MIGHTY MARVEL MAY #2: THE WASP

Hey, have you ever heard of THE AVENGERS? No, not the British ones. The American ones. The superheroes.

Well, this little lady- and I mean “little” literally- was not only a founding member along with Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk and Ant-Man, but she actually named the group. Not only that, but when I read AVENGERS comics as a kid, the Wasp was their chairwoman. Yes, she was Captain America’s boss.

Like most female characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (in TALES TO ASTONISH #44, 1963), Janet Van Dyne was defined by mercurial mood swings, obsession with clothes, and driving her boyfriend insane by fawning over Thor and Tony Stark (she was way ahead of the curve). Given the seemingly-useless ability to shrink to an inch in height or smaller, Dr Hank Pym a.k.a. Ant Man, also gave Janet insect wings and antennae (the latter of which eventually and thankfully fell off). She also possessed a wasp’s sting; a kind of bio-electric energy blast. Outfitted with these attributes, she immediately outshone her partner.

Janet and Hank married and divorced, then later remarried. In the interim, Janet became a world-renowned fashion designer, dated Tony Stark (and she dumped him when she found out he’d secretly been her team-mate Iron Man all along), and ran the Avengers as its chairwoman while sporting the most costume-changes of any superheroine in history. I love the Wasp because she  evolved from a broadly-sketched love-interest/sidekick into a well-rounded and powerful character. In other words, she grew.

She’s depicted here in her youthful, wide-eyed phase.

Please come back tomorrow for more MIGHTY MARVEL MAY. I hope you’ll drop by and see.

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