Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Remembering The Blue Scarab

While discussing the Azure Ant with Lewis over on deviantArt, I was reminded of another inspiration. This one is probably exclusive to me, so you're forgiven if this is all new to you.

Specifically, this particular episode of SCOOBY-DOO had a big impact on me. Yeah, I know, I know, but understand this: I was 7 when I watched it. I feel certain I saw it during that initial airing, though I have not seen it since. I still recall details from that episode, and I'm pretty sure I can't say that about any other episodes of that show. Well, maybe the ones with celebrity guest-stars like Mama Cass, but that's it.

One thing that particularly fascinates me is that, even at 7, I realized that the Blue Scarab was a parody of the Blue Beetle. I knew who Blue Beetle was even then, and also knew he wasn't being published by Charlton at that time. I wonder if this episode was one of those windows into how comic books worked. Well, sorta how they worked - I mean, it's rare for disgruntled comic creators to dress up as their characters and commit crimes.

A twist in the tale is that this episode is based directly on an issue of the Scooby comic book from a few years earlier. Both were written by Mark Evanier, so there's no shenanigans going on there. I cannot recall if the TV script was a rush job or not (possibly), but that could very well be why that script got reused. I must say, since I discovered this, I've been really curious to read the original comic book version of the story.

I do find it strange that the comic cover refers to the character as simply "the Scarab" and depicts him looking very un-Blue Beetle-like. Considering the synopsis uses the "Blue Scarab" name, I wonder if that was a strategic move by Gold Key. After all, BB's most recent comic book had only been cancelled less than a decade earlier. And hey, why the Blue Beetle anyway?

I should probably ask Mark Evanier himself, but man, that gent is certainly busy. Perhaps he will wander by here someday? I'm also relatively certain this was my introduction to the word "scarab", so he broadened my vocabulary as well! Thanks Mark!

1 comment:

David McRobie said...

remind me at Comic Con time, and I'll ask him for you. or better yet, come out here and ask him yourself!