Comic Book: The Wasp

The Wasp is the name of two Marvel Comics superheroes: Janet van Dyne and her ex-husband, Hank Pym.

Janet van Dyne

The Wasp is a Marvel Comics superhero created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Making her debut in Tales to Astonish #44 (June, 1963), Janet van Dyne has been featured in more than four decades of Marvel comics history. One of the founding members of The Avengers, the Wasp famously gave the team its name after the the heroes take down the villain Loki. Aside from a few solo adventures in Tales to Astonish, Janet is the only original Avenger never to receive her own series. She made a Heroic Sacrifice during Secret Invasion, but to the surprise of nobody, returned from "the dead" after the events of Avengers vs. X-Men. She now appears as part of the Uncanny Avengers in the Marvel NOW! relaunch.

Hank Pym

Hank Pym took up the mantle of the Wasp after her disappearance in Secret Invasion, a move that would be explored in the limited series: Ant-Man & Wasp. As the Wasp, Pym would open the Janet van Dyne Centers for Women: six centers designed to provide support for victims of domestic abuse. He has since returned to using the Giant-Man identity.

  • Ant-Man and the The Wasp



Video Games

Western Animation

Tropes seen in these series include:

  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Wasps.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Pym Particles.
  • Badass Adorable: Depending on the Writer and most notable in Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but Jan can kick ass and her quirky personality makes her adorable as she does so.
    • Took a Level in Badass: Janet received a power-up in the early 1980s in a Marvel Team-Up plotline, due to Hank Pym refining her particular formula of Pym Particles, receiving more powerful "stings" and higher strength when she was shrunken down, and again in the early 2000s when she gained the ability to grow to giant size as well as shrink. She also spent much of the 1980s as the chairwoman of the Avengers, where she scored several impressive wins one right after the other.
  • Baleful Polymorph: For a very brief period in the late 1990s, Jan was stuck in a mutated insect-woman form.
  • Battle Couple: Ant-Man and Wasp.
    • Not so much in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, as Jan enjoys fighting villains while Henry doesn't.
  • The Beastmaster: Rarely used, Janet can produce small prehensile antennae from her forehead that allow her to communicate with and control insects.
  • Bio-Augmentation: The source of Janet's wings and antennae.
  • Brain Uploading: The Killer Robot Ultron tried to upload Janet's mind into Jocasta, his newly-built female companion. Though the Avengers intervene before the procedure is complete, Jocasta retains enough of Janet's brain engrams to turn against her creator.
  • Casual Kink: Uncanny Avengers establishes that Janet and Hank used to visit the Hellfire Club "to spice things up".
  • The Chick
  • Clothing Damage: In the The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode Gamma World, her costume was torn apart when she mutated to an actual Human Wasp, only pieces that covered her ladies part remained.
  • Death by Origin Story: The death of her father at the hands of the creature from Kosmos is what inspired Janet to contact Hank Pym, resulting in her transformation into the Wasp.
    • Jan herself will die during the early days of Hank Pym as Ant-Man in the Ant-Man film
  • Death Is Cheap: The Mighty Thor gave Jan a Mercy Kill during Secret Invasion. Years later, after Avengers vs. X-Men, the Avengers learned that Jan did not really die, but got transported to the Microverse.
  • Depending on the Artist/Writer: A number of aspects of her character have varied depending on who's drawing and writing her:
    • Her competence, maturity, and intelligence varies depending on how much the writer likes her.
    • Her hair varies from being reasonably long, short and springy, to even boyishly cut.
    • Her abilities also vary; usually she has to shrink to fly and use her hand blasts, but some writers let her fly and blast at full size.
  • The Fashionista: Janet is a fashion designer in her free time.
  • Faux Action Girl: Depending on the Writer, some people just don't know how to write a competent Jan.
  • Hand Blast: The Wasp can fire bio-electric energy blasts from her hands. At first Janet required special wristbands, but years of exposure to the Pym Particles allowed her to generate the blasts naturally.
  • Hello, Nurse!: The original pin-up girl of the Marvel Universe. One of her earliest appearances has her drooled over by the residents of a veterans' hospital.
  • Hidden Buxom: In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, where she seems normally endowed in her costume, but her bikini scene reveals she is very busty indeed.
