Black Beetle (DC Comics)
|First appearance||Booster Gold (vol. 2) #5
|Created by||Geoff Johns (writer)
Dan Jurgens (writer)
Norm Rapmund (artist)
Matthew Sturges (writer)
Carlo Barberi (artist)
|Team affiliations||Time Stealers
|Notable aliases||Joshua, Djo Zha, Drawur|
|Abilities||Alien suit of powered armor that grants him flight, energy blasts, time travel, protection from the effects of time portals, and other abilities|
Black Beetle first appeared in Booster Gold vol. 2 #5, (December 2007) and was created by Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz, Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, Matthew Sturges and Carlo Barberi. He was featured in the Blue Beetle backup stories in Booster Gold and in the Booster Gold stories themselves. Regarding the development and utilization of the character, creator Matthew Sturges commented:
|“||He’s very much about the future, and what’s GOING to happen. That’s something I really like about him. So much of the Blue Beetle ethos is anchored in the past, it’s nice to see a new piece of it evolving from the other direction.||”|
Fictional character biography
Originally posing as a Blue Beetle from the future, the Black Beetle appears to Booster Gold in a time sphere, and offers him a chance to go back in time and save his best friend Ted Kord from death at the hands of Maxwell Lord, despite Rip Hunter's claims that Ted's death was a point of unalterable "solidified" time. Booster agrees to go with Black Beetle, who has also recruited the first Blue Beetle (Dan Garrett), and current Beetle (Jaime Reyes) for the mission. The group is successful in saving Ted. Upon their return to the present, however, they learn that the timeline has been altered, and that Max and his OMACs are policing the whole world. When Booster and Beetle, gathering some of their old Justice League International teammates, attempt to fix the timeline, they are attacked by Black Beetle, who reveals his affiliation with the Time Stealers, a group consisting of Despero, Per Degaton, the Ultra-Humanite, and Booster's father (the latter under the control of Mr. Mind). As the battle rages, Ted realizes that the only way to fix things is to return to the past and allow himself to be murdered. Black Beetle attempts to stop him, revealing that he is "Jaime Reyes' greatest enemy", and that Jaime took away someone very close to him. He also reveals that he followed the Time Stealers' plan to prevent Ted's death so that Jaime would never have become the Blue Beetle and "she" would never have died. Both he and Ted enter the Time Stealers' time sphere, which then activates. In the next issue, Ted is revealed to have restored the timeline. The where (and when)-abouts of the Black Beetle, however, are unknown.
The "Origins and Omens" backup story in Booster Gold #17 hinted that Black Beetle would return and that his true identity would be revealed.
In the final issue of Blue Beetle (vol. 2), Nadia, one of Jaime Reyes' tech supports, is killed by the Kahji Dha Revolutionary Army, a subversive group of Reach Infiltrators inspired by Jaime's Scarab. Hector, Nadia's brother, angrily blames Jaime and leaves the country. It is revealed that Hector has bonded with Reach technology taken from the invaders, potentially granting him the same powers as Jaime, and that he has taken the alias "Joshua" based on "Djo Zha" the previous owner of his scarab, and a member of the KDRA. Joshua is the name used by the Black Beetle in his earliest appearances. The use of Hector is intended to cause speculation regarding the Black Beetle character, as future storylines evolve regarding the character. When Black Beetle finally confronts Jamie, he claims that he is indeed Hector, blaming Jamie for Nadia's death, but instantly retracts this statement, instead stating that he in fact killed Hector and stole his technology. In the following issue, he claims to be Jaime's future self, driven mad after being attacked by a brain-damaged Milagro.
