5 Facts You Should Know about The Wasp (Janet Van Dyne)

The Original Wasp, Janet Van Dyne, has been in Marvel's Comics for a long time. Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and H.E. Huntley, The Wasp's history has always been connected to Henry Pym AKA, Ant-Man. While there has been others to take on the mantle of the Wasp; we are going to go over the history of the first one to play the role.


Tales To Astonish, Issue #44. Source: Marvel Entertainment

1. Janet's First Appearance


First appearing in Tales to Astonish, Issue 44, Janet Van Dyne was a young girl living with her father, Dr. Vernon Van Dyne. Vernon was a scientist much like Henry Pym. In earlier publications, Pym generally went by his full name of Henry Pym and later would be better known by his nickname, Hank.


Janet lived a sheltered life with her father's fortune. She was self-centered and had no interest in science or scientists for that matter. During a visit to Hank's home, Dr. Van Dyne introduced Janet to Hank. Hank was in the middle of working on his Ant-Man suit in secret and cut their visit short.


Henry Pym and Janet Van Dyne Introduction. Source: Marvel Entertainment

Later during one of Dr. Vernon Van Dyne's experiments, he created a gateway to a planet far away. A monster by the name of Kronos slithered through the portal and proclaimed that he would destroy the earth and take it for his own. Seeing Dr. Van Dyne as a threat to his plans, he killed him on his way out the lab door.


Just as Janet returned home from shopping, she became aware of the destruction in her home and the fate of her father. She contacted Henry Pym, hoping that he could help her since he understood the science of her father's research. Janet explained to Henry that she wanted revenge for her father's death and how she was willing to go through any length to get it.


Ant-Man and The Wasp Side By Side. Source: Marvel Entertainment

Henry Pym admired these qualities from the young woman and gifted her with his secret identity and offered her the Wasp suit. Ant-Man and The Wasp sprung into action to defeat Kronos and save the city.


2. Janet Was Not Henry's First Wife


Just like in the recent films, Janet Van Dyne is the first Wasp. What they don't show is that Janet was not Henry Pym's first love. Henry Pym had fallen in love with Maria Trovaya. The two fell in love and got married long before Henry Pym had even thought of donning the Ant-Man suit.


Maria Pym Kidnapping. Source: Marvel Entertainment.

Henry and Maria Pym went to Russia for their Honeymoon, and while they were walking toward a taxi, Henry was knocked out, and Maria was kidnapped. A few hours later Henry was told she had died. Standing in the American embassy, Henry vowed to avenge her death.


When Henry met Janet, he immediately saw similarities between her and Maria. Those similarities ignited Henry's interest in Janet, and lead him to give her the Wasp suit. Henry did not immediately fall in love with Janet because he still had feelings for Maria. In fact, Janet would try to make Henry jealous in the earlier parts of their superhero career by calling their fellow Avengers "Attractive," most notably Thor.


3. Her Powers are not just from her Suit.


Janet Van Dyne's Wasp abilities are different from Ant-Man. She can fly with bio-synthetic wings, she understands insects, and can shoot wasp stings from her hands. Her wings are not permanent though. Janet's wings grow from her body, but only when she shrinks in size. Like her wings, she also grows antennae from her head. This allows her to understand other bugs. In comparison, Ant-Man must wear his helmet that holds the technology to communicate with insects.


Creating the Wasp. Source: Marvel Entertainment

Henry Pym created synthetic cells and implanted the cells under Janet's skin. Those cells are what enables her to grow wings and antennae when she uses the Wasp suit to shrink in size. Her ability to shrink in size stems from her uniform. Much like Ant-Man, Wasp's size manipulation only works while wearing her suit. Later in the comics, Janet develops the ability to change her size without the use of a costume.


Giant Wasp. Source: Marvel Entertainment

4. She Can Also Become a Giant


While Henry Pym becomes multiple different heroes in Marvel's comics, Janet Van Dyne has only been the Wasp. Henry's Giant Man persona is created when Hank discovers how to use Pym Particles to grow in size.


Wasp is no different, but she was not able to do that until Marvel's crossover event of Secret Invasion. During Marvel's crossover event, the alien species of the Skrull try to take over Earth. Henry Pym gives her a growth formula that was only to be used in an emergency. Sure enough, that crisis happens during a battle in the middle of Central Park which ultimately leads to her death, or so they thought. These are comics, after all.


The Avengers, Issue #1. Source: Marvel Entertainment

5. Janet Van Dyne Coined the Name of the Avengers


In 1963, Marvel's first issue of the Avengers was released. The comic put together some of Marvel's greatest heroes at the time. Avengers, Issue 1, joined Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Ant-Man and The Wasp together for the first time. Together they fought Loki while he was trying to manipulate the Hulk. After discovering what Loki had done to them, the super group decided to stick together as a team. Just as they asked each other what name the team should have, The Wasp suggested “The Avengers.”


Creating the Avengers. Source: Marvel Entertainment.

Janet Van Dyne's Wasp has been in many of Marvel's stories. It is great to finally see here on the big screen in Marvel's Ant-Man and The Wasp. These are just some of the fantastic things that the character has done. How do you like the Wasp? Do you want to know more? Let us know in the comments sections below.

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