Who Is The Wasp? The Queen Of The Quantum Realm
The well-known superhero The Wasp comes from the hand of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Ernie Hart, and she is none other than Janet Van Dyne. This is another of the fictional superheroines in Marvel Comics. The first time she made an appearance was in June 1963 in Tales to Astonish #44. In her original language, Wasp’s peculiarities are the ability to contract by several centimeters, shoot bursts of bioelectric energy, and fly by insectoid wings.
As a founding member of The Avengers, The Wasp has a critical leadership role that she has held for a long time. And in 2011, she was among the top 100 comic book heroes of all time.
Wasp’s Biography in Marvel Comics
The biography of The Wasp in Marvel Comics is quite extensive, from its creation until now.
Janet van Dyne is born in New Jersey, in the town of Cresskill. She is the daughter of a socialite, Vernon van Dyne, a wealthy scientist. She works alongside his associate Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym. Her father is attacked and killed by one of his alien creations. Because of this, Janet turns to Dr. Henry to grant her powers to avenge her father’s death.
Thus, Janet becomes the Wasp. Thanks to this biochemical process, she could contract and use the Pym particles to change the size, developing strength. In this way, the Wasp and Ant-Man manage to defeat the alien. They became long-term sweethearts and became part of her and Hank as a founding Avengers member.
Janet joins the original Lady Liberators, leaving her team, the Avengers. At this stage, she fought arduous battles against Whirlwind, Dr. Nemesis, and Para-Man. Likewise, he battles against Equinox and Yellowjacket alongside Spider-Man.
During this time, he manages to increase his powers, allowing him to take advantage of the bioelectric current generated by his body, thus firing bursts of energy called “wasp stings.”
Janet, on a break and worried about her husband Hank, approaches him to help him recover from the collapse he has suffered. Unfortunately, Ultron brainwashes Hank and captures her to create Yocasta. But they rescue her later.
Janet takes a brief break from the Avengers team when she discovers the notorious change suffered by her husband, which goes so far as to beat her. As a result, Janet divorces Hank.
After Hank’s change, who became authoritarian, paranoid, and abusive, Janet returns to the team and proposes a new leadership, running for the position of President. In this phase, the heroine exercises leadership as a natural action, incorporating more women, such as She-Hulk and Captain Marvel, into the team.
In this facet, Janet has several romances, including Tony Stark, which she abandons when she learns he is Iron Man, claiming that he is a colleague and friend of her ex-husband and Paladin.
Several years later, Janet returns to the Avengers team. At first, in a reserve role, she becomes an active member again. Janet returned to lead the Avengers team when the War of Destiny took place.
By that time, the team was formed in different periods. When the War of Destiny ends, Janet works again with the Avengers as their leader, managing to solve various conflicts in which the Earth of Kang the Conqueror is counted.
The Wasp in JLA/Avengers
In this facet, Janet is again a member of the Avengers, helping them actively during the war with Starro. At the same time, she provides Iron Man with the idea of generating a dimensional alarm to gather other Avengers to defend the artifacts.
When the final battle in the Savage Land against the Justice League is over, the heroine is still an Avenger in the world, merged with the villain Krona, which creates changes. Here Hank and Janet are good friends with Sue Dibny and her husband, Elongated Man. The teams team up and fight Krona.
In this facet, the Wasp is another. She is more disoriented. In a conversation with Scarlet Witch, Janet confessed her adventures with Hawkeye. She even told her about a pregnancy scare, where she mentioned Wanda Maximoff’s children, but Agatha Harkness erased the unnatural existence of those who were Wanda’s children.
The Wasp was shown to lack fortitude and wisdom. This, coupled with Wanda’s increasingly unstable powers, caused Wanda to have a mental breakdown, which led to the disunity of the Avengers.
She-Hulk places Janet in an induced coma after an attack perpetrated by the Scarlet Witch on the Avengers’ Mansion. While in the hospital, she receives care from Hank Pink, so they reconcile, retiring from the Avengers to seek a new life in Oxford.
In this facet, Janet is tasked with fighting to the death with other heroes and villains in space. However, she did not accomplish the task entrusted to her by the stranger, Beyonder. This leads her to take the leadership of the new group.
Thanks to the experience gained with the Avengers, she managed to get the group out of trouble again. This happened when the Space Ghost assumed the form of Spider-Man, preventing them from being trapped.
The Wasp Gets Involved in the Civil War
When the Civil War broke out, Janet took the position in favor of the registration of superhumans. To do so, she suggests an initiative called the Fifty States; in this way, they would manage to dominate the circumstances caused by Thor’s clone. Facts led to the death of Bill Foster, which disturbed him a lot.
At the same time, Janet became the host of television programs to promote the registry. These programs were called America’s Newest Superhero.
A new team called Mighty Avengers is formed, and Janet is selected. This team is promoted by Tony Stark and Carol Danvers and is part of the same initiative that the latter supported before the Fifty States.
Ultron again tries to attack humanity, and it is Janet who determines that he has usurped the identity of Iron Man. So, she uses her powers to defend the Earth in the middle of the attack.
The fight continues, and a Skrull ship tries to invade Earth again. Janet, as part of the Mighty Avengers fight. With the rest of the Avengers, she goes to New York to face all the Skrull.
