Villain’s International League of Evil: Who’s Swarm?
At MarvelBlog, we’re enjoying the LOST-style sitcom, Wa-WandaVision, around the virtual water cooler. And so far, the Disney+ show has dropped more than one hint about the possible source of Pandora’s bubble around Westview, New Jersey. Yesterday, we took the time to discuss one fan theory, Mephisto. So today, we will look at the other side of the hexagon, Swarm.
Thus far, the scariest person on WandaVision (not counting Emma Caufield Ford‘s Dottie, for the children) is Agent Franklin. When the sewer opens at the end of Episode 2, and the beekeeper first appears, the turn of events really, really upsets Wanda. In fact, so much so, that she literally rewinds the episode, and pushes the beekeeper out of her reality.
And that’s the end of it…at least, for an episode.
Then, in Episode 4, titled “We Interrupt This Program,” we finally get some answers on what the heck happened to Agent Franklin. In case you don’t know, stunt-man Zac Henry‘s Agent Franklin (of S.W.O.R.D.) is the very same beekeeper we saw at the end of Episode 2.
Will the Real Agent Franklin Please Stand-Up?
In Episode 4, which directly proceeds the events of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, we learn
the beekeeper Agent Franklin was sent down a manhole to investigate the anomaly, the missing town of Westview, and his mission: to determine if the anomaly – which we learned is a CMBR-bubble around the suburb – extends underground.
Although Agent Franklin enters the pipes dressed in a traditional hazmat suit (invented in the ’40s), once he crosses the boundary into the idealized sitcom world of Westview (at the moment in the ’50s), he turns into a beekeeper.
Oh, and the tether that Agent Franklin uses for protection, well, it turns into a useless jump rope, too.
In other words, anything sent into Wanda’s bubble is transformed to accommodate the altered reality. With the ultimate fate of Agent Franklin’s beekeeper still shrouded in mystery, what does that mean for the show? Is it still possible that the beekeeper is the villain Swarm?
Hexagons and Swarm in WandaVision
Given all the hexagons, and Randall Park‘s Agent Jimmy Woo’s on-point questioning of the repeated pattern in the series, it makes sense that fans are still asking themselves if Swarm will be the villain of the series. Or one of them.
First, a note on bees: for some reason, bees love hexagons. And not just your basic six-sided hexagon. According to NPR’s Kurlwich Wonders, bees “like ‘perfect’ hexagons, meaning all six sides are of equal length, [meaning] they go for the jewelers’ version – precise, just so.”
Are all these hexagons a not-so-subtle hint that Swarm is the big bad of WandaVision? Although it may seem silly to get worked up over a character who isn’t even that important thus far, the writers have done a good job of making every detail seem substantial, so maybe this stuff does matter.
Who Is the Villain, SWARM?
Fritz von Meyer (A.K.A. Swarm) was a Nazi scientist, who used his access to loot gold from countless European capitals to fund his research. However, at the end of WWII, von Meyer flees Germany to settle in South America, where he continues his research as a world expert on toxic poisons and bee keeping.
Once in South America, von Meyer finds a hive of bees with highly developed intelligence. He believes he can build a device to reawaken the bees’ killer instincts, serving him. However, the experiment fails, and the bees swarm over von Meyer, killing him and taking his consciousness.
Thus, von Meyer becomes the living embodiment of a Swarm, but with his own scientific mind added to the multitude of bees.
Swarm Comics To Read on Marvel Unlimited
For MarvelBlog readers who want to learn more about Swarm’s backstory, check out the following comic book recommendations from yours truly:
1. Champions (1975) #14-15
Champions #14-15 are by Bill Mantlo (writer), John Byrne (penciller), Mike Esposito (inker), and Bruce Patterson (letterer). In Champions (of the West Coast), Swarm’s origin story is revealed.
Shortly after von Meyer flees to South America, the international police agency, in its quest to bring war criminals to justice, tracks him down – and his SWARM. And von Meyer, attempts to flee to the United States, where he encounters the Champions.
After the Champions defeat Swarm, the bees pull away from von Meyer’s body, leaving nothing but a skeleton, which is sent to New York’s Empire State University biophysics department for study. And if you guessed that performing radiation tests on the skeleton would cause problems, then you were right.
2. Sensational Spider-Man (1996) #9
Sensational Spider-Man #30 is by Todd Dezago (writer), Gregory Wright (colorist), and Richard Starkings (letterer) – and the Swarm is about the engulf New York City.
Eventually, in this issue, the entity of Swarm is reborn, and he launches a reign of terror on a NYC college campus where Peter Parker is working as a teaching assistant. Swarm justifies the violence, claiming that “spiders and bees are natural deadly enemies.”
But when the campus attack fails, Swarm immediately launches an attack on NYC, hoping to cleanse the world of humankind. Luckily, Spider-Man saves the day using a repellent that causes the bees to turn against each other, and against von Meyer.
And, once more, von Meyer is reduced to nothing but a skeleton. However, Swarm’s intelligence somehow survives, presumably due to the fact that he no longer needs the skeleton to manifest.
3. Runaways (2005) #7
Runaways #7 is by Brian K. Vaughan (writer), Takeshi Miyazawa (penciller), Randy Gentile (letterer), Craig Yeung (inker), and Christina Stein (colorist).
Years later, in this issue, after the cabal of villains known as the Pride is defeated by their children, there is a power vacuum in the West Coast criminal community. After Swarm is notified by its drones that there is a place in Hollywood for a freelance villain, he claims his rule over the city.
Of course, the Runaways oppose his rule, Swarm is taken down by member, Victor Mancha, who is related to Vision in the comics. To defeat Swarm, Mancha uses his powers to disrupt the electrical impulses the bees use for communication.
Who do you think will be WandaVision‘s big bad? Let MarvelBlog know all your ghoulish predictions in the comments section below!