Real Name: Buchanan "Buck" Mitty
Identity/Class: Human technology (and insect noise) user/mutate
Occupation: Former senior Entomology professor at ESU
Group Membership: None;
formerly Heroes for Hire (Black Cat, Misty Knight, Orka, Paladin, Shang-Chi, Tarantula (Maria Vasquez), Colleen Wing)
Affiliations: Luke Cage, Captain America
(Rogers), Billy Delfini, Hivelings, Iron Man (Stark), Otis Johnson,
Louis "Shadows" Kravitz, Mister Fantastic, Mister Qui, Pixiu, Vienna, Warbound (especially Brood & Miek)
formerly 8-Ball, Freezer Burn, Whirlwind;
Obsessed with the insect world (Plato and Ari named);
pawn of Earth's hive-mind;
Enemies: Bloodshed, Blue Streak (Jonathan Swift), Corporation, Deadpool, Devil Dinosaur, Doombot, Equinox, Ferocia, Flame, Ghost-Maker, Goldbug, Grindhouse, Headmen (Chondu the Mystic, Gorilla Man, Ruby Thursday, Shrunken Bones), Heroes for Hire (Black Cat, Misty Knight, Paladin, Shang-Chi, Tarantula, Colleen Wing), a Hiveling, Insecticide, Kingsize, Kogar, Mad Juggler, Mandarin's Avatars (Ancestor, Foundry, Lich, Q'Wake, Sickle, Warfist), Moonboy, Ricadonna, Shadow Slasher, Shockwave, Spider-Man,...people who don't like bugs
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: The Bug-Man of Alcatraz, Man-Bug, "Red Baron"
Place of Birth: Lodi, New Jersey
Base of Operations: Manhattan, New York; formerly Empire State University
Education: Ph.D. in entomology
First Appearance: Web of Spider-Man#19 (October, 1986)
Powers/Abilities: Humbug originally used some audio tapes and a series of amplifiers to broadcast the noises of various insect species. While he names a large number of different insects he has used, the effect is almost always the same: blasts of sonic/vibratory force, focal laser-like sonic beams, or high frequency screeches able to shatter delicate equipment (including eardrums). His blasts are powerful to tear open an armored car. He has also created gentle vibration that have a powerful, tickling effect. He has, from time-to-time, suffered technical difficulties with his equipment.
At some point, he apparently obtained the ability to directly communicate with insects.
His greatest weakness is his excessive devotion to insects. He will surrender rather than see a bug harmed.
In the Savage Land he joined the hive-mind of Earth's insects after drinking the blood of a Savage Land insect. He was given an armor (including his helmet, who was the real agent they sent to stop the Brood) which enabled him to crawl on walls and the knowledge he needed to stop the Brood. They secretly made Humbug poisonous for the Brood's eggs because they knew he would betray them.
Some time later Humbug was used as an incubator by the Warbound's Brood for her eggs. Mutated by the eggs within his body Humbug was slowly transformed into a more insect-like form with enhanced strength and reflexes. Armed with a sword and wearing a slightly enhanced version of the hive-mind's armor he served the Brood.
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 130 lbs.
History: (Web of Spider-Man#19) - Buck Mitty was the senior entomology professor at ESU until they cut off his funding. Desperate to prove the value of the insect world, as well as to gain enough wealth to continue his research, Mitty designed the Humbug costume to achieve his goals, by whatever means necessary.
(Web of Spider-Man#19) - Humbug intended to begin his career by stealing a shipment of black pearls, but a group of criminals beat him to the punch, and he fled when Spider-Man showed up to take them out. He next targeted an armored car government cash transfer. While he overpowered the guards and blew open the car, he had no way to transport the large shipment, as he had previously blown out one of the tires, to prevent them from escaping. At this time, Spider-Man came on the seen and, after a short struggle, turned Humbug's sonics back on himself, destroying his equipment. The cops then took him away.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#306) - Mitty's sentence was commuted to time served, and he was released from prison. He renewed his awesome entemological onslaught, now dedicated to punishing ESU for their betrayal. He first tried to steal some rare paintings for their art department to finance his research, but found that the art department had been relocated, when he blasted into the women's locker room. Embarrassed, he fled the scene.
Humbug surrendered, appalled at Spider-Man's cruelty, and was sent back to jail.
(Marvel Year-in-Review 1992) - Humbug attended the Springdale branch of the Bar with no Name, where he bragged about the newly redesigned Tomazooma...redesigned as a cuckoo clock, that is.
