|First appearance||Abner Jenkins:|
Strange Tales #123 (August 1964)
Thunderbolts #48 (March 2001)
Thunderbolts #103 (August 2006)
Ultimate Spider-Man #124 (September 2008)
Captain America #607 (August 2010)
The Amazing Spider-Man #6 (November 2014)
|Created by||Abner Jenkins:|
Stan Lee (writer)
Carl Burgos (artist)
Brian Michael Bendis (writer)
Stuart Immonen (artist)
Jackson Butch Guice
The Beetle is the name used by multiple fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It is also the name of the three versions of high tech armor used by seven separate characters.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Other versions
- 4 In other media
- 5 References
- 6 External links
The Beetle debuted in the "Human Torch" segment of Strange Tales #123 (August 1964) with the original incarnation Abner Jenkins using the first armor. This version was beaten by the Thing and Human Torch. This version would be used until the character switched to the second armor in Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #59 (October 1981) (which is most associated with the name) and would be in use until Thunderbolts #1 (April 1997) when Jenkins's alter ego was changed to MACH-1. A new version debuted in Thunderbolts #35 (February 2000). This version resembled a walking tank and would be used by Jenkins and the second incarnation Leila Davis. This version was crushed by Graviton, killing Davis who was still inside at the time. After Davis's death, the Beetle armor would go unused until Thunderbolts #103 (August 2006) when all three versions were stolen and used by three college students. The individual names of these characters were not revealed in this initial appearance.
Fictional character biography
An ex-master mechanic, Abner Jenkins left his career to pursue life as an adventurer seeking wealth and fame under the Beetle name. A defeat at the Fantastic Four's hands sent Beetle into the direction of a life of crime where he was even a member of the Masters of Evil. Years later, Jenkins joined the Thunderbolts, a choice that eventually took him on a more heroic pathway in life.
The widow of minor supervillain Ringer, Leila Davis began her criminal career as a driver for the super villain Sinister Syndicate team. After 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.
Leila is introduced as the widow of the Ringer (Anthony Davis). After Anthony is manipulated by Abner Jenkins into a life of crime that included multiple conflicts with Spider-Man, he is eventually killed by the anti-hero Scourge. Leila vows revenge on all three. She joins the Sinister Syndicate team led by Jenkins, in order to get close to him. She also serves as the group's getaway driver.
Once Boomerang is captured by Spider-Man on the group's first mission, she began dating Speed Demon. Eventually, the Shocker engineers a breakout for Boomerang and the team fractures, with Boomerang, Rhino and Leila (using her husband's old weapons) battling the Beetle, Speed Demon and Hydro-Man in the middle of New York City.[volume & issue needed]
After attempting to kill Beetle, Leila is disarmed by Spider-Man and arrested along with Jenkins and Boomerang.
Sometime later, she is paroled from prison and immediately returns to her old ways. Donning a new red and black suit of weaponized armor and referring to herself as "Hardshell", she allies with Boomerang, Rhino and the Vulture. The group becomes involved in a massive fight that also involves Stegron, Doctor Octopus, Swarm, the Answer, Jenkins and Spider-Man, with each party trying to gain control of an experimental gun. Spider-Man eventually stood victorious and most of the costumed criminals are taken into custody. Leila is teleported away by her husband Anthony, who had been turned into the cyborg Strikeback by the criminal organization A.I.M..
She reappears years later taking on the Thunderbolts team (which a reformed Jenkins helped found), ironically now referring to herself as the "Beetle". She is wearing a tank-like exoskeleton painted in the same paint scheme as both of Jenkins' previous Beetle costumes—a new iteration of the Beetle armor that Jenkins himself had designed while working for the Commission on Superhuman Activities.
As the second Beetle, Leila eventually joins the group known as the Redeemers, which includes former members of the Thunderbolts. When her true identity is revealed to the rest of her teammates, she tells them that her husband Anthony died some time earlier, his body breaking down due to his cyborg enhancements.
