September 23, 2017

Tales to Astonish 44Real Name: Janet Van Dyne

First Appearance: Tales to Astonish #44 (June, 1963)

Powers: Can Shrink to Insect Size. When Shrunk Under 4’2”, Wings. She Can Shoot Bio-Electric Bolts.

Affiliation: Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, Avengers West Coast

Enemies: Most Avenger Enemies, Fly Swatters

Love Interests: Ant-Man (Henry Pym), Captain America (Steve Rogers, Earth 1610), Iron Man (Tony Stark)

Did You Know:

  • Janet named the Avengers.
  • She would be the eventual leader of The Avengers
  • She would become a mutant due to over exposure of Pym Particles
  • Originally used a mini-gun as the Wasp Sting before the mutation

A Little History

Here is everybody’s favorite, pint-sized, yet larger than life fashion designer!

Of course, I am referring to the Wasp, Janet Van Dyne.

Her story begins on a wet, rainy night.

Janet and her father, Vernon Van Dyne sought the expertise of Henry Pym (Ant-Man).  You see, Vernon was looking to use an energy beam to detect Extraterrestrial Signals from outer space.


Who knows?

Little did they all know, an alien would make its way down and kill dear ol’ Vernon.

After realizing that her father was dead, Janet vowed and sought out justice.

Henry Pym, seeing this tragedy, revealed himself to be Ant-Man and went on to offer Janet superpowers.

He did this for her for two reasons:

  1. As mentioned, he saw an injustice and wanted to help.
  2. He had fallen for Janet. He realized that she reminded him of his ex-wife, Maria and looked just like her.

Janet gladly accepted Hank’s offer.

I bet you’re thinking, Superpowers?!? Heck yeah! Who wouldn’t take them?

Super strength, walk through walls, flight, the whole package!  Where do I sign up?

Nope, not quite.

Wasp 1He gave her the following:

  • Flight (implanted cells under her shoulders)
  • The ability to shrink (due to Pym Particles)

Which are a far cry for the cooler superpowers out there.

Over time and various arguments, she and Hank fell in love.  The relationship was not perfect and they ended up much like a teenage relationship:

Off and On

On and Off

Off and On

Hank would go through numerous costume/persona changes throughout their time (Goliath, Giant-Man, Yellow Jacket, Ant-Man).  It was during the Yellow Jacket phase that he and Janet would marry.

They would remain in a rocky relationship (which makes sense, she was married to someone with multiple personalities).

Janet is one of those characters that has so much potential, however, Marvel does not do too much with her.  As a consequence, not much happened in Janet’s world until after the events of Civil War (which by the way, she joined Iron Man’s side).  Her story would pick up again in Secret Wars.

Basically, Secret Wars was about a group of heroes recruited by Nick Fury to battle a common enemy in Latveria, without government awareness.

In the end of Secret Wars, the Skrull who was responsible for the War turned Janet into a growing bio-bomb.


Janet would continue to grow until she exploded.

Wasp 2In an attempt to prevent mass destruction, Thor killed Janet.

Long thought dead, it was discovered that Janet was actually in the Microverse and she would be eventually rescued.

Scott’s Notes:

  1. Founding member of The Avengers
  2. Can shrink to insect size, shoot blasts and fly
  3. Married on and off to Henry Pym
  4. Fashion designer
  5. Was turned into a Bio-Bomb at the end of Secret Wars
  6. Thought to be killed by Thor, but was sent to and rescued from the Microverse



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