(Spider-Man: Bug stops here) - Humbug assaulted the New York Museum of Natural History, hoping to finance his research by stealing the Cheops Scarab, on loan from Egypt. Peter Parker was present at the museum and changed into Spider-Man to oppose him. After some struggle, Spider-Man led Humbug to an area of the museum damaged by Termites, and Humbug fell through floor and was knocked out upon landing on the lower level floor.
(Deadpool III#42 (fb)) - After Humbug renewed his assault on ESU once again, Deadpool was hired by unknown parties to sanction the pest. Deadpool caught Mitty in the act and targeted him with his rifle, but one of his insect friends warned him in time to duck. He then unleashed a sonic blasts at Deadpool, collapsing the building he was in, and making him both deaf and mute.
Furious, Deadpool chased Humbug into a woman's dorm (haven't we seen this joke before?), where they were both driven out by angry co-eds. Deadpool then tried to determine Humbug's secret identity, and nearly killed two innocent men, before figuring out that entomology was the study of insects, and thus making the connection between Mitty and Humbug. He then attacked Humbug in his lab, doused him with honey, and then hurled a jar of South American fire ants on him. Humbug tried in vain to blast off the fire ants as they devoured him, and after a few minutes, Deadpool pronounced him...dead.
(OHotMU 2006#5 - BTS) - While the outer layer of Humbug's skin was eaten by the ants, he made a deal with them. They let him live and he got them younger and tastier victims. Rodney, the leader of the ants, stayed with Humbug after this.
(Daughters of the Dragon#1) - Humbug teamed up with Whirlwind, 8-Ball and Freezer Burn to rob the wealthy publisher Ricadonna. Humbug's cockroaches severed all wires in Ricadonna's alarm system. Inside her apartment the criminals opened with combined powers her safe deposit and took her jewelry and everything else in it. Humbug's allies made fun of him the whole time because he hung around with cockroaches and Whirlwind even squashed one.
(Daughters of the Dragon#2) - 8-Ball, Humbug and Whirlwind met with their fence at a bar to sell the jewelry, but as soon as he realized that the jewelry belonged to Ricadonna he didn't want to it anymore and he even told them to give it back to her. Humbug recommended finding out more about Ricadonna.
(Daughters of the Dragon#3) - After all his partners were killed Humbug broke into Misty Knight's apartment to turn himself over. He had Ricadonna's jewelry with him and gave it to Misty, who found a computer chip inside an artificial eye. Misty agreed to protect Humbug after she learned that a dangerous computer virus was on the chip, but Ricadonna was already there to take it back.
(Daughters of the Dragon#4) - Humbug watched Misty fight against Ricadonna. Humbug took Misty's gun after she dropped it, but Ricadonna kicked it out of his hand and severed Misty's bionic arm when she caught the gun. Humbug then called in thousands of insects which forced Ricadonna to flee. Humbug then called Colleen Wing for Misty. Humbug later used his powers to help Colleen find out the location of the auction for the chip. He learned it through a cockroach which listened to the Hand. Afterwards Colleen used her handcuffs on Humbug and told him that she would help him get a good lawyer. Suddenly the Mad Juggler was on the roof and wanted the chip. Colleen told him that Ricadonna already had the chip and left with Humbug, who was hitting on her.
(Heroes for Hire II#1 (fb) - BTS) - Buck was put back into prison by Misty and Colleen. As soon as he was out again he joined their new Heroes for Hire team.
(Heroes for Hire II#1) - Alongside the Heroes for Hire he fought the Mandarin's Avatars. Humbug took out Ancestor with the help of his insects.
Back in the Heroes for Hire's HQ he ate something until he had to find out the location of a meeting of super villains that tried to get a fake I.D. to leave the country. He wanted to finish his spring roll first, but Tarantula insisted (she nearly stabbed him) to search for the meeting immediately. A cockroach found the meeting and a short time later Humbug, Colleen, Misty Tarantula and Black Cat were there to catch the villains. Except for Tarantula and Humbug all heroes were knocked out in the fight and Vienna offered the two still conscious heroes to join the other side, but both denied the offer. Than Orka, Paladin and Shang-Chi arrived to help them. Afterwards it was revealed that Vienna worked together with Misty and Colleen and that it was also a test for Humbug and Tarantula to see if they were loyal.
(Heroes for Hire II#2) - Humbug went with the Heroes for Hire to Avengers Tower where they were hired by Iron Man to catch Captain America. Because Humbug's insects couldn't find Cap's hideout the Heroes for Hire went to Master Qui and the demon Pixiu. Pixiu found the hideout for them, but before going to Cap Humbug went after a call from Detective Simmons to an illegal medical lab with Skrull organs. During the Heroes for Hire's meeting with Mr. Fantastic Humbug stayed in the back.
