Blue Beetle and the Atomic Blondshell in Blue Beetle #55, at Auction

Blue Beetle #19 (Charlton, 1955) contains a story from Blue Beetle #55 (Fox Feature Syndicate, 1948) called The Anonymous Atom, which appears to be by Jack Kamen and others from the Jerry Iger studio. This is not unusual, as much of that short lived 1955 Blue Beetle #18-21 series is composed of reprints of original Golden Age series material.  But the 1948 issue #55 is still not the first time this story has appeared — most of it, anyway.  Interestingly, this story started life as the cover feature of Green Publishing's Atomic Comics #4 (cover-dated July-August 1946) as a story called The Atomic Blondshell featuring the female reporter character Lucky Wings.  The Blue Beetle version replaces Lucky Wings with Beetle regular character Joan Mason and adds Blue Beetle panels.  A weird quirk of Golden Age history, there's a copy of both Blue Beetle #55 (Fox Features Syndicate, 1948) Condition: VG+ and a Blue Beetle #19 (Charlton, 1955) Condition: VG- and  several issues of the series up for auction in the 2022 June 19-20 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122225 at Heritage Auctions.

Blue Beetle #19 (Charlton, 1955)
#19 (Charlton, 1955)

Green Publishing Co. is an obscure publisher with a handful of output entirely clustered around two years, 1946 and 1957. Atomic Comics, which was launched about three months after the U.S. used atomic bombs in WWII, is their most historically famous title.  Publisher David Korneman was also a paper broker who used his connections parlay his paper access into the hot comic market of the late war era.  Iger's studio provided material for other publishers under similar circumstances.

The story is thoroughly rooted in the atomic bomb testing of the era.  A gangster has hired a scientist to collect the radiation "residue" from testing in the pacific, for use in a projector weapon that could be used for various nefarious purposes.  Interestingly, the story makes a bit more sense if you read both versions. Of course, issue #55 is also mildly infamous for a shower scene in another Blue Beetle story that issue, which would have been scandalous in the context of the times.  A fascinating, there's a copy of both Blue Beetle #55 (Fox Features Syndicate, 1948) Condition: VG+ and a Blue Beetle #19 (Charlton, 1955) Condition: VG- and  several issues of the series up for auction in the 2022 June 19-20 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122225 at Heritage Auctions.

Blue Beetle #55 (Fox Features Syndicate, 1948)
#55 (Fox Features Syndicate, 1948)

 

 

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About Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.
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