- —The Wasp[src]
Janet Pym (née; Van Dyne)", aka the Wasp was an American socialite and fashion designer who later became a superhuman adventurer. She was genetically altered by her boyfriend and later husband; Dr. Hank Pym and gained the ability to alter her size using Pym Particles, as well as having had Bio-Synthetic Wings implanted in her back to allow her fly at rapid speeds and fire Bioelectric energy "stings". Calling herself "the Wasp", she became Pym's Ant-Man superhero partner. Later, she became a founding member of the Avengers, "Earth's Mightiest heroes".
- 1 History
- 2 Powers and Abilities
- 3 Paraphernalia
- 4 Notes
- 5 Trivia
- 6 See Also
- 7 Links and References
Janet Van Dyne was the daughter of world-renowned scientist Vernon Van Dyne. Early in her life, she was a flighty, self-centered dilettante living luxuriously on her father's fortune. She had an on-and-off romantic relationship with the world-renowned soldier-of-fortune called Paladin. When an alien brought to Earth during one of her father's experiments murdered the elder Van Dyne, Janet contacted his colleague, Dr. Henry Pym.
She told Pym of her resolve to bring her father's killer to justice. Pym revealed his secret identity as Ant-Man, and Janet underwent a biochemical process involving his Pym Particles that allowed her to shrink to insectoid proportions and implanted Bio-Synthetic Wings. Furthermore, Pym outfitted her with wrist devices which allowed her to discharge blasts of compressed air that she called her "wasp's stings".
As The Wasp, Jan and Hank tracked down and defeated the murderous Kosmosian, banishing it to its home dimension. Pym and Van Dyne gradually fell in love; Jan reminded Pym of his deceased first wife, Maria. Pym and Van Dyne became crime-fighting partners in their costumed identities, fighting menaces like the Egghead, the A-Chiltarians and their robot Cyclops, the trumpet-playing criminal Trago and the Porcupine. They were two of the founding members of the Avengers (along with Thor, Iron Man and The Hulk) after responding when Hank's helmet picked up Rick Jones' fateful call for help. It was, in fact, the Wasp who suggested the name "Avengers" for the group that had gathered. In a further milestone in Avengers history, Jan and the other founders (minus the Hulk) were the discoverers of the great World War II hero, Captain America, still frozen from the last days of the war. Being a fashion designer, the Wasp would become known for her frequent costume changes throughout her career as a superhero.
Jan's attitude towards crime fighting was, at first, very carefree. She saw it as her way of attracting attention from Hank. Still the shallow socialite early in her career, Jan would often comment on the attractiveness of Thor to try and elicit jealousy from her partner. The studious Pym began to experiment with Pym Particles, and found that he could cause himself to grow beyond his normal height to giant sizes. Soon, both crime fighters had been exposed to the Particles long enough to be able to change size at will rather than rely on gas capsules or potions, and Jan could fire her stinger blasts without the aid of wrist devices. Changing his costumed identity to "Giant-Man", Pym eventually experienced bodily strain because of the process' physiological effects. Because of this, Pym decided to take a break from costumed adventuring. With the stress of constant threats from Pym's enemies such as Egghead, the Human Top (later Whirlwind) and the Black Knight, as well as confronting Kang the Conqueror and the Masters of Evil with the Avengers, and surviving a brush with death after having been shot by a Maggia agent, Jan was ready for a break herself. Meanwhile, Thor and Iron Man also took leaves of absence from the Avengers, leaving Captain America to preside over a new incarnation of the team. Jan remained in her civilian career as a fashion designer, with Pym continuing his scientific pursuits.
Sometime later, however, Pym and Van Dyne learned that the Namor the Sub-Mariner was heading for New York City. Fearing trouble, they decided to alert the Avengers. The Wasp was captured by first Namor's foe, the undersea barbarian leader Attuma, and then by the Collector. In order to help the Avengers rescue Janet, Pym decided to use his growing power again, donning a new costume and adopting the new name of "Goliath".
