This page is for the original Blue Beetle, Dan Garret/Garrett.
For the second Blue Beetle, see Ted Kord
For the current Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes, see the Blue Beetle.
Daniel Garret was born Wednesday, December 6, 1916. His father was a New York police officer by the name of Michael Garret. They were a happy family until December 1920 when a flu epidemic broke out and Dan's mother died. This left Michael to raise Dan by himself. Dan was a good boy and looked out for the smaller kids in his neighborhood. He wanted to be a policeman like his father. His father wanted him to go to college first. Micheal saved money and Dan got help from a scholarship and went to State University. There he became a boxer and played football and hockey. It was during his senior year that Dan's father was fatally shot by Chick Alonzo. Dan rushed to see his father, who told him to finish college just before he died.
Dan later became a police officer who became the Blue Beetle to find out who killed his father. He quickly found out and brought the whole Alonzo Gang to justice. Then he vowed as the Blue Beetle he would bring all the gangs to justice. As the Blue Beetle, Dan originally had no superpowers at all. He wore chainmail armor for protection. He later met up with a scientist named Dr. Franz, who supplied him with vitamin 2X. The vitamin gave Dan super strength, dexterity and invulnerability, though he still wore the chainmail despite his invulnerability. The vitamin 2X also gave Dan super healing and the ability to stay awake for days. This came in very handy when Dan was gunned down on the street as a rookie policeman in a drive by shooting. He nearly died because of a lack of type B blood. He was saved by the commissioner's daughter and love interest Helen Harmon.
The original Dan Garret was created by Charles Nicholas Wojtowski and started in Mystery Men Comics #1 In August 1939 produced by the Fox Feature Syndicate comic company. This makes Blue Beetle one of the earliest superheroes ever. The original Blue Beetle was Daniel Garret (one "t"), however there has been at least five different incarnations of the Dan Garret/Garrett character.
At first, the Blue Beetle had no powers. He fought crime dressed in a suit, fedora and mask. He looked very similar to the Green Hornet. In fact, that was the problem. He looked too much like the Green Hornet. So his look was changed as well as his story. He ended up looking instead like the Phantom. The Green Hornet costume was never explained.
Blue Beetle was very popular in the late 1930's and 1940's. The first Blue Beetle comic lasted sixty issues, not to mention his appearances in Mystery Men Comics. This was very rare for the time and it is still rare for a self-titled superhero comic book to last that many issues. No other Blue Beetle had a series last that long. He even had his own radio show. It should also be mentioned that Fox Feature Syndicate made Blue Beetle one of their Big 3. The Big 3 were Blue Beetle, Samson and The Flame. They even had their own comic for a very short time called The Big 3. This is not unlike Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman in the DC Universe only to a much lesser extent.
In 1955, the character of Blue Beetle was bought by Charlton Comics. This was the birth of the second incarnation of the character. He underwent many changes besides the additional "t" added to his last name. This Dan Garrett did not have a lot of comics written about him, but when DC Comics bought the rights to the character, it was this version of Dan that they decided to use.
There have been many attempts to bring back the Dan Garrett Blue Beetle. He was brought back in Americomics #3 (1983) twice in the same issue. The book had three stories in it. Two of the stories were about resurrecting Garrett. The first story was about a robotic Dan Garrett who was on Pago Island when Dan died. Not having been fully programmed, the robot took on the personality of Dan as the Blue Beetle. When the robot comes to Hub City, Ted is convinced at first that he is the real Dan Garrett and almost gives up being the Blue Beetle himself. He eventually realizes his error and defeats the robot.
The second story attempts to explain the two different origins of the original Blue Beetle by making a third version. In this story, Dan is brought back to life by two unnamed gods. They explain Dan has been resurrected before and it is time to resurrect him again. When they resurrect him, they provide a new life for him as a secret agent. Ted Kord is also a secret agent in this story.
When DC Comics started writing stories about the Blue Beetle, they chose to start off with the Ted Kord version. They kept the story of Dan Garrett being an archaeologist. DC also completely ignored the secret agent story written in Americomics. In DC's first Blue Beetle comic series, Dan climbs out of the rubble of Pago Island and is told by the spirit of Pharaoh Kha-ef-Re to destroy Ted Kord the blasphemer who has taken on the mantle of the Blue Beetle. At first Dan sets out to do just that, but later he defies the Pharaoh Kha-ef-Re and is killed by him. This also seemingly destroys the scarab.
Dynamite Entertainment seems to have resurrected the first Dan Garret Blue Beetle along with his sidekick Sparky. In the #0 issue of Project Superpowers, characters wearing almost identical costumes are seen alongside other characters from the Fox Feature Syndicate like The Flame and Sampson. He is listed in quotes as "Big Blue" next to his sidekick Sparky. Due to copyrights Dan is not referred to by name as either Dan or Blue Beetle, but his sidekick is. In the story, Dan is caught by the Fighting Yank in Pandora's Box just after WWII. In Pandora's Box, he is left in suspended animation and emerges later as Thus, he would change his costume and go by the name Amon Khadul.
