Sunday, April 25, 2010

Golden Age Superheroes - Yellowjacket

Yesterday a friend of mine and I were discussing bee projects - she was going to paint a hat - so I decided to feature one of my own bee projects in the blog today. For those of you who are avid comic book readers I want to emphasise that this Yellowjacket is not the same character as Marvel Comics introduced as one of the many faces of Henry Pym. This is an earlier Yellowjacket, secretly Vince Harley, which was published by an obscure Golden Age comics house, Frank Communale Publications. Vince Harley was a mystery writer for Dark Detective Magazine who runs afoul of some real criminals. They dump a carton of bees over Vince - who keeps bees - hoping they will sting him to death. However, it turns out that not only is Vince one of those rare types of people whom bees do not sting (I'm not one of those, trust me), but he can also mentally command his bee brothers. So what does Vince do? Well, remember, this is the Golden Age of comics - so he dons a colorful costume and takes on the secret identity of Yellowjacket, fighting crime with his horde or buzzing buddies - his only "super power." Beginning in 1944 he fought crime for ten issues of his own magazine and two other titles before disappearing into superhero limbo. Interestingly enough Yellowjacket was not the first hero of the Golden Age to fight crime by commanding bees - Quality Comics Red Bee did the same thing and he may be the subject of a future blog entry. The Yellowjacket action figure was made from a JLA Superman figure. I used epoxy putty to form the gauntlets and Dremeled off the distinctive boot markings and belt details. The paint job on the body was pretty simple, but painting the plastic cape took a while - painting straight lines on a 3-dimensional surface can be a challenge sometimes. I really do like the look of the character though.
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