A team player, Karen is a clear-minded and focused young woman who looks out for her teammates and tries to see through the daily missions. She's not above making jokes and quips at times. Outside of her superhero life, Karen prioritizes her college studies, even at the expense of spending time with her boyfriend, Mal.
Karen is a young African American girl. She used to have tight curly black hair, parted in the middle, and pulled up in two round, gathered, distinct bunches on either side of her head, but by 2016 she sports a pixie hair cut with a sweep bang. While attending Happy Harbor High School, she wore the uniform of the Bumblebees.
As Bumblebee, she wears a black and yellow costume that resembles a bumblebee.
During the Team's "alien invasion" training scenario, Karen, along with the rest of the students and faculty hid below the school's underground bunker and watched the Team's speech about how they would win and build from what they've lost, after the Justice League had been killed.
When all adults had gone missing, Karen came to the high school gym to watch the younger children.
Karen became the lab assistant and protégé of Ray Palmer, the Atom. She took the name "Bumblebee", and joined the Team. In the five years, she sustained her relationship with Mal, though she had considerably less time for him.
Bumblebee was already suited up for the mission briefing when Rocket and Zatanna arrived to wish Nightwing a happy birthday. Karen would not let Rocket leave without seeing the latest pictures of Amistad.
Nightwing ordered Miss Martian and Lagoon Boy to split off from Beta Squad and head to the Moon. Batgirl was given command of Beta.
Metropolis December 1, 10:35EST
Batgirl convened with Bumblebee about their mission. Karen felt that, without their big guns, they were shorthanded, but Barbara disagreed, as with Devastation missing, their biggest threat was gone too. Right at that moment, a large spaceship descended over the city.
The ship created a bubble that trapped part of Metropolis. Karen tried contacting the Cave, but the communication was cut off.
Metropolis December 1, 10:45EST
Batgirl contacted Black Lightning, who was also trapped under the bubble in nearby Suicide Slum. They concluded that all communications and Zeta capabilities were offline. Karen dug in the ground at the edge of the dome, and saw it continued under the ground.
Fearing all this might be a distraction to harm Noor Harjavti, Barbara ordered Karen and Gar to suit up and make contact with her. Karen lamented that she lost many cute outfits with her quick costume change.
Metropolis December 1, 14:01EST
Beast Boy and Bumblebee had taken Noor and her bodyguard to Bibbo's Diner for protection. Gar was uncertain why they chose the diner as a safehouse, but Karen explained that Bibbo could be trusted and that it was unlikely anyone would look for them there.
Bumblebee and Beast Boy continued to watch over Noor at Bibbo's.
Bibbo's Diner December 1, 17:54EST
After Black Lightning asked them to attack the probe likely generating the force field, Karen convinced Gar they had to focus on the big picture and leave Noor, and the pair flew away from the diner.
Beast Boy and Bumblebee descended to the probe. Beast Boy was still uncomfortable with leaving Noor Harjavti, but Bumblebee reminded him that she was safe from Queen Bee.
Metropolis December 1, 18:31EST
They reached the probe. Beast Boy changed into a cockroach and went in after Bumblebee.
Metropolis December 1, 18:33EST
Bumblebee contacted Batgirl, informing her they had figured out a way to shut the force field down. Batgirl gave them the go-ahead.
Metropolis December 1, 19:03EST
The plan worked, and the force field receded. However, almost directly after, Bumblebee was contacted by the others, who explained the field had to be reactivated so the city could be restored to its normal size.
Metropolis December 1, 22:03EST
With everything back to normal, Beast Boy rushed to Bibbo's Diner, with Bumblebee in tow. He was releaved that Noor was apparently okay.
After they found several bases deserted, they discovered one with heavy security. Bumblebee was sent to investigate one, but after an alarm went off, she became trapped inside.
She eventually found Batgirl, and the two of them investigated a deeper chamber. They found a number of children, sedated and trapped in special containers. Batgirl was captured, but Bumblebee managed to elude her enemies' view. She made her way to the others, who had regrouped at the rendezvous point. She told them of Batgirl's predicament, but had a plan to get them out.
While Wonder Girl posted at the hangar door and Miss Martian locked the facility down, Bumblebee freed Batgirl, and told her to fly a plane that was ready for take-off out. She slowed down Mammoth with her stingers, and helped out Miss Martian who was locked in a fight with Psimon. At close range, she shot a blast at Psimon's brains.
