3 THE RED BEE
First appearance: Hit Comics #1, 1940
Alter ego: Richard Raleigh
Abilities: None. But he owns a trained bumblebee. Called Michael
Assessment: Oh, just read the line above again and weep. A trained frickin' bee? And did anyone ever tell him that male bees don’t even sting? Okay, to be fair, he did have a swarm of trained bees at his command but Michael was his special friend. And, in a display of self-awareness that's almost poignant, The Red Bee seems to acknowledge his complete and utter pitiful lack of coolness by wearing the worst costume in superhero history. Red and yellow striped tights? Who was his designer? Extrano?
Nightmare big-screen scenario: David Lynch turns the concept on its head, telling the film from the point of view of Michael, a desperate bee press-ganged into attacking Nazis and hoodlums by a deranged, sociopathic, colour-blind misfit. Michael (voiced by Mickey Rourke) starts hallucinating a life on another planet where humans are frozen in honey like museum exhibits. Then a mad, mutant, serial-killing bug exterminator starts skipping between the two realities. And a one-legged man who smokes menthol cigarettes records the sound of buzzing hives to play to his housebound wife. Or something.
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