Beekeeper Review: Spidey Super Stories’s Beekeeper

Spidey Super Stories was a segment on a television show called the Electric Company that featured live-action Spider-Man stuff. If you want, you can see the appearance of the Beekeeper on the Youtube. To summarize: there is a villain named the Queen Bee who wants to conquer the world. Spider-Man is opposing her. One of her henchmen is: The Beekeeper. Spider-Man beats the Beekeeper very easily.

He seems like a relatively ordinary guy. Queen Bee and her other henchmen are some kind of half-bee people, and one of the bees in Queen Bee’s hive is named Fang and is said to be “poison” (I assume they mean “venomous”). But the Beekeeper is just a normal human, it seems. And henching? I mean, not to disparage henchmen, but that is definitely a step down from being a regular beekeeper.

Issue #14 of the Spidey Super Stories comic adapts this story, and it isn’t much different. Queen Bee does once refer to him as “the Royal Beekeeper”, but that ain’t what it says on his shirt, so it surely doesn’t count.

One Honeycombs out of Five. Man. I gotta find some more badass beekeepers sometime soon.

Beekeeper Review: Lord Marmaduke Ffogg

Lord Marmaduke Ffogg is a minor Batman villain who is also a beekeeper. Sounds like a pretty good combination, but unfortunately Ffogg is a bit of a letdown. You see, rather than using beekeeping as the theme of his crimes, Ffogg’s theme is fog. He does, admittedly, make good use of that theme. He lives in a town called “Fogshire” and he’s got a Pipe of Fog that billows forth enough fog to cover his crimes. He’s got exploding pellets than can create a fog that paralyzes people. He’s got a “mind fogging” machine that can mess with people’s minds. Overall, he’s pretty on brand, it’s just not the brand that would get him points in a Beekeeper Review.

And, as Batman villains go, he’s got a sweet set-up. He’s not only got his own henchmen, but his sister and daughter are in on his crimes and use the girls at the “posh girls finishing school” they run as an additional set of henchmen. That’s two henchgroups in this one criminal setup. Pretty good deal.

But Ffogg is a beekeeper as well. Though it seems to be a mere hobby for him. He keeps only a single hive, though it is full of African Death Bees (“One sting and you’re finished”). That’s an impressively badass-sounding type of bee, but the closest he gets to using beekeeping as a part his life of crime is to have his hive set up is a trap for those who might be snooping around his estate. When he showed up in the comics based on the show his bees were not even mentioned (also, there he was called “Professor Ffogg”, so perhaps he lost his Lordship).

I have some theories about Ffogg. He’s from “one of the most aristocratic families in the land” and I feel that this was probably a family with some more respectable beekeepers before Marmaduke came along. Devices like the fog pellets and the fog pipe may have been adapted from technology they used for smoke. That theory will never likely be confirmed either way, but if it were true it means that Ffogg is even more disappointing. Sorry, Marmaduke, but you’re not what we’re looking for.

One Honeycomb out of Five.

How PDR is Doing

Probably time for an update. As I believe I mentioned last time, I have had to deal with various things of a monetary nature. The current status is that, for the first time in my life, I own a car and I own a flat screen television. The latter was free, so that was nice, but it turns out that cars are expensive and owning it is not immediately improving my economic situation. Hopefully this is one of those “in the long run” deals. Still, I’ve acquired two of the material goods that capitalism tells me should make me happy, right? (Side note: Do televisions get channels without cable, or is this thing just going to work with my laptop?)

If the site had an audience, they’d be noticing that SecGov has been stuck for a while. It’s just that with all the things I’ve had on the go, it has been the lowest priority. Hopefully once I get back into the swing of it, I’ll be able to push through and end it once and for all, because then I’ll have one less thing on the go and that’ll be nice.

Beekeeper Review: Charlotte “Chuck” Charles

Charlotte “Chuck” Charles appeared in the show “Pushing Daisies”. Unfortunately, she was killed off in the very first episode. Fortunately, this was a show where that doesn’t stop her, for the protagonist, a piemaker named Ned, has the ability to raise the dead with his touch. There are rules about how this works, but those are his deal and this is about Chuck, so let’s focus on her.

