Theodore Stephen (or Edward) "Ted" Kord is the second version of the Blue Beetle, a superhero who was originally published by Charlton Comics and later picked up by DC Comics. This version of the character was created by Steve Ditko, and first appeared as a back-up feature in Captain Atom #83 (Nov. 1966), with Gary Friedrich scripting from Ditko's conception and plot.
Ted Kord was a genius-level inventor and a gifted athlete, sharing much more in common with the Fox original than did Charlton's earlier reimagining of the character.
Kord's signature equipment was his bug-shaped personal aircraft, which he entered and exited typically with a cable suspended from the cockpit. He also generally eschewed personal weaponry except for a pistol that made a blinding flash of light and, additionally, a strong airblast to gain the advantage when he closed in for hand-to-hand combat.
Ditko is best known as the co-creator (with Stan Lee) and original artist of Spider-Man at Marvel Comics. While Blue Beetle and Spider-Man have some similar characteristics, such as being wise-cracking, acrobatic, arthropod-themed urban heroes, they evolved into very different characters. Both characters are accomplished inventors (Ted Kord is considered one of the premier minds of the DC Universe), great athletes, and skilled acrobats. Both characters also have strong, if sometimes ill-timed, senses of humor that they use to mask their insecurities — more so in the case of the Beetle, who has no powers of his own (and in later years has to deal with occasional weight gain). On the other hand, the Beetle has none of the angst associated with brooding vigilantes like Batman. Unlike Spider-Man, Blue Beetle usually operates in a group rather than alone, but like Spidey, he is a loyal friend. In fact, Beetle has been the best friend of the superhero Booster Gold when the two were paired in the Justice League, and they would continue to feature as a double act until the end of said superhero team.
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