40 minutes after the meeting Humbug and the Heroes for Hire were at Cap's hideout. He saluted Captain America and felt honored to meet him. Paladin suddenly turned against the Heroes for Hire, used a gas against them that made them weak and knocked out Humbug and everyone else because he wanted the money for Cap's head.
(Heroes for Hire II#3) - Humbug came back to his senses when Captain America was brought away by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. He was the first to notice that Shang-Chi and Luke Cage were missing. When they returned Shang explained that he knocked out Paladin and that he helped Cap to change costumes with Paladin. Humbug then had again a few emotional words to say to Cap.
Humbug was with the Heroes for Hire when they met with Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man at the Baxter Building.
(Heroes for Hire II#4) - When Humbug returned with the Heroes for Hire to the Golden Dragon it was blown up by a bomb. Later at his apartment in Queens he was attacked by the newcomer Insecticide. Cockroaches tried to protect Humbug when he ran away, but Insecticide killed them all with poison and then tossed Humbug through a door. Humbug was okay with this because that room was filled with African killer bees and they took out Insecticide for Humbug.
Humbug met with the other Heroes for Hire at the ruins of the Golden Dragon and Humbug and the rest learned from Misty and Colleen that Ricadonna was behind the attacks on them. Humbug used his insect spies to find Ricadonna and saw her and her shape-shifting allies in a Corporation facility on Hart Island.
(Heroes for Hire II#5 (fb) - BTS) - Humbug's cockroaches ate nearly all of the security wires in the Corporation's base.
(Heroes for Hire II#5) - During the Heroes' flight to Hart Island Humbug felt airsick, but Misty told him that Iron Man would kill them if something happened to the flying car which included puke. Back on the ground the team entered the Corporation's facility and set off an alarm because Humbug's roaches forgot some wires. Humbug and Black Cat went to the room with the organ generator, but it was locked. Black Cat felt provoked by Humbug and tossed him through the window to get into the room. Before they could blow up the generator Ricadonna crashed into it and exploded the thing. They still set the charges and left the building with the rest of the team through an escape tunnel beneath it before everything blew up.
18 hours later Humbug attended with the rest of the team the funeral of Tarantula's father.
(Heroes for Hire II#6) - Humbug listened with the other Heroes for Hire to the story of their newest client Billy Delfini and got really annoyed by the kid. In the end Misty Knight sent Humbug out with Billy to check the boy's story. They drove to a bridge and Humbug's mood didn't get better due to Billy's jokes about his name and powers. At the bridge they entered the sewer system where they soon found Billy's robot Victor, a Doombot, and his new masters the Headmen. Humbug was defeated by them.
(Heroes for Hire II#7 (fb) - BTS) - The Headmen put Chondu's head on Humbug's body and put Humbug's head on a life-supporting machine.
(Heroes for Hire II#7) - Humbug was surprised why the Headmen let him live and saw Chondu with his body. Humbug then used his telepathic connection to insects to tell the other Heroes for Hire with cockroaches that he needed their help. Misty sent Shang-Chi, Orka and Otis out to help Humbug. Meanwhile Humbug wanted his body back and made some derogatory comments towards Ruby Thursday, who threatened to switch off his life support. Help arrived and Humbug had to watch how Orka was shot through the chest by the Doombot.
(Heroes for Hire II#8) - Held by Shrunken Bones, Humbug watched Shang-Chi take apart the Headmen. Shrunken Bones dropped him when Shang-Chi attacked him too. After Ruby's head was knocked off of her body she tried to attack Humbug's head, but he was saved by Otis. Chondu with Humbug's body then surrendered because Humbug's body was too weak for a fight. Soon the Misty and the other girls arrived at the Headmen's HQ. Humbug didn't like it how bad Chondu was talking about his body. Some time later Tarantula used the Headmen's machines to put Humbug's head back onto his body. Back in the Heroes for Hire's HQ in Chinatown Humbug told their client Louis Kravitz how they had the Heroes for Hire had stopped the thieves' of Kravitz's diamonds and an evil scheme of Grim Reaper. Because the Heroes for Hire hadn't retrieved the diamonds, Kravitz didn't pay them. Humbug and the others then counted the coins they got from Billy for the Doombot case. During this, Paladin arrived to ask them for help in a highly paid job in the Savage Land.
