Monday, March 26, 2012

And the time Blue Beetle sunk a sub. All hands were lost.

We looked at the last issue of DC's first Blue Beetle a while back; and although it wasn't terrible, the book always seemed to be a bit bogged down in subplots. But today's story from Steve Ditko, scripter Gary Friedrich, and Captain Atom #85 flies by in comparison, partly because it only has seven pages to work with.

In fact, a running subplot is given about two panels: Ted Kord is still under investigation for the disappearance of Dan Garrett (the original Blue Beetle) on Pago Island. While the cops have nothing, with them sniffing around Ted considers benching his secret identity...for about two seconds, when he hears a radio report of a hijacked jet, and takes off in the Bug.

The pilots seem willing to crash rather than let an "enemy agent" get away, and since they don't think he'd let them live anyway. Blue Beetle uses the Bug to save the jet from crashing into the ocean, then to get it out of range of an enemy submarine's deck gun. With the agent escaping in the sub, the Bug persues, and Beetle takes out the sub's screws with an underwater bazooka. While Blue Beetle is fighting enemy divers and an octopus (!) the sub attempts to steer away, but with the damage already taken it hits a rock, takes water, and goes down. By this point, there's only a couple panels left, but Ted doesn't seem especially concerned with the loss of life.

I'm not positive, but there might be more action in these seven pages, than Blue Beetle's entire DC run...

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