Wednesday, January 23, 2008

To Be Bee-Man or Not To Be Bee-Man

Another comic-flavored byproduct (i.e. dropping) of the ignoble Harvey Thrillers line, the morally murky malcontent named Bee-Man made his debut in Double-Dare Adventures #1 (1966). In a daring twist, Bee-Man was actually a super-villain, an utter rotter named (ironically!) Barry E. Eames. That's about the most remarkable thing about this otherwise goofy, lame character. Somehow, lame villains are better.

Bee-Man's origin began when saboteur Barry E. Eames hijacked a returning Mars probe to collect and hold ransom a rare meteorite. Eames tracks the probe to his hidden landing spot, only to find the meteorite packed with giant stinging space bees. The bees sting him and infect him with their unearthly venom. He shortly finds himself lured back to the meteorite and transported to Mars:

Whatever. The Martians aren't mentioned again until the next issue; the rest of this story is Bee-Man establishing himself as public enemy #1. This calls for a montage:

Thus is born a new criminal mastermind wielding the unstoppable battle combo of googly antennae, nostril blasts, and nectar-based weaponry.

Note too, the disconnect between the lead character's name in the title and the story. Alternately called B-Man, Bee-Man and the Bee throughout, his name is just one of the many bad ingredients in this failure casserole.

And of course, Bee-Man has a shameful weakness; his junkie-like craving for sweet, sweet honey:

Holy crap. I guess he can always eat his grenades if he gets hungry, though. Finally, we close with our newly-minted mastermind taking his spoils home to his honeycomb hideout:

I admit, I am a sucker for cutaway hideout diagrams. Having established his villainous bona-fides, the Bee promptly turned face in issue #2, hastily selling out his Martian lords to the government and joining the F. Bee I., a quickly assembled government Bee-reaucracy linked to the real agency. As crappy a villain as he was, he made an even more forgettable hero, and was never seen again after that second, final issue of Double-Dare.


Jonathan S. said...

Say what you want about Bee Man. He may be lame but he's got a super cool helmet that would strike fear in most anyone.

Jennifershmoo said...

Hey, this guy totally reminds me of the Bee Tribe in the ElfQuest graphic novel "The Searcher and the Sword". In fact, I think the heroine Shuna marries Bee Man at the end!

Johnny Sorrow said...

Yes.... Tremble before the might of the Monarch!

Jen Von said...

The Bee-Man has been resurrected by one of the best webcomics ever, Dr. McNinja. See his miraculous adventures here. Then go read the rest of the comic gold that Chris Hastings and Kent Archer have given us.

ABS said...

I love how Bee Man carves a mountain into a hive, and then says he needs camouflage.