(Heroes for Hire II#9) - The Heroes for Hire went to Paladin's clients' SHIELD to learn more about the job. Humbug didn't like the lab they met the SHIELD scientists because there were no bugs to talk to. Heroes for Hire took the job and where soon on their way to the Savage Land. Humbug was impressed when they arrived there. He joined Misty and Colleen on their search for Moonboy and was soon overwhelmed by the strong telepathic calls of the Savage Land's insect life. When he stumbled into Coleen she dropped the pheromone canister, Paladin had given to her, and the she got drenched in the pheromone mix. Humbug told the women that the bugs were after him shortly before a bunch of apes, who wee drawn to them by the pheromones, attacked them. Moonboy came to their aid, but Humbug was bitten by an ape and his scream revealed his location to the Savage Land's bugs. They saved him from the apes, ripped off his costume and then took him with them.
(Heroes for Hire II#10) - Humbug woke up inside a cave with various giant insects. A giant mantis killed a smaller bug and gave Humbug its blood to drink, so he could join their hive-mind. He learned how these insects originally came to Earth from space and that they needed his help to stop their ancestors from space, who would come to Earth with the Hulk. They put Humbug into an armor consisting of the shells of dead bugs.
(Heroes for Hire II#15 (fb) - BTS) - The Savage Land's insects secretly gave Humbug their real agent as helmet and made Humbug poisonous to the Brood's eggs because they realized that Humbug wasn't strong enough to resist the Brood.
(Heroes for Hire II#10) - Humbug returned to the Heroes for Hire with a bug army and then protected Misty and Colleen from Devil Dinosaur with a bee swarm. His team was surprised that he was still alive and Misty wanted to know what had happened to his eyes, but Humbug told them that there was no time to explain because they had to get back to New York City because it was in danger.
(Heroes for Hire II#11) - The Heroes for Hire returned to New York City, which was currently attacked by the Hulk and his Warbound. SHIELD welcomed them back and Humbug told Derek Khanata that Miek and the Brood queen were more dangerous than the Hulk, but Khanata didn't take him serious. Humbug soon left to finish the task he was given by the Eath's hive-mind. He nearly collapsed when he found some Hivelings due to chemical memories that showed him how the Brood would turn Earth into a world ruled by insects. Humbug killed a Hiveling and drenched himself and his teammates in his blood to camouflage their human smell with the smell of Hivelings. Humbug then told the Heroes for Hire that they had to follow the Hivelings home.
(Heroes for Hire II#12) - Humbug and the Heroes for Hire joined Hivelings in a shuttle back to their mothership. Humbug's trick worked and the Hivelings mistook the Heroes for Hire for their own. On the mothership the Heroes for Hire split from the Hivelings, who soon ran into Miek. They told Miek about the new Hivelings (the Heroes for Hire) and he immediately knew that a Hiveling had been killed by these so-called new Hivelings. The Heroes for Hire were attacked by the Warbound while Humbug found the Brood queen. She felt his desires and convinced Humbug that in reality he wanted her to succeed. At the end Humbug kneeled before his new queen.
(Heroes for Hire II#13) - At the Brood's side, Humbug ordered Hivelings to clean the captured Heroes for Hire a little bit more. Brood was impressed how easily Humbug could control the Hivelings and wondered if Humbug would be able to control her too with enough training, but Humbug told her that he would never dare to do this, which convinced her of Humbug's loyalty. Humbug watched the Heroes for Hire in their cells with the Brood queen. Humbug learned that Colleen always knew that he had a crush on her. Humbug began to have second thoughts after asking Brood what Miek would do to his friends. Miek attacked Humbug when he saw him with Brood, but she stopped Miek and explained to him that Humbug was their key to turn Earth into their nest. Humbug then told Miek that only one of his teammates was responsible for killing the Hiveling. Miek gathered the prisoners and Humbug told Miek and Brood that it was Tarantula, but Colleen told them that it was her. Humbug changed his decision and let Tarantula and Colleen be brought away.
(Heroes for Hire II#14) - Brood laid her eggs into Humbug to make it more easily for them to acclimate to Earth. Some time later Brood landed with Humbug in Madison Square Garden to Miek's surprise Humbug wore the scent of their hive. Brood explained that Humbug was now the carrier for their future. The Heroes for Hire attacked and Humbug's new mutated form was revealed when he lost his helmet due to Black Cat's first attack.
(Heroes for Hire II#15) - Queen, Miek and the Hivelings left Humbug behind to fight his former teammates. During his fight with them he suddenly threw up and then left after telling them that he was sorry that he dragged them into this. Humbug joined Brood, Miek and the Hivelings in the hatchery. They left him again because Brood couldn't be with him during the birth of her children because she had other responsibilities as well. Shang-Chi found Humbug, who had realized that Earth's hive-mind had just used him to collect Brood's eggs, which were dying inside him. Humbug asked Shang-Chi for his help because he was always there to help him, but this time Shang-Chi didn't want to help him and Humbug's excuse didn't help him either (He told Shang, who had a relationship with Tarantula at this time, that he just wanted to give her to Miek for punishment.) Shang ripped off Humbug's head, which seemingly killed him.
