Since long before the debut of Ant-Man in theaters, it has been made quite clear by many that Janet Van Dyne (otherwise known as the wonderful, winsome Wasp), is a huge fan favorite. Calls have gone out to feature the Wasp on her own merchandise, or have her star in her own solo comic; even her own movie.
One can just imagine how disappointed some of those fans were when they saw that Hank and Janet's daughter Hope would be the only Van Dyne to have a prominent role in Ant-Man. And she would not yet even be allowed to take on a right and proper crime-fighting superhero persona. Rather, she would be an ally behind the scenes for the star, Ant-Man Scott Lang.
As it happens, though, some folks have done more than merely complain about this sad lack of Waspish win, and went about working on something of an unspoken petition to bring the superhero mantle into the light it properly deserves. In particular, one fan, an artist named Jim Towe, has gone about creating his own fan-art covers for a dream project: a solo Wasp comic.
Disclaimer: His pieces are huge, you may have to zoom your page out, to take in the full majesty of their amazing insectile glory.
I love the simplicity of this #1. It doesn't give you a hint as to what story is going on, or what villain she faces, but it gives you an overall feeling of what Janet is like as a character. She's brave and bold and daring. From straight out of the gate, she is the strong female protagonist that she has always had the potential to be.
Also, while I am more familiar with the more recent costumes, which are black and yellow like a bee or a wasp, this art style (much like in the movie) really brings out the appeal of the older costume. Stylishness aside, it's a simple design that keeps all the technology within, compact and functionally streamlined.
Here, things get more interesting. I don't recall the Wasp (or Ant-Man, for that matter) ever having gone up against Mystique as a villain. So, if this were an actual comic, it might give the implication that she would venture outside of a set rogues gallery. I love this; many heroes have a set panel of baddies, but that can run the risk of getting boring. Janet, to me, seems much more spontaneous.
Also, I'm guessing this had absolutely nothing to do with the artist's choice of villain, but every avid superhero movie fan knows of the X-Men movie rights currently being held by FOX studios, separate away from nearly every other group of Marvel heroes. This might be taken (by some) as a subtle nod to the rivalry that many fans imagine goes on between FOX and Marvel Studios.
You haven't really made it as a superhero, until you've had an issue where you go into outer space. Or, that would appear to be the case, since it's been a trope to which Spider-Man, Batman, the X-Men, the Justice League and others have all lived up to. As such, this title looks like it would be particularly fun.
One could almost imagine what the storyline would be. Perhaps Janet was sent as an envoy in a peace-keeping treaty between Earth and a hostile insectoid race? Her insect-communicating technology would come hugely in handy. Or will she work to protect a tiny race of people that live peacefully on an asteroid headed for Earth? I just wish I could buy the comic, to know what Jim Towe had planned!
And what superhero comic is incomplete without a bit of conflict between the heroes? Captain America vs Iron Man, Rogue vs Ms. Marvel, Namor the Sub-Mariner vs Black Panther, Daredevil vs the Punisher, the X-Men vs the Avengers...the list goes on, in terms of famous superhero rivalries.
Janet has known the powers of the Hulk from their time working together in The Avengers, but that would never stop her from standing up to him if (or rather, when) he gets out of control. She may not be the strongest of the Avengers bunch, but what she lacks in physical power, she more than makes up for in cleverness. This match might be closer than even most fans realize.
And last but certainly not least, another fairly simple title page, but impressive nonetheless. In stark comparison to a couple of Ant-Man graphics where he dodges bullets on the back of an ant, The Wasp flies solo. Her face is determined, and she flies with great finesse. She's more dangerous than the shooter.
Just for kicks, I imagine this as a scene in which she goes against the Punisher, spraying a flurry of bullets, and she is going up to confront him, because the man he's after has been wrongfully accused of whatever crime Frank wants to 'punish' him for. Again, she's not scared to go up against the biggest and the baddest, even if the baddest are normally on the side of good.
Not that the argument really needs making--Janet Van Dyne's iconic run as the Wasp speaks for itself--but these comic fan-art titles, to me, present an awesome case for the potential of The Wasp as a solo character. Given the chance, her heroics and overcoming of personal struggles could easily allow her to stand on par with her male superhero counterparts and then some.
She's beautiful, tough, clever, brave and selfless, with a fun and adventurous attitude, and an impressive power set to match. And Jim Towe only drives it home with each of his spectacular fan titles. Though, that's just my opinion. What do you think? Let us know in the poll and comments below!