Janet van Dyne (Wasp)

WaspIn the meanwhile, Ant-Man has been released (at least in the United States, I’ll have to wait another month), and another couple of characters have been seen in the movie. The first one is Janet van Dyne, portrayed by Hayley Lovitt (the pic is not best, but nothing else is at disposal right now). In the film, she’s Hank Pym‘s wife and Hope‘s mother: she worked with her husband for S.H.I.E.L.D., and she apparently sacrificed herself to accomplish a mission, an event that caused to Pym a deep depression and made him leave S.H.I.E.L.D. altogether. She only appears in flashbacks, but according to a recent interview with Kevin Feige, she may appear again sooner or later in present times. In the meantime, as usual, let’s see together who she is in the comics.

Janet van Dyne was the daughter of renowned scientist Vernon van Dyne, and she was the only heir of the remarkable fortune of her wealthy family. As a young girl, Janet lived as a flighty socialite, enjoying everything her family’s fortune could afford: she studied fashion design (inspired by Amelia van Dyne, some stylist great-grandmother), and she collected a number of boyfriends, among which there was also the adventurer Paladin. One day, while waiting for her father outside the Committee of Scientific Research and Development, Janet met Hank Pym, a young and brilliant scientist who immediately fascinated her; fast-moving, Janet asked him out for dinner after a couple of words, but the man, still mourning his dead wife, refused. He accepted Janet’s second offer (the girl didn’t know it was just because he didn’t wanted her to see the giant ant he had waspcomics1in the living room), and thanks to Janet Hank he got to know her father Vernon, so that he could share his researches on the Pym Particles with him. When a new superhero, Ant-Man, started appearing on the newspapers, it was easy for Janet to understand that there was Pym under the helmet, but she didn’t tell him about her deduction. Some time later, however, she was forced to ask for the hero’s help: Vernon van Dyne’s latest invention, a gamma ray beam, had opened a portal to another dimension, bringing on Earth a deadly alien, the tyrant Pilai, who killed him with his biological acid. Janet found her father’s dead body in his lab and, overwhelmed by shock and rage, she went to Pym, asking for his help in finding and punishing the killer. Pym revealed to her his secret identity, and offered her a chance to help him catch the alien: she would have acted as a guinea pig for his latest experiment, becoming able to accompany him in his mission. Janet immediately accepted, and she was implanted artificial insect-like antennas and wings, visible only when she was shrunk thanks to the Pym Particles. With a brand new costume and equipment, Janet became the Wasp, and aided Ant-Man in his hunt for Pilai. The two heroes found and destroyed the alien, and during the battle Janet declared her love to Hank.

This first adventure became the beginning of Hank Pym’s and Janet van Dyne’s romance, but also of Ant-Man’s and Wasp’s team. The two of them became a crime fighting duo, and if in their private lives Janet had quite some difficulty in making Hank say it out loud that he reciprocated her feelings for him, as superheroes they soon rose to be among the best, constantly foiling plans of genius crime master Egghead or of the armored robber Porcupine (they even foiled an alien invasion from the conquerors A-Chiltarians). It was during the beginning of their “career” that the evil god Loki tried to use The Hulk to defeat his step-brother Thor. Hulk’s friend, Rick Jones, tried to contact the Fantastic Four for help, but the transmission was intercepted and diverted by Loki…only to be received by Hank Pym and by Tony Stark. As a result, Ant-Man, Wasp and Iron Man teamed-up waspcomics2and started searching for the Hulk; they were soon joined by Thor, looking for his brother. While Thor battled Loki, the other three heroes tried to restrain the Hulk, and as soon as the God of Mischief was defeated, Hulk regained control and joined the other heroes. At the end of the battle, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Thor, Hulk and Wasp decided to form a team the likes the world had never seen, ready to intervene anytime a threat was just too much for a single hero to deal with: the Avengers were born. The team chose as a base of operations one of Stark’s mansions, later dubbed Avengers Mansion, and Wasp was chosen as the chairwoman of the team (even if just because she was the only female: chosing her, none of the male members’ ego was wounded…). Janet’s new identity as Wasp allowed her to unite her two passions, and she used her skills as a fashion designer to redesign her own costume for the first, but certainly not the last time. Janet’s life became even more eventful, busy with fighting with Dr. Doom or Kang the Conqueror as an Avenger, becoming an accomplished fashion designer apreciated in the whole world, or just by convincing her eternal boyfriend Hank to get married…