Marriage and divorce
Pym had always loved Janet, but various inhibitions kept him from proposing to her - feelings of inadequacy due to her wealth chief among them. One day, while he had still not fully mentally recovered from the stress of accidentally creating one of the Avengers' greatest foes in the form of Ultron, Hank had a lab accident with experimental gases. These caused a reaction in him that broke his inhibitions down, and induced a severe case of schizophrenia. This was his second breakdown, the first having been after his first wife, Maria, had been killed. Believing he was a new person named "Yellowjacket", Pym broke into Avengers Mansion and told the team that he had killed Henry Pym When the team attacked him, he captured the Wasp and escaped. Soon after, the Avengers were shocked to hear that Janet, who suspected it was Pym all along, was going to marry him. Their wedding at Avengers Mansion was attended by a who's-who of active superheroes at the time. Immediately following, the Avengers were attacked by the villainous Circus of Crime. Janet later felt guilty at having taken advantage of Hank's mental state to finally get married, but the couple was happy...at first.
Wasp was once temporarily possessed by the Power Prism fragments, briefly acting as Dr. Spectrum.
Hank later had a third breakdown, during which he was captured by Ultron, reverted to his earliest days as Ant-Man, and made to attack the Avengers. During the fighting, it was the Wasp who took down her wayward husband. Janet later suspected that this, being brought down by his own wife, might have further exacerbated Pym's fragile mental state. She had begun seeing a therapist on the side, hoping for insight into how to help Hank's ego.
When the Avengers were battling the Elfqueen, Hank blasted her in the back during a lull in the fighting while Captain America was trying to talk her down. This began another round of fighting that caused Captain America to charge Hank for reckless behavior under the Avengers by-laws, since bystanders could have been killed. This began Pym's fourth nervous breakdown. He decided that if he could build a robot to attack Avengers Mansion, he could defeat it and be a hero in the eyes of his teammates. He included a special hidden weak spot on the robot just for the occasion. When Jan protested, Hank lashed out, brutally striking his wife. His plan went awry, and when the robot attacked the mansion, it was the Wasp who disabled it after Hank was overpowered. In the subsequent court-martial, Pym was stripped of his Avengers membership. Meanwhile, Jan began divorce proceedings.
Continued Avengers service and Chairmanship
Over the years, Janet had become a seasoned hero, a far cry from the ditzy thrill-seeker she had been while first teaming with Pym as Ant-Man. She continued service with the team after Hank's fourth breakdown despite the tremendous stress of the situation. After the divorce, she at times revisited her old dallying romance with Paladin.
Janet's long tenure with the Avengers has molded her into an empathetic and savvy leader. She was eventually elected as chairman of the Avengers, a position which she held for some time. During this period, Janet and several other Avengers were among the group of heroes summoned to Battleworld by the Beyonder to fight in his Secret Wars. During the conflict, the Wasp appeared to be seduced by Magneto after he captured her, but she was merely playing along in order to find out his plans. Temporarily overpowering Magneto and his new allies the X-Men, she escaped in an alien aircraft that soon crashed. Jan took refuge with the outcast Lizard. The Wrecker gravely wounded her when the Wrecking Crew was dispatched by Doctor Doom to retrieve the Lizard. Left in a death-like state, she was revived by the alien healer Zsaji.
While Avengers chairman, Jan led the team in discovering Jean Grey, an X-Man long thought to be dead. Her teammate Black Knight had an unrequited crush on her for some time, while another, Hercules, chafed at being given orders by a woman.
The most serious test to the Wasp's leadership ability came when the Masters of Evil under Baron Helmut Zemo attacked and conquered Avengers Mansion. Hercules was beaten into a coma by the Masters, and admitted to hospital, and Zemo sent two of the most powerful Masters, Titania and Absorbing Man to finish him off. With the help of the second Ant-Man, the Wasp defeated the two far stronger villains. With every other active team member incapacitated and a small army of supervillains holding their headquarters, it was up to the Wasp to assemble a rescue squad and mount the assault to retake the mansion.
