The Golden Age Blue Beetle: good, but not as good as coffee

I’m working at the moment on the script for a graphic novel, in which a straight-up Golden Age comic takes something of an existential twist. (It’s a bit less obnoxious than it sounds.)

Best part of this is that I get to sit there making up new bonkers Golden Age-style shenanigans, complete with expositionary thought bubbles, and panel-bridging captions that read “SUDDENLY–“. I grew up on decompressed comics like The Authority, so to try squeezing an issue’s-worth of action into six equal-sized panels is an enjoyable exercise in literary bonsai.

Second best part is that I get to read lots of pre-Frederick Wertham comics for reference, including many from the treasure trove on Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blog. Now, since I have a soft spot bigger than a lake of blancmanges for everyone who’s ever graced the Blue Beetle colours, I’m focusing on the adventures of Dan Garret(t): rookie cop/national superspy/budding Egyptologist (he had a lot of reboots, OK)? Dan’s tales are full of derring-do, a callousness toward villains that must’ve made the young Steve Ditko cry for joy, and the occasional charming nonsequitur. I like to think this panel, by the pseudonymous Charles Nicholas in Big 3 Comics #4 (1941), provides a fitting encomium for the whole Blue Beetle legacy:
Dan Garrett and unimpressed girl reporter Joan Mason

Check out the rest of the comic here.

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