Janet van Dyne is a dynamic and smart woman, who grew from being a brave and sometimes brash girl into a strong and independente heroine. As Wasp, she’s able to shrink or grow in size, going from insect-like dimensions to gigantic proportions, increasing in strength in both cases; her artificial wings allow her to move and fly at high speeds, while her antennas allow her to control certain species of insects; she’s also a skilled hand-to-hand fighter, and she’s also able to generate powerful bioelectric blasts from her hands thanks to her Wasp’s Sting. The first female Avenger, the on-and-off wife of Earth’s smartest (and possibly most bipolar) man, one of America’s most apreciated fashion designers, a succesful business woman and a brave adventurer, Wasp is a self-made heroine, a woman who accomplished much in her life, and who keeps fighting to reach even greater goals.

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17 Comments

  1. […] the killer robot Ultron longed for a mate. Ultron created a mechanical body resembling the one of Janet Van Dyne, the superheroine Wasp, wife of his maker Hank Pym; he named the still lifeless body […]

  2. […] check. When the synthezoid was ready, Ultron sent him into battle against his enemies, and the Wasp gave him his name, Vision (she claimed he had appeared as a “inhuman vision”). During […]

  3. […] one. During the demonstration, Pym met Vernon Van Dyne, a fellow scientist, and his daughter Janet, who tried to invite Pym out, but he refused, still mourning his wife. Eager to prove his […]

  4. […] by Evangeline Lilly. Hope will be featured as the daughter of Hank Pym and his late (?) wife Janet Van Dyne, and the fact that she adopts her mother’s surname tells us a lot about her relationship with […]

  5. […] for him, his creation would have become the son he had never had from his long-lasting fiancée Janet Van Dyne. Unfortunately, the A.I. soon developed a personality on its own, and named itself Ultron: […]

  6. […] daughter, he finally accepted their offer. He also helped his mentor Hank Pym to save his wife, The Wasp, from evil scientist Parnell Solomon, proving himself to be worthy of Pym’s legacy. Along […]

  7. […] he found himself somewhat attracted to his “mother”, Pym’s lover and future wife Janet Van Dyne, aka The Wasp. When he decided he was ready and he didn’t need Pym anymore, Ultron faced […]

  8. […] any apparent explanation. Problem was, the two insects were the American superheroes Ant-Man and Wasp, on vacation in Greece and committed with the investigation on the disappeared boats. Kraglin […]

  9. […] energy was regathered years later by Hank Pym, who was trying to resurrect his deceased wife Janet Van Dyne. Wasp‘s personality influenced Carina, who decided to leave a returned Korvac and to be a […]

  10. […] large amount compared to the other worlds, and he tried to collect some of them, starting with the Wasp from the Avengers, then Thor, Iron Man, Daredevil and many others. He was repelled every time, […]

  11. […] and to revive him. Captain America woke up to meet his saviors: Iron Man, Thor, Giant-Man, the Wasp and Hulk, the founding Avengers, who asked him to join their ranks. Rogers accepted, always eager […]

  12. […] attempt to control the powerful Hulk; with this first alliance with Iron Man, Ant Man and Wasp, the team known as the Avengers was born, a legend that would have lasted for the following […]

  13. […] moment he welcome at the mansion some peculiar guys, such as Henry Pym aka Ant-Man, and his wife Janet Van Dyne aka the Wasp, the Norse god Thor, and the calm scientific genius Bruce Banner, who sometimes […]

  14. […] for help since the Hulk had been manipulated by Loki, Iron Man allied himself with Ant-Man, Wasp and Thor to stop the villain, founding the Avengers, world’s mightiest heroes. With the […]

  15. […] sent into a coma, and Captain America himself was exiled in another dimension by Blackout; only Wasp remained to deal with the army of criminals, but the Masters of Evil didn’t even consider […]

  16. […] even borrowed her physical appearance, using it to gather some Earth female heroes (Black Widow, Wasp, Madame Medusa and Scarlet Witch) and to form the Lady Liberators, later leading them in a quest […]

  17. […] exploded. Iron Man believed that, after the nervous breakdown that had brought him to beat his wife Janet van Dyne, Pym had finally lost it, and it was precisely Edmonds’ job to understand if this was the […]


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