The facts are these: When Chuck was young, her father died. Afterward, she was raised by her aunts, who introduced her to beekeeping. After growing up and being murdered, she was resurrected by Ned. Now ‘Alive-Again’ (a term she prefers over undead), Chuck resumes her beekeeping career on a roof in the city (“Operation: Urban Honey Pioneer”).

Does she have any powers? Well, she probably won’t age, that counts for something. If I really want to push it, I can say that she has used mood-enhancing drugs while baking pies, which is sort of like being knowledgeable with potions and stuff. She keeps her cool even when being swarmed by bees that aren’t her own, which is good and actually beekeeping-related. More significantly, when her bees are killed by “rogue pesticides” she has Ned reanimate them all, creating a hive full of ageless Alive-Again bees. That’s pretty neat. Finally, she has claimed that the honey that she and the bees make now is the best she’s had, though she admits that most things taste better since her death, so we can’t be too sure. There is no legacy of beekeeping in her family, though. It seems that her aunts simply found an ad for some bees in a magazine and thought it might cheer her up. The aunts seem to have helped out when she was a kid, but this is not one of those cases where a beekeeper comes from a lineage of those in the profession.

Well, what kind of person is she? It is implied that she has some sins in her past that she wants to make up for after her rebirth, but I don’t see the signs of Beekeeper Rage. In her post-death life, she joins Ned and his friends as they solve mysteries. I’ve not covered this before, but I definitely put solving mysteries in the same category as being a badass fighter. Solving mysteries is just fighting crime with your brain’s fists, after all. By the end of the series, she is even adopting a “superhero”-style nickname for herself: “The Alive-Again Avenger”. Sounds like she’s in this for keeps. Alright, so how does she stack up?

Three Honeycombs out of Five. She’s an impressive beekeeper with some supernatural elements, I’ll give her that. But, apart from one episode that made mention of the fact that Egyptians connected bees with death, the supernatural elements have little to do with her being a beekeeper. She’s a reanimated crimefighter who happens to keep bees.

Beekeeper Review: Ghost from Mission Impossible

Today’s beekeeper appeared in an episode of Mission Impossible titled “Zubrovnik’s Ghost”. First, let’s have a quick summary of the episode: Some enemy agents are trying to convince someone to defect to their side by telling her that her husband’s ghost wants her to. That’s a lie, though. Her husband, the titular Dr. Zubrovnik, wasn’t even dead for real. For the purposes of this ruse, the bad guys killed a beekeeper and burned his body to pass it off as Zubrovnik. That was a mistake. The beekeeper’s ghost takes its violent revenge on his killers, and the agents that Mission Impossible sent (I’m not going to bother learning which organization stars in the show) get to stand around wondering why this show isn’t about beekeeper ghosts every week.

We never get to see this beekeeper alive, or even learn his name. He’s an unfortunate victim of a murder before the episode even begins, which suggests he may not be the best fighter, but from his position in the afterlife, he displays some real power.

The first suggestion that things are not as they seem is that the bees around Zubrovnik’s mansion are active at night, and even during thunderstorms. Of course, they also wind up swarming the murderers, so it is pretty clear they’re doing the dead beekeeper’s bidding. The ghostly apiarist also displays control over smoke, another standard supernatural beekeeper weapon. Furthermore, his ability to shut and lock doors from beyond the grave should be mentioned. Sure, that’s more Ghost Power than Beekeeper Power, but it is his Beekeeper Rage that brings him back from the grave in the first place.

We do have to address that Beekeeper Rage, though. Now, I’m not going to say getting murdered is something one shouldn’t get a little ticked off about, but as is so often the case, Beekeeper Rage goes above and beyond rational anger. Mission Impossible’s psychic agent tries to contact Zubrovnik’s ghost, but instead find’s the beekeeper, whom she describes as having “unquenchable power”. “It hates,” she says. “It hates!” The beekeeper is using his ghostness to strike out at some bad guys, so I can’t say he isn’t using it in a productive way, but it sure seems to have completely overwhelmed his humanity. Hopefully once the murderers are dead he can find some peace.

It is my understanding, from Internet research, that the Mission Impossible franchise has maintained a continuity that goes all the way to the movies that still come out to this day, rather than having been rebooted like so many franchises. I also understand that the truly supernatural events in this episode are not in keeping with the general tone of Mission Impossible. Since this is supernatural beekeeper exists in a world where that sort of thing is not common, it is actually more impressive that he has these powers.

Three Honeycombs out of Five.