Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Wasp: A Remembrance by Jon Carey

Marvel's tribute to the Wasp is a reprint of Avengers 213 - AKA Hank Pym's defining character trait, wife-slapping - and I'm struggling to think of, well, anything the Wasp ever did besides that. Hit on Magneto? Hit on... everyone? Get turned into a bug? Inadvertently drive Scarlet Witch crazy? Name the Avengers, in spite of a grievous lack of avenging? She's one of the least-important Important characters I can think of. The Skrulls could've whacked Rick Jones and I would've cared more. At least that kid hung out with Rom, The Spaceknight.


While I'm at it, when the Hell did the Skrull kidnap Mockingbird? That's some serious retcon work somebody's gonna have to do - actually, Hell, Dan Slott's probably banging out a story AS I TYPE about how that time Grim Reaper used the corpse of Bobbi Morse as a weapon it was actually a Space Phantom masquerading as a dead Mockingbird working on behalf of Immortus. And that time she was shown in Hell? Mephisto was just screwing around, because he's a wacky devil. And that other time she was shown in Hell? That Dead Girl/Dr Strange mini is completely out-of-continuity, you silly billy.

And this has been The Wasp: A Remembrance by Jon Carey.


CalvinPitt said...

Well, there was that one time the Wasp and Ant-Man (Scott Lang version) teamed up to beat down the Absorbing Man and Titania, during Roger Stern's run on Avengers (#275, I think).

That's fairly impressive, I suppose.

Nate said...

One of my first comics was an issue of Avengers that had Janet and Tony Stark dating, but Janet didn't know Tony was Iron Man.

Janet in a bikini was very influential on my young waking up mind.

..um...I've said too much

Devon Sanders said...


If you're talking about that issue of The Avengers where Captain America borrows a military helicopter just so be can jump out of it to talk to Wasp while she's in a butt cheek revealing bikini, then yeah, you said too much. ;)

Harvey Jerkwater said...

What's annoying is that they got rid of her in the least dramatic way possible. Okay, so she's a cipher and has been treated as a placeholder for decades. (Her characterization for so long has been variations on "eeew, she's a gurrrrl!") But she's been around for so long that she merits a better sendoff than Prince Ra-Man got in "Crisis on Infinite Earths." She didn't do anything heroic, she didn't matter to the story in the least. Dude, they even showed her death in flashback, to lessen its impact even more.

How about this: the Wasp was the leader of the Avengers for a very long time. Maybe in that time she either showed talent or learned a lot about superhuman combat strategy and tactics. It stands to reason. How about that, in the absence of Steve Rogers, she's the best super-hero tactician around? Or at least, a very, very good one. In the manner of "Legally Blonde," people think she's a dope because she's pretty, rich, and acts flighty, but there's a whole lot of substance under there. None of that is a stretch.

So make her the strategic mind behind the final battle, and make her death either a sacrifice she chose as necessary for victory or a major scary point in the battle, when Janet Van Dyne, architect of humanity's last chance, gets crispy-crittered unexpectedly.

Give it some f'in' drama.

If you're going to knock off a longtime character, even one people don't much care about, at least do it well. Make us care that she died.

I get the sense that Bendis would claim that he did make it dramatic -- it took up a few big splash pages in the beginning of the last issue, and that it motivated people or something. But it didn't work. At all.

The logic of "it's war, people die like that" doesn't fly either, because (a) no, it's a friggin' comic book with superheroes, and in those, people rarely die like that, and (b) even with that, it was undramatic as hell. Boring, in short. The death of an Avenger, especially a founder, should be a big deal in the story, no matter how it happened. (And "it pissed everyone off" is not a "big deal.")


Jon said...

Holy Hell, I thought I posted this while blacked out.