The Black Beetle returns in the present day, attacking Booster and the new Batman, Dick Grayson, in the Batcave. After a brief altercation, Black Beetle escapes into the past, changing events in a way that causes Dick to die during his days as Robin. Booster follows the Black Beetle into the past, finding that he has allied himself with Grant Wilson, attempting to change the outcome of his disastrous battle with the Teen Titans. He is also shown working with an unknown person who desires the destruction of the Justice League (later revealed to be T.O. Morrow). He briefly appears in the present, revealing himself to Jaime and absconding with the body of a gynoid the hero had just defeated. Black Beetle is then shown in a new future he created by killing the Teen Titans where Raven's father Trigon is able to take over the world in the absence of both the Titans and Batman. It is then shown that his true purpose for creating this future is to use the distraction of Booster, Rip Hunter, and the resistance attacking to steal a Red Scarab from Trigon's trophy room. He claims the Red Scarab is more powerful than his own and bonds it to himself in addition to his current tech. Rip manages to track Black Beetle to his base, using one of his devices to overload the armor with chronal energy, seemingly destroying the Black Beetle. He is also shown in the present in El Paso, attempting to take Jamie's Blue Scarab. Jaime manages to stop him by blasting him with tachyon particles, paralyzing him. However, due to wounds his little sister suffered at Black Beetle's hands, Jaime is forced to let the villain escape.
In the Time Masters: Vanishing Point limited series, the Time Stealers learn that the Vanishing Point fortress was destroyed. Black Beetle takes his allies to the destroyed Vanishing Point and sees that Rip has locked the Linear Men in a cell because they never agreed about how to handle time. The four villains find the cell and tear it open, finding Matthew Ryder and Liri Lee. Black Beetle asks the Linear Men to help bring Waverider back to life. But Supernova prevents Black Beetle from creating dystopia and he sends the Time Stealers back to the present, although Black Beetle escapes and the Linear Men choose to go with him since he freed them from imprisonment. After they find Waverider's corpse in the desolate wasteland of Earth's future, Black Beetle double-crosses the Linear Men and tries to use Waverider's power to become invulnerable. Black Beetle attempts to fuse Waverider's corpse power but is thwarted by Supernova, which allows Liri to fuse with Waverider's corpse to become Linear Woman. Black Beetle attacks Supernova but when Superman and the rest of the Time Masters arrive, he escapes, telling them they will see him again another time.
Powers and abilities
- The Black Beetle wears what appears to be a black version of Jaime Reyes' scarab suit. Black Beetle has so far only been seen utilizing energy blasts and flight abilities. It also allows him to travel through time, and protects from the effects of the time portals.
- Recently he has also obtained a Red Scarab, although it is currently unknown what extra powers it endows him.
In other media
- A character named Black Beetle appears in Young Justice voiced by Kevin Grevioux. However, the Black Beetle of the comics and the Black Beetle featured in Young Justice are not the same character, as Black Beetle from Young Justice is a member of the Reach, and based off the character named Dawur, while the Black Beetle from the comics simply stole Reach technology. The two are often confused as being the same because they have the same name.
- Blue Beetle (vol. 2) #20 (December 2007)
- Newsarama Blog: Who is the Black Beetle? Archived July 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., Newsarama, July 18, 2009
- Booster Gold (vol. 2) #6 (March 2008)
- Booster Gold (vol. 2) #10 (July 2008)
- Booster Gold (vol. 2) #1,000,000 (September 2008)
- Blue Beetle (vol. 2) #36 (April 2009)
- Booster Gold (vol. 2) #24 (September 2009)
- Booster Gold (vol. 2) #25 (October 2009)
- Booster Gold (vol. 2) #21 (August 2009)
- Booster Gold (vol. 2) #22 (July 2009)
- Booster Gold (vol. 2) #23 (August 2009)
- Time Masters: Vanishing Point #2 (August 2010)
- Time Masters: Vanishing Point #3 (September 2010)
- Time Masters: Vanishing Point #4 (October 2010)
- Time Masters: Vanishing Point #5 (December 2010)
- Time Masters: Vanishing Point #6 (February 2011)
- "Superhero Shows: First Look at Static, Deathstroke, and Arsenal from Young Justice". Superheroshows.blogspot.com. 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
- "Young Justice Answers". Youngjusticeaskgreganswers.tumblr.com. Retrieved 2016-09-24.