Jenet Jamieson always believed that her journey lay beyond the farthest sky. Her parents nurtured a love of education and a daring to dream the impossible. As she matured, Jenet was not blind to the society in which she lived, where discrimination affected her family simply for the color of their skin. Her father had been a World War two fighter pilot, and from there he developed a mantra which he used to spur himself on when struggle lay in his path: higher, farther, better. It was a mantra that Jenet took to heart.
Jenet excelled at university, graduating summa cum laude in her chosen field. Helped by her father’s modest savings, Jenet was able to build JRJ Technological to develop her own ideas. As an engineer she pushed the boundaries of the possible while establishing her own company, facing resistance as both a woman and a person of color while the battle for civil rights was fought throughout the country. But Jenet would not yield, always reminding herself that to reach her goals she had to aim higher, push farther and be better.
JRJ Technological quickly challenged the snickering snobbery of the scientific and engineering community, as Jenet quickly developed patent after patent. Larger companies aggressively tried to buy out the fledgling company, making it clear that a black woman would not be the leader of a new incarnation of the company, little recognizing that everything the company produced originated with Jenet.
When a large rival company came to market with an innovation identical to a project she had been developing, Jenet suspected corporate espionage. She planned for several weeks how to deal with this. While watching the television news one evening she saw reports of Professor Quantum and Anhur battling supervillains in Memorial Park, and that is when a solution struck her.
Jenet set to work, each night pulling together various experimental devices that she had been working on, mainly drawn from lines of research too costly to ever take to market. Within a month she fashioned the first Hornet suit, capable of flight, motor-assisted strength enhancement and a short-range electroshock-dart launcher.
Jenet then started to leak details of a new, secret development she was working on alone. New filtered through the tech community. She then announced a brief leave of absence to work on her ideas further at a retreat. Jenet faked leaving the city and then secretly set up in vigil at the company headquarters.
It only took a few nights of waiting, as shadowy figures surreptitiously slipped into the building, circumventing the alarm. Jenet silently swooped through the building, trailing them. She watched as they cracked the vault where the most vital information was stored. Jenet acted then, quickly subduing the intruders. When the police arrived, they spoke to Empire City’s latest costumed hero who called herself the Hornet.
In the months that followed, her nights saw Jenet continue to don the guise of the Hornet, stalwart superheroine powered by her own technological innovations. She served as role model and a protector of a community too-often forgotten, and soon joined the Vindicators. Like her team-mates she was displaced in time, and now finds herself in a much-changed world. Her parents and JRJ Technologies are long gone. She has re-established herself, founding J-Tech Innovations. The Hornet suit now encompasses state of the art sensors and motors and has been updated for the twenty first century as Jenet sees a world that needs superheroes more than ever. As she fights the good fight, whenever she faces overwhelming odds, she recites her father’s words: higher, farther, better.
“The future promised flying cars and world peace, yet here I am taking out trash like you punks!”
Hornet – Vindicators #39