The confusion is most likely due to the Blue Beetle's public domain status. It seems that the original Dan Garret Blue Beetle (with one "t") is public domain, while the Dan Garrett Blue Beetle (with two "t's") is not. The difference in name and costumes are almost exactly the same, so anyone wishing to write about the Dan Garret Blue Beetle takes a risk on stepping on the toes of DC Comics, who own the rights to the Dan Garrett Blue Beetle. So the solution is to change the hero drastically and call him The Scarab.
The Golden Age Dan Garret was the only Blue Beetle to have a sidekick (Sparky). His girlfriend was reporter Joan Mason. She even caught one of Beetle's villains by the name of Spider Spaulding (due to a spiderweb tattoo on his left cheek). This changed on the Blue Beetle radio show, however, and his girlfriend was Mary Donnelly, the daughter of Dan's boss, Commissioner Donnelly. Mike Mannigan was his friend on the police force and who got him his job. Mike was also Dan's father's partner before he was killed.
The Blue Beetle had quite a large unique rogues' gallery of villains that he fought over the years. Many were gangs. Some were war saboteurs, evil businessmen and others were bonafide super villains. Some of the gangs he fought were The White Face Gang and The Roof Killers. A neat side note to one of Blue Beetle's villains was a counterfeit gang leader whose name was Lora Crofte. This is a different character than the Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. Beetle also had a villain by the name of Big Dix who was responsible for the deaths of many children after selling playground equipment he knew was faulty.
The Golden Age Blue Beetle also had many costume changes. As stated earlier, he originally dressed much like the Green Hornet only in blue. Then his uniform was changed to a blue chain mail. He wore this even after he became invulnerable. His gloves were yellow most of the time, although he also wore red and light blue gloves as the character evolved. Lastly, he wore a yellow belt buckle with a beetle on it and a yellow beetle emblem on his forehead.
The Silver Age version of Dan Garrett was an archaeologist based in Egypt, who discovered an ancient and magical blue Scarab on a dig in the tomb of the Pharaoh Kha-ef-Re. The Scarab gifted him with super strength, flight, and the ability to create lightning. By uttering the words "Kaji Dha," he would be changed into the Blue Beetle. This Dan Garrett did not have a long history, but he had a girlfriend as well as a friend by the name of Ted Kord. Ted was Dan's student and later became the next man the carry on the Blue Beetle history. Unlike the first Dan Garret, this Dan was an archeologist.
He did have a few villains of his own like Praying Mantis Man, Mr. Crabb, Dr. Thunderbolt, the Red Knight, Mentor the Magnificent, Magno Man and The Eye of Horus. Dan Garrett's uniform is slightly different from the original Blue Beetle. His costume is blue with red trim. He wore a blue costume with red gloves, red mask, and red belt with a blue buckle. He also had a red fin like a mohawk going over the top of his head.
In the modern age, Dan Garrett is the resurrection and/or reincarnation of the all the Dan Garretts in one. He is a secret agent and aware of his past incarnations. He believes that all his previous incarnations are past lives and that he will be resurrected when the world needs him. He wore the same costume as the second version of the Blue Beetle and existed alongside the Ted Kord Blue Beetle
Major Story Arcs
The Red Dress
Dan had many love interests over the years. Helen was one, but more prominent was Joan Mason. Joan was an adventurous news reporter who was not a damsel in distress, but a hero as well. She would even save Blue Beetle on occasion. All the main women in Blue Beetle's life have an odd similarity in that they always seem to wear the same red dress. Most are blonde and look just like Joan. Helen may not look exactly like Joan as she is a brunette but she still has the same red dress.
Like many heroes of his time, Dan not only fought crime at home but also the Axis Powers in WWII. He even had a sidekick, a boy named Sparky J. Northrup. Sparky originally wore a costume, but after fighting Nazis in WWII, he gave up his costume and fought in civilian clothes.
Dan in WWII
During WWII, the Golden Age Blue Beetle fought many Axis enemies like a gaunt saboteur called The Skull, a one-eyed spy named Blitz and Red Robe, the Gestapo head in the United States. Another cruel WWII villain was the Masked General who enjoyed torturing people by pouring hot oil on their faces and who only wore a mask when one of his victims threw oil on his own face. There was also Princess Brunhild, who would stuff stolen corpses with gold to smuggle gold to Nazi armies. Blue Beetle even fought Adolph Hitler himself.
Some of Blue Beetle's super villains were very bizarre, like the Sky Ruler (who literally dropped cars like bombs), Galgo (who had his henchmen dress up like apes), and Countess Belladonna (who would literally knit the name of the people she was going to kill in her scarf and preferred to murder with poised knitting needles). Other super villains were The Sphinx, and Death, who would enslave people to work in mines under the city. He also fought a disfigured man known as The Eye, who surrounded himself with disfigured henchmen and would hypnotize innocent people into murderous rampages. Lastly, one of Beetle's villains was the Prophetic Painter who would paint grizzly murders that he was going to commit and then stage the murder to fit his paintings.
