Tuesday, March 25, 2014

#006, in which Danny-boy gets his nickname, and almost sort of gets an origin

December 1939, and the Beetle has proven to be so popular within just a few months that he is given his own book. THE BLUE BEETLE #1 hits the stands as a quarterly for the 1939-40 winter season.
This first issue is made up of reprints of the five previous stories (the fifth actually hitting the shelves the same month!) plus one all new extra long feature story. Consisting of a whopping 13 pages, this new story fills in pieces of Dan Garret's back story, from his birth and childhood through his college years, and finally his entrance into the police force to find his father's killer.

The actual explanation/origin of how Garret comes to wear the Beetle guise is not told here, and it's a story that will have to wait for another time.
What we do get is the first use of "Danny boy", Mannigan's reason for hunting the Beetle (and Garret's good humored reaction to it), and the idea of a "girl reporter"--which will become an integral part of the Beetle mythos.

No gadgets are used this time. The costume used in this story is much the same as the previous one, with the exception of a blue belt, and the beetle emblem clearly blue on the yellow buckle.

The cover is an exemplary rendering by Lou Fine, while the new story is written (most likely) by Will Eisner. Art chores go to Eisner on pencil layouts, with Charles Nicholas on finishes and inks.

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