By Squares 0 Comments
It was during the Golden Age of comics (apparently 1940) when Quality Comics presented, to the world, the hero known as Red Bee. Named Rick Raleigh, this assistant district attorney fought Nazis and Gangsters with his 'stinger gun' and swarm of trained bees (he even kept his favourite bee, Michael, in a special compartment in his belt, just in case). In 1956, DC purchased the rights to this crimson dynamo, and while the original Red Bee has fallen into public domain, the newer Red Bee, Jenna Raleigh (Rick's grandniece) is still owned by them. However, Jenna uses a mechanized suit...and mechanized bees...so she really doesn't have bee powers at all.
You might be thinking 'bee training? Does that mean he can somehow communicate with bees?'. For those of you who watched The Magic Schoolbus as children, you'll know why this is ridiculous; bees talk by dancing. Kinda. The way they explained it is that bees communicate via movements, or 'steps', instead of, say, noises. Therefore, we're left to assume that he is either somehow able to connect telepathically to bees, or that he has some kind of crazy bee-empathy...and the latter is really kinda stupid, so we'll take bee-telepathy. Not that weird, right? There's telepaths all over the place in comics, so why would a species-specific telepath be weird? Besides, we already have Squirrel Girl, think of Red Bee as a sort of counterpart of hers.
So if we stick with the theory that he can psychically talk to bees (possibly brainwash, maybe possess or control through other mental means), then that begs the question of whether he can talk to wasps, too...even ants, maybe, because the three are quite closely related. Maybe he actually possesses powers that relate to all formian creatures. We may never know. And we're not going to debate whether bees even have something like a mind with which to communicate, that just gets too far into the 'hive mind' debate, and we'll save that for another day. Rick's special bee-empathy may sound kinda useful, I mean hell, who isn't kinda scared of/pissed off by/cautious of bees? But think about it; if we're going with the classical theme of empathy, then Rick would be able to feel whatever the bees felt. If you don't see the critical flaw here, let me point it out: a bee's stinger is attached to a whole bunch of other things in their body, things like organs (Are they called organs, or is that just for mammals? Well, and fish, and amphibians...), thus all those lovely things that allow the bee to actually live are ripped out, presumably painfully, and then they die, also presumably painfully. It's kinda like if you could make yourself explode- you could only do it once. Rick experiences the pain of every bee in the swarm of bees he controls, so he essentially has the power to feel massive amounts of crippling pain (assuming once again that bees even feel pain) any time he tries to fight crime with his bee-friends. Not sounding like a terribly practical power, but it would be so awesome if you were a bee-keeper...or one of those people who breeds new species of flowers.