Beetle (comics)


Beetle (comics)

The Beetle is the name of two comic book characters owned by Marvel Comics who exist within the fictional Marvel Universe. It is also the name of the three versions of high tech armor used by five separate characters.

Publication history

The first version of the Beetle armor debuted in "Strange Tales" #123 (August 1964) as the creation of Abner Jenkins. This version would only be used for a few years before the character switched to the second version, which is the armor most associated with the name. This version would be in use until "Thunderbolts" #1 (April 1997) when Abe Jenkins alter ego was changed to MACH-1.

A new version of the Beetle armor debuted in "Thunderbolts" #35 (February 2000). This version resembled a walking tank and would be used by Jenkins and Leila Davis, the second person to use the Beetle identity. This version was crushed by Graviton, killing Davis, who was still inside at the time.

After Leila Davis' death the Beetle armor would go unused until "Thunderbolts" #103 (August 2006) when all three versions were stolen and used by three college students. How, why and exactly when the third version of the armor was rebuilt was not made clear. The individual names of these characters were not revealed.

Fictional character biography

Abner Jenkins

An ex-master mechanic, Abe Jenkins left his career to pursue life as an adventurer seeking wealth and fame under the name, the Beetle. A defeat at the hands of the Fantastic Four sent him into the direction of a life of crime. Years later he joined a group named the Thunderbolts, a choice that eventually took him on a more heroic pathway in life.

Leila Davis

The widow of the minor supervillain the Ringer, Leila began her criminal career as a henchwoman for her husband. After the Ringer's death Leila would go on to have her own costumed career, first as Hardshell, and finally as the Beetle. She was killed when Graviton crushed the Beetle armor with her still inside.

The three Beetle suits

Three college students stole the previous incarnations of the Beetle armor during Marvel's Civil War event ["Thunderbolts" vol. 1 #103 (August 2006)] . The individual piloting the first version was called Joaquim and the person in the second version was revealed to be female. No other information was revealed about them in their subsequent appearances in "Thunderbolts". ["Thunderbolts" #104, 107 and 108] No individual code names were given to them either. In those issues which made up a storyline named the 'Guardian Protocols', they defend the city of Dallas against a plot by the Grandmaster as members of an enlarged Thunderbolts team recuited by Baron Zemo and consisting of numerous supervillains. When the Overmind lets the full power of the Wellspring (the source of power the Grandmaster is using) loose when he attempts to revive Baron Zemo, the defenders of Sydney and Dallas are overrun, with the three Beetles presumably among them.

In 2007, the three Beetles were identified among the 142 registered superheroes who appear on the cover of the comic book #1. [ [http://www.marvel.com/news/comicstories.947 Avengers: The Initiative #1 Character Map] ]

Other comic book uses

The name Beetle was used by an armored S.T.R.I.K.E. superhuman restraint squad in the Jaspers' Warp story arc [Comic book reference | Writer = Alan Moore | Penciller = Alan Davis | Inker = Alan Davis | Story = Among Those Dark Satanic Mills (or Madwar) | Title = The Mighty World Of Marvel | Issue = 9 | date= February 1984 | Publisher = Marvel UK | ] published by the Marvel UK imprint.

Ultimate Universe

The Ultimate Marvel version of Beetle debuts in Ultimate Spider-Man #124. Spider-Man first finds him robbing a sample of the Venom symbiote from the Roxxon company. After the brief confrontation, Nick Fury tells Peter Parker not to get involved with the S.H.I.E.L.D. investigation. Beetle breaks into the building that Venom is held in and Venom chases after him. Upon cornering Beetle, Venom is attacked by Spider-Man. When Venom seizes Beetle with his tentacles, Spider-Man saves Beetle who escapes.

Other media

The Beetle has made numerous appearances outside of comic books. Most of these happened when Abe Jenkins was the only character using the name and it is assumed that he is the character in the armor.

Television

* The Beetle appeared in the 1980s Saturday morning animated series "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends" voiced by Christopher Collins. The Beetle stole a crime-detection computer and the Power Booster invented by Tony Stark to increase his power. He was the first villain that the Spider-Friends faced together in that origin episode.

* The Beetle made a brief appearance in the "Iron Man" animated series of the mid-1990s, during the "Armor Wars" two-parter, in which he was attacked by Iron Man and had his armor - based on stolen Stark designs - deactivated. He is voiced by John Reilly with a Liverpudlian accent that evokes the similarly-named band.

Video games

* Beetle appears in both the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis games based on the animated series.

* The Beetle was the first boss in the 1995 Super Nintendo game , a game only released in Japan.

* The Beetle played a minor role in the sequel to the "Spider-Man" game for the PlayStation, "". He only appeared in cut-scenes and did not appear as a boss character.

* In the "Ultimate Spider-Man video game" the Beetle (voiced by Tucker Smallwood) makes his Ultimate continuity debut, acting as an agent for the Latverians, collecting genetic information from superhumans to allow them to genetically engineer super-soldiers. The notable actions he took in the game were stealing a vial of sand (which it is implied the Ultimate Sandman has a connection) and freeing Norman Osborn (also known as the Green Goblin). He also battled Spider-Man shortly after freeing the Green Goblin, but escaped by ducking into the nearby Latverian Embassy. Concept art in the special edition of the game shows Beetle giving the Sandman vial to Doctor Doom. Beetle is later sent to capture a sample of the Venom symbiote. Venom eventually chases and defeats the Beetle.

Footnotes


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