Hornet (comics)

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The Hornet is an identity used by three fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The characters appear in the Marvel Universe, one villain, and two heroes. Both the first and third Hornets have suffered from physical disabilities.

Scotty McDowell[edit]

The Hornet
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance (As Scotty Mc Dowell):
Spider-Woman #21
(As Hornet):
Spider-Woman #31
In-story information
Alter ego Scotty McDowell
Abilities Superhuman strength
High-speed flight via insect-like wings
Bio-electricity projection

Fictional character biography[edit]

Scotty McDowell was a wheelchair-using criminologist, who assisted Spider-Woman on her cases. He was kidnapped by the mad scientist Karl Malus, who injected Scotty with a formula composed of human and insect DNA, as well as several kinds of medicine. Spider-Woman rescued Scotty, who seemed fine.[1]

Scotty began to suffer from nightmares in which he killed Spider-Woman. He awoke to discover that he had great strength and insect-like wings that allowed him to fly (but still unable to walk). He then received a costume in the mail (sent by Malus), and when he put it on, had a personality shift, becoming aggressive and chauvinistic. He flew around as the Hornet, and started out as a hero, saving people, and working with Spider-Woman. He even learned that he could throw bursts of bio-electricity.[2]

But Hornet became more and more resentful of Spider-Woman, and began to endanger the innocents he was "helping", even striking an onlooker with one of his electric blasts. When he nearly killed some thieves, Spider-Woman was sent after him. However, Hornet's abilities were almost a match for hers, and unlike Spider-Woman, he wasn't trying to hold back for fear of hurting his friend. After a prolonged battle, Spider-Woman was able to subdue the Hornet, who was nearly homicidal by this point. She learned that Malus had altered Scotty into the Hornet, for the sole purpose of having her die at the hands of a friend. Spider-Woman was able to flush the formula from Scotty's bloodstream, and revert him to normal (stripping him of both his powers and aggression).[3]

Afterwards, Spider-Woman learned that although the formula did make him more aggressive, the resentment he felt towards her was real. Scotty admitted he was in love with her, but felt that she didn't notice him. He was also jealous of the attention she garnered with her heroic deeds. This put a strain on their friendship, and Spider-Woman ended their "working relationship". McDowell accepted this as well, taking a job farther away so as to preserve what was left of their friendship.[4]

Powers and abilities[edit]

As the Hornet, Scotty was superhumanly strong and had insect-like wings on his back that allowed him to fly at high-speeds. He could project focused bursts of bio-electricity (his "Hornet Sting") that could stun or kill a person.

Peter Parker[edit]

When Spider-Man was accused of murder during the Identity Crisis storyline, he donned four different costumes to continue saving lives without anyone knowing it was him. The Hornet costume was designed by Mary Jane Watson-Parker and the weapon gauntlets were designed by Spider-Man based on Ben Reilly's stinger launching pod built within his web-shooters. The cybernetically-controlled wing harness was designed by Hobie Brown, the Prowler, who never used it as it was too heavy to be worn by a person of normal strength. Spider-Man, however, was easily able to wear it.[5]

He used it with great success for several days, becoming a popular hero with the media after his debut featured him thwarting the Looter's attempt to rob the Daily Bugle. However, during a battle, the Vulture realized that he was actually Spider-Man and exposed him. He abandoned the Hornet persona,[6] and soon after cleared his name.[7][8]

Although the hero called Black Marvel later gave Eddie McDonough a duplicate Hornet costume,[9] Spider-Man remained in possession of the original, except for the flight harness which was returned to Hobie Brown.[volume & issue needed]

Powers and abilities[edit]

In addition to his regular abilities, the Hornet costume gave Spider-Man the ability to fly and shoot fast-acting sedative stinger darts.

Eddie McDonough[edit]

The Hornet
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Slingers #0 (Dec. 1998)
Created by Joseph Harris
Todd DeZago
Mike Wieringo
In-story information
Alter ego Eddie McDonough
Species Human
Team affiliations Slingers
Abilities Armored suit grants:
Superhuman strength
High-speed flight via jet-powered wing harness
Laser beam/sedative dart projection via gauntlets

Publication history[edit]

Although the armor first appeared in Spider-Man as one of the four new superheroes Peter Parker had taken on, this version first appeared in Slingers #0.

Speculation that the deceased Hornet in Wolverine #23 was not Eddie, but instead someone else who took on the name and costume, has been disproven by Loners writer C. B. Cebulski,[10] and Loners #2 states that Hornet was indeed killed by Wolverine.

Fictional character biography[edit]


Eddie McDonough was a science whiz who compensated for his palsied right arm with a knack for inventing. He was given the Hornet costume by the Black Marvel, and joined the Slingers. Eddie was able to modify the harness, making it light enough to wear. He also added additional weaponry, and made the costume more like a suit of armor (and even enabled the costume to enhance his strength). As the new Hornet, Eddie was more confident than he was normally. With the suit enhancing his strength, nobody (but his teammate Dusk) noticed that his right arm was normally weaker and atrophied. Hornet fought mutant rats, gangsters, and demons with his powers. Hornet also had to fight team leader Prodigy to save his friend Ricochet and even the villains they were fighting from the superhumanly strong "hero". Hornet also tried to win the affections of his teammate Dusk, but she was more attracted to the energetic Ricochet.[volume & issue needed]

Hornet learned that the Black Marvel had made a deal with the demon Mephisto, to return his powers and youth, and let him train new heroes (the Slingers), and when Mephisto collected the Black Marvel's soul, he took the Slingers too and sent them to Hell. He offered them the chance to leave, if they abandoned Black Marvel. While the other Slingers wanted to leave Black Marvel to his fate, Hornet was able to forgive the old man, and convinced the others to help free him. Black Marvel died in the attempt, but Hornet's act of forgiveness enabled the Black Marvel's soul to ascend to a better place. In doing so, Hornet's armor and Prodigy's powers were surrendered and lost. The team disbanded and the depowered Hornet and Prodigy apparently retired from superheroics.[11]

Enemy of the State[edit]

At some point Johnny and Eddie returned to fighting crime together under their old identities.[12] Hornet ended up going alone against HYDRA and a mind-controlled Wolverine as they attacked the Stark International building and was killed. Nick Fury, Elektra, and other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents later found his corpse at the scene. Somehow, agents initially mistook Hornet's body for Spider-Man's, Fury musing grimly on the tragedy of the man dying a hero when nobody could even remember his name. Elektra then beheaded the corpse in order to prevent the Hand from resurrecting him into their army.[13]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The Hornet costume had a jet-powered wing harness that enabled Eddie to fly at high speeds. Micro-servos in the armored suit enhanced his strength to superhuman levels. His gauntlets contained wrist blasters that could fire darts filled with a fast-acting sedative, or powerful laser-beams.

Melinda McDonough (Red Hornet)[edit]

Red Hornet
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance All-New Wolverine - Annual #01 (August 2016)
Created by Tom Taylor
Marcio Takara
In-story information
Alter ego Melinda McDonough
Species Human
Abilities Armored suit grants:
Superhuman strength
High-speed flight via jet-powered wing harness
Laser beam via gauntlets

Publication history[edit]

Eddie McDonough's niece appears in All-New Wolverine - Annual #01, calling herself the Red Hornet in honor of her deceased uncle.

Fictional character biography[edit]

When she was growing up, Melinda McDonough's parents thought that there was something wrong with their child's brain. It was only her uncle, Eddie McDonough a.k.a. the Hornet, who recognized that Melinda was a child genius. He encouraged her and eventually she became a scientist like him.

Sometime after her uncle's passing, she decided to take revenge on Logan, the original Wolverine, using his technology and isolating herself in her laboratory, where she developed a beam cannon that would transport Wolverine away from this dimension so that he would cease to exist in it. However, her isolation meant that she never got word of Logan's passing causing her to mistakenly hit the new Wolverine, Laura Kinney. By sheer coincidence, the Gwen Stacy of Earth-65 was in the exact same spot as her, causing them to swap minds instead.

After getting help from the Reed Richards of Earth-65, both heroines teamed up to track the down Melinda to confront her. After a short fight, Laura (in Gwen's body) was able to clear up the confusion and inform Melinda of Logan's passing. Melinda then helps Laura and Gwen get back into their proper bodies. Laura then offers Melinda the chance to be a hero, but she instead opts to teleport Laura away, back into her apartment.

Powers and abilities[edit]

As the Red Hornet, Melinda wears a power suit, similar to that of her uncle's, that gives her the same abilities.

In other media[edit]

Video games[edit]


  1. ^ Spider-Woman Vol. 1 #21
  2. ^ Spider-Woman Vol. 1 #31
  3. ^ Spider-Woman Vol. 1 #34
  4. ^ Spider-Woman Vol. 1 #35 (February 1981)
  5. ^ The Sensational Spider-Man #27
  6. ^ The Sensational Spider-Man #28
  7. ^ Peter Parker: Spider-Man #92
  8. ^ The Spectacular Spider-Man #258
  9. ^ Slingers # 0-12 (Nov. 1998 - Nov. 1999)
  10. ^ A'S For The Q'S: Cebulski Talks Loners - Newsarama
  11. ^ Slingers #0-12
  12. ^ Loners #2
  13. ^ Wolverine vol. 3 #23 (February 2005)
  14. ^ "GameStop Wreaks Havok on the X-Men, Gives Spider-Man an Identity Crisis". Kotaku.com. July 12, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Spider-Man: Edge of Time Retailer Exclusive Bonus Suits Trailers". Thehdroom.com. September 18, 2011. 

External links[edit]