Oh boy, it’s Swarm! This would’ve been my first exposure to this extremely bizarre character. I’ve since read earlier appearances. This should be a wacky one.
A friggin Dave Matthews reference?! Todd DeZago, you are FIRED. I guess I don’t have the authority.
Oh, my God. This whole intro is straight ridiculous. That is not a real institute, as I’m sure you could guess. Why would bees be attacking? Nevermind, check out Ringo drawing this awesome mid-air quick change:
He makes something totally absurd look reasonable! Ben checks in at work and is informed by Buzz, ever ready to start a plot by reading the paper, that bees are coming to New York from all over the country! Then Desiree Winthrop shows up to tell Ben he’s going to see Rent with her tonight, and he better not be late. She is aggressive. Meanwhile, back at the bees, the swarm has entered the facility and begins to take human shape and speak.
Ok, so here’s the thing: He’s underselling it. You may think to yourself “Boy, a swarm of bees in a purple cloak, that’s over the top.” What if I told you that guy in the flashback is FORMER NAZI SCIENTIST FRITZ VON MEYER? What if I told you he was doing bee research in South America after fleeing Germany at the end of World War II, and those bees were also mutated by a nearby meteor, just so you know? NAZI BEES! Totally insane. Also: The bees used to coalesce around Fritz’ skeleton. That was a key thing. Now I guess they are free floating. Anyway, they talk about how they fought various heroes in the past (Including Spider-Man), but eventually decided humanity would kill itself eventually and they could just wait. That is, until the psionic wave Onslaught sent out a few months ago, which severely injured, like, all psychics in the Marvel U, as I recall, and also damaged Swarm’s hive mind. So…
NAZI BEES! While the Nazi bees are trying to get it together, we take our leave to check in with Peter & Mary Jane, on their way to a very important doctor’s visit.
Oh, yeah, totally looks like a girl. I’ll take your word for it, doc. That poor child… Anyway, Ben Reilly is off work and rushing home to get cleaned up for his sudden date with Desiree, but when he gets there… well…
(Why the weird Harley Quinn reference?) See what happens when you help a random mobster guy? Ben manages to get to his date almost on time. Desiree confides that people expect her to be “this fly fashion chick” (Ay yi yi), but that’s not really her. So she really is just Mary Jane 2.0. Ben’s thinking he wants to get to know the real her when NAZI BEES! He sees the swarm overhead and decides Spider-Man needs to go… I dunno, fight some bees? He doesn’t know it’s Swam yet, just a swarm. So he pretends his beeper has gone off (1996!) and rushes out of the theater.
Spidey webs the driver up and starts following the bees to their destination, which is, naturally…
This is even sillier than last time I saw swarm (Future blog post Spectacular Spider-Man 37, for those keeping score at home). Ya know, maybe it’s not. I’m not sure I can commit to that. But it’s pretty silly! And only bound to get sillier next time!