The Bugmaster began her career on a different path; that of news reporter. As Bianca Beakley, she was a popular face on TV, but after some time she saw her audience dwindling. To boost ratings, Bianca became a villain and started to commit crimes with a distinctive insect theme to report on herself. It took a grand total of two of them for her to discover that she liked the role of supervillain, not to mention the profit to be made, and embraced it completely. Other than a readiness to kill and public rejection, it changed little for her. She was aggressive and dangerous well before her career change and interested only in her own gain and glory. As the Bugmaster, she relies on her gadgets, which she might have made herself, two henchmen from her news reporter days, and her quick thinking. She may also have control over bugs, but this is uncertain.
She is voiced by April Winchell.
While an unpleasant person to be around, as anyone under her can attest to, Beakley swiftly rose to the top of the journalistic hierarchy in St. Canard due to her ambition, intelligence, and beauty. With a hefty salary from Canard Copy in her pocket, life was going well until a particular news drought hit the city and she barely managed to attract the minimum amount of viewers needed to stay in business. In need for material to up her ratings, she tried to make a series on Darkwing Duck as he fought criminals. But with all of the big names out of town for a supervillain convention in Florida, the series did not go well. Beakley decided to create her own supervillain persona, the Bugmaster, inspired by the other sad-excuse-for-a-top-story at the time, namely the performances of Merriweather the Cockroach Mime, to generate news coverage. It didn't take long for her to like the role of supervillain, especially after her first theft of a precious artifact. Opting to keep the Bugmaster around, Beakley no longer had use for Darkwing Duck and decided to murder him for a top story. This backfired, causing the Bugmaster's civilian identity to be revealed and Beakley to lose her job as news anchor. She has dedicated herself to a fulltime career as supervillain since.
During her transition from news reporter to supervillain, Beakley dragged along her two crew members. Having a hold over them both with physical and financial threats, they offered little resistance to her plans and came to share her enthusiasm later down the line. At first they remained civilians themselves, needing to follow Darkwing to get video and audio material, but when Beakley embraced the Bugmaster, she had them dress up too, although they didn't receive any of her gadgets. She also enlisted Gosalyn Mallard, a fan of hers, for a while to avoid her revealing her identity, giving her a costume of her own and dubbing her the Grub. Beakley banked on Gosalyn's adoration of her to not see through her lies until it was too late, unaware of her relation to Darkwing Duck. This mistake eventually was her downfall.
The Bugmaster introduced herself as the "Monarch of the Insect Kingdom", implying she has the ability to control bugs, but this was certainly not true at the time. Suff-Rage does believe her to have these powers, as she has her illusion of the Bugmaster attack Darkwing with telepathically controlled insects, but whether this relays fact or is a wrong assumption of Suff-Rage's is unknown. The Bugmaster does possess an impressive arsenal of bug-themed weapons and body armor. She is one of the few villains capable of flight due to a rocket pack shaped like a scarab she wears over her cape. Her outfit is furthermore tough like a beetle's and her weapons include canisters of stinkbug gas, the Wasp's Sting - her prefered stun gun, the Cricket's Chirp - a sonic blaster, and an extendable belt attachment that can shoot cobwebs. It is not elaborated on how she got these gadgets, but since St. Canard was devoid of criminal elements at the time, it is most likely she made them herself.Years later,
The Bugmaster shares several traits with Darkwing Duck, such as a fondness of theatrics, a need to be in the spotlight, and a short temper. She, however, chooses to combine her needs and flaws in ways that foremost benefit her and with utter disregard of what cost this may put on others. In her civilian days, she already was two-faced in a near-literal way. While showing herself to the world as a prim and proper lady who at most took a risk to get a worthy scoop, behind closed doors she had no hesitation letting her image slip if things didn't go her way. If irritated or worse, she can be borderline demonic, becoming almost unrecognizable from the woman on television and acting verbally and physically abusive to her crew.
What stops the Bugmaster from simply being a raging monster is her intellect. She always has her eye on the prize and the way to get to it. She easily adapts to changes in the situation and incorporates new facts while dropping plans that show themselves no longer worth to pursue. Her one scheming flaw is that she might disregard what she deems low priority, only to find herself caught by surprise by said low priority later.
Upon becoming a supervillain, the Bugmaster threw herself heavy on her bug gimmick, undertaking only bug-themed crimes and laying on the bug puns thickly. As she did this in part to get a good story for Canard Copy,it is possible she loosened up later on as professional supervillain. Equally, it is unknown if, after being fired, she still makes a point of getting her crimes recorded.
The Bugmaster is of medium height. She has soft black hair and a small beak. As news anchor, she opted for simple yet elegant clothes, but as the Bugmaster she dresses in a full-body gaudy bug-inspired getup with the obligatory cape that allows her to enhance her presence.
Bianca Beakley sees her occupation in journalism threatened during a particularly harsh silly season, in part caused by all supervillains being out of town. A plan to follow around Darkwing Duck for a series of reports to improve the ratings, therefore, is a bust. Not one to give up, Beakley makes herself into a supervillain to give Darkwing a challenge, ensuring that both her own acts and his were caught on tape. Her first act is to abduct Merriweather the Cockroach Mime primarily to draw attention to herself and secondarily to use as hostage. Her second act is to steal the Golden Scarab of Quackankhamun from St. Canard Museum, where she has her first fight with Darkwing Duck. She gets out with both the scarab and some good news material. Pleased more with the former, Beakley chooses to keep the Bugmaster around and plans to cut the series on Darkwing short with an item about her doing away with him. While preparing herself in her office, she gets a surprise visit from Gosalyn Mallard, a fan of hers who suspects her to be the Bugmaster. Beakley convinces her she's only trying to make Darkwing look good for the series and that she'll return what she stole afterwards. She offers Gosalyn to assist her in her next scheme, which Gosalyn gladly takes her up on, and gives her a supervillain costume and identity as the Grub. Certain of her hold on the girl, she allows Gosalyn the main role in capturing and setting Darkwing, Launchpad, and Merriweather up for execution. Gosalyn sees through the deception just before the three can be drowned and scalded in hot beeswax and rebels, causing the Bugmaster to lose control of the situation. Darkwing is freed and beats her in a one-on-one fight. Her secret identity is revealed and Beakley is subsequently fired as news anchor.
Boom! Studios comics
The Bugmaster is one of the first villains Darkwing defeats after his grand return. He leaves her tied up and hanging upside down from a lamppost while he basks in the adoration of the public, much to her chagrin. Suff-Rage selects the Bugmaster for her League of Barely-Remembered Supervillains, an illusion for Darkwing Duck and Launchpad McQuack to fight and either be defeated or distracted by. The illusion of the Bugmaster sends a swarm of bugs out against Darkwing during a one-on-one round. As with the others, the Bugmaster is defeated when the group is caught in a curtain. Just as Darkwing gloats, Suff-Rage reveals they were only an illusion.