After Mammoth had managed to cripple the plane, Bumblebee and the others raced after it. Wonder Girl and Miss Martian could not stop it from going over the cliff at the end of the runway, so Miss Martian had to call in help from the Bio-Ship. It saved the fuselage, and all made it to safety.
Karen attended Raquel Ervin's bridal shower with all the other female members of the Justice League and the Team. After the party was interrupted by an armored car robbery by Captain Cold, Bumblebee assisted in his defeat.
Karen was reading a book while heading to Ray Palmer's lab, until she was approached by her boyfriend, Mal Duncan. The latter suggested to go out, like the old times in high school, however Karen rejected the offer. Mal then accompanied her to Palmer's lab.
In Palmer's lab, Karen was looking through the microscope, until Mal suggested that they should go to the Happy Harbor Bowl-O-Rama. Karen informed him that it closed several months ago. Ray Palmer entered the lab, after he greeted Mal, Karen showed Palmer what she was studying and that she has already prepared to test it against the white dwarf fragment. Unknown to her, Mal left the room.
Alpha Squad, consisting of Barbara, Tim and Bumblebee, observed Tigress and a squad of Manta Troopers as they prepared to put some teenagers, held in a pen, into containment pods. Tim and Barbara quietly jumped into the pen, assuring the captives they were there to help. One girl was uncertain they could be trusted, until she saw Bumblebee fly into Tim's jacket. The captives were placed into pods and Tigress ordered the Manta Troopers to load them aboard the Manta-Flyer.
By allowing themselves to be captured, Tim, Barbara and Bumblebee could inform the others about the inside of the base. They were moved to a research wing, where they had been left unattended. At Nightwing's orders, they freed the prisoners the found there.
Bumblebee lead the captives to the docking bay, while Tim and Barbara held off Reach sentries. A strong Reach enforcer, dubbed "Black Beetle" by Wonder Girl, arrived and locked the bay, leaving her with Barbara, Tim, Superboy, Wonder Girl, Shimmer and one of the abducted teens. The Team members were unsuccessful in fighting Black Beetle; Bumblebee was knocked out by his sonic cannon. Batgirl carried her to the Bio-Ship, where Nightwing took her in.
When only Batgirl was left on her feet against the Black Beetle, Blue Beetle arrived and opened the bay doors. Barbara, Beast Boy and Impulse got everyone else aboard. Blue Beetle held off the Reach enforcer.
The Team made a clean getaway after Lagoon Boy picked up Blue Beetle, and returned to the coast.
In the Hall of Justice, Bumblebee helped Mal unpack his belongings that were salvaged from Mount Justice. Mal aked Karen if he could stay at her place, but she did not think it was a good idea. Her room in Ivy Town was small even for her, she was too busy with her studies, and she wasn't sure if she was allowed to have guests over. The conversation was cut short by alarms and the arrival of L-Ron and Despero.
Zatanna and Captain Marvel went out to investigate, with Superboy and Bumblebee close behind. But when she reached the hot spot, she noticed Zatanna was stuck in some sort of trance. She tried to wake her by blasting her stingers at her, but to no avail. She also could not pass through the force field that was put up around the building.
She returned inside, where she informed Mal and M'gann of the trouble. She urged for Miss Martian to join the fight. After Captain Marvel was taken out as well, Despero focused on Superboy. Miss Martian and Bumblebee pursued the two as they tore through the building. In the library, Despero had Superboy beat. Bumblebee urged Miss Martian to use her telepathy, but she wouldn't. Out of options, she decided to attack Despero herself. Her stingers had no effect on the alien warrior, and he used his third eye on her to render her in a catatonic state. Her last shot, however, hit him straight in the third eye. Bumblebee fell next to Superboy and was about to be crushed under Despero's foot, but Mal drew their attention. While Mal fought Despero in the Guardian suit, M'gann carried Bumblebee to safety.
The fight moved to the interrogation chambers. M'gann used her power to wake Zatanna, which also woke the others. Zatanna turned Despero's powers against him and he could be defeated, but L-Ron did not accept it. He activated a self-destruct mechanism. Captain Marvel could bring them all to safety, though the Hall collapsed. Coming to, the first thing Bumblebee noticed was Mal's costume. She inquired why he wore it, which got her a dirty look from her boyfriend.