The Death of Dan Garrett
The Silver Age Dan Garrett was not only an archaeologist, but he was also a professor. One of his students was a man named Theodore "Ted" Kord. Ted was a scientific genius and Olympic level athlete. Ted needed assistance in dealing with his Uncle Jarvis. Jarvis was brilliant scientist in the field of robotics. Unknowingly, Ted had helped Jarvis build indestructible super robots in an attempt to use them to take over the world. Unknown to Ted, his old professor was none other than the Blue Beetle.
Once Dan and Ted found Jarvis on Pago Island, they were attacked by Jarvis's robots. When they are attacked, Dan uses his magical scarab to turn into the Blue Beetle. Once Jarvis was faced with defeat, he kills himself and blows up his robots in a successful attempt to kill Blue Beetle. As the Blue Beetle was mortally wounded, he asked Ted to take up the mantle. Ted agreed and became the Blue Beetle. It is at this point that Dan falls though the ground and is crushed in a massive cave-in. Dan was unable to pass the scarab to Ted, leaving him with only his intelligence, wits and fists to fight crime as the Blue Beetle.
Powers and Abilities
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
In the episode "The Fall of the Blue Beetle", a statue of Dan can be seen in the lair of the deceased Ted Kord. A flashback to Ted's origin later shows him holding the deceased body of Garrett, while Batman narrates and mentions that it was his mentor's death that drove Ted to become the second Blue Beetle. Who or what killed Dan is never specified.
Dan Garret, the first Blue Beetle never appeared in the episode called Booster. However, his name was mentioned by Ted Kord, the CEO of Kord Industries. At the time, Dan was studying the alien scarab and its origins. During the study, the scarab beetle later bonded to Dan and killed three people by accident. Dan accidentally killed himself while trying to remove the scarab beetle from the bonding process. Later, Ted managed to keep the scarab as a safety precaution until it ended up missing.
Young Justice: Invasion
Dan Garret is seen in in the episode "Intervention" as part of a flashback detailing the Blue Beetle legacy. Batgirl and Robin state that Dan was a young archaeologist who found the scarab in Egypt in 1939, and used it to become the first Blue Beetle. The elderly Dan later passed away, and gave the scarab (and Blue Beetle identity) to his protege, Ted Kord.
The Radio Show
The original Blue Beetle had his own radio show in 1940 that lasted 48 episodes. By today's television standards, that would be two full seasons. He would fight crime like the Dynamite Gang and the Payroll Bandits.
|Episode List||Episode List|
|Origin||Rounding up the Payroll Bandits (Part One)|
|Smashing the Spy Ring||Rounding up the Payroll Bandits (Part Two)|
|Sabotage and Liquidation (Part One)||Crime Incorporated (Part One)|
|Sabotage and Liquidation (Part Two)||Crime Incorporated (Part Two)|
|Murder for Profit (Part One)||Saved by a Hair (Part One)|
|Murder for Profit (Part Two)||Saved by a Hair (Part Two)|
|Blasting the Dynamite Gang (Part One)||Finesse in Diamonds (Part One)|
|Blasting the Dynamite Gang (Part Two)||Finesse in Diamonds (Part Two)|
|Invisible Ghost (Part One)||Sabotage Incorporated (Part One)|
|Invisible Ghost (Part Two)||Sabotage Incorporated (Part Two)|
|Death Rides on Horseback (Part One)||Smashing the Restaurant (Part One)|
|Death Rides on Horseback (Part Two)||Smashing the Restaurant (Part Two)|
|Death Strikes from the East (Part One)||Two Rockets in One (Part One)|
|Death Strikes from the East (Part One)||Two Rockets in One (Part One)|
|Sea Serpent (Part One)||Underworld goes Underground(Part one)|
|Sea Serpent (Part two)||Underworld goes Underground(Part Two)|
|Frame Up (Part One)||Dancing Ghost of Rocky Hill (Part One)|
|Frame Up (Part Two)||Dancing Ghost of Rocky Hill (Part Two)|
|Spirits Don't Talk (Part One)||Whale of Pirates Folly (Part One)|
|Spirits Don't Talk (Part Two)||Whale of Pirates Folly (Part Two)|
|Thoroughbreds Always Come Through (Part One)||Asylum of Doctor Drear (Part One)|
|Thoroughbreds Always Come Through (Part Two)||Asylum of Doctor Drear (Part Two)|
|Smashing the Arson Ring (Part One)||Jewel Mystery of Channel (Part One)|
|Smashing the Arson Ring (Part two)||Jewel Mystery of Channel (Part Two)|