The Red Bee comes from an earlier time in the development of the superhero genre, when superheroes were more like pulp vigilantes who had a minor edge over criminals (in Rick Raleigh's case, control over an unusal type of bee that could sting as often as it wanted without harming itself) but whose primary superpowers came from a powerful right fist, great courage, intelligence and cunning, a flawless ethical compass, and physical prowess and toughness that only barely remained within the realm of normal human possibilities. He only began to make "top worst heroes" lists when superhero fans began to compare him to superpowered characters such as Superman or The Human Torch or Spider-Man -- The Red Bee should be thought of as a pulp hero along the lines of The Batman, Rorschach, or The Black Widow, i.e. a non-powered but extraordinary human with an edge.
Rick Raleigh was the assistant to District Attorney Tom Darrow. In this position he grew tired of seeing criminals escape justice due to the slowness of the court system and other technicalities, so he created a costumed identity to bring criminals to justice. Complete with a trained bee named Michael whom he kept in his belt buckle. Thus, the Red Bee was born. In his first reported case, the Red Bee brought about the conviction of “Boss” Storm, head of a corrupt political machine.
He later became a member of the All-Star-Squadron soon after the beginning of World War II. He was called upon by Uncle Sam to join his group of Freedom Fighters in order to turn back an invasion on the by Axis forces led by Baron Blitzkrieg. During this mission he secretly followed Baron Blitzkrieg back to his hideout where Blitzkrieg threatened the captured Freedom Fighters, in order to get Hourman to give up the formula for Miraclo.
When Red Bee revealed his presence and attacked Blitzkrieg to save the lives of his teammates. He was killed in the ensuing battle, but his sacrifice allowed the other Freedom Fighters to escape and defeat Blitzkrieg.
In the afterlife he was a ghost who befriended David Knight. When attended a dinner party with many deceased heroes and Starman (Jack Knight). The topic discussed at the party was the appeal of the superhero life. Red Bee was also one of the characters Animal Man met in Comic Book Limbo.
- Height: 5' 9.5"
- Weight: 147 lbs.
- Eye Color: Blue
- Hair Color: Reddish-blond
Powers and Abilities
Rick Raleigh was a good athlete and a skilled hand-to-hand combatant. He carried a “Stinger” gun and kept a swarm of trained bees in the belt buckle of his costume that he released and used in battle. How he trained the bees and controlled them has never been revealed, but the bees were clearly unusual, for they could sting as often they wanted without any harm to themselves, and the male bees had stingers (in real life, all bees die after one sting except the Queen, and male bees lack any stingers). His favorite bees name was Michael and he lived in Raleigh's belt.