While attending college at Empire State University, Eddie McDonough made friends with fellow students Johnny Gallo and Cassie St. Commons. McDonough was later approached by the legendary superhero, the Black Marvel, to join the team he was putting together. McDonough was given the identity of the Hornet, which had formerly been created by the hero Spider-Man to investigate fraudulent crimes against him. McDonough agreed in part because the armored suit restored full mobility to his palsied right arm. Johnny and Cassie also joined the team as Ricochet and Dusk, and they were joined by a fourth member, Ritchie Gilmore, Prodigy, to form the team known as the Slingers.
Tragedy was quick to strike the fledgling group -- on the team's first night out in the city, testing their powers, Dusk, on whom McDonough had an unrequited crush, fell from a rooftop and died. The guilt was almost more than McDonough could bear, although Ricochet ensured him they had done nothing wrong. The following day, the team helped to avert a train crash, with some help from the mysteriously-reborn Dusk, who then vanished. McDonough and Ricochet reflected on recent events at the group's meeting point at a billboard above Times Square.
McDonough and Ricochet were subsequently sent by the Black Marvel to investigate a toxic waste dumping scam run by the Maggia. In the tunnels beneath the construction site for the Grand Royale Hotel, they were attacked by giant, mutated rodents created by the waste, with rats being McDonough's biggest fear. The vibration of the Hornet's wings kept the rats at bay, but McDonough was buried alive when the tunnel caved in after Ricochet used one of his throwing discs in the enclosed space. McDonough was teleported to safety, however, by the arrival of the mysteriously-reborn Dusk, and almost immediately, he and Ricochet were pulled into a scuffle with Spider-Man, causing and then helping to deal with a traffic accident before fleeing. McDonough prepared to research the history of the Grand Royale Hotel, but the sudden arrival and subsequent disappearance of Dusk in his apartment diverted him.
On the hotel's opening night, McDonough and Ricochet confronted Prodigy, having realized the Black Marvel had a secret agenda. After Ricochet was hurled from the building, McDonough struggled with Prodigy, eventually convincing him to investigate the basement. Then, the hotel was wracked with explosions, triggered by the Black Marvel. Years ago, he had failed to save innocents from a fire in the hotel, and now he wanted to give himself the chance to be a hero once again. The Slingers confronted their creator, and then set about rescuing those trapped in the hotel, before it collapsed on top of Prodigy.
The Slingers gathered atop Times Square to reflect on the past, playing a hazardous game of truth or dare, before McDonough, without his Hornet armor, was kidnapped by the monstrous Griz. Griz was a railway worker who McDonough had rescued while the team had averted the train accident. The accident was meant to be the worker's suicide, but the resultant toxic waste transformed him into the Griz. Out for revenge on McDonough and the rest of the world, the Griz sought to poison the city's water supply with the toxic waste, but his plan was foiled by Ricochet.
It was later revealed that the Black Marvel's renewed vitality was a result of a deal he had made with the demon Mephisto - the chance to be a hero again in exchange for his soul. When Mephisto came to collect, he also wished to see what had come of the deal and brought to life the billboard that the Slingers used as their meeting place, using the animated constructs to draw the Slingers into his realm. There, Mephisto subjected the individual members of the group to challenges that embodied their greatest fears and found them wanting. Then, desiring to see how they functioned as a team, pitted them against a horde of his demon minions. Dusk's powers kept the horde at bay, and, impressed, Mephisto offered a choice - return home and leave the Black Marvel's soul or risk all to save him. Gallo attempted to shatter the crystal holding the soul with one of his discs but failed. He then cast off his costume, confronting Mephisto not as Ricochet but as Johnny Gallo. Mephisto allowed him to spare one soul, but then attempted to trick him with an image of his mother. Prodigy prevented him from falling for the deception, and the others followed his lead, renouncing their costumed identities. Mephisto freed the Black Marvel's soul, and the Slingers were returned to Earth.
Both Prodigy and Dusk departed, leaving Ricochet and Hornet. To leave their mark, Ricochet suggested a little graffiti - spray-painting "Slingers Were Here" on the billboard.
The Slingers were later seen together again, declining the offer by the hero Speedball to join the newest incarnation of the New Warriors.
Hornet was slain by Wolverine while Logan was under control of The Hand. Hornet was decapitated by Elektra to ensure he could not be revived through supernatural means. Later, his niece Melinda McDonough (who went by the name The Red Hornet) attempted to kill Wolverine and avenge her uncle's death.
McDonough was an expert mechanic who was able to modify the original Hornet costume so that a normal non-superpowered human could wear it. He also the modified suit's right hand so that it would work like a normal hand concealing his disadvantage.
- Hornet's Suit: McDonough's mechanical costume increased his strength and gave him the ability to fly. Also provided him with protection enough to resist small arms fire.
His suit's gauntlets contained wrist blasters that could either fire darts filled with fast-acting sedative or powerful laser beams that could melt metal.
- 20 Appearances of Edward McDonough (Earth-616)
- 2 Minor Appearances of Edward McDonough (Earth-616)
- Media Edward McDonough (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 19 Images featuring Edward McDonough (Earth-616)
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- Character Gallery: Edward McDonough (Earth-616)
- Edward McDonough (Earth-616) at Wikipedia.org
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