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HI! I'm the Wasp! And you've just been STUNG!
~ Janet's phrase.
The Masters of Evil have control of the Mansion... They still have hostages. But I swear they have won their last round. Now, it's our turn!
~ Wasp.

The Wasp (real name Janet van Dyne) is a fictional superheroine appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Created by the late Stan Lee, the late Jack Kirby and the late Ernie Hart, the character first appeared in Tales to Astonish #44 (June 1963). She is usually depicted as having the ability to shrink to a height of several centimeters, fly by means of insectoid wings, and fire bioelectric energy blasts. She is a founding member of the Avengers as well as a long time leader of the team.

The character makes a cameo appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the 2015 film Ant-Man and a full apperarance in the 2018 film Ant-Man and the Wasp and 2019 film Avengers: Endgame, played by Michelle Pfeifer.

History

Background

Janet van Dyne debuted in Tales to Astonish #44 (plotted by Stan Lee, scripted by H.E. Huntley, and drawn by Jack Kirby) as Henry "Hank" Pym's partner, becoming the Wasp to avenge the death of her father, scientist Vernon van Dyne. She co-starred in Tales to Astonish from issue #44 to issue #69.

She was a founding member of the Avengers, appearing in the first issue and giving the team its name. It is with the Avengers that Janet became most well-known. At first she was the weak link of the team, but later on became one of the smartest and craftiest of its members. Though she takes leaves of absence throughout the series, she is one of the longest active members and has acted as leader of the team for longer than any other member save for Captain America.

During her absences from the core Avengers book, Janet appeared in various other publications, including appearing as a main character in Marvel Feature issues #6-10. She has also made sporadic guest appearances in various other books, such as Captain America, Iron Man, and Fantastic Four.

Janet became the leader of the Avengers in Avengers vol. 1 #217, a position she held until Avengers vol. 1 #278 save for a brief period where she handed leadership off to the Vision. She then appeared in issue #32 of West Coast Avengers, becoming a full-time member in issue #42.

She made occasional appearances in Avengers vol. 3, returning as an active member of the team in issue #27 before resuming leadership duties. She and Captain America became co-leaders of the team starting in issue #38.

After the events of "Avengers Disassembled", Janet appeared in the limited series Beyond! before rejoining the Avengers in Mighty Avengers vol. 1 #1-11. She was presumed dead during the events of Secret Invasion in 2008. Wasp returned in the Avengers "End Times" storyline that ran from issue #31 (December 2012) to issue #34 (January 2013). She currently appears as a member of the Avengers Unity Squad in Uncanny Avengers.

Early life

Janet Van Dyne is the daughter of Dr. Vernon Van Dyne, a renowned scientist, and an unnamed mother, and was born in Cresskill, New Jersey. She is a member of a wealth family, due to her relative Amelia being a successful fashion designer. During her childhood, Janet's mother sustained a traumatic brain injury in a car accident, leaving her in a vegetative state for several years. Janet would eventually see her mother die, and would become a socialite, even dating a soldier of fortune known as Paladin. In addition, Janet would pursue an education in fashion design, taking on the old family business.

Meeting Hank Pym

Janet met Dr. Henry "Hank" Pym when he was developing his latest invention, a shrinking formula called Pym Particles. Pym crossed paths with Janet after the Committee of Scientific Research and Development rejected his research, as she was approaching the council to get funding for his gamma-ray beam that would allow him to contact other worlds. Janet became smitten by Hank, and asked him out for dinner, but he rejected the offer due to still mourning the loss of his wife.

Janet would track Hank down to his home, and the two would start dating in his spare time, as he continued to work on his particles. However, their relationship stopped to a halt when Janet started to press their relationship further, with Hank telling her that he was still grieving over the loss of his wife. Later, Hank became a costumed superhero named Ant-Man, using his Pym particles to shrink himself and using ants to help him, and Janet deduced his identity.

Becoming the Wasp

Dr. Vernon Van Dyne was murdered by the Creature from Kosmos, bringing it from another world through his gamma-ray beam device. Janet discovered his body, and sought Hank's assistance in finding her fathers killer. There are two accounts on the events that followed: Hank revealed his secret identity to Janet, and she underwent an experiment to implant the wasp's antenna and wings that hew as working on, to her body with an outfitted costume with Pym particles. Pym called her the Wasp and the two agreed to work together, and they seemingly vanquished the creature during a battle. Despite Wasp disobeying Ant-Man's orders, and professing her love for him, he allowed her to remain his partner.

In the second account, Janet convinced Hank to let her undergo an experiment that endowed her with Wasp powers, and the two went to confront the creature. In this recounting, the Wasp took the antidote from Ant-Man and flew up and dump the chemical on creature, destroying it. Though Hank lashed at her for risking her life, he realized that Janet was coming to terms with her father's death when she broke down. Hank proceeded to comfort Janet, and the two remained lovers, having a high, yet tragic marriage in the coming years.

Portrayals

Films

Television

Motion Comics

Video Games

Gallery

Trivia

  • Ranked 99th on IGN's Top 11 Comic Book Heroes of All Time in 2011.
  • Ranked 26th in IGN's "The Top 50 Avengers" in 2012.
  • Ranked 5th greatest Avenger of all time by Marvel.com.
  • Ranked 94th in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.
  • Wasp chose the name the Avengers for the team, and also named Vision during their first encounter.

Navigation

           Avengers Heroes


Founders
Ant-Man | Captain America | Hulk | Iron Man | Thor | Wasp

Later Main Team Members
Black Cat | Black Knight | Black Panther | Black Widow | Cannonball | Captain Britain | Crystal | Cyclops | Daredevil | Falcon | Firebird | Firestar | Hawkeye | Hellcat | Hercules | Maria Hill | Mister Fantastic | Mockingbird | Namor | Quicksilver | Scarlet Witch | Scott Lang | She-Hulk | Silver Surfer | Spider-Man | Storm | Sunspot | War Machine | Wolverine | Wonder Man | Yondu

Splinter Team Members
Blade | Havok | Iron Fist | Jessica Jones | Luke Cage | Medusa | Moon Knight | Nova | Reptil | Sunfire

Allies
Betty Ross | Bucky Barnes | Gwen Stacy | Loki Laufeyson | Mary Jane Watson | New Goblin | Nick Fury | Odin | Pepper Potts | Red Guardian | Sharon Carter | Shuri | Thunderstrike

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