I may never forgive the MCU for that end credit scene following the fun and entertaining romp that was the Ant-Man and The Wasp movie, but I did come to appreciate characters in that film that I had previously known or cared very little about. Plus, the movie prompted me to do a little research.
Science has taught us that insects are mighty creatures. Ants can get up to some truly innovative engineering feats. The movie made the Wasp endearing, but everyone knows that, in reality, wasps are crazy, horrid shits that are hell bent on ruining human lives. Still, nature always offers exciting opportunities when it comes to creating interesting comics. It’s no wonder so many superheroes and villains have been inspired by them.
In my explorations, I discovered several cool (and some not so cool) bug-based super heroes. These are the ones that make the top of my list.
The Blue Beetle
There have been three people to gain abilities from a sacred scarab, though when Dan Garrett first appeared as The Blue Beetle in 1939 for Fox Comics, it was a special vitamin that granted him powers. Garrett was killed, and his mantle was taken up by Ted Kord, while Fox Comics became Charlton Comics, and then was swept up by DC Comics, who introduced Kord to his new universe through the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” event. Kord later died, and the sacred scarab now hangs out with a teenager named Jaime Reyes, who will hopefully fair better than his predecessors.
Karen Beecher is sometimes considered DC Comics’ first Black female superhero, although Wonder Woman’s sister, Nubia, debuted three years earlier in 1973. Still, writer Bob Rozakis and artist Irv Novick’s debut of the character in Teen Titans #45 is special. In order to help her boyfriend Mal Duncan, a.k.a. The Herald, earn a spot on the Titan roster, Beecher used her scientific knowledge to create a Bumblebee-themed supersuit to attack the Titans. She later revealed the ruse. The Titans were so impressed that they invited her to join the team. Three issues after her first appearance, she became officially known as Bumblebee (not to be confused with the Autobot). Now she is one of the prominent characters of the DC Super Hero Girls series.
The Tick and Arthur
The Tick was created by Ben Edlund in 1986 as a mascot for a comic book store newsletter. He became an official comic book character in 1988 and has gone on to appear in his own animated and live action series. With his sidekick, Arthur, who is dressed like a moth, The Tick spoofs superhero culture in every way possible. SPOON!
The Green Hornet
This is one of my brother’s favourite characters because the television show starred his personal hero, Bruce Lee, as The Green Hornet’s sidekick, Kato. The Green Hornet was created in the 1930s by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker for an American radio program, and the crime fighting duo have seen various iterations across various media since. (We’re not gonna talk about that movie though, ‘kay? Good.) The first comic book appearance was in December of 1940. Now the character is part of Dynamite Entertainment’s roster. Following director and writer Kevin Smith’s run on the comic, Amy Chu has taken over as writer and introduced a female Green Hornet who has stepped into her father’s shoes alongside Kato’s daughter.
Black Panther’s 1966 appearance launched him as the first Black superhero. Five years later, The Butterfly appeared as the first Black female superhero who fought crime in a butterfly suit equipped with a jetpack and strobe lights. Unlike T’challa, nightclub singer Marian Michaels’ superheroing career only lasted for two issues of Hell-Rider, a comic published by the now defunct Skywald Publications, but damn if I don’t have some new cosplay plans…