Dan Slott is the most prolific Spider-Man writer of all time, having written Marvel Comics’ Amazing Spider-Man for 10 years – and that’s without counting his work on other Spider-Man comics, games, and TV shows. But in all those years, there are two big story ideas he never was able to write – and although he wanted to do them at the time, he’s now glad this is one sticky situation Marvel’s webhead was never involved in.
“The worst mistakes I would’ve made never happened ’cause I had editors who were smart enough to stop me,” Slott tweeted (opens in new tab). “It’s why you never saw my Spidey/Swarm story with Nazi bees making Nazi honey, or the story where Pym particles turned Spidey into Giant-Spider-Man and he fought Fin Fang Foom.”
That’s right. Nazi honey.
Swarm is a ’70s Marvel villain created by Bill Mantlo and John Byrne in Champions #14 (opens in new tab). Swarm was originally a scientist named Fritz von Meyer who worked for Adolf Hitler during World War II. Meyer survived the end of WWII, escaping to South America where he discovered a colony of mutant bees. Meyer tried to capture the colony, but ended up being eaten by the bees – but with his consciousness being absorbed by the hive itself, thus becoming Swarm.
Swarm settled into becoming a C-list Spider-Man villain in a straight-up manner but eventually, the idea of him being a ‘Nazi bee-man’ became the overriding concept of the character. Prior to taking over Amazing Spider-Man, Slott even used Swarm briefly in his Mighty Avengers run, with Swarm creating doppelgangers of the Avengers made entirely of bees.
But Slott’s idea for Swarm in Amazing Spider-Man is much much darker, and he actually shared it during an episode of the podcast The Present Age (opens in new tab).
“Every Swarm story was the same Swarm story. He fires bees at you. I [tell my editor], ‘I have an idea. I want to do a Swarm story. I know a new way of doing a Swarm story.’ The editor is like, ‘What is it?’ I go, ‘We’ve never seen what’s happened to the honey,'” Slott explained.
“He goes, ‘What?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah. He’d be selling the honey at farmer’s market and stuff in disguise in a beekeeper suit or something. Everyone who eats the honey, since they’re honey made of Nazi bees, become Nazis.'”
Nazi bees, making Nazi honey, turning those who eat it into Nazis. Slott’s title for the story was, grimly enough ‘Nazi Gold.’ Slott’s editor, which he didn’t name, allegedly shut him down pretty quickly.
“They’re like, ‘You are never telling that story. You are never telling the story of Nazi honey. We will stop you.’ It’s nice to have someone to tell you no.”
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