The Wasp. It's About Damn Time.
Yesterday, Marvel released a fun social media post featuring The Wasp from the upcoming Ant-Man and The Wasp movie...
Since part of my wish with this blog is to help bridge the divide among classic Disney fans with Marvel and Star Wars, I thought I'd highlight the history of the Wasp.
Most people who are familiar with the movies remember being teased with her character at the end of the 2015 Ant-Man film in which Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) shows The Wasp suit he and his wife had been developing for their daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evageline Lilly). The Wasp was the original mantle of her mother (to be played by Michelle Pfeiffer in Ant-Man and the Wasp) who had been lost in the Quantum Realm. Hope then utters the famous quote, "It's about damn time."
The quote isn't just a great quote because she deserved to have a suit of her own, as she is obviously qualified to work with Hank Pym's technology, but because The Wasp is actually one of the oldest and most enduring Marvel female characters of all time. And its about time she got her due.
In the comics, the original Wasp was Janet Van Dyne created back in 1963 by Stan Lee, Ernie Hart and Jack Kirby. She made her first appearance in Tales to Astonish #44. Just to give some perspective, Tales to Astonish #44 came out just 3 months after Tales of Suspense #39 which introduced Iron Man, the godfather of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and almost a year before Tales of Suspense #52 which introduced Black Widow. And, she is one of the founding members of the Avengers in the comics! So, that's how long she's been around.
Janet Van Dyne was born a wealthy socialite who's father was killed by an alien. She turned to Dr. Hank Pym, known as Ant-Man, to help avenge her father's death by letting her use his Pym Particles. He also genetically modified her to give her wings when she would shrink down in size. After they defeated the "Creature from Kosmos," she decided to remain on as Pym's partner The Wasp. And, eventually, the two get married. I always thought it was quite modern of her to keep her name Van Dyne rather than take Hank's name.
Sadly, Hank, a man of science, eventually devolves into madness. He first is brainwashed by his own creation Ultron (yes, in the comics, it was Hank Pym who created Ultron and not Tony Stark with Bruce Banner) which becomes his albatross throughout his lifetime. He then later became more abusive toward Janet, at first verbally, but then physically. This is when she leaves him. But, thankfully, this does not keep Janet down. She becomes the leader of the Avengers, voted for by Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man. And, she ends up recruiting more women to the Avengers as well! She has been the leader on and off throughout the rest of her career.
In the comics, Hank and Janet don't have a daughter. Although, they did have a daughter Hope in another universe called the MC2 universe who becomes the villainous Red Queen. So, for all intents and purposes, Hope Van Dyne is an entirely new character.
I always found it interesting that they went with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope Van Dyne as Ant-Man and The Wasp in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But, it actually makes sense in many ways. One, there are too many science guys right now with Tony Stark and Bruce Banner being the Science Bros. Hank Pym would have just made another scientist. But, I think it also allows Hank and Janet to be free of the horrible abusive storyline that they concocted back in the 1970s. And, bringing Janet back from the Quantum Realm after 21 years will see an ever seasoned hero who has survived for so long on her own. While I'm not sure how the story will turn out, it sounds like Janet Van Dyne will have every bit the spirit that her comic book counterpart has.
In the meantime, Hope, who was born ready by Ant-Man, will be a great partner to Scott. While Scott has street smarts and moxy, its Hope that has the fighting skill and strategic mind. It drives me crazy that there are those who think that she is demasculinizing Ant-Man by being the better fighter. I honestly don't understand it. Scott isn't a fighter. He isn't a lot of things. She balances out the things that he isn't. And vice versa. The point is that its a true partnership.
I'm excited for what the future holds for The Wasp in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, both for Hope and Janet.