ByMara Mullikin, writer at
I'm an aspiring writer, filmmaker, actress and werewolf.
Mara Mullikin

Superheroes may be super, but they're also humans. Like us, they've made mistakes. Yet, due to their high moral code and god like abilities their errors aren't (always) easily forgiven. However, Hank Pym (Ant-Man)'s blunder is still a sore subject for comic readers and it has cost him dearly from winning back fans. And if you look at this infamous moment, it's not hard to see why.

Hank as Yellowjacket hitting Janet
Hank as Yellowjacket hitting Janet

In this 1981 issue, Hank was having a breakdown and being court marshaled by The Avengers. To secure his spot in the group he devised a plan to unleash a giant robot named Sal to attack them.Yet, Sal would have a weakness which Hank could manipulate to defeat it. When Janet found out, she implored him to not proceed and then he hit her.

The writer of one/third of this issue Jim Shooter revealed his initial intentions. "In that story (issue 213, I think), there is a scene in which Hank is supposed to have accidentally struck Jan while throwing his hands up in despair and frustration—making a sort of “get away from me” gesture while not looking at her. Bob Hall, who had been taught by John Buscema to always go for the most extreme action, turned that into a right cross! There was no time to have it redrawn, which, to this day has caused the tragic story of Hank Pym to be known as the “wife-beater” story."

Wasp is not impressed
Wasp is not impressed

And despite Hank regretting his actions, he and Janet reconciling and several comic/media iterations attempting to redeem him, he has and since been pegged as a wife beater. Ant-Man's voice actor in Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Wally Wingert explained that Shooter (his friend) believed this is the reason why the character (up till nine years ago) hadn't been featured in TV or film.

In fact, when it was announced Ant-Man was getting his own film and the initial casting details were relayed this notorious event was recalled. None of the other heroes in Marvel or DC have received such a bad rep. Not that I don't understand why, as it involves domestic abuse and the image doesn't really portray it as an accident. Yet, what most readers tend to ignore is Hank was mentally ill when this happened.

Hank leaving the Avengers (temporarily)
Hank leaving the Avengers (temporarily)

Not that this completely excuses what he did, but it would have been far worse if he did this while sane. Also, taking a look at fellow Marvel heroes; Mr Fantastic and Spider-Man who've also whacked their partners (Mr.Fantastic striking Sue while she was possessed) have gotten off scott free.

Ant-Man has been reintroduced in the animated Avengers films during the mid 2000s, and his appearance in Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Avengers Assemble has proven some fans are willing to give him a second chance. However, his physical confrontation with Wasp hasn't been featured in any of these projects.


Do You Think Ant-Man Has Redeemed Himself?


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