No, not the publisher-cum-movie-studio’s health plan, the hero who debuted in Dazzler #5! Welcome to the first ever installment of My Hero, where Back to the Past’s resident trivia master (I.E, me) introduces you to the classic obscure heroes immortalized by our Custom Figure Collection. Buy the figures on eBay here, and settle in to hear about The Blue Shield!
Dazzler’s New Friend
Waking up in the hospital after a not-so-successful battle with super-villains, mutant disco singer Dazzler overhears her insensate roommate muttering the name “Joey” in her sleep. After signing out of the hospital’s care, she ends up dragged into the battle between new vigilante The Blue Shield and a mob boss piloting a weapon call “The Terror Tank”. BS’s force field belt comes in handy against the tank’s weapons and the pair manage to arrest the bad guy and scrap the tank.
It’s at this point that Dazzler realizes her new buddy is the “Joey” her hospital roomie was sleep-talking about – Joe Cartelli. She sends the new hero to where he can do the most good, whihc is to say his mama’s bedside. He would team-up with her again in Dazzler #14, wherein he foiled an assassination attempt at one of her concerts and got her manager mistaken for his secret identity.
Quasar’s Successor & Spider-Man’s PITA
That would be all she wrote for the obscure hero if not for continuity king and one of my idols) Mark Gruenwald. He selected the character as Quasar’s replacement as head of security at Project: Pegasus in the pages of the Cosmic Avenger’s Gruenwald-Masterminded solo series. Blue Shield would continue to pop up here and there in this role for the rest of the 1990s.
The aftermath of the original Marvel Civil War would see Blue Shield assigned to New York City as one its official registered superheroes, partnered up with Mary Jane Parker lookalike Jackpot. Since Spider-Man is also an NYC hero and was unregistered (and naturally was quite interested in a new hero who looked just like his ex-wife), Blue Shield clashed with Spidey a few times in the course of his registered hero duties.
Most recently, he was a casualty of the battle against Captain Hydra’s Secret Empire, with Joey being one of the heroes who wouldn’t join up with fascists even when Captain America lead them (putting him on firmer moral ground than The Punisher or Deadpool…wait). Only time will tell if he gets revived, either in-story or due to editorial negligence as is customary with also-rans.
Longtime readers of the Pop Culture Blog will already know that I’m a sucker for costumed heroes and villains with jobs, and my first experience with Blue Shield came in the pages of Kurt Busiek’s Avengers when he was Project: Pegasus’ security chief. I’ve had a soft spot for him ever since, and I was delighted to find in on our Custom Figure bins. His admittedly scanty number of appearances are why you need to turn to customizers to find an action figure of him, but Blue Shield is a pretty nifty Marvel hero and worth checking out. Most of those appearances are on Marvel Unlimited, and if you think he’s as nifty as I do, you can pick him up in the Back to the Past Collectibles eBay store right now!