Charlton vs Mighty MLJ

Two parallel universes from two silver age comic book publishers examined ad naseum!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

History of the Blue Beetle and Fly Comics #1

Perhaps no other two characters quite define their respective publishers as had Blue Beetle and the Fly. And their comic book runs... although hit and miss... had remarkable peaks during their various series runs throughout the decades. So we'll dissect their histories:

Blue Beetle version 1 - Fox/Holyoke Publishing 1939-50
Fox Publications hit gold in 1939, shortly after the first wave of masked men had hit the street, by publishing Blue Beetle (and then sold it in 1942 to Holyoke Publshing) The series would feature their premier character, and what was not to love? He had it all, the everyman police officer with the jazzy jumpsuit, the standard repetroire of powers which ebbed and flowed with the  whims of the writer. And that initial writer, possible Will Eisner, set this brand on the road to success... at least until August 1950 when his self-titled publication was finally canceled with issue #60. This was during the period past when most superheroes had become passe and yet there was something natural about this bug man. Funny thing, who would know that bugs would be so marketable? Except for Stan Lee!

Adventures of the Fly version 1 - Archie Adventure Series 1959-64
When Archie Comics finally longed to revisit the niche from which their successful publishing empire had been based in the early 1940s, that being superheroes, they decided to create two brand new properties rather than recycle their older characters. And so with a publishing date of August 1959, the Adventures of the Fly debuted, the creation of the legendary pairing of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Alas, they would only stick around as a duo until issue #4, and then after #8 Archie would enlist staff writers. The first edition of this series would last until October 1964. But, like the Beetle before him, our Flying friend would not lie down for very long! Yet when both returned, they would be produced by two new entities on the comic book scene who would attempt to capitalize on their modest success by building new fictional universes. More soon...

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