Sunday, April 20, 2014

#021, in which Danny-boy takes it on the face from 20 men at once

MYSTERY MEN #12, July 1940. Despite having the hallmarks of a typical BB plot, this one is significant in at least one very major way. Along side the gang activity (the robbing of gold bars from an armored truck), the requisite explosives going off, and the inevitable beaning of BB on the melon, comes three instances that tell us there's something more going on with the character himself.

First, the Beetle catches up to a speeding car--on foot! Second: after getting clobbered on the head he regains consciousness unusually fast. And Finally, BB takes on 20 thugs all at once (in a most excellent full splash page), knocking them all out
on his own without any outside help.
This is an unspoken indication that the Beetle has extra-normal speed,agility,stamina, and strength. Indeed, the very next stories (in BLUE BEETLE #3, which also has a July 1940 cover date) we will learn that he does, indeed, have a strength enhancing trick up his sleeve.

The art this time around is wonderfully penciled and inked
by Chuck Cuidera, who gives us some amazing images;the aforementioned splash page, and that of 20 defeated thugs laid out to form the likeness of a giant beetle. Cover is again by Joe Simon.

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