Atom and Bumblebee tried to get Jaime's scarab off his spine by going inside his body. Atom used a laser to try and cut the scarab open, but the scarab deployed defenses. Bumblebee tried to hold them off, but they were too many. They had to be extracted from the body.
The Team set up a plan to infiltrate the Warworld. Bumblebee, Guardian and Sphere were Gamma Squad, who would attempt to shut down the ship's power core. They were attacked en route by battle drones, and Mal took the opportunity to vent his frustration with Karen over the state of their relationship.
The Warworld May 26, post-12:40UTC
Gamma reached the power core room. With the Super-Cycle fending off the approaching battle drones, Mal continued to bait Bumblebee, until she entered the core itself, and he quietly wished her luck. When it became clear she couldn't deactivate the core, Guardian suggested routing the power somewhere useful. She sent it to the helm, overloading Mongul's control device.
Gamma reconvened with the rest of the Team at their entry point. After celebrating their victory, Guardian congratulated Bumblebee on saving the day, and admitted she had outgrown him. Karen told him she had been an idiot for taking him for granted and they kissed, only to be interrupted by the arrival of Alpha Squad. Blue Beetle then attacked the rest of the Team. Mal pushed Karen out of the way of his first sonic attack, but they were still hit and knocked out. She was stored in a stasis cell aboard the vessel.
Once freed from her cell by Arsenal, Tye Longshadow, Ed Dorado and Asami Koizumi, Bumblebee retreated to the Bio-Ship with the rest of the Team. Before she entered, she informed Nightwing how Arsenal had endangered them all by opening an airlock. Nightwing fired him from the Team, leading to the other runaways to refuse to go with the Team. Bumblebee and Nightwing were surprised when Asami activated a Father Box to open a boom tube.
Bumblebee was part of the Team's mission to cleanse Blue Beetle of Reach control. She returned to the underground Temple that she and Batgirl discovered months ago, and hid along with Beast Boy until they were needed. She revealed herself when Green Beetle arrived at the Temple, unshrinking and loosing precision stinger shots at Green Beetle's eyes. This bought sufficient time for Zatanna to complete her incantation, and successfully cleanse both Blue and Green Beetle. After their successful mission, Bumblebee hitched a ride on the returning Super-Cycle as it flew back to Bludhaven.
Along with Superboy and Guardian, Bumblebee shadowed the Light-Reach summit held in an underground cavern. After Aqualad's betrayal was discovered, the Team sprung their trap, and Karen's squad sealed off the entrance used by the Reach. During the ensuing fight, Bumblebee kept Reach soldiers at bay by blasting their eyes and the base of their skulls with her stingers. The battle ended with the heroes victorious, with the capture of the Reach ambassador, Black Manta, the Brain, and Monsieur Mallah.
When magnetic field disruptors planted by the Reach threatened the Earth, Bumblebee joined 39 other heroes of Earth in a briefing in Metropolis. The heroes would use a computer virus provided by Lex Luthor to safely disable the disruptors. The heroes were paired off with another into twenty squads: one member would run interference against weapons guarding the disruptors, allowing the other to get close enough to plant the virus.Bumblebee was assigned to Kappa Squad, and worked alongside Guardian.
Within thirty minutes, all squads had succeeded in their mission.
Aqualad summoned everyone to the mission room, where Batman informed the Team that they would now operate side-by-side with the Justice League from the Watchtower. Not because Mount Justice was destroyed, but because they earned the right to do so. Aqualad assigned Bumblebee to Beta Squad to investigate LexCorp's reuse of the Reach softdrink under a new name, and instructed them to gather evidence.
Bumblebee derives her powers from her suit, which was created with help from the Atom.
Flight: Bumblebee can fly with four wings, resembling an insect's forewings and hindwings, that extend from the back of her costume. These wings only work when she shrinks herself.
Holographic computer: Bumblebee has a holographic computer similar to that used by Batman's protégés built into the gloves of her suit.
Size alteration: Bumblebee has the ability to shrink herself.Though hypothetically, it can range in size, Atom has included safety locks so that she can only change into one size.
Stingers: Bumblebee can shoot small blasts from the palms of her gloves.
In the comics, Bumblebee was a member of the Teen Titans and the Doom Patrol. She eventually married Mal Duncan.
Young Justice marks Karen's second animated appearance. She previously appeared as a supporting character in the Teen Titans animated series, where under the identity of Bumblebee she served as leader of the Titans East.