Feb 8 2016
Here’s another post from Allen Thomas, a comic reviewer over at Comicosity. As I mentioned before, Thomas has been featuring black comic characters in his Representation and Health 101 series and I wanted to take today to give Thomas the spotlight and feature his work. Karen Beecher-Duncan, aka Bumblebee is one of Thomas’ favorite Titans, here’s his piece on the character Bumblebee…hope you all enjoy!
Karen started her own buzz when she helped her then-boyfriend, Mal Duncan, also known as Vox and Herald, show the Titans his skills. The Titans were impressed enough to offer her membership. While her first official appearance was in Teen Titans #45, she wouldn’t don the costume until issue #48. Since her first appearance, Karen has gone on adventures with the Teen Titans and even hung up her wings to continue life with Mal.
While maintaining an off-on relationship with superheroics, Karen participates in the intergalactic conflict during Infinite Crisis, unfortunately affected by a massive Zeta Ray which left her six inches tall. With Mal, she joins the Doom Patrol, though they later divorce, and she is present during the large-scale fight with Superboy Prime. Karen is currently active in the DC universe and is again married to Mal and expecting a child.
What strikes me about Karen is that she doesn’t have the most extensive publication history. Most of her appearances are relatively insular and she does not show up too many times outside of specific teams or stories. I pored through her publication history and found that, outside of Doom Patrol and her stint with the Titans, Karen’s ‘appearances’ are her popping up on one panel or page and then not being heard from for the rest of the story. Quite frankly, she deserves better. As the first truly prominent Black woman in DC comics, you’d think she’d have more of a spotlight.
Head on over to Comicosity to learn more about Bumblebee.
Stay tuned for an interview with comic reviewer, Allen Thomas.