The trailer for Ant-Man and The Wasp dropped late January and fans are eagerly awaiting the premiere of the action-packed sequel in July. The film follows the main characters from Ant-Man as they team up to take down a new villain. This time, Hope van Dyne will take on the mantle of The Wasp, as she fights alongside Scott Lang as Ant-Man. There have been many rumors surrounding the movie regarding the introduction of characters fans of the comics will recognize. One of those familiar faces teased to make an appearance is Janet van Dyne, the original Wasp and wife of Hank Pym, who will be played by Michelle Pfeiffer.
While the films offer a more humorous side of the superhero pair, their relationship hasn’t always been so family-friendly. Hank Pym, though a deeply brilliant scientist, had a temper that rivaled that of Bruce Banner. Janet van Dyne, despite her affection for Hank, had a tendency to not remain faithful to her husband. While Marvel may be attempting to hide their past indiscretions, fans’ dedication to their unsung hero remains unwavering. Below is a list of 15 shocking things you may not have known about Ant-Man and the Wasp’s relationship.
15. HAVE WE MET BEFORE?
Janet van Dyne made her debut in Tales to Astonish #44 as the socialite daughter of scientist Vernon van Dyne. After her father is killed by an alien unleashed during one of his experiments, she turns to Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym for help, undergoing a biochemical procedure that grants her wings and shrinking powers. Avenging her father’s death, Janet then takes on the mantle of The Wasp and attempts to become Hank’s romantic partner.
Hank initially rejects Janet’s affection because she reminds him of his first wife, Maria Trovaya Pym. The character appeared as a young woman from Hungary who becomes a political prisoner after challenging the authorities. Escaping to the United States, she meets and later marries Hank. When the two return to Hungary for their honeymoon, Maria is taken prisoner again and executed. Before her death, she gives birth to a daughter, Nadia, who becomes the All New Wasp years later.
14. INAPPROPRIATE WORK BEHAVIOR
After defeating Loki, Hank and Janet decide to form a group of superheroes. Bringing together Iron Man, Hulk and Thor, Janet comes up with the idea to call the team “The Avengers.” Later on, the group is credited with discovering the WW2 hero Captain America, frozen in ice long after the battle. Janet proves herself a valuable member, showing her bravery and tenacity during fights, despite being the most underpowered hero on the team.
Being surrounded by handsome males brought out Janet’s flirty side. In an effort to push Hank into a committed relationship, she would often make remarks about her teammates’ appearances, especially The God of Thunder. This ended up working to her disadvantage, leading Hank to become increasingly insecure and desperate to prove his worth. This also wouldn’t be the last time Janet tried to hook-up with her Avengers.
13. CONGRATS TO THE BRIDE AND… YELLOWJACKET??
Still desperate for her long-time beau to commit, Janet persistently waits for Hank to propose. Despite his love for her, Hank still can’t bring himself to make the leap and continues to battle with feelings of inadequacy. Still reeling from his mistake of creating Ultron, Pym has an accident in the lab and becomes exposed to a schizophrenia-inducing gas. His inhibitions cast aside, Hank takes on the persona of Yellowjacket and heads for Avengers Mansion.
Yellowjacket confronts the team, demanding to become a member and revealing he has killed Hank Pym. During the fight, he kidnapps Janet who tries to find out what happened to Hank. She then realizes her captor is her lover and decides to marry him, much to the shock of her Avengers’ teammates. The wedding is crashed by the Circus of Crime and during the scuffle, the truth is revealed.
12. TROUBLE IN PARADISE
Despite the rocky start to their marriage, Hank and Janet enjoyed wedded bliss, but only for a brief time. Her husband suffers another mental breakdown, becoming influenced by Ultron and sent to attack his teammates. He is easily taken down by Janet, who is captured by Ultron and made into his robotic bride Jocasta. Severely underestimating her heroic nature, Janet as Jocasta contacts the Avengers, defeating Ultron.
After the incident, Hank’s fragile mental state takes a turn for the worst, leading him to become increasingly overbearing and verbally abusive. Still determined to prove his worth, he builds a robot to attack the Avengers, giving it a hidden weak-spot only he knows. Janet discovers Hank’s plan and attempts to dissuade him, leading Hank to violently strike her. After his plan fails, Hank is courtmartialed and stripped of his Avengers membership. Fed up with her husband’s cruelty, Janet files for divorce.
11. ANTS IN YOUR PANTS
In Avengers #71, Marvel went into rather “blue” territory by detailing the intimate nature of Janet and Hank’s relationship. During foreplay, Hank uses his shrinking powers to give “special favors” to Janet, leading to some excessive moaning. This particular comic confused readers as the page leading to the explicit scene opened with a sequence that suggested something more abusive rather than kinky was going on.
At the time, the couple divorced and decided to head to Vegas to rekindle their romance. After Hank treats Janet to some teasing, he states that it’s her turn. To do what exactly? Likely better kept unknown. The controversial comic, which left many readers deeply uncomfortable, was given a “mature” rating while the page itself was erased from both the paperback and digital issues.
10. FLIRTING WITH DANGER
When Janet returns to the Avengers after a brief hiatus, she takes on the role of Chairperson and recruits She-Hulk and Captain Marvel. She also engages in a romance with Tony Stark, completely unaware of his secret identity as Iron Man. Urged on by his teammates, Tony finally reveals his secret to Janet and she ends their relationship, not wanting to date a colleague of her former husband.
Janet then attempts to rekindle her romance with Paladin, a benevolent mercenary, but struggles to maintain it due to their demanding jobs. At one point she even toys with the idea of making him a member of the Avengers; however, after she is transferred to the western roster, the two drift apart when she is reunited with Hank.