Comments: Created by David Michelinie and Marc Silvestri.
On the cover of Web#19, they described the Humbug as "the most
off beat Spidey villain yet!"
Actually, Professor Mitty has untapped potential. The Painter, drawing energy from the Tordenkakerlakk could magically resurrect Humbug, and grant him the physical power to do what he previously required technology to do. Perhaps he could even amplify the sonic powers of insects across the world, paving the way for the conquest of the world by the never-ending Cockroach Conspiracy.
The Deadpool issue was one of Marvel's "Nuff said" issues, and so the Humbug story was sans dialogue. It was quite an amusing issue (as Deadpool often is). Go get it!
One of the highlights of said issue is that Deadpool was deafened by hemorrhage into his ear drum from Humbug's blast. The Constrictor placed a leech into his ear to drain the fluid, and he regained his hearing. Deadpool was concerned about the munching sound inside his skull, but the Constrictor told him not to worry about it, because the leeches would soon die, and how much can a leech eat anyway? However, as they left, the label of the leech container identified them as egg-bearing leeches. And then a little, Mr. Mind-looking leech directs you out of the flashback, and back into the main story, already in progress.
Humbug is seen on the cover of Avengers: The Initiative#1.
Poor guy! He really went through hell in 2007.
CLARIFICATIONS: not so much...
Agent of Earth's hive-mind
(Heroes for Hire II#10) - Humbug received the agent from the Savage Land insects as the helmet for his armor and wore it while rescuing the other Heroes for Hire from Devil Dinosaur. Afterwards he took it with him to New York City.
(Heroes for Hire II#11-14) - Humbug wore the agent as helmet on his search for the Warbound's Brood and later while serving her until he lost the helmet in a fight against his former teammates.
(Heroes for Hire II#15) - The helmet went to the Warbound's Brood and spoke to it with the voice of the hive-mind of Earth. It revealed itself as the true agent to stop the Brood and sterilized her with an unidentified blast. Before it was killed by the Brood with a spear the Earth's hive-mind told the Brood through their agent that her eggs would die because Humbug was poisoned by them.
--Heroes for Hire II#10 (Heroes for Hire II#10-15
images: (without ads)
Heroes for Hire II#10, p15, pan4 (main image)
Amazing Spider-Man I#306, p5, pan4 (head shot)
Heroes for Hire II#1, p4, pan1 (leather costume)
Heroes for Hire II#10, p10, bottom right panel (head shot, dark eyes)
Web of Spider-Man#19 (October, 1986) - David Michelinie (writer), Marc Silvestri (pencils), Bob McLeod (inks), Jim Owsley (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#306 (October, 1988) - David Michelinie (writer), Todd McFarlane (artist), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Marvel Year-in-Review '92 (1992) - Peter Sanderson
Spider-Man: Bug Stops Here#1 (1994) - David Michelinie (writer), Pete Garcia (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Glenn Herdling (editor)
Deadpool III#42 (July, 2000) - Glenn Herdling (writer), Jim Calafiore (pencils), Mark McKenna (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe 2006#5 (2006)
Daughters of the Dragon#1-4 (March-June, 2006) - Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (writers), Khari Evans (pencils), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#1 (October, 2006) - Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (writers), Billy Tucci (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#2-3 (November-December, 2006) - Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (writes), Billy Tucci & Francis Portela (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#4 (January, 2007) - Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (writes), Billy Tucci & Francis Portela (pencils), Tom Palmer & Terry Pallot (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#5 (February, 2007) - Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (writes), Francis Portela (pencils), Terry Pallot (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#6 (March, 2007) - Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (writers), Alvaro Rio (pencils), Scott Koblish & Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#7 (April, 2007) - Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (writers), Alvaro Rio (pencils), Tom Palmer & Terry Pallot (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#8 (May, 2007) - Zeb Wells (writer), Alvaro Rio (pencils), Scott Koblish (pencils), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#9-13 (June-October, 2007) - Zeb Wells (writer), Clay Mann (pencils), Terry Pallot (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#14 (November, 2007) - Zeb Wells (writer), Alvin Lee & Clay Mann (pencils), Terry Pallot (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#15 (December, 2007) - Zeb Wells (writer), Alvin Lee, Leonard Kirk, Ale Garza & James Cordeiro (pencils), Terry Pallot (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
First Posted: 04/10/2003
Last updated: 09/23/2004
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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