Bumblebee (comics)


Bumblebee: One Year Later.
Art by Tony Daniel.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance as Karen Beecher:
Teen Titans #45
(December 1976)
as Bumblebee:
Teen Titans #48 (June 1977)
Created by Bob Rozakis
In-story information
Alter ego Karen Beecher-Duncan
Team affiliations Doom Patrol
S.T.A.R. Labs
Teen Titans
Abilities Shrunk to insect-like size. Her solar-powered suit enables her to fly (via bee-like wings), fire sonic force blasts, and unleash electrical 'stings'.

Bumblebee (real name Karen Beecher-Duncan) is a fictional character, existing in DC Comics' main shared universe. She was a member of the Teen Titans and is a member of the Doom Patrol.[1] First appearing in Teen Titans #45 (December 1976), Karen adopted the Bumblebee identity three issues later, becoming DC's first African American female superhero.[2]

Fictional character biography

Teen Titans

Scientist Karen Beecher was the girlfriend of Teen Titans member the Herald (a.k.a. Mal Duncan). In order to help make Herald look good in front of the team, Beecher secretly made herself a bumblebee-themed supersuit and attacked the Teen Titans. She escaped without this ruse being revealed.[1]

When she later explained to Mal and the Titans what she had done, they were impressed enough to offer her membership, which she accepted. She and Mal subsequently moved to the new Titans West team, having relocated to San Francisco. When the Titans team dissolved for a time, Karen and Mal married and 'retired' from superheroics. Karen took a job with S.T.A.R. Labs, where she designs non-lethal weaponry.

They have returned to crime-fighting from time to time to assist the team, most notably during a short-lived revival of Titans West and the JLA/Titans event, which reunited everyone involved with the team. A fight broke out over the fate of Victor Stone, Cyborg. Bumblebee personally fought Zauriel, a member of the Justice League. Despite the assistance of the current Supergirl, Bumblebee was swiftly defeated.

Following this, Mal and Karen briefly joined the latest incarnation of Titans West (now called Titans L.A.), but this incarnation of the team never really got off the ground, and the heroes returned to their lives of semi-retirement.

Several years later, Mal and Karen briefly returned to action as part of a team of over two dozen past and present Titans who were called in to stop a rampaging Doctor Light.

Infinite Crisis and One Year Later

Bumblebee and her husband are among the heroes recruited by Donna Troy to help avert a coming crisis that threatened the existence of the universe. After a battle in space, most of the heroes were trapped by a Zeta Beam Ray that Adam Strange was hoping to use for teleporting away the heroes from the rift in space. Due to the ray interactions with the rift itself, the Zeta Ray altered Bumblebee's physiology, apparently transferring her body mass to Hawkgirl. This left Bumblebee approximately six inches in height and temporarily left Hawkgirl some 25 feet tall.[1]

Bumblebee's current Doom Patrol costume. Art by Matthew Clark.

In Teen Titans vol. 3, #34, Bumblebee is shown to have joined the Doom Patrol sometime in the past year along with her husband (now known as Vox) and Beast Boy.[3] She must now take medicine developed by Doom Patrol leader Niles Caulder to prevent her heart from going into cardiac arrest, due to her tiny form.

Much like Beast Boy, she now strongly resembles her animated counterpart in costume and hair style.

Per Birds of Prey #100, Karen—along with numerous other DCU heroines—was contacted by Barbara Gordon and asked to join the expanded roster of the latter's team, the Birds of Prey. However, the team disbanded before she participated in any missions.

Karen is a member of the Doom Patrol. Due to medicinal efforts from Dr. Caulder, she has grown to a height of seven inches, and she can live in a dollhouse.

As of Doom Patrol (vol. 5) #1, Karen is now a divorcée. In issue #18, Karen rejoined the team after months of inactivity due to her divorce from Malcolm. Now sporting a new costume and a Beehive hairdo, Karen returned to active duty just in time for a confrontation with the Secret Six, who had come to the team's home of Oolong Island in order to claim it in the name of a teenaged crime lord.[4] In the ensuing battle, Bumblebee inexplicably vanishes after a brief tussel with Bane, while her teammates ultimately fight the Six to a draw. As the members of the Secret Six are being forcibly deported from Oolong, Elasti-Girl stops Rag Doll and forces him to empty out his pockets, where Karen is found tied up with her mouth duct-taped shut. Ragdoll reluctantly returns Bumblebee to her teammates, telling them that he had wanted to keep her as a "souvenir".[5]

Following the disbandment of the Doom Patrol, Bumblebee appears as one of the former Titans who arrives at Titans Tower to repel Superboy-Prime and the Legion of Doom.[6]

The New 52

In the New 52 continuity, Karen is the pregnant wife of Mal Duncan.[7] She later reveals that she has the power to fire energy blasts from her hands, which comes in handy during the former Teen Titans' battle with Mister Twister. At the end of the fight, she goes into labor and eventually gives birth.[8]

Powers and abilities

Bumblebee originally had no true superpowers and her unique abilities were derived from her scientific superpowered high-tech battle suit. The suit greatly increases her strength, speed, stamina, endurance, agility, reflexes and acts as body armor and allows her to fly and create painful electric blasts that sting like actual bee stings. She is stuck at a shrunken size and now possess superpowers where she can now fly and produce exceptionally strong hypersonic blasts.

Other versions

In other media



Video games

Web series


  1. 1 2 3 Beatty, Scott (2008), "Bumblebee", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, London: Dorling Kindersley, p. 63, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5
  2. Nubia was introduced several years earlier in Wonder Woman #204 (January 1973). However, her role has always been that of a supporting character in the Wonder Woman series, and not a costumed crimefighter.
  3. Beatty, Scott (2008), "Doom Patrol", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 109, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
  4. Secret Six (vol. 3) #30
  5. Doom Patrol (vol. 5) #19
  6. Teen Titans (vol. 3) #99
  7. Titans Hunt (vol. 1) #2
  8. Titans Hunt #7-8

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/18/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.