The Buzz debuted in Spider-Girl #18. This miniseries, which came out six months later, takes a closer look at his origin and motivations.
Since this is a first issue, we are introduced to a plethora of new characters. Get your scorecards and feel free to play along at home…
J. Jonah Jameson (who is somehow still publisher of the Daily Bugle) is holding a press conference to unveil his latest entry in the manufactured superhero business – Project: Human Fly. First, we are introduced to the scientific team that developed the super-suit: Dr. Sonja Jade, Richie Robertson (grandson of Robbie Robertson), and Marla Jameson (Jonah’s wife). Second, we are introduced to the super-suit itself. Jonah runs through all the nifty gadgets that have been built into it (360° vision, enhanced strength, flight, and taser blasts). And finally, we are introduced to Buzz Bannon, the straight-laced soldier boy who’s planning to wear the whole get-up.
Cut to Jack Jameson (Jonah’s grandson) on his first day at Midtown High. He doesn’t start things off on a good note, however. First he gets a lecture from the school principal about his bad attitude, and then May Parker (Spider-Girl to you and me) has to break up a fight between him and Jimmy Yama.
After the day’s classes are over Jack gets a surprise visitor – Buzz Bannon! It seems that the two have a lot in common and after they met at the press conference earlier Buzz decided to take Jack under his wing. A my-buddy-and-me montage follows.
Eventually, the day of the big debut of Project: Human Fly arrives. Unfortunately, Dr. Jade shows up with her very own goon squad decked out in purple, skin-tight spandex suits and matching facemasks! Turns out she wants the suit for her own nefarious plans.
She takes Jonah and Marla hostage, while using Buzz to activate the super-suit (which is keyed to his particular brainwaves). Meanwhile, Jack and Richie decide to sneak up behind the goons and free Buzz. Unfortunately during their daring rescue Richie gets knocked out and Buzz gets clipped by a bullet.
Cue the Buzz, smashing through the skylight of Jonah’s office! He proceeds to lay into the goon squad and save the Jamesons. Somehow, Dr. Jade was prepared for something like this and planted a bomb in the building in order to make a clean getaway. Running out of time, Buzz grabs the Jamesons and flies away from the explosion.
The Buzz leaves the two on a nearby rooftop and disappears. Only later do we find out that Buzz Bannon died in the firefight, and the Jamesons are left to wonder who was wearing the super-suit.
On the last page we get the big reveal – it was Jack Jameson all along! He feels guilty that he couldn’t save his mentor, but swears to find the ones responsible for his death and make them pay. In his honor Jack names himself The Buzz and starts his superhero career...
At the time The Buzz’s secret identity was a big mystery in the Spider-Girl books. So the end of this issue was supposed to be a bombshell. But if you read the clues right it wasn’t that big of a surprise. I mean, both characters were even introduced in the same issue!
If you’re a fan of the MC2 universe, then this series is a treat. For the audience this series was aimed at (presumably younger, newer readers of comics) this was a pretty fun ride. Being an older reader, I appreciated the relative freshness and naivety of the characters and storylines. DeFalco may be derivative, but at least he steals from the best. But if you’re looking for something introspective or meaningful, this isn’t it.