The Wasp soon took a leave of absence, but was abducted by the goddess Artemis on the orders of Hercules' father Zeus, who blamed the Wasp for his son's condition. The Wasp and the rest of the Avengers stood against Zeus and some of his offspring until he saw sense and ended the hostilities.
Eventually Hank's mental balance returned and he was reinstated as an active Avenger under the name Doctor Pym. Janet was briefly assigned to the West Coast branch alongside Hank after this. The two managed to rekindle a friendship and, some years later, a romance. While on a trip to Las Vegas, however, Jan turned down a marriage proposal of Hank's; she said she would not marry him again.
After sustaining severe injuries during the Crossing, Pym put Janet through the same process that had originally given her her powers. This temporarily mutated Janet into an almost completely wasp-like form. In this form, she was among the Avengers who seemingly gave their lives to absorb the energy of Onslaught, in reality being shunted to an alternate dimension. She was later returned to normal by Franklin Richards, and helped to re-assemble the team after this event. Following a membership evaluation after dealing with Morgan Le Fay, Wasp was left in a reservist role for a time. She was pulled into the Destiny War along with Hank Pym, successfully leading a diverse team of Avengers from various times and realities, and eventually re-attained full membership and even the chairmanship of the team.
Janet hosted "America's Next Superstar" for a time. After he rejoined the team, Jan had a dalliance with Hawkeye, which left Hank reeling. She soon returned to her longtime, if rocky, flame. Around this time, Jan also began using Pym Particles to grow to immense heights, just as Hawkeye (as Goliath) and Pym had done.
An offhand remark from the Wasp to the Scarlet Witch regarding the latter's "children" accidentally ignited Wanda's breakdown that left the Avengers disassembled. During the chaos that ensued, the Wasp was badly injured by her good friend She-Hulk who had been driven into an uncontrollable rage, leaving Jan in a brief coma. It was Hank who brought her to the hospital and stayed at her bedside as she recovered. During this time they seem to have finally fully reconciled. Shortly thereafter, Pym received a fellowship at Oxford, and the two moved to England to reconcile and take a break from crime fighting. Conflicting reports put Jan and Hank back as a couple during this period, and perhaps even remarried. However, their time together did not last for long. Tired of his dedication to his work, she eventually left him and returned to the U.S. to resume her own career as a fashion designer.
Janet was among a group of superhumans who were kidnapped into space and expected to fight to death by the Stranger, who was believed to be the Beyonder. Janet took a leadership role during this time, using her experience with the Avengers to help the team with their tactics and the threats they came across. During this time, Janet also told Medusa why she and her ex-husband, who was also among those kidnapped and who was showing a romantic interest in the young hero Firebird, had been unable to reconcile their relationship. Spider-Man had been believed to have died at the hands of the new Venom, when this was revealed to have been the Space Phantom, who was then trapped in limbo. With the help of the new young hero Gravity, who gave his life to insure their escape, the group were able to return home to earth, where Janet and the others attended Gravity's funeral.
Civil War and the Mighty Avengers
During the first superhero Civil War, Janet (who had always been open about her identity) and Hank both supported the Superhuman Registration Act and thus joined Iron Man's Pro-Registration Superhero Unit, with Hank helping spearhead the movement. She hosted a pro-registration reality TV show, America's Newest Superhero. Despite being on the Pro-Registration side, Jan was distraught when her friend Bill Foster, a leader of the opposing Secret Avengers, was killed in battle by a clone of Thor.
At the end of the Civil War, Iron Man and Ms. Marvel recruited Janet to the Mighty Avengers. She participated in the retaliation against the Mole Man's biological creations, but when Ultron infected Iron Man by downloading itself into his Extremis armor and held its own against the remaining team, she resorted to calling her ex-husband Hank Pym for help. Janet and Hank were not technically on very good terms even as friends and she was unaware that a Skrull impostor had replaced him for the last several months. She continued to serve with the Mighty Avengers against an alien symbiote-infected populace in New York, and even arresting Doctor Doom.
