Meet the Beetle
There are two types of speculators: those who lead and those who follow. By the time news hits, cheap copies of relevant keys are gone and sometimes all that are left are overpriced, often lower grade scraps. It’s the individuals who actually read and research comics who ultimately profit by making insightful, sometimes far-out, connections that puts them far ahead of the market.
For those fans waiting for a Thunderbolts movie-TV-streaming show, last week brought speculation (not exactly confirmation) that the property would hit the screen. While we covered potential group members in a previous article, astute viewers of Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) might have noticed a subtle introduction of another member (at least in name): The Beetle.
In the movie, Janice Lincoln is a former Stark engineer and scientist, who helped design Quentin Beck’s (Mysterio) uniform and effects. In the comics, she is the third person to adopt the Beetle mantle and she is the daughter of the gangster Tombstone. She receives the Beetle armor from Baron Zemo and the Fixer in the Brubaker run of Captain America. While she never served in the Thunderbolts, it would be a convenient way to add the character to the team in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, albeit Abe Jenkins the original Beetle, appeared as MACH I-II-III-IV-V and not as the Beetle in the series. (Strange Tales #123 is the first appearance of the character.) Either way Janice Lincoln is available.
While some sites list her first appearance as Captain America #607; she actually first cameo’s in #606 as a bartender who drugs Bucky Barnes. She appears in costume in #607, but only in a cameo. Her first full appearance is in #608. These issues have healthy print runs over 50,000 copies sold per issue (606=57,443; 607=52,989; 608=51,362). Fortunately, all of these issues have newsstand copies and 606 does has a 1:15 Heroic Age variant. This run also has low representation on the CGC census. Issue #607 has only 4 graded copies. There are no graded copies of the other issues.
While there are no guarantees that audiences will ever see this character again, the fact that there is a connection to a character that is a prominent member of a highly speculated property might make these books worth pursuing.
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