Jump to content

Return of the Blue Beetle!


Kevin Scrivner
 Share

Recommended Posts

I began writing up the original Blue Beetle during a "Battle of the Costumed Crimefighters" thread we had a while back. Here's the finished product. In the old thread folks seemed to favor The Phantom. Anyone done a write-up of him?

 

Name: Blue Beetle (1939)

 

Val Char Cost

28 STR 18

15 DEX 15

28 CON 36

20 BODY 20

18 INT 8

15 EGO 10

20 PRE 10

16 COM 3

15 PD 9

15 ED 9

3 SPD 5

15 REC 6

56 END

43 STUN

 

Characteristic Rolls: STR: 15-, DEX: 12-, CON: 15-, INT: 13-, EGO: 12-, PER: 17-

Run: 13", Swim: 7", Jump: 5-1/2", Lift: 1,200 kg

 

Cost Powers END/Roll

 

17 "Chain Armor," Armor 10 PD/10ED, -1/2 Limit OIF Costume, -1/4 Limit Activation 15-

14 "Abnormal Vitality," Running 7" (Total 13")

5 "Abnormal Vitality," Swimming 5" (Total 7")

12 "Keen Senses," +4 with All Perception

7 "Enhanced Mentality," Mental DEF 10

15 "Magic Ray Gun," RKA 2d6, Armor Piercing (+1/2) (45 Active Points), OAF (-1), 8 Charges (-1/2), No Knockback (-1/4)

8 "High-Intensity Spotlight," Images, Sight Group, 4" Radius (+1/2), 0 END (+1/2) (20 Active Points), Only to Create Light (-1), OIF (-1/2)

5 "Wireless Telephone," Radio Perception/Transmission, OAF (-1)

 

Cost Skills, Talents, Perks Roll

 

3 Acting 13-

3 Breakfall 12-

3 Bureaucratics 13-

3 Climbing 12-

3 Combat Driving 12-

3 Concealment 13-

3 Contortionist 12-

3 Conversation 13-

3 Criminology 13-

3 Deduction 13-

3 Interrogation 13-

2 AK: York City 11-

2 KS: Criminal Law 11-

2 PS: Policeman 11-

3 Mimicry 13-

3 Riding: Horses 12-

3 Shadowing 13-

3 Stealth 12-

3 Streetwise 13-

2 Familiar with Small Arms

2 Familiar with Energy Weapons

1 Familiar with Police Baton

15 +3 Levels with Hand-to-Hand Combat

20 Perk: Vehicle, Fast Car

10 Perk: Contact 14-: Dr. Franz, chemist/pharmacologist, extremely useful skills and resources, loyal to Blue Beetle

2 Perk: Local Police Powers (as Dan Garrett)

 

200+ Disadvantages

 

15 Social Limitation, Secret ID: Daniel Garrett, rookie policeman

10 Distinctive Features: Leaves Beetle Insignia At Crime Scenes, easily concealed, always noticed

15 DNPC 11-: Mike Mannigan, normal partner, useful skills, unaware of Garrett's adventuring persona

10 Reputation 11-: Ruthless Vigilante

20 Psychological Limitation: Tries to Obey the Law, Won't Harm Police, common, total

15 Psychological Limitation: Impulsive, Craves "Action," common, strong

20 Hunted 11-: The Police (as Blue Beetle), more powerful

20 Hunted 11-: The Mob, more powerful

10 Watched 8-: Local Police Department (as Dan Garrett), more powerful

5 Unluck 1D6

 

OCV: 5 (8 with HTH Combat); DCV: 5; ECV: 5; Mental Def.: 10; Phases: 4, 8, 12

PD/rPD: 15/10 ; ED/rED: 15/10

 

Costs: Char.: 149 Disad.: 140

Powers: + 189 Base: + 200

Exp.: +

Total: = 338 Total: = 340

 

Other Gadgets From Dr. Franz' Laboratory

 

"Electric Stun Gun," 6d6 EB, NND (+1, defense is Resistant ED or Insulated Suit) (60 Active Points); OAF (-1), 6 Charges (-3/4); Total 22 points

 

"Invisibility Belt," Invisibility to Sight Group, 0 END (+1/2) (30 Active Points), IAF (-1/2), Burnout 14- (-1/4); Total 17 points

 

Source: "Mystery Men Comics," Fox Features Syndicate, 1939; "The Blue Beetle," syndicated radio show, 48 episodes, 1940.

 

Quote: "If you're on the level you'll be OK. If not, then the next time you meet the Blue Beetle it will be just too bad!"

 

Background:

 

Young Dan Garrett followed his highly decorated father into law enforcement after the elder Garrett was gunned down by mobsters. He quickly distinguished himself as a rookie patrolman. Despite his dedication to upholding the law, Garrett began to see the limitations of the criminal justice system and to chaffe under the tediousness of its processes. When he expressed his frustrations to Dr. Franz, who operated an apothecary shop on his beat, the chemist supplied Garrett with a suit of blue mesh "as flexible as silk but stronger than steel." Instead of wearing it beneath his uniform, Garrett began slipping it on when off duty and stalking criminals the law hadn't been able to catch. He adopted the name "Blue Beetle" because the armor reminded him of the metallic blue carapaces of beetles he'd seen at the York City Museum.

