Blue Beetle vs Dinosaurs and the Threat from Saturn, Up for Auction

When Holyoke Publishing Co. took over publication of the Blue Beetle title in the wake of Fox Publications, Inc's 1942 bankruptcy, they made significant changes to the direction of the character.  Some of these changes were weird, some of them were amazing, and all of it is an underappreciated aspect of the character's history. But when Victor Fox regained control over the character beginning with Blue Beetle #31, after a legal battle with Holyoke things got even weirder. Beginning with that issue, Blue Beetle slowly began to develop near Superman-level power, and his adventures expanded to include science fiction and fantasy elements.  Generally speaking, this period of the character covers Blue Beetle #31-45, and there are several issues from this part of the series up for auction in the 2022 June 19-20 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122225 at Heritage Auctions.

Blue Beetle #37 (Fox Features Syndicate, 1945)
Blue Beetle #37 (Fox Features Syndicate, 1945)

As soon as Fox regained control of the title, Blue Beetle began to exhibit an unexplained level-up in his abilities.  His strength increased dramatically, as he was regularly seen lifting cars, huge construction equipment, and other very heavy items.  He began to seem invulnerable at times, breaking through brick walls with ease, and telling an opponent that their bullets would be useless against him.  Eventually, he even began to fly.

Going along with this, Blue Beetle's adventures expanded beyond his usual war-era and street-crime sagas.  For example, beginning in Blue Beetle #34, the Threat from Saturn saga, which was serialized over several issues, featured a super-powered pair of evildoers from Saturn who were able to take over the bodies of humans.  Several issues of this period also included stories that used a reader promotion that they called "Comics Hall of Fame" in which Blue Beetle fans could send in their photos for the chance to be included in Blue Beetle adventures.  These too tended towards science fiction and fantasy such as the story Adventure Inside the Earth in issue #37 which was sort of a hollow earth combined with The Lost World tale.

This weird, wonderful period of Blue Beetle ended about the time that the Jack Kamen good girl art covers began with issue #46.  The character's abilities and his adventures more or less began to return to their pre-Holyoke era norms around that time.  But this fascinating and nearly-forgotten era of Blue Beetle #31-45, is also well worth your time, and there are several issues from this part of the series up for auction in the 2022 June 19-20 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122225 at Heritage Auctions.

#34 (Fox Features Syndicate, 1944) Condition: VG+. "The Threat from Saturn" serial begins. Story and art by Jack Farr. Staple pull. Overstreet 2021 VG 4.0 value = $80.

#37 and 39 Group (Fox Features Syndicate, 1945) Condition: Average GD/VG. Includes issues #37 (detached cover and centerfold) and 39. Grades range from GD to VG. Approximate Overstreet value for group = $120.

Blue Beetle #41 (Fox Features Syndicate, 1946) Condition: FN/VF. Includes a Joan Mason backup story. E. C. Stoner cover. Stoner and Larry Page art. Small stain of back cover. Overstreet 2021 FN 6.0 value = $117; VF 8.0 value = $231.

 

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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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