Saturday, April 5, 2014

#017, in which Danny-boy lights one up

The next story in BLUE BEETLE #2 is a return to form with another thug racket, burning down abandoned and vacant buildings to collect insurance.

A "lady reporter" makes an appearance in this story, an early nod to what will become one of the major characters in BB's life, Joan Mason.

This story is notable for several aspects. It gives us our first positive proof that the Beetle's suit is "bullet proof armor" (although he still gets knocked out with a cosh to the head), and it gives us our first hint at the Beetle having more than ordinary strength when he easily breaks through a door.

The beetle searchlight is used three times in this story, and really it's a bit more than needed in just eight pages.

Also of note is artist Larry Antonette's detail of of the chainmail suit, which we haven't seen in the art for several stories. Antonette also draws Mannigan not in his usual slightly portly roundfaced visage, but as stocky,muscular,well built and even with a full head of hair.

Perhaps the the most telling part of this tale is the Beetle's willingness to kill, something we haven't really seen before (with the exception of firing upon Nazis, and on the covers of the books).

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