 

He nearly emulated his father's death while he and partner Mike Mannigan were confronting dope peddlers on the street. Occupants of a fast-moving sedan machine-gunned both Garrett and the drug pusher he was grappling with. The crook died immediately. Garrett lay in the hospital for days, so weak that physicians were afraid he wouldn't recover from the removal of bullets. Dr. Franz slipped into his room at night and made him eat a tablet of Formula 2K, an experimental substance Franz promised would give him the strength to survive. Garrett was back on his beat the following afternoon, fully healed and eager to locate the drug ring.

 

As the Beetle, Garrett launched a one-man anti-crime wave, battling arsonists, payroll bandits, a horseback-riding "ghost," a sea serpent, diamond smugglers, kidnappers, the sinister director of a mental hospital, and even a squad of false Blue Beetles. Feared by the mob and hunted by the police, the Blue Beetle found average York City citizens sympathetic to his cause, especially when he'd just prevented them from getting beaten up or robbed. His successes while on duty gained him unusual flexibility of schedule and assignment -- although apparently not a promotion since he remained a humble beat cop. The police chief was willing the overlook the inordinate amount of time he spent at Franz's store as long as he continued to solve crimes.

 

Dan Garrett is an engaging and earnest young man who hasn't lost the idealism that made him want to become a cop. As long as player-characters are on the right side of the law, he'll be helpful and friendly -- and downright gallant toward female characters. If the adventurers are less than law-abiding, Garrett will be polite but cool and will attempt to find out what they're up to. As the Blue Beetle he is rather abrupt, seeking to startle or intimidate criminals, bystanders, or the PCs into cooperating with him. He won't mind stepping on their toes to gather the evidence he requires. If the PCs resent his high-handed tactics and try to get tough, well, the Blue Beetle likes a good scrap. He'll threaten them with his (for the period) high-tech weapons but will use lethal force only as a last resort.

 

Powers and Abilities:

 

Garrett was an athletic and capable police officer even before he ingested Formula 2K. He is an effective investigator and has a good knowledge of his home city and its residents. The vitamin supplement gave him "enhanced mentality, keen senses, and abnormal strength and vitality." He is now ten times stronger and healthier than an ordinary man. The mesh armor supplied by Dr. Franz is capable of deflecting most small arms fire. The Blue Beetle occasionally makes use of other gadgetry provided by the pharmacist: a "magic ray" gun (1930s laser), a high-intensity light, a portable sound recording device, an electric stun gun, an invisibility belt, and a remote wireless telephone (a 1930s cell phone). But his only regular equipment besides the armor is a fast car he bought at a police auction.

 

In combat, the Blue Beetle is a brawler rather than a scientific fighter. He relies on intimidation and enjoys bashing a few heads together to gather the evidence he needs to convict a malefactor. He is perhaps too confident in his armor's ability to protect him because he's used to battling thugs packing conventional firearms. This has caused him to fall before more thoughtful villains armed with tear gas and electric stun guns. Dr. Franz has since insulated the armor against electric shock.

 

Disadvantages:

 

Although he's the terror of the underworld, Garrett's alter ego is hunted by his brother officers, who consider the Blue Beetle a ruthless vigilante. More than once he's had to grapple with Mannigan while collecting evidence or dodging crooks. He plays practical jokes on his partner as the Beetle but Garrett won't harm policemen and won't blatantly break the law (although he's willing to bend it). His scruples -- and his love of adventure -- have nearly gotten him captured on more than one occasion. He also feels compelled to leave small beetle insignias on the bodies of captured criminals.

 

Height: cm ( ' "), Weight: kg ( lbs), Sex: Male, Race: Caucasian

 

Appearance:

 

Dan Garrett is an athletic man in his twenties. He usually wears his York City police uniform. After he partook of Formula 2K his boyish voice grew deeper and his face and physique became more mature. As the Blue Beetle, Garrett dons a blue metallic mesh bodysuit that covers everthing but his face. The costume includes a black mask that covers the upper half of his face, red elbow-length gloves, and a wide red belt.

