Public Domain Super Heroes
Blue Beetle
Blue Beetle

Real Name

Daniel Garret/Garrett

First Appearance

Mystery Men Comics #1 (1939)

Original Publisher

Fox Features

Created by

Charles Nicholas


After his father was killed by a gangster's bullet, young Dan Garret joined the New York Police Department, but he soon tired of the slow pace and red tape of police work. He donned a blue three-piece suit and white mask and established a costumed identity,


The Blue Beetle's original three piece suit.

fighting crime as the Blue Beetle. He had no powers, but he used a gun and a wrist-mounted mini-radio to get an edge on the criminals he was fighting. His calling card was a small beetle-shaped marker that he left in conspicuous places to alert criminals to his presence, using their fear of his crime-fighting reputation as a weapon against them.

Shortly afterwards, his friend and mentor, a pharmacist and a drug-store proprietor named Dr. Franz helped Dan acquire bulletproof armor made out of a chainmail-like cellulose material. He still occasionally used a gun, but he mostly relied on his fists from that point on. He added a "BeetleMobile" car and a "BeetleBird" airplane to his arsenal. He also started using a "Beetle Signal" flashlight. In some stories, he was shown with a multi-pouched belt similar to Batman's.


Blue Beetle

While investigating a dope ring, Dan Garret was wounded by a gangster's machine gun and laid near-death in the hospital. He received a visit from Dr. Franz, who had a plan to save Dan's life.

Dr. Franz administered a strange treatment. Dan was given the secret experimental vitamin 2X, a super drug that endows its recipient with super strength and healing abilities, increased speed, heightened senses, and enhanced intellectual capacity. Under the drug's influence, Dan Garrett rapidly recovered from his injuries and returned to the street the next day.

The effects of vitamin 2X were temporary, however (though the effects of healing were of course permanent), and when a serious crime called for super powers, Officer Garret had to rush to Dr. Franz's drug store, where, in a hidden room, he donned his costume and took a vitamin 2X pill. A super-powered Blue Beetle would then emerge to strike out against evil.

Oddly, and for no reason ever stated, Dan Garret was never shown carrying a supply of vitamin 2X with him. Maybe it never occurred to him to do so, or maybe the strange drug rapidly broke down and had to be prepared fresh every time. Or maybe Dr. Franz was keeping his watchdog on a short leash.

During the middle portion of his career, Blue Beetle was aided by a sidekick named Sparky, and then another called Spunky. He was also occasionally aided by Joan Mason, his on-again, off-again girlfriend. His partner on the force, Mike Mannigan, viewed Blue Beetle as a criminal, which is probably why it's a good thing that he never caught on to the reason behind Dan's mysterious absences.

His enemies included Baron Von X, The Black Widow, Borgo the Mirror Murderer, Boss X, Captain X-13, The Cat, The Condor, Countess Belladonna, Dascomb Dinsmore & Seidlitz, Death Mask, Egg-Head, The Eye, The Hooded Spectre, Lady Medusa, Madame Fang, Magog, The Red Robe, The Octopus, Saturnia & Gloat, The Skull, The Sphinx, The Swamp Master, The Torch and The Yellow Fang, among many others.

Public Domain Appearances[]

  • Mystery Men Comics #1-31
  • Blue Beetle #1-60
  • Big 3 #1-7
  • Real Hit Comics (one-shot)
  • All Top Comics #8-13
  • Phantom Lady #13
  • Tegra, Jungle Empress #1
  • Zago, Jungle Prince #1


  • Mystery Men Comics #13's advertisement for the Blue Beetle may be comic books' first use of the famous "Because You Demand[ed] It!" phrase.
  • Blue Beetle was Alan Moore's inspiration for his Watchmen character, Nite Owl.

See Also[]