  • The Host: Janet was the host of two TV shows in the Marvel Universe: "America's Next Superstar" & "America's Newest Superhero".
  • Legacy Character: Hank Pym as Wasp II. Also Petra Larkov as Red Wasp in the Ultimate Marvel continuity.
  • Made of Iron: The Wasp's density increases in her giant form, giving her greater durability.
  • Most Common Superpower: Sometimes, Depending on the Artist.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Remember those moments where Wasp was forced to fight in her bikini or underwear. or when she uses an costume was shows so much skin or those moments where she ended up naked when she shrunk due to wearing an normal outfit?.
    • In Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode in The Casket of Ancient Winters we see her in bikini, and in the episode Gamma World her uniform is shredded.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: Janet's various outfits can shrink and grow with her thanks to the Pym Particles.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Wasp is fully capable of kicking villains around; in fact, she can more than handle herself against most villains, unless said villain is a Big Bad or Person of Mass Destruction, such as Graviton, Loki, Enchantress, or Executioner. Unfortunately for Wasp, she's the weakest member on the team, but they're Earth's Mightiest Heroes after all. The weakest of the mightiest is still one of the mightiest.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The Wasp retains her normal strength and weight in insect form.
  • Power Perversion Potential: More than just potential. Janet and Hank have used their powers to pleasure each other in creative ways.
  • Race Lift: The Wasp is Asian American in the Ultimate Marvel universe (except when she isn't).
  • Rich Bitch: Janet's personality for most of her early career. Hank Pym cited this as one of the reasons he was so hesitant to marry Janet in the first place.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit / Vapor Wear: A number of Janet's costumes have holes in the back for her wings, which are too tiny to see when she's at normal height.
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: Sometimes
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Janet became trapped at insect size for a time after leaving the Avengers.
  • She's Got Legs: When giant. Normal sized Janet is actually a pretty small girl.
  • Sidekick Graduations Stick: Janet was generally treated as Ant-Man's young, flighty sidekick/partner at the beginning of her career. As a member of the Avengers, the Wasp gained considerable experience working alongside Iron Man and Captain America, eventually becoming Chairman and, later, leader of the Avengers.
  • Size Shifter: Janet initially required doses of Pym Particles in order to change size, requiring her to carry special pills or gas canisters. Later, Janet's body would start to generate Pym Particles on its own, allowing her to change size at will.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only female member of the original Avengers.
  • Stalker with a Crush: David "Whirlwind" Cannon developed a romantic obsession with her way back in Marvel Feature #6, and recent events in Avengers Academy showed that her death didn't lessen it one iota.
  • Super Strength: Only available in giant form. A portion of the strength goes to supporting the Wasp's body, leading to diminishing returns if she grows too large. After a power upgrade in the Seventies, she has the same strength in tiny size that she does at regular height, leading some to mistakenly assume it's super.
  • The Tease: She always flirts with every member of the team, especially the male ones. In general though, she's more like their little sister most of the time.
  • 10-Minute Retirement
  • Unfinished Business: Hercules and Amadeus Cho encounter Janet's soul in Erebus, stubbornly trying to win resurrection on one of the slot machines.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: The Wasp has hundreds of different costumes thanks to her career as a fashion designer. almost all the costumes she's made are listed here.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: Frequent, given that her clothes need to be specially prepared to change size with her.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: The Skrulls turn Janet into one of these during Secret Invasion.
  • Wedding Smashers: Janet nearly died when the Ringmaster and the Circus of Crime attacked during her wedding to Hank Pym.
  • Willfully Weak: Janet is fully aware of the power and durability that come with growing to giant size, but she prefers to fight at insect size. She'll only break out the big guns when the shit really hits the fan.
  • Winged Humanoid: Hank Pym implanted two tiny wings on Janet's back, giving her the power to fly when she shrinks to insect size.
  • Working with the Ex: Happened quite often given the "on again, off again " nature of her relationship with Hank Pym.