Beetle (02 - Leila Davis)
Real Name: Leila Davis
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Beetle MK-III battle armor provided Davis with superhuman strength, physical protection and flight. It also allowed Davis to fly via jetboots. The armor contained a variety of weapons including repulsor rays, missile launchers, and lasers. It also contained communication devices, scanning equipment, and recording devices. Davis also had a remote control device which allowed her to bring the armor to her.
After learning that her husband, Anthony Davis (the Ringer), was killed at "The Bar With No Name", Leila Davis began to blame the Beetle for everything that led to her husband’s death. Davis then devised a plan to get revenge against the Beetle. This led her to join the Sinister Syndicate as their get-away driver in order to get close to the Beetle. The Sinister Syndicate eventually fought Spider-Man, who overcame the odds and defeated the team. Davis and the others were sent to prison.
Once released from prison, Davis becomes Hardshell and continues to seek out revenge on the Beetle for everything he did to her husband. During her next encounter against the Beetle, Davis learned that her husband was alive after becoming a cyborg. The two went off to live together as husband and wife until Anthony’s cybernetic body broke down and he died once more. This time Davis was able to be at his side when he died.
When Dallas Riordan refused to terminate Henry Peter Gyrich, the V-Battalion was forced to initiate the Redeemer Program. The V-Battalion began to recruit people to perform dangerous missions on behalf of a government agency and in return would grant clemency for prior crimes. Obtaining Beetle MK-III battle armor from a storage depot for the Commission on Superhuman Activities, the armor was given to Davis to use.
At the former base for the mutant team X-Factor, now the government’s Cliff’s Edge facility in Virginia, Davis began her training as the new Beetle. Citizen V, who was actually Baron Helmut Zemo in John Watkins III body, trained Davis along with the rest of the Redeemers in various tactics that superhuman combat require.
Along with the rest of the Redeemers, Davis’ first mission as the Beetle was to uncover a conspiracy involving the CSA. The Redeemers infiltrated the offices of the CSA to find Gyrich had left it guarded by the Destructon robot that was obtained by the CSA while pilfering through Baron Helmut Zemo’s Central American lab. Working as a team the Redeemers were able to destroy the robot and moved onto their main objective, destroying a device called Omega-32 which could take hard air molecules and turn them into germs in order to kill all super-powered people. However due to Gyrich using nano-probes, the Redeemers were captured and used as pawns for Gyrich’s scheme. With the help of Scourge, the Thunderbolts also arrived to put a stop to Gyrich’s plans. Due to them being under the influence of the nano-probes, the Redeemers were forced to fight the Thunderbolts. In the end, Gyrich’s plans were put to a stop only to find out that he was also being used as a pawn.
Due to their help in putting a stop to Gyrich’s plans, the Thunderbolts were given paroles as long as they quit their activities as heroes. The Redeemer Project then became a joint operation between the CSA and S.H.I.E.L.D.. Their first mission in the joint operation was to clean up any unfinished business left by the Thunderbolts and to help the town of Burton Canyon get re-established after Atlas’s ionic body had exploded. Along with the rest of the Redeemers, Davis helped rebuild parts of Burton Canyon and continued training under their temporary field leader Captain America.
When the V-Battalion learned that Dallas Riordan was being held captive by Dr. Doom, they sent the Redeemers out to rescue her. This lead to a confrontation with not only Dr. Doom, but also with Counter-Earth’s Young Allies who were trying to free Counter-Earth from Doom’s reign of terror. In the end Captain America played politics with Doom and Doom reluctantly turned his back on Counter-Earth.
With only two more weeks to finish her commitment and gain clemency, things were looking up for Davis for the first time in a long time. That is until Captain America was replaced by Citizen V, who body was still inhabited by Baron Helmut Zemo, as field leader. The mutant Humus Sapien had broken free from his containment chamber due to the Fixer letting his ego get the best of him. During the fight, Davis’ Beetle armor was teleported off her body by Humus Sapien and moved to an unknown location. With a power that enabled him to be powered by every living being on Earth, the only way the Redeemers were able to stop him was for Humus Sapien to go into self-exile.
Believing they would finally get a chance to rest, the Redeemers were proven wrong as they were immediately attacked by Graviton, who had thought the Thunderbolts would be at Mount Charteris. Surprised to see the Redeemers instead, Graviton decided to use them as examples for the new Earth he had planned to create. Davis watched helplessly as Graviton tore through her teammates with ease while waiting for her Beetle armor to be called to her by remote. When her armor finally arrived, she had began to think of what led her to where she was at that moment and the hope of a new life she would be given with gaining redemption as the Beetle. As she finally donned her armor, Graviton crushed her within the armor it like an empty soda can, killing her instantly.
First Appearance: Thunderbolts (1997) #47
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2006)
#9 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A To Z Update (2010)
- 'Puppet Master to Shamrock'
- 'Big Problems!'#48
- 'New Beginnings'#52
- 'The Pursuit of Justice'#53
- 'The Parent Trap'#54
- 'Cat & Mouse'#55
- 'Does Anyone Remember -- Humus Sapien!?'#56
- 'Beyond Redemption!'
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