|Not the most intimidating of codenames, but still...|
First Appearance: Teen Titans #45 (1976)
History: Karen Beecher was a scientist and inventor who had a fairly normal life, at least until she began dating Mal Duncan, a member of the Teen Titans who had gone through several codenames. Worrying that Mal was being overlooked by the rest of the team Beecher concocted a scheme to make him look good. She created a bumblebee themed high tech suit and attacked the team in an effort to prove how valuable Duncan was to the team. Her scheme was effective and she managed to escape Scot-free but soon afterwards she confessed the ruse to Mal. Realizing that her intellect and ingenuity would make her a valuable ally the Titans recruited her on the spot. Under the name Bumblebee Karen continued working with the group before eventually joining Doom Patrol.
Beta Says: Bumblebee is yet another example of a character that was “awesome on paper” but never lived up to her potential. Think about: Karen was a scientist, an inventor while also being a black woman. The black woman was the smart one. That is so rare in superhero teams. You might want to accuse DC of simply ripping off the Wasp. Truthfully aside from both being insect themed heroines who could fly I’d say there wasn’t that much connecting them. Bumblebee was as a scientist and had no superhuman powers; her costume was a power suit of her own design. She did not change in size, which was the Wasps’ main gimmick. Um, well DC altered her so she’s stuck in a small form. Thanks for nothing, guys.
More on Bumblebee after the jump.