Hey everybody, welcome to this week’s edition of Marvel Snapshot! This week we’ll spotlight Janet van Dyne A.K.A. the Wasp! Yes, the former Mrs. Hank Pym will be getting the royal treatment this time, and I can’t wait to shed some light about her! She’s not just your typical eye-candy female character, so prepare yourself to be educated!
Back in Tales to Astonish #44 (1963), Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the character The Wasp to basically be a sidekick for Ant-Man (Pym), as she was trying to avenge the death of her father. She would soon realize that she wanted to stay by Pym’s side after the quest because she fell in love with him. Soon after he reciprocated the same feelings. She then became a member of the Avengers, as well. At first, Jan was more famous for her partying and shopping than her ability to stop criminals. This would change slowly but surely over the years. Most old school people probably remember Jan for being callously slapped by her husband. This led to their subsequent divorce, and Hank being put on trial for conduct unbecoming an Avenger (basically).
Over the years, Jan has been the glue that has kept the team together on more than one occasion. She also kept her love life exciting by dating Tony Stark, the elusive gun for hire Paladin, and even Hawkeye! She eventually came to forgive Hank and became friends with him. He still harbored feelings for her, and in the beginning, she denied she still had any feelings for him. Over time, though, she admitted she still loved Pym, and the two became a couple again. The one thing that Janet regrets in her life has to be her accidental confession to Wanda (Scarlet Witch) about a pregnancy scare with Clint (Hawkeye). During this drunken conversation, she told Wanda that Agatha Harkness had removed memories from Wanda’s mind about her “two children.” This is what helped push Wanda over the edge, and led to Avengers Disassembled and M-Day.
During Civil War, Janet sided with Hank and the other pro-registration heroes. She actually had a TV show that was a reality show aimed at the pro-registration movement. After that, she joined the Mighty Avengers team, but soon after, Hank was replaced by a Skrull (unbeknownst to everyone). This led into Secret Invasion, and for all the crap it gets from some people, I actually enjoyed most of it. This story line revolved around the Skrulls secretly replacing heroes and slowly taking over the planet that they thought was theirs by prophecy. At the end of this story, there was a huge battle between the heroes and the Skrulls. During this battle, Skrull Pym infected Janet with Pym particles that turned Janet into a living bomb that would wipe out millions of people. Thor then killed her to stop the threat to everyone.
As usual, check out my recommended reading list followed by some great covers with The Wasp! My personal favorite is Avengers #71!
Essential Ant-Man vol. 1 – Tpb
Essential Avengers vol. 1 – Tpb
The Avengers vol. 1 #213 (Hank slaps Jan/court martial)
Avengers Disassembled – Tpb
Secret Invasion vol. 1 & 2 – Tpb