Wednesday, January 11, 2012
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.
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.
The widow of the minor supervillain the Ringer, Leila began her criminal career as a driver for the super villain team the Sinister Syndicate. 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 Beetles
Three college students stole the previous incarnations of the Beetle armor during Marvel's Civil War event. 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. 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 recruited 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 Avengers: The Initiative #1.
A new female Beetle attacks Captain America and Black Widow. The two managed to defeat her and remand her to The Raft.
The name Beetle was used by an armored S.T.R.I.K.E. superhuman restraint squad in the Jaspers' Warp story arc published by the Marvel UK imprint.
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. After Eddie Brock becomes Venom again, Beetle captures him and ships him to Latveria.