Give Us A Bee-Man Movie, Hollywood
There's a growing opinion that there are too many superhero movies these days. That Hollywood should give it up and go back to more mature types of cinema, like films about cheerleading competitions or parody movies that include the word "movie" in the title. We submit that, no, they can't stop making cape movies yet because they still haven't made one about Bee-Man, the most bonkers idea in superhero comics. And all comics. And mankind.
Bee-Man was co-created by Captain America writer Joe Simon (the other co-creator was his undiagnosed brain stroke). The plot summary reads like a honey-induced fever dream: disgruntled NASA technician Barry E. Eames sabotages a space probe returning from Mars to steal a meteorite and get rich, but then giant alien bees come out of the meteorite and sting him ... for two days straight, apparently. Yes, his body subsisted on pain for 48 hours.
Barry is taken to the hospital, where his test results baffle doctors -- the alien bee stings have "changed his entire body chemistry." But, before they can figure out what's wrong with him, he sneaks out of the hospital because he can feel bees calling him to the desert. He then crawls inside the meteorite brought by the space probe, which immediately flies off into space and takes him to Mars. The Martians tell Barry he's now one of them and must live in one of Mars' moons, then give him a superhero costume and various bee-themed weapons, for some reason. No one else there dresses even remotely like this, by the way.
Barry rudely disobeys the wishes of the kind aliens who gave him these fancy new duds and escapes back to Earth because he wants to conquer it. But first, he builds himself the most inconspicuous hideout he can think of: a giant, impossible-to-miss beehive the size of a mountain.
Next, Barry flies to the nearest state capitol building and starts stripping the gold out of the building's dome because gold is yellow and so is honey. But then, as he escapes from the military with the scraped-off gold, his powers start failing. Luckily, he runs into a convenient bee farm and instinctively realizes he must guzzle up some fresh honey to raise his "honey power" levels.
Barry eludes the soldiers and continues stealing as much gold as he can with the ultimate goal of turning all of mankind into slaves of the space bees. But, one day, Barry is brought back to Mars' moon to witness as the leader of the aliens, Queen Bea (of course), mentally enslaves some random human she abducted. Somehow, this causes Barry to rethink his recent life choices and turn his back on the aliens to save the guy, who turns out to be an FBI agent. As a result, Barry is invited to become an FBI age-- sorry, F-Bee-I agent too.
You might think this series has surely settled into a status quo with that, but no -- during his first mission as a fed, Barry goes insane again from not eating enough honey, attacks his partner, and goes back to his criminal ways.
The issue ends with Barry's partner shooting him with some honey concentrate that will supposedly cure him of his sticky insanity forever ... but, sadly, we'll never know if that's true because the comic was canceled after only two issues.
If nothing else, Bee-Man really makes you appreciate Stan Lee's work. This deranged plotline was clearly the result of an artist drawing whatever and then the writer trying to figure out how the hell to turn that into a coherent story, with very limited success. Say what you will about Lee, but at least when he did that, the end result didn't make you feel like that scene in Hannibal where Ray Liotta is eating his own brain.
Top image: Harvey Comics