Charlton vs Mighty MLJ

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

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mainstream Mondays: The Rich Guy/Bug Boys

Continuing our series on the integration of Charlton and Archie/MLJ characters in the DC Universe, we next consider that archetype of the rich industrialist turned vigilante. Relying on his wits and his gadgets as he was not born with natural superpowers, this spunky type hero would exercise a bravado unmatched by his more powerful contemporaries, such as the cornerstones whom we considered last week in the forms of Captain Atom and the Shield.

Blue Beetle was the alias adopted by Ted Kord in memory of his deceased friend Dan Garrett aka the original Blue Beetle. Using science to attempt to replicate the ancient scarabs of their predecessors, each Ted Kord proved to be a more viable Blue Beetle for a modern age. Hence, this character wasn't as reimagined as were others from Charlton.

The Beetle quickly gained prominence when he joined the Justice League, as had Captain Atom, only in Blue's case his jovial nature and a friendship developed between himself and new character Booster Gold would quickly become a defining feature in this hero's legend.

John Raymond became the Web over at MLJ and then Mighty Comics in order to right the wrongs commited by his felonious brother. While not possessing the gadgets of the Beetle, this bug-inspired crimefighter had a sharp mental disposition that aided him in combating the illegal element. Incorporated into the 1960's version was a wife named Rose who dispised this identity. Quickly the character devolved into a joke.

However, the newly integrated Raymond at DC Comics had a more serious edge to him. Now a spoiled playboy instead of criminologist, its John's brother who is the do-gooder and is ultimately murdered. Deciding to use technology to create new line of heroes around the world, wearing specialized Web suits granting the wearer certian abilities, it is John who actually becomes the information broker turned superhero relying now more on his courage then the world wide web.

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