In the fight, the true purpose of the serum Hank Pym, infected by Skrull, has given Janet is revealed. This imposter presses a button after believing that Queen Veranke is dead and makes the heroine increase in size disproportionately. In the fight, Janet loses her life due to the spatial distortion caused by Thor.
X-Men, we learn that Janet is not, in fact, dead. Instead, she is in a micro-universe called the Quantum Realm. This was brought about by the distortion caused by Thor and is the same place where she appears to be dead in Secret Invasion.
Thanks to a communication card, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America rescue Janet, fighting Lord Gouzar. Overthrowing this evil villain, they free the entire micro-universe from the tyrant, and Janet and her companions return to their normal universe.
After a hiatus, Janet returns to Avengers Unity Squad as a member. Some events made her return to the micro-universe to save her family, facing Gouzar, which did not end well.
The Wasp’s Powers and Abilities
The Wasp manifests different powers and abilities of a superheroine. She has implanted subatomic particles from Pym thanks to the cell implantation. The Wasp can also alter her physical size, so her body mass can deviate. She can even gain size through an alternate dimension known as Kosmos.
This heroine manages to shrink to a minimum or grow to a maximum, up to several hundred meters. Achieving this is extremely easy for the Wasp, but she needs to make an effort that puts strain on her body.
These abilities are made possible by the Pym particles. These modify her size at will. Her body almost naturally absorbs the particles.
By modifying his height, his strength varies in proportion to it. If his size is gigantic, his stamina and strength increase superhumanly. On the other hand, its strength level can increase if its size diminishes. However, to do so requires compacting the mass of its body. This site, the small one, is the one Janet prefers the most.
Other Versions of The Wasp
Among the various versions of The Wasp, we have:
In “MC2”, in an alternate future, Janet Pym and Henry Pym are parents of two children, a male named Henry Pym Jr. and a female named Hope Pym. On the Avengers’ last mission, Giant-Man dies, as does the heartbroken Wasp.
The painful death of their parents forces the sons to take action. Henry Jr. becomes Big Man, part of the government reform team. Hope, on the other hand, becomes the Red Queen, thus forming the new Avengers.
Marvel Adventures and Zombies
In the Marvel Adventures universe, Janet is a mutant who is only 26 years old and is part of The Ultimates. In Marvel Zombies, Janet is one of the first heroines to be infected, apparently infecting her husband, Hank. All the other heroes are infected, devouring almost the entire population of the Marvel Universe.
By this time, Janet discovers that Hank has been using Black Panther’s body for his own food supply, trying to rat him out to the others, which leads Hank to decapitate her and leave her in the lab, ignoring the fact that his wife survived.
Black Panther takes Janet’s head to Asteroid M. After 40 years, Black Panther and Kanet return to Earth, now free of the zombie infection. For this, Janet has undergone a complete transformation, her body being a robot, having control over human flesh.
The Wasp in Other Media
La Avispa appears in different media, such as:
On the small screen, Janet makes a presence in:
- Marvel Super Heroes, an animated television series, voiced by Peg Dixon.
- The Fantastic Four, episode “Battle on the Living Planet,” where Wasp made a cameo.
- The Super Hero Squad Show, animated series, voiced by Jennifer Morrison.
- The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, being one of the main characters, voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey.
In films, we see the Wasp in:
- Ultimate Avengers, voiced by Grey DeLisle.
- The movie Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow. In this version, Janet Pym has a son, Henry Jr., who assumes the role of his mother. Ultron kills the Wasp before the movie.
The Wasp in the MCU
Within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Janet van Dyne appears in different live-action media, such as:
- Ant-Man (2015), where Janet appears in a flashback, is voiced by Hayley Lovitt. In this version, the Wasp is part of SHIELD, operating as an agent trying to stop a missile, and is reduced to the Quantum Realm, where she remains for a long time and is presumed dead.
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), actress Michelle Pfeiffer plays Janet. In this version, Janet is found by her husband, Hank, managing to rescue her.
- Avengers: Endgame (2019). Thanks to the activation of the Infinity Gems, Janet is revived by Bruce Banner. In this film, in the last part, Janet attends Tony Stark’s funeral.
- What if…?, Disney’s animated series, shows an alternate version of Janet, infected by a virus that transforms her into a zombie. Hank manages to travel and rescue her from the Quantum Realm, unleashing a terrible and feared zombie apocalypse.
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) is again expected to feature the appearance of the Wasp.
There are several video games in which the Wasp appears as a playable character, such as in:
- Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
- Marvel Avengers Alliance.
- Marvel Super Hero Squad Online.
- Lego Marvel Super Hero 2.
- Marvel Avengers Academy.
- Lego Marvel’s Avengers.
- Marvel: Contest of Champions.
The Wasp, Queen of the Quantum Realm
Image: Marvel Studios/Marvel Comics
The Wasp is one of Marvel’s most notable and assertive heroines. Her work has been praised not only by IGN, but she has held prestigious positions such as in the “100 Sexiest Women in Comics”. In this listing, she ranked #9, awarded by Comics Buyer’s Guide. She has also been ranked as the fifth greatest female Avenger of all time.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Michelle Pfeiffer embodied the Wasp in Ant-Man in 2015. Subsequently, in 2018 in Ant-Man and the Wasp. In 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, and she will appear in 2023 in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Featured Image Via Marvel Studios/Marvel Comics
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