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Supervillain with insect powers.


After watching his mother die slowly of cancer, Gerald Byrne was determined to find some way to keep that sort of tragedy from affecting others. He began to study medicine, but an interest in entomology eventually sidetracked him into becoming a research biologist instead of a doctor. One day, he heard about a tribe of Indians in the Amazon Jungle that suffered from almost no diseases because of their diet, which included several types of unusual insects. Intrigued, and thinking perhaps he might yet find the cure for cancer he’d always sought, Byrne journeyed deep into Amazon to find this tribe and learn if the rumors were true. Before he encountered the tribe, he came to a strange clearing in the jungle filled with mounds that looked like crosses between the nests of wasps and termites. Intrigued, he investigated, only to arouse the inhabitants. A bizarre form of flying insect, unlike anything he’d ever seen before, swarmed out of the mounds and began stinging him. Crazed with pain and fear, he ran until he came to a spring, then dove in and remained submerged until the bugs flew away. By the time he crawled out of the spring, he was already feeling ill. The next several days were a blur of pain and misery. Finally, his symptoms began to subside, and with them much of his humanity ebbed away as well. Somehow the insects’ venom had transformed Byrne into a man-insect hybrid. He no longer felt sympathy or compassion; now he regretted all his attempts to help others, and decided the world owed him for all his efforts. Returning to civilization, he became the Hornet, a fearsome costumed criminal. Over the years since he first joined the Superhuman World, to his simultaneous fascination and concern, Hornet’s body has continued to mutate, slowly but surely. This has made him even more powerful in some ways (such as his new Chrysalis Blast), but part of him is concerned that the mutations may continue until he’s some sort of hideous, six-limbed bug-man. Part of him doesn’t care.


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