The Blue Beetle battles another bug guy, from the cover of a 1966 issue. Artist: Tony Tallarico.


Medium: Comic Books
Published by: Charlton Comics
First Appeared: 1964
Creators: Joe Gill (writer) and Tony Tallarico (artist)
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In the early 1960s, like the early '40s, practically everybody who published comic books, published superheroes. Many of the current crop, such as DC's Flash and Marvel's Human Torch, were …

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… retreads — modernized versions of older characters. That's the way Charlton Comics went when it entered that market in 1964, with a new version of The Blue Beetle.

This time, instead of a police officer, Dan Garrett (spelled with two T's, unlike the original) was an archaeologist. Instead of no explanation being given for his crime-fighting activity and the oddball name he chose in pursuing it, he got both the name and the super powers from a scarab amulet he acquired in Egypt. And instead of lackluster stories and art by Charles Nicholas and his ilk, the lackluster stories and art were by Joe Gill (Nukla) and Tony Tallarico (Lobo), respectively.

Another difference is that this time, instead of becoming one of the company's biggest stars, The Blue Beetle ran less than a dozen bimonthly issues before fading from view. His first issue was dated June, 1964; the last, March, 1966.

By that time, Charlton was firmly committed to the genre, with Captain Atom, Thunderbolt and others all going concerns. In the November, 1966 issue of Captain Atom, a new Blue Beetle was introduced — one that had a mysterious connection to this one. It later turned out this one, the one with Dan Garrett as an archaeologist, had been killed off-stage; and his death formed a major part of the new character's motivation.

His lifeless carcass was among the properties DC Comics bought from Charlton in the 1980s. For years, the subsequent Blue Beetle, the one that debuted in the back pages of Captain Atom in 1966, was an ongoing DC character; and Dan Garrett, the dead archaeologist who was once The Blue Beetle, is merely a part of his back-story.


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