9. CAN’T DENY THE ATTRACTION
In Secret Wars, members of the Avengers and X-Men and others find themselves having been transported into space alongside a group of notorious villains. During a stand-off, Magneto escapes by launching himself into the sky using the planet’s magnetic waves and retreats to a fortress. When he is attacked, Magneto kidnaps Wasp and takes her to his fortress.
Trapped inside due to a storm, Janet pretends to be seduced by Magneto and the two share a romantic kiss. At the time, Magneto was not viewed as a romantic character, his method of wooing Janet appearing a bit too aggressive and over-the-top. Fans of the series reported the writer, Jim Shooter, had stated the character had somehow become accidentally drugged and was experiencing stronger “urges” than usual. After learning his evil plans, Janet betrays Magneto and alerts the Avengers.
8. STRUCK BY HAWKEYE’S ARROW
In 2004, Janet once again took up leadership of the Avengers, increasing the female presence on the team. She rekindles her romance with Hank but refuses his proposal of remarrying. After getting hit on by Hawkeye, the two engage in a playful affair, causing tension to arise between her and Hank. While getting busy in the bedroom, a shocked Giant-Man accidentally walks in on them.
Enjoying a dip by the pool, a tipsy Janet discusses her fling with Scarlet Witch, confessing she had a pregnancy scare. She inadvertently reveals Wanda has children, whose unnatural existence has been wiped from her memory. The shock causes Wanda to suffer a mental breakdown, leading to the events of “Avengers Disassembled.” During the attack, Janet is knocked into a coma and is taken care of by Hank. After she recovers, the two reconcile and decide to pursue a life together away from the Avengers.
7. HANK BECOMES WASP
The events of Secret Invasion had the Avengers battling the evil forces of the Skrull race. During a confrontation in New York, it’s revealed the serum Skrull-Pym gave Janet is turning her into a bio-bomb. Knowing she was close to death, she decides her final act is to retreat from the battle with as many enemies she can carry. Thor, in an attempt to save innocent bystanders, uses Mjolnir to teleport her to another dimension before she explodes.
The original Hank is discovered to be a captive onboard one of the Skrull starships and is informed that his wife was turned into a weapon of mass destruction. His teammates break the devastating news to him that Janet has passed. In his grief, Hank remains secluded in his lab before reemerging and taking on the mantle of his late wife, honoring the person he considered “the greatest hero” he’d ever known.
6. A DEVASTATING ROMANCE
Months after the war between the Avengers and the X-Men, it’s revealed that Janet is alive. After being struck by Mjolnir, she was sent into the Microverse and alerts the team of her presence. Returning to the normal world, she becomes a member of the Uncanny Avengers and begins a romance with Alex Summers, aka Havok.
In the Apocalypse Twins storyline, she joins Havok on the twins’ planet and the two get married and have a daughter named Katie who’s captured by Kang the Conquerer. When they are restored to their normal timeline, the couple is haunted by the memories of their marriage and unborn child. Traumatized by the loss of her child, Janet takes a leave of absence from the group. Her next appearance is in “All-New, All-Different Marvel.”
5. THAT REALLY BITES
In Marvel Zombies, the beloved heroes become infected and turn into flesh-eating zombies. Though they retain their personalities and super-powers, they are driven by “The Hunger,” leading them to turn on their teammates and closest allies. In the series, it’s discovered that Black Panther is still alive, having been kept hidden by a zombified- Hank Pym to be used as a food source.
Angered that her husband has kept this secret to himself, Wasp confronts Hank and attacks him. As Giant-Man, Hank increases in size and swats her away. Wasp threatens to tell the others but before she can do so, Hank bites her head off. Black Panther escapes and takes Janet’s head with him. Still demanding food, he realizes Janet’s need is more psychological than physical. Five years later, they return to Earth — Janet now given a cybernetic body — to discover the planet is empty.
4. LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES
Forty years after the zombie outbreak, Janet and Black Panther are attacked by Gladiator. During the fight, Janet is badly injured. She is put back together by Reynolds, a scientist who is trying to discover a cure for the zombie outbreak. The two had developed a close relationship during the years, resulting in him confessing his love for her. She reciprocates the affectionate feelings by kissing him.
The small group is aided by Spider-Man, Luke Cage, and Hawkeye during a battle with zombies who have returned to Earth in search of food. During the confrontation, Janet reunites with Hank who admits he’s gotten used to missing her after all this time. He then smashes through her upper body, seemingly killing her. Devastated by the loss, Reynolds sacrifices himself to Hulk in an attempt to prevent further destruction.
3. FEELING ANTSY?
In the “Ultimate Marvel” universe, Janet van Dyne moves from Germany to the United States to study science at NYU. While at the university, she begins dating fellow student Hank Pym and despite his abusive tendencies, later marries him. The two join the Ultimates team as Wasp and Giant-Man, and take part in a mission to subdue a rampaging Hulk.
During the fight, Wasp proves her capability to handle the situation while Giant-Man is easily defeated. Following the battle, an insecure Hank takes out his frustrations on Janet and the two begin fighting. Attempting to evade her husband’s attack, Janet shrinks to her Wasp size but is blasted with bug spray. Retreating under a desk, a furious Hank puts on his Ant-Man helmet and orders his ant army to attack her. The traumatizing incident leaves Janet in a state of anaphylactic shock.
2. TRUTH, JUSTICE, AND A FACE LIKE BRAD PITT
Learning about the assault on Janet, an angered Captain America confronts Hank and ends up beating him into submission. Janet soon recovers from her injuries and aids the team during an invasion by the Chitauri, and begins a relationship with Steve Rogers after cutting ties with her former flame.
The relationship proves troublesome since Janet isn’t divorced from Hank and the clear generation gap between herself and the WW2 hero. Janet, growing increasingly estranged from her team and her new boyfriend, finds her way back to Hