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From the I Know Foreshadowing When I Read It Department:

Jesus Christ, Super-Hero
Peacemaker Tries Hard #5, November 2023

The unique "super power," the questionable fashion sense, the earnest determination to right the world's wrongs with only a bee by his side.... Seriously, if you don't love the Red Bee by now, there might bee something wrong with you.

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From the Old Soldiers Never Die Department:

Those are some pretty tight abs for a centenarian
Peacemaker Tries Hard #4, October 2023

Now that he's palling around with General Immortus, Johnny Blackhawk, and The Red Bee, Peacemaker just might be the youngest person in his own title. He's no spring chicken himself; his father was a Nazi concentration camp commandant. Or at least he used to be. Comic books have a tendency to play fast and loose with established character biographies.

Speaking of which, flashbacks in this issue definitively detail the Red Bee's time as a special agent American Mystery Man actively fighting the Axis powers (and their terrible "War Wheel") in the European theater of World War II.

But wait! Everyone knows Red Bee died on February 23, 1942, on Earth-X (as graphically revealed in 1984's All-Star Squadron #35). What this story presupposes is... maybe he didn't?

Comic books being what they are, it would seem that Red Bee recovered from being dead — maybe health care was better back in the day — and continued his fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

Which is how he ends up with Peacemaker in the Amazon jungle held hostage by the villainous gourmand Snowflame. Good thing Red Bee has another Greatest Generation trope: a sidekick!

Wow! What must Michael the Bee's tiny insect abs look like?

A friend in need is a friend, indeed!

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Who says Batman doesn't use guns?

This is not the first time I've posted a panel from Detective Comics #78 (1943), and I doubt it will be the last.

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From the Bromance Department:

The Red Bee is finally back in action, tights and all! (Through I think his distinctive new long gray beard might be making the domino mask a little redundant.)

Professional douchebag Peacemaker takes shots at the the Red Bee's blousy sleeves, striped pants, colorful name, and, obviously, his "powers." To his enduring credit, the Red Bee has a great response for all of it!

Friendships begin with first names, Michael
Peacemaker Tries Hard #3, September 2023

The question isn't whether this is the best Red Bee comic of all time; The question is whether this is the best single comic of all time!

It just might be.

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From the Sweetest of Hobbies Department:

The USDA estimates there were 125,000 beekeepers in the US in 2020. But how many of them are training bees to fight crime?
Peacemaker Tries Hard #2, August 2023

For the second time in two issues, readers of the James Gunn-influenced Peacemaker Tries Hard comic book are treated to a brief vignette featuring Peacemaker's parole agent, some beekeeper named *checks notes* Richard Raleigh.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time the Red Bee has ever actually been shown in an apiary, which is kind of weird when you think about it. I mean, how often have we seen Batman in a cave full of bats or Wonder Woman on an island of women? Better late than never, I guess.

He's still not in costume, so there are no doubt plenty of readers wondering what this old man is doing in a Peacemaker comic. All I can say is that they are in for a treat in the next issue.

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From the Wacky Neighbor Department:

Cue the canned laughter
Peacemaker Tries Hard #1, July 2023

James Gunn's Peacemaker show on HBO was a big hit, so of course its star eventually found his way into his own comic book, bringing the continuity of his DCEU — that's "DC Extended Universe," by which we mean the setting and characters of the Warner Bros movies featuring DC Comics intellectual property — with him.

In this particular case, that's a good thing, because it lets us spend time with characters who, in the comic book DC Universe — the "DCU," 'natch — remain dead.

Characters like the Red Bee.

That's him there, in his civilian identity. Back in the day, Rick Raleigh was an assistant district attorney. But that's not so far removed from being a parole office for super criminals.

It would seem that an old man with a beard like that would be retired from super-heroics, and there's no explicit reference to the "Red Bee" nom de guerre in this particular issue. But keep your eyes out, kids, because something* tells me we'll be seeing more of the Red Bee in issues to come.

Your secret is safe with me, Mr. Red Bee, sir.

* That "something" is the retailer solicitation for advanced issues.

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He 'reckons' a lot
National Comics #1, July 1940

Beware the goatee!

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Let me guess: your hang-ups have something to do with spandex?

Something tells me that three dollars' worth of hang-ups aren't as super as they used to be.

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My air conditioner has died, and the house is hot. It could be worse, I suppose. It could be August.

Of course, if I was Superman, this wouldn't be a problem. For one thing, I'd be invulnerable to heat, but I'd also have Super-Breath, which I could use to cool the house.

You may recall that Superman used his freeze breath to turn a lake to ice so that he could put out a fire at a chemical plant in Superman III. He first used that power decades earlier in Superman #129, May 1959:

'Not again'? Maybe they should have called you Streaker-Man

You'll note that Superman debuts this power twenty years into his career only because his own previous Space Souvenirs are threatened. What, Jimmy Olsen never deserved a popsicle?

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Welcome to June, the 17th annual Superman Month, this year with 300% more Superman!

You may remember that this time last year, Superman was "dead" (again). As often happens in comic books, he got better. And in recent issues of Action Comics, he's been hanging out in Metropolis with three other characters who also call themselves Superman: his son, Jon; his clone, Connor; and the "New" Super-Man of China, Kong Kenan. It's Superman meets The Real World (where no one is an asshole to their gay roommate).

A little less conversation

At this rate, 2023 might be the year we finally get an answer to the age-old question "Can you ever have too much Superman?"

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To be continued...


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