During the Skrull invasion on Earth, Jan, along with her Mighty Avengers teammates and the New Avengers, confronted a Skrull spaceship in the Savage Land and opposed many Skrulls who appeared as various superheroes dressed in older versions of their costumes. Both Avengers groups were taken back to New York by Mister Fantastic and Agent Abigail Brand of S.W.O.R.D. to confront the Skrulls in a final battle. What Janet was unaware of was that a growth serum that 'Hank Pym' (actually the Skrull Criti Noll in disguise) had given her a month earlier was tampered with and was designed to transform her into a monolithic, explosive bio-weapon. Criti Noll survived the battle long to activate the new growth serum in a desperate attempt to destroy the Earth following the supposed death of his queen Veranke in the final battle. Growing hundreds of feet tall with highly visible, and unstable, energy searing out of her body, Janet's former teammate and fellow founding Avenger Thor used his hammer to minimize the damage of the explosion by turning the energy emanated by her body back to herself so she exploded. Thor swore to avenge her death.
Return from the Microverse
Shortly after after the Avengers/X-Men conflict, Janet was revealed to be alive. When Thor hit Janet with lighting, the process of expansion reverted sending her to the Microverse where she used her Avengers Identi-Card in order to alert the Avengers of her presence. Without knowledge of which Avenger sent the signal, they asked for help from Giant-Man and traveled with him to the Microverse, where they finally found Janet who was fighting someone named Lord Gouzar. After defeating Lord Gouzar and liberating the Microverse from his tyranny, Janet and her fellow Avengers returned to their normal universe. She then became a member of the Uncanny Avengers, and had a romance with her teammate Havok. She would also later return to the Microverse to rescue a family who had been sent there by a new Inhuman's powers, confronting Gouzar again while there. In addition to serving on the roster, she privately funded the team in order to avoid the problems that would come with government sponsorship.
Following the World War Hate in which Avengers and X-Men alike joined forces to defeat the Red Skull, a magic spell cast by the Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom inverted the moral axis of numerous heroes and villains. Wasp was one of the Avengers who became tyrants. However, she was then captured by Captain America, who drained the Pym Particles from her body to use them to shrink and capture anyone who opposed him.
The Wasp was later retrieved by Havok when the inverted X-Men stormed the Stark Tower. Alex tried to convince his brother to spare Wasp's life from a gene bomb the X-Men planned to detonate which would've killed every person on the Earth who wasn't a mutant. After the bomb's detonation was prevented, Havok freed Wasp and tried to escape with her, claiming he was the one who defused the bomb. After realizing he hadn't done such thing, Janet turned on him and then rejoined the Axis to prevent Steve Rogers from helping the inverted Red Skull reinvert the affected heroes and villains. When a reinversion spell was cast, Wasp became good once again. However, Havok didn't (as he had been accidentally shielded by Iron Man), and used her as a leverage to escape from the heroes.
The Ultron Agenda
The Wasp was among the Avengers who confronted Ultron when the robot took control of the planetoid Titan and brought it next to Earth with the intention to infect the planet with transmuting spores that carried the Ultron Virus. During the clash, Hank Pym and Ultron became merged into a single being that fled in terror after realizing what he had become. Janet organized a funeral for Pym, whom the Avengers presumed dead.
Months afterwards, the merged Ultron returned to Earth, claiming Hank was in full control of the amalgam and intended to do good. The Wasp caught up with them, with the ulterior motive to analyse their conduct to corroborate if they were truly Hank Pym. Janet flunked them after Ultron's lack of knowledge on certain trivial matters raised several red flags. The Unity Division pressed Pym until his Ultron persona lashed out and they revealed their true intentions. The Avengers believed to have dealt with Ultron after forcing him into a remotely-piloted Hulkbuster Armor with direction to the Sun. After this incident, Janet remained assisting the Unity Division, and eventually returned to its ranks full time until the team was dissolved along with several other teams of Avengers.
