip: the GCD.)

I think the Phantom has appeared in comics in each decade, but I don't think he appeared in original comic book stories as opposed to strip reprints before the 1960s. Likewise Mandrake.

Tarzan appeared in strip reprints in the 1930s, but not original stories to my knowledge until the 1940s.

I think Robin Hood starred in original stories or retellings of his legend in each decade from the 1930s to the 2000s. But I can't nominate an original appearance from this decade. Likewise the Three Musketeers, counting adaptations.

King Arthur has appeared in each decade, but the GCD doesn't currently list an appearance by Merlin before the 1940s.

Going by cover dates Captain Marvel doesn't qualify. Mike's Amazing World says Whiz Comics #2 (really 1) went on sale Dec. 1939, but its cover-date was Feb. 1940.

Good catch on Captain Marvel; I should have looked that one up.

If we include “on sale” in the 1930s (which really does seem more fair, albeit a tad messier), then the list expands a bit.

Flash Comics #1 (January 1940) went on sale in November 1939 (according to Mike’s Amazing World), so from that we get Flash and Hawkman.  I don’t think Johnny Thunder appeared at all in the 1950s or else he’d probably make the list.

The Spectre first appeared in More Fun #52 (February 1940) but Mike’s has an on sale date of January 2, 1940.  Additionally, I don’t think he appeared in the 1950s— the 1950s are a real stumbling block.

Detective #38 with Robin went on sale in March 1940.

Mandrake makes the list (I didn’t check the Phantom, that one makes sense).  Thank goodness for King Reading Library (1977) or the 1970s might have tripped him up, although he did appear in Mad #175.

Another one would be the Shield.  Pep Comics #1 has a January 1940 cover date but went on sale in November 1939.  The Double Life of Private Strong takes care of the 1950s.

Luke Blanchard said:

Dave Palmer said:

Blue Beetle, in his numerous guises, is in select company:  Superheroes published in every decade from the 1930s.  Using cover dates (which pushes, e.g., Flash and Hawkman into the 1940s) there aren't too many... Did I miss anybody?

The Sandman, Sheena and Ka-Zar nearly qualify, but as far as I can see each skipped at least one decade, even counting reprints. So I can only add to the list by counting characters who originated outside comics.

The first Hercules feature debuted in 1940 in Charlton's Blue Ribbon Comics. But Hercules appeared as a character in the "Zanzibar the Magician" story in Mystery Men Comics #2, along with Venus and Zeus. (Hat-tip: the GCD.)

I think the Phantom has appeared in comics in each decade, but I don't think he appeared in original comic book stories as opposed to strip reprints before the 1960s. Likewise Mandrake.

Tarzan appeared in strip reprints in the 1930s, but not original stories to my knowledge until the 1940s.

I think Robin Hood starred in original stories or retellings of his legend in each decade from the 1930s to the 2000s. But I can't nominate an original appearance from this decade. Likewise the Three Musketeers, counting adaptations.

King Arthur has appeared in each decade, but the GCD doesn't currently list an appearance by Merlin before the 1940s.

Going by cover dates Captain Marvel doesn't qualify. Mike's Amazing World says Whiz Comics #2 (really 1) went on sale Dec. 1939, but its cover-date was Feb. 1940.

On second thought, The Shield may have missed the 1970s.  I don’t have time to check now; gotta go to work.

It turns out The Shield did make it through the 1970s.

Oh, and an obscure Blue Beetle appearance (now I really have to run to work).

DAN GARRET: Jack Kirby did a Blue Beetle newspaper strip for a time. I have representative samples in various publications, but I would like to see a comprehensive collection.

TED KORD: what's really interesting (to me, anyway) is to read Ditko's Blue Beetle immediately after having read his Spider-Man. Then you'll be better able to appreciate the similarities and the differences.

JAIME REYES: The only exposure I have had to this character is in Mark Waid and George Perez's The Brave & the Bold. I thought the character was... okay. (He is not my Blue Beetle but I can see him being somebody's.)

It's worth noting that Ted Kord appears (in Beetle-branded civvies) as part of a super-scientist brain trust (along with both Atoms, Mr. Terrific, and Will Magnus) in today's Superman #3.

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