Blue Beetle is the name of four superheroes who appear in a number of comics published by a variety of companies since 1939. The most recent of the companies to own rights to the Blue Beetle is DC Comics who bought the rights to the character in 1983, using the name for three distinct characters over the years.
The original Blue Beetle was created by Fox Comics and later owned by Charlton Comics. Dan Garret, police officer, took to the streets as the first Blue Beetle to fight crime. At first, the Blue Beetle had no powers. He fought crime dressed in a suit, fedora and mask, looking very similar to the Green Hornet. Later, he wore chainmail armor for protection. A scientist named Dr. Franz eventually supplied him with vitamin 2X. The vitamin gave Dan super strength, dexterity and invulnerability, though he still wore the chainmail despite his invulnerability. The vitamin 2X also gave Dan super healing and the ability to stay awake for days. The original Blue Beetle was featured not only in his own comic but also a weekly radio serial.
The second Blue Beetle was Dan Garrett (note the different spelling of the name), who initially gained super powers from a special vitamin, which was later changed to gaining powers from a “sacred scarab.”
The third Blue Beetle was created by Charlton and later taken over by DC Comics, the successor to Dan Garrett known as Ted Kord. Kord “jumped” to the DC Comics universe during the Crisis on Infinite Earths alongside a number of other Charlton Comics characters. The third Blue Beetle later starred in his own 24 issue comic. Kord never had any super powers but used science to create various devices to help him fight crime. He became a member of the Justice League of America and was later killed during DC Comics’ Infinite Crisis cross over.
The fourth Blue Beetle, created by DC Comics, is Jaime Reyes, a teenager who discovered that the original Blue Beetle scarab morphed into a battle suit allowing him to fight crime and travel in space. Over the years Reyes became a member of the Teen Titans and starred in two Blue Beetle comic series. In DC Comic’s “New 52” reboot, Jaime Reyes was the primary Blue Beetle character, only occasionally referring to past versions. However, with the subsequent continuity revision “DC Rebirth”, the previous versions were restored.