The group soon encounters the powerful super villain Graviton, and quickly into the fight he nonchalantly uses his gravity powers to crush the Beetle armor - with Leila inside - into a small cube, killing her instantly.
Powers and abilities
As Hardshell, Leila wore a powered suit which granted her superhuman and durability, and a variety of weapons.
As the second Beetle, her suit possessed artificial wings which allowed her to fly while also giving her superhuman strength and durability and different weapons.
In other media
- The Leila Davis version of Beetle has a non-voiced cameo appearance in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series. In the episode "Beetle Mania", she fights Iron Fist during the S.H.I.E.L.D. Trainees' imagination.
- In 2005, the Leila Davis version of Beetle received an action figure in the "Spider-Man Classics" line, series 14.
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.
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.[volume & issue needed] 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.[volume & issue needed]
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update #5 revealed that the three college students that wear the three Beetle armors are named Joaquim Robichaux, Elizabeth Vaughn and Gary Quinn.
A new female Beetle attacks Captain America and Black Widow. The two managed to defeat her and remand her to The Raft. As part of the Marvel NOW! event, Beetle returns as a member of the latest incarnation of the Sinister Six. In this appearance, her first name is revealed to be Janice, and is later revealed to be the daughter of Tombstone.
Beetle features as one of the main characters in Superior Foes of Spider-Man. Janice's origin is later recounted, where it is shown that as a child, she idolized her father and his criminal activities, but was forbidden to take part in them. After building a successful career as a defense attorney, she was appointed to defend Baron Zemo, at which point she volunteered to work for him as the new Beetle. Janice's armor is also revealed to have been built by the Fixer.
Roderick Kingsley had sold one of Abner Jenkins's old Beetle armors and gear to an unnamed criminal. He was seen at the Bar With No Name attending the wake of Electro's servant Francine Frye. Beetle was later seen at the Bar With No Name among the patrons who want the Black Cat to be the Queen of the Criminal Underworld. The Hobgoblin later regained the services of Beetle.
The Ultimate Marvel version of Beetle is a mysterious mercenary from Latveria with a completely revamped armor. Spider-Man first finds Beetle robbing a sample of the Venom symbiote from Roxxon. Beetle later breaks into Bolivar Trask's lab where Eddie Brock is held, leading to Venom chasing after Beetle. Just as Beetle is cornered, Venom is stopped by Spider-Man. When the Venom symbiote leaves Brock and attaches to Spider-Man, Beetle escapes in the confusion. Disguised as a civilian which Brock least expected, Beetle later captures Venom to deliver to Latveria. Beetle's suit is later seen being repaired by the Tinkerer (Elijah Stern) when a group of villains arrives for weapons against Spider-Man.
In other media
- The Abner Jenkins version of Beetle appeared in the 1980s animated series Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, voiced by Christopher Collins.
- The Abner Jenkins version of Beetle made a brief appearance in the Iron Man animated series, voiced by John Reilly with a Liverpudlian accent that evokes the similarly named band.
