The Blue Beetle Companion: His Many Lives from 1939 to Today
Writer: Christopher Irving
Cover artists: Cully Hamner (front) and Tom Feister (back)
Editor: John Morrow
Publisher: TwoMorrows Publishing
Price: $16.95 US
The Blue Beetle seems like an odd choice of character to have his own “biography.” At his most popular, he’s a B-list super-hero at best, and the rest of the time, one could view him as a C-lister or worse. Fortunately, this volume isn’t so much a study of the character’s history but of two businesses that published his adventures in the Golden and Silver Ages of Comics… and of the men who kept the Beetle machine ticking for decades. Irving’s history — derived not only from interviews he conducted but from other sources as well — is more comprehensive the further back one goes in time. The Blue Beetle Companion could have been a tedious read, but Irving uses the personalities of the real people behind the paper protagonist to bring drama and humor to the factoids and timelines that serve as the skeleton of this project. Ultimately, this book will appeal to a limited niche market, but that’s the bread and butter of TwoMorrows publications in the first place. With any luck, younger, newer readers who are fans of the newest incarnation of the Blue Beetle might be drawn to this volume, and if so, it will open their eyes to the wonder and weirdness of the medium, not to mention a weasel or two.