Comic Book: The Wasp

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.

During the time that Janet was considered dead, her longtime love interest Hank Pym (aka "Ant-Man", "Giant-Man", "Yellowjacket", "Goliath") would take over the "Wasp" name, during which he would co-lead the limited series "Ant-Man & Wasp" with then-current Ant-Man Eric O'Grady. Tropes regarding him can be found over on the Ant-Man page.

  • Ant-Man and The Wasp (featuring Hank in the role of Wasp instead of Janet)



  • Ant-Man: Janet appears in a flashback as 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.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: More than anything Janet really wanted to be the second Mrs. Pym. So much so that she married Hank during his first real nervous breakdown simply because it seemed to be the only way to get his ring on her finger after years of asking him to marry her to no avail. The marriage sadly didn't work out so well...
  • 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.
  • Cute Bruiser: Jan is so very, very, very much this, especially on Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
  • 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".