- The Ultimate Marvel incarnation of Beetle appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series, voiced by Steven Blum. This version is depicted as a highly capable criminal mercenary that is mostly silent, and his notable trademark is the unusually large amount of fold-out rocket launchers hidden all over his armor's surface. In the episode "Beetle Mania", he targets the Daily Bugle Communications for J. Jonah Jameson's campaign that exposes the mercenary's criminal dealings with various supervillains, such as helping MODOK out of prison and deals with Doctor Doom. When he fights the S.H.I.E.L.D. trainees, Beetle's assassination attempt is stopped by Spider-Man and he is knocked out by Power Man; Jameson's monitor renderings were there whereas Mary Jane Watson is actually there physically. In the episode "The Attack of the Beetle", Beetle is shown having a penchant for holding grudges against Spider-Man for their previous encounter as well as Phil Coulson for being 'sparring partners'. During his first fight with the two, Beetle decides to use May Parker as a hostage. While May manages to escape, Beetle is eventually beaten by Spider-Man and Coulson (with help from May). In the episode "Hawkeye", Beetle went to destroy the new S.H.I.E.L.D. Tri-Carrier but is defeated and captured by Spider-Man and Hawkeye. In the episode "The Sinister Six", Beetle appeared as a member of the Sinister Six alongside Doctor Octopus, Electro, the Rhino, Kraven the Hunter and the Lizard. Along with the group, he fought Spider-Man, before the trainees arrived, when Beetle fought Nova, but was defeated by Iron Fist after Spider-Man's teammates switch opponents and subsequently taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. In the episode "Agent Venom", Beetle is hired by Taskmaster to obtain a sample of the Venom symbiote. He chases after Flash Thompson, ignoring Harry Osborn and Mary Jane in the process. Beetle subsequently had to fight with Spider-Man and then Agent Venom. While Spider-Man deals with Taskmaster, Beetle is eventually defeated by Agent Venom. In the episode "New Warriors", Beetle is among the escaped supervillains along with Doctor Octopus, Scorpion, and the Green Goblin during a showdown between Taskmaster's team and the New Warriors. Along with his fellow supervillains, Beetle is eventually defeated by the New Warriors. In the episode "Contest of Champions" Pt. 1, Beetle - alongside the Abomination and the Executioner - are sent by the Grandmaster to obtain Spider-Man for the contest against the Collector. In the episode "Anti-Venom", Beetle attempts to steal a truck only to be attacked by Spider-Man and Agent Venom in order to defeat Sinister Six's possible recruits. However, Hydra had previously upgraded Beetle's armor, allowing him to fight off the duo until the Patrioteer hacks Beetle's armor and sends Beetle crashing into the pavement.
- The Abner Jenkins version of Beetle appears in the Spider-Man animated series, voiced by Fred Tatasciore. In the episode "Dead Man's Party", he targets an armored truck using stolen Oscorp technology and fights Spider-Man when he intervines, with Eddie Brock trying to get footage of their fight to impress J. Jonah Jameson. Beetle is ultimately defeated by Spider-Man and handed over to the authorities. He returns in the episode "The Living Brain", where he fights Spider-Man and Police Chief Yuri Watanabe alongside Electro inside of the Supervillain Holding Facility. Both of them are ultimately defeated and returned to their cells.
- The Abner Jenkins version of Beetle appears in both the Super NES and Genesis Spider-Man Animated Series games based on the animated series.
- The Abner Jenkins version of Beetle was the first boss in the 1995 Super Famicom game Spider-Man: Lethal Foes, a game only released in Japan.
- The Abner Jenkins version of Beetle briefly appears in the PlayStation exlcusive game Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, voiced by Daran Norris. He is one of the supervillains aiding Electro's schemes and first appears as an unseen contact whom Shocker gives a briefcase with a piece of the Bio-Nexus Device, to prevent Spider-Man from getting it. After Spider-Man defeats Shocker, the contract escapes via helicopter, but Spider-Man places a spider-tracer on the helicopter and follows it to a trainyard owned by Hammerhead, where the contract is about to escape aboard a train. Spider-Man manages to board the train just in time, despite the intervenience of the mob-employed night staff and Sandman, and confronts the contact, discovering that he is Beetle. The villain manages to escape with the piece of the Bio-Nexus Device, but he unwillingly leaves behind a clue for Spider-Man about Electro's plan: an invitation to the Science and Industry Ball. Later, Beetle is briefly seen with Hammerhead and his goons when they volunteer to kidnap Dr. Watts, the creator of the Bio-Nexus Device, at the ball. Beetle is the only villain featured in the game not to be fought against.