In the interim, Edwin Jarvis had brought a young woman named Nadia to the Van Dyne Estate in Southampton to introduce her to Janet, as he believed she was the daughter of Hank and his first wife, Maria, who had escaped from the Red Room and was seeking asylum with family she'd never met. After a meeting with Deborah Forrester at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Nadia and Ms. Marvel assisted Mockingbird in taking down Monica Rappaccini, and although the Scientist Supreme escaped, Nadia gleefully spent time with Bobbi, whose work on Project: Gladiator and adventures in the Savage Land had inspired her as a child. After mentioning that S.H.I.E.L.D.'s list of most intelligent humans listed women no higher than 27th, Nadia was prompted to start G.I.R.L., an enterprise to assess the Earth's greatest female scientific minds and convince S.H.I.E.L.D. that their list was outdated and in need of revision. Janet and Bobbi eventually took Nadia and the other young women under their wing, integrating G.I.R.L. into Pym Labs where they could better serve as mentors.
When Black Panther became chairman of the reformed Avengers, he enlisted Wasp to become part of the team's support crew, the Agents of Wakanda. Around this time, Janet and Tony Stark acted on their latent romantic feelings for each other and began dating. She helped Tony fight off the Raiders, and the Controller. During one of her outings with Stark, Janet was kidnapped by an amalgamation of Vision and Wonder Man controlled by a returned Ultron, who intended to use a molecular fusion process on Wasp to merge her with Jocasta to become his new bride. Iron Man intervened with the help of Machine Man, and became fused to his armor. Janet assisted Tony in unmerging from his suit when he used a process that required him to pilot a Nano Iron Man Armor inside his body. After Ultron was defeated, Tony came to think that he was an artificial duplicate of his real self, and broke up with Janet since he believed she deserved somebody who was an actual person. After Tony sorted out his identity crisis, he and Janet semi-rekindled their relationship, leaving it in the open on where it might go in the future. After Tony decided to return to his roots, Janet decided to formally break up with him, both agreeing that it was for the best.
Powers and Abilities
|* Strength increases when she shrinks or grows|
Size Reduction: Due to long-term exposure to Pym Particles, The Wasp could reduce herself in size, down to the dimensions of the insect from which she takes her name, roughly 1/2 inch in height. She usually chooses not to retain her standard density while at this reduced mass, but can choose to do so at will. The "lost" mass is shunted to a pocket dimension for later retrieval. Additionally, her strength was boosted while she is at reduced size, to the extent that she can bend a one-inch diameter steel bar almost double. Her size allows her to be easily unnoticed in most cases, allowing her to become stealthy in some cases.
Bio-Synthetic Wings: Due to small implanted insect wings, the Wasp could fly at incredibly fast speeds. These are functional when she reduced herself in height, and can remain so until reaching a height that is a nearly foot shorter than her normal height. Her flight speed can also allow her to gain a form of superhuman reflexes and agility, being able to easily evade targets and attacks.
Wasp's Sting: The Wasp could generate powerful bio-electric blasts from her hand that have been shown to be capable of cutting through high-density structures and is able to cause extreme pain to superhumanly strong and highly durable beings and can pierce their skin.
Insect Communication and Control: Through the use of her retractable antennae, the Wasp could communicate with and control certain higher insects, in a manner similar to Ant-Man's Helmet. She rarely chose to utilize this ability, however.
Size Addition: In addition to being able to shrink, Wasp can grow significantly in size as well. The growth process requires the rapid acquisition of bodily mass, presumably from an extra-dimensional source. This extra-dimensional mass should fortify all of her cellular tissues, including her bones and muscles, making it possible to support her increased weight, and giving her superhuman strength and durability.
Talented Fashion Designer: Janet was a very talented fashion designer. During her early days as the Wasp, she would constantly make new costumes for herself and wear different ones for almost every new mission. Over the years her talent earned her great acclaim in the fashion world. Janet's talents also extend to designing costumes for other superheroes; especially her Avengers teammates, including Firestar and Justice. She possessed enough costumes of her own to fill either an entire closet or two.