=======

Hero System write-up by Kevin Scrivner

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There have actually been four Blue Beetles. My write-up is for the original incarnation, based largely on the 1940 radio show. You can get more info at

 

http://www.toonopedia.com/index.htm

http://www.radiolovers.com/pages/bluebeetle.htm

 

Dan Garrett started out as a cop moonlighting as a vigilante with heightened physical fitness granted by a mysterious vitamin formula. Another company got the rights and made the protagonist an archeologist who gained mystical powers from an amulet, the version Tom McCarthy heard about. When the publisher went out of business, DC bought the rights to the mystical version and revived the Beetle in the 1980s as inventor Ted Kord, the character you're familiar with. However, another company got the rights to the original rookie cop version and published adventures in the 1980s but renamed the character the Scarlet Scorpion. Will the real Blue Beetle, er, Scorpion, please stand up?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Kevin Scrivner

There have actually been four Blue Beetles. My write-up is for the original incarnation, based largely on the 1940 radio show. You can get more info at

 

http://www.toonopedia.com/index.htm

http://www.radiolovers.com/pages/bluebeetle.htm

 

Dan Garrett started out as a cop moonlighting as a vigilante with heightened physical fitness granted by a mysterious vitamin formula. Another company got the rights and made the protagonist an archeologist who gained mystical powers from an amulet, the version Tom McCarthy heard about. When the publisher went out of business, DC bought the rights to the mystical version and revived the Beetle in the 1980s as inventor Ted Kord, the character you're familiar with. However, another company got the rights to the original rookie cop version and published adventures in the 1980s but renamed the character the Scarlet Scorpion. Will the real Blue Beetle, er, Scorpion, please stand up?

 

Actually, in the '60's Carlton Comics aquired the rights to the BB and had Steve Ditko (who'd just left Spider-Man) reinvent the character. From Steve's imagination sprung Ted Kord, Kord Industries, the Madmen, as well as Captain Atom (although I think he just redesigned Cap), Nightshade, the Question, and other characters that would later be bought by DC from Charlton.

The Scarlet Scorpion is the Marvel version of Blue Beetle II (the archaeologist) who appeared in an issue of Thor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really enjoyed reading your writeup, Kevin. I was particularly interested in the 'magic ray'. Was it really called that in the radio series/comics? I've noticed a tendency to conflate science and magic in the Golden Age. For example Dr. Fate, or the Spectre using his powers to create 'L-Rays'.

 

Thanks also for the link to Toonopedia. I hadn't been aware of it. Up to now I've been using Jess Nevins site for my GA info but the entries here are much more detailed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Doug McCrae:

 

I was particularly interested in the 'magic ray'. Was it really called that in the radio series/comics?

 

---

 

Yes, at least on the radio show. The scripts also occasionally referred to the vitamin concoction that gave the Beetle his strength and Dr. Franz' gadgets as "magic" even though they were the product of (comic book) science.

 

Oruncrest: It was AC Comics that published the Scarlet Scorpion according to my internet research. Of course, that wouldn't prevent Marvel Comics from introducing a character of the same name. Look at how many "Captain Marvels" we've had over the decades. :)

 

OK, folks. I've done version one. Who wants to write up the archeologist and Ted Kord? By the by, I've seen the Kord version in passing but missed the run of his comics. I know he's a rich inventor with a funky bug-shaped airship but how does he compare to the 1939 hero?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by JohnOSpencer

Ted Kord, was more of a poor man's Batman. Scientist, detective, and fighter. He used a gun that could shot air or a bright light. He had no powers.

 

He was fairly interesting before he became comic relief in the Justice League.

 

He was a bit of a wise-cracking swashbuckler before he became comic relief, though. The change wasn't that dramatic. He just became a little less competent.

 

Hmm. I haven't reread the '80s BB series for over a decade. It must be time... As I recall, the series was a little flat. It had more potential than was developed. Same old, same old...

 

By the way, the next character I create for Champions is going to have a name of the form:

 

So far I am considering "Blue Banshee" and "Scarlet Spectre", although the latter is a bit too "Commie"-sounding. I might go with "Crimson Spectre" - the loss of the alliteration is worth it to tone down the excess connotations.

 

has a long tradition, doesn't it? The Green Hornet, the Red Bee(!), Blue Beetle, Scarlet Scorpion... No doubt there are others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Oruncrest:

 

The Scarlet Scorpion is the Marvel version of Blue Beetle II (the archaeologist) who appeared in an issue of Thor.

 

---

 

At a local used comics shop today I saw a couple issues of Marvel's Defenders where the team faced a red-garbed villain called the Scorpion (no relation to the green-armored Spider-Man nemesis). Could this be the guy you're thinking of?

 

Originally posted by JohnOSpencer

Ted Kord was more of a poor man's Batman.

 

---

 

I vote that all the Blue Beetles, Blue Falcons, Green Arrows, and Green Hornets of the world unite to put this Gotham fellow in his place for stealing their thunder! Who does he think he is, anyway?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Kevin Scrivner

Oruncrest: It was AC Comics that published the Scarlet Scorpion according to my internet research. Of course, that wouldn't prevent Marvel Comics from introducing a character of the same name. Look at how many "Captain Marvels" we've had over the decades. :)

 

Now that I think about it, the marvel character I was talking about was the Scarlet Scarab. Although I doubt there would be much difference between the arcahaeologist Blue Beetle, the Scarlet Scorpion, and the Scarlet Scarab, outside of how they were dressed (though Scarab is Egyptian, at least).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...