In the Golden Age, comic book superheroes often didn't spring onto the comic page fully formed. Sometimes, changes from issue to issue were due to a lack of attention to detail as publishers tasked creators to just get the stories out quickly to try to take advantage of the comic book superhero boom of the early Golden Age era. But often, costumes and abilities evolved from issue to issue as creators and publishers refined their creations in front of the audience. In what might be the most famous example, Superman was still simply leaping tall buildings in the comic books, until the Superman radio program which hit the airwaves on February 12, 1940 gave him the power of true flight, introducing famous phrases like "Up, up and away!", and "Look, up in the sky!" in the process. But Blue Beetle also evolved quite a bit from his debut in Mystery Men Comics #1, and in one case, he too was even given the power of flight. A rare issue of an important series with a great cover by Roland Patenaude, there's a Mystery Men Comics #28 (Fox, 1941) CGC PR 0.5 Cream to off-white pages up for auction in the 2022 November 20-21 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122247 at Heritage Auctions.
Blue Beetle debuted as a classic pulp-style masked mystery man, and his costume and gadgetry via his friend and pharmacist Dr. Franz were slowly introduced through the first few issues of Mystery Men Comics. This changed with the introduction of the Blue Beetle series itself. Blue Beetle #1 explains Dan Garrett's somewhat Batman-like background. As a child, Garrett's mother became a victim of the global flu pandemic that swept the world 1918-1920. This caused him to be more independent and self-reliant than most other kids, and propelled him to excellence in academics and athletics, as well as becoming street-smart. When Garret was a young man, his father was murdered by gangsters, prompting him to become a police officer and ultimately the Blue Beetle. Blue Beetle #2 introduces new elements in an almost matter-of-fact way that brings the character in line with what we consider the canonical version. Blue Beetle #5 then makes some things that have been previously implied a bit more explicit, showing Dr. Franz giving Garrett the armor-style costume in one story, and explaining the development of Vitamin 2X in another.
The actual effects of Vitamin 2X were explored over the course of subsequent months. For example, in Mystery Men Comics #27, the character is shown as being so strong that he overturned a car with little effort. And in Mystery Men Comics #28, in two different scenes, Blue Beetle is clearly shown taking flight and being seen by witnesses soaring high above buildings. Fox seems to have thought the better of that by the next issue, as they walked it back by taking the time to explain that this flight-like power was merely a parkour-like skill at leaping and tumbling from building top to building top. This was then toned down a bit in subsequent months.
But for a brief moment, fans likely believed that Blue Beetle could fly. A rare issue of an important series with a great cover by Roland Patenaude, there's a Mystery Men Comics #28 (Fox, 1941) CGC PR 0.5 Cream to off-white pages up for auction in the 2022 November 20-21 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122247 at Heritage Auctions. If you've never bid at Heritage Auctions before, you can get further information, you can check out their FAQ on the bidding process and related matters.
Mystery Men Comics #28 (Fox, 1941) CGC PR 0.5 Cream to off-white pages. Featuring Blue Beetle. Bondage cover. Overstreet 2022 GD 2.0 value = $161. CGC census 11/22: 1 in 0.5, 7 higher.
CGC Grader Notes:
spine of cover completely split & cover detached
large piece out right top of back cover
light pieces out to cover
moderate creasing to cover
moderate tears to cover
moderate wear all corners of cover