Hasbro is suing DC over the use of the name Bumblebee, leaving comic fans and the rest of the world puzzled and collectively scratching their heads. The toy company Hasbro has filed a lawsuit to block the sales of toys featuring the DC super hero Bumblebee who is currently a prominently featured character on DC's Superhero Girls animated series. On the surface it seems as if the case revolved solely around money but there may be other factors driving the lawsuit. The Transformers franchise has soared thanks a successful movie line prominently featuring Optimus Prime as the central character. However, as DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures prepare for the release of a spin-off series featuring Bumblebee as the protagonist conflict arises over usage of the moniker.
Aside from the name being most commonly being associated with an animal/insect, the lawsuit is highly peculiar being that the DC universe version debuted in 1976, as DC's first female African American hero.
Maybe the lawsuit is all about money instead of trying to eliminate competition. After all, aside from the Bumblebee spin-off Marvel will also soon release Ant-Man and Wasp the sequel to 2015s Ant-Man featuring the shrinking, flying female version of Ant-Man ( sorry Wasp, but basically). Surely Marvel isn't thinking ahead and wants to their Wasp to be the lone size altering female. It's not like there is a live action Teen Titans being developed with chances of Bumblebee appearing on the small screen (oh wait there is).
While on the surface the lawsuit reflects the greed many companies exhibit when it comes to sales and profits, there is a bigger price at stake, and that is the erasure of one of the few prominent African American comic heroes that exists. While comic inspired movies and live action television shows continue to rise in number little of the characters are African American let alone women of color. Here's hoping that Hasbro drops the lawsuit, before losing on the grounds that either they can't patent the name Bumblebee, their character is younger, or for simply being a silly case. Until we know the verdict, fingers crossed that Bumblebee makes her live action debut sooner than later and that this unreasonable lawsuit vanishes never to be heard of again.