- The Ultimate Marvel incarnation of Beetle appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man video game, voiced by Tucker Smallwood. This version acts as the Latverians' agent, collecting genetic information from superhumans to genetically engineer super-soldiers. When he first arrives in New York, he steals a vial containing Sandman, and releases the Green Goblin from his cell on the S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier, most likely as a distraction while he continues on with his plans. While flying through the city, Beetle encounters Spider-Man and tries to shake him off, but the hero chases him to a construction site, where the two have a brief fight, before Beetle manages to escape by ducking into the nearby Latverian Embassy, although Spider-Man learns about it from some passing civillians and informs S.H.I.E.L.D. Concept art in the game's special edition shows Beetle giving Sandman's vial to Doctor Doom. Beetle is later sent to take a sample of the Venom symbiote and attacks Venom, luring him to an abandoned warehouse at the docks, where he traps him in a giant energy cage. Beetle then fights Venom, but is ultimately defeated and Venom manages to escape from the cage.
- The Ultimate Marvel version of Beetle appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced again by Steven Blum.
- In 1997, the Abner Jenkins version of Beetle received an action figure in the Spider-Man: The Animated Series line, despite not appearing on the show.
- In 2005, the Leila Davis version of Beetle received an action figure in the "Spider-Man Classics" line, series 14.
- In 2013, the Ultimate version of Beetle received a figure in the Ultimate Spider-Man "Daily Bugle Showdown" play set from Lego.
- In 2014, the Ultimate version of Beetle from the Ultimate Spider-Man video game received a figure in the Amazing Spider-Man 2 line of the Marvel Legends series, despite not appearing in the actual film.
- In 2016, the Janice Lincoln version of Beetle received an action figure from the Absorbing Man BAF (Build-A-Figure) Spider-Man Marvel Legends line.
- In 2017, the Abner Jenkins version of Beetle received an action figure from the Vulture Wing BAF Wave, coinciding with the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
- Thunderbolts #56 (2001)
- Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #1-4
- Lethal Foes of Spider-Man #1-4
- Thunderbolts vol.1 #48
- Thunderbolts vol.1 #50
- Thunderbolts vol.1 #54
- Thunderbolts vol.1 #56
- Fabian Nicieza (w), Tom Grummett (p), Gary Erskine (i). "Taking Civil Liberties" Thunderbolts 103 (August 2006), Marvel Comics
- These appearances were in:
- Fabian Nicieza (w), Tom Grummett (p), Gary Erskine (i). "Taking Civil Liberties" Thunderbolts 104 (September 2006)
- Fabian Nicieza (w), Tom Grummett (p), Gary Erskine (i). "Power Full" Thunderbolts 107 (December 2006)
- Fabian Nicieza (w), Tom Grummett (p), Gary Erskine (i). "Power Full" Thunderbolts 108 (January 2007)
- "''Avengers: The Initiative'' #1 Character Map". Marvel.com. Archived from the original on 2012-05-26. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update #5
- Ed Brubaker (w), Mitch Breitweiser (p), Mitch Breitweiser (i). "No Escape Part 2" Captain America v6, 607 (August 2010), Marvel Comics
- Ed Brubaker (w), Butch Guice (p), Rick Magyar (i). "No Escape Part 3" Captain America v6, 606 (September 2010)
- The Superior Spider-Man #1
- Superior Foes of Spider-Man #6
- Superior Foes of Spider-Man #7
- Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #6
- Spider-Woman Vol 6 #13
- Alan Moore (w), Alan Davis (a). "Among Those Dark Satanic Mills (or Madwar)" The Mighty World Of Marvel 9 (February 1984), Marvel UK
- Ultimate Spider-Man #124
- Brian Michael Bendis (w), Stuart Immonen (p), Wade Von Grawbadger (i). Ultimate Spider-Man 128 (January 2009), Marvel Comics
- Ultimate Spider-Man #158
- "Beetle Mania". Ultimate Spider-Man. Season 1. Episode 16. July 29, 2012. Disney XD.
- "Dead Man's Party". Spider-Man. Season 2. Episode 31. July 16, 2018. Disney XD.