Gifted Leader: While serving as Chairman of the Avengers, Janet proved herself to be a gifted and charismatic leader. She's also an astute diplomat and an avid student of public relations.
Gifted Amateur Screenwriter: Janet wrote a script, The Coming of The Avengers, which detailed her early adventures with Ant-Man and the formation of the original Avengers. Her screenplay so impressed representatives at the Titan Talent Agency, that they set up a meeting between her and Dino Domani, one of the most financially successful producers in Hollywood.
Expert Combatant: Janet had adapted to a special kind of hand-to-hand combat that was created by her ex-husband Hank Pym, which takes advantage of the fighter's insect size against a much larger form and physique enabling them to strike pressure points before the opponent even realizes what happened. She was also trained in multiple martial arts and unarmed combat fields by Captain America, making her into an adept combatant.
Janet has the strength of a normal human female of her age, height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise. The Wasp's strength was boosted when she reduced in size, and increased geometrically when she chose to use her growing powers. At 10 feet tall, she could lift (press) 1,000 pounds, at 25 feet tall she could lift (press) 10 tons, and at 100 feet tall, she could lift (press) 50 tons. The higher she grew past 25 feet, the more of her strength she had to use simply to support her own enormous mass.
Wasp's Suit: At first Janet needed the suit to release the Pym Particles that allowed her to shrink but due to repeat exposure she was able to produce the particles herself. During her early days as the Wasp, she would constantly make new costumes for herself and wear different ones for almost every new mission. Even today, she changes costumes more often than most other superheroes.
- According to Henry Pym, there was a strong physical resemblance between Janet Van Dyne and Maria Trovaya; however, Janet was much younger than Maria.
- During her first meeting with Henry Pym, Janet found him quite handsome. She quickly dismissed the possibility of a romantic relationship with him, because she considered him a dull, intellectual bookworm. Her ideal man (at the time) was an adventurer.
- Henry Pym initially though Janet to be quite typical for a bored, society playgirl. With closer interaction between them, Pym discovered that she had both determination and strength of character. He was apparently not bothered that her main motivation was avenging her father's death, since his own motivation in becoming a hero was avenging his wife's death. They both took oaths of vengeance, before becoming Avengers.
- When Janet initially informed Henry Pym that her father had been murdered and asked for his help, Henry hanged up the phone on her. He assumed that this was a prank call, and that Janet was lying to him. He only responded to her request for help, when Ant-Man's Ants confirmed that Vernon Van Dyne had been killed.
- Janet supposedly chose Henry Pym as the first person to contact for help following Vernon's death, purely because her father considered Henry trustworthy, seemingly ignoring that the two men barely knew each other, and that they had met in person only once.
- Janet loved her father, but never told him how much she appreciated him. In reaction to his death, she proclaimed that "there is one thing I can do...avenge him!". She also vowed to find out who had killed him, even if it took the rest of her life to do it.
- During her first mission as the Wasp, Janet admitted that she was falling in love with Henry Pym. She wanted to tell him before either of them died in battle.
- Henry Pym initially denied Janet's romantic affections, for two reasons. First, that Janet was much younger than him, and (in his view) still a child. Second, that he had already lost one loved one (Maria Trovaya), and never wanted to lose a second one. He was determined never to love anyone.
- While Ant-Man lectured the Wasp on how inappropriate her expressions on affection were, she did not believe a word. Janet was amused to notice that Ant-Man was blushing while speaking to her.
- Wasp chose the name Avengers for the team. The Vision also took his name from a description of him by the Wasp.
- Wasp is a Protestant.
- 1121 appearance(s) of Janet Van Dyne (Earth-616)
- 192 minor appearance(s) of Janet Van Dyne (Earth-616)
- 83 mention(s) of Janet Van Dyne (Earth-616)
- 838 image(s) of Janet Van Dyne (Earth-616)
- 59 quotation(s) by or about Janet Van Dyne (Earth-616)
- 3 item(s) used/owned by Janet Van Dyne (Earth-616)