Waiting for the Logan pics to surface (and for the tv shows to introduce somebody new), let’s go on with Lucy W.‘s request, this time with a slightly more recent hero, born in the 1960s: the second and most popular Blue Beetle, Ted Kord. Even Kord has just one live action appearance so far, despite having been name-dropped a lot of times in the Arrowverse, and it’s of course in Smallville: in the episode Booster, Kord appears as the CEO of Kord Industries, who loses control of an extraterrestrial living weapon that ends up bonding with a kid, Jaime Reyes. In the show, he never dons his blue costume nor becomes a superhero, but he proves to be quite a nice guy when he allows Reyes to keep Khaji-Da, the alien sentient weapon, and even befriending Booster Gold by allowing him to receive the keys of the city from the mayor. Obviously, in the comics there’s much more to that: let’s see together.
Ted Kord was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of wealthy businessman Thomas Kord and of his unnamed wife. Since he was a kid, Ted showed to be extremely smart, with a natural disposition towards both science and sports. Excelling in pretty much everything, he didn’t know exactly what to do with his life, so he followed many paths, obtaining degrees in different fields such as Physics, Mathematics and English Literature; of course, a place for him in his father’s company, Kord Omniversal Research and Development, Inc., was always ready, but he wasn’t exactly interested, so he kept studying. While in college, he also started to work for his scientist uncle, Jarvis Kord, but things became a bit weird as, among his uncle’s stuff, Ted found evidence that Jarvis wanted to use his futuristic inventions to take over the world. Looking for help, Ted asked his trusted archaeology professor, Dan Garrett, for advisc, but the teacher did something more, promising to help him. Together, the two of them deciphered Jarvis’ documents and tracked him in his secret lab on Pago Island: they travelled there, but Jarvis had them imprisoned by his guard-droids, and later ordered the robots to kill the intruders. Facing death, Garrett was forced to reveal his secret and exposed himself as the Blue Beetle, the superhero: he destroyed the droids and freed himself and Ted, and the two proceeded to confront Jarvis directly. In the following battle, Jarvis Kord caused an explosion that killed himself, and mortally wounded Garrett: knowing he was a goner, the hero asked Ted to bring on his legacy as the Blue Beetle, and entrusted the boy with his secret weapon, the Blue Beetle Scarab, an ancient artifact that granted him his powers. Feeling responsible for what had happened to Dan Garrett, Ted Kord agreed to become the second Blue Beetle, and came back home with the Scarab, ready to begin his new life…only, a bad surprise was waiting for him: the Scarab didn’t react to his touch, and didn’t grant him any power. It was totally inert, leaving Ted without the possibility to keep his word to the dying Garrett.
Not wanting to let down his deceased mentor, Kord trained himself to physical perfection, wanting to compensate for the absence of the Scarab. Thanks to his genius, he designed and built a few technological gadgets, such as his specially designed plane The Bug and his small surveilance drones, the Baby-Bugs. After tailoring a blue costume and arming himself with the non-lethal Beetle Gun, he made his debut as the new Blue Beetle. While he fought crime as the Blue Beetle, he was also pretty busy as Ted Kord, as his father had fallen into a deep depression after the death of his wife, and had let his company fail little by little: taking over as the new CEO, Ted revitalized it, and in a matter of a few years he transformed Kord Omniversal into one of the most succesful Research & Development companies in the country, able to rival even S.T.A.R. Labs…mostly because he created and experimented as Blue Beetle inventions that he adapted for the public with his own company. Even his private life received a boost when he fell in love with his lab assistant Tracey, the only person he revealed his secret identity to (in the same occasion, he even saved her from the attack of two of Jarvis Kord’s guard droids, burying them under rocks and boulders). In his early years as a superhero, Blue Beetle gained a number of unusual enemies, such as the robbers known as the Squid Gang, the esoteric cult The Men of the Mask, or the mob boss known as The Enigma, but also supercriminals such as Chronos, Dr. Alchemy, Overthrow and the misfits known as the Madmen. He also gained a number of allies, such as the enigmatic vigilante The Question and the time-displaced Booster Gold, who became his best friend. Together with Booster Gold, Blue Beetle even joined the new formation of the Justice League of America, where he befriended another number of heroes. Known as the Blue & Gold while with Booster, Ted became sort of the prankster of the team, but he also was renowned to be one of the smartest men on the planet, as well as one of the most reliable heroes of the JLA. Even without the superpowers his legacy promised him, Ted had managed to become quite a hero on his own…
Ted Kord is an extremely smart man, a genius born who’s also a selfless and brave hero…and a funny guy who loves to hang around with his friends and to organise elaborate pranks (such as when he bought every Oreo in New York City just so that Martian Manhunter couldn’t have any). As the Blue Beetle, he doesn’t possess any superpower, but he’s an incredibly skilled gymnast, athlete and martial artist, an accomplished acrobat and an experienced spy; he possesses a number of crime-fighting gadgets, such as the Beetle Gun, that either emits an intense flash of light aimed to blind the enemies or shoots a blast of compressed air able to knock out an opponent, and his trademark Bug, a high-tech aerial vehicle armed with a real arsenal of futurist weapons and devices. Easily smarter than Batman, although nobody notices it, Blue Beetle is a self-made hero, a multi-billionaire CEO and a world-famous inventor…not bad, for someone who started his career losing his predecessor’s superpowers.