Red Bee (comics)
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Jenna Raleigh, art by Daniel Acuña
|First appearance||(Rick) Hit Comics #1 (July 1940), (Jenna)|
|Created by||Toni Blum
|Alter ego||Richard Raleigh
Carries a special "Stinger Gun"
Use of trained bees
Human/insect biology that grants:
Enhanced physical attributes
Ability to "mark" people for later tracking
Use of two large robotic bees which fire electricity blasts
Wears a mechanized battle suit that grants:
The Red Bee is the name of two fictional superheroes. The debuted in the Golden Age of Comics when he first appeared in Hit Comics #1, published in July 1940 by Quality Comics. The character was obtained by DC Comics in 1956. This version of the character has since fallen into public domain. The second, written as the grandniece of the original, first appeared in Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #5.
Fictional character biography
The Red Bee's secret identity is Rick Raleigh, assistant district attorney in Superior City, Oregon. His superhero modus operandi is to put on a red and yellow costume and, with his trained bees and "stinger gun," fight Nazis and gangsters. His favorite bee is named Michael and lives inside his belt buckle for use in special circumstances. He has a series of adventures which lasts all the way until issue #24.
The character never became very popular, and was largely forgotten until reappearing in DC Comics' All-Star Squadron. In the 'Squadron', it is learned he was killed by the Nazi supervillain Baron Blitzkrieg while saving the lives of Hourman and other allies. The group Freedom Fighters was formed out of the Squadron and the Red Bee was made an honorary member.
Red Bee appears as a ghost in the pages of Starman. The focus of this appearance is a dinner party attended by many deceased heroes. Other heroes in attendance include the original Mr. Terrific and Hourman. The topic discussed is the intense appeal of the superhero life.
Other post-Crisis appearances include a cameo in Animal Man in which the character resides in a canceled character's "limbo", and in Bizarro Comics, where he and his agent attempt to improve his marketability. He is mentioned by Plastic Man as having been a friend and drinking buddy in an issue of JLA.
Rick's grandniece, Jenna, takes up the mantle of the Red Bee. She uses a mechanized battle suit and two robotic bees that can fire electricity. She assists the group in fighting S.H.A.D.E., an evil governmental organization. She soon learns that the leader of the Freedom Fighters, Uncle Sam, has assisted with the development of her technology. She decides to stay and fight with the group. Moments after this, she sees the death of the Invisible Hood, another ally, killed by a S.H.A.D.E.-influenced Ray.
Over the course of Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters vol. 2, (2007), Jenna is mutated by an alien insect colony into a human/insect hybrid, with enhanced physical abilities, pheromone production capabilities, and antennae on her head.
However, her mind is later completely circumvented by the mutation. After trying to colonize the entire Earth, she is cured of her affliction when Lanford Terrill uses his new Neon powers to destroy the insect influence. By the series' end, Jenna feels guilt over her actions, and she eschews the superhero life to continue her work in the research field.
Powers and abilities
Richard Raleigh had no superpowers but carried a special "Stinger Gun" and he specialized in the use of trained bees.
Jenna Raleigh possesses a human/insect biology which grants her enhanced physical attributes, pheromone production and the ability to "mark" people for later tracking. She formerly wore a mechanized battle suit which granted her enhanced strength and flight and used two large robotic bees that could fire electricity blasts.
In other media
In the Peter Bogdanovich screwball comedy movie She's Funny That Way, several characters refer to Rhys Ifans' character, an actor named Seth Gilbert, as having played a character named "Red Bee Man" in five movies. The character is said to have "puffy sleeves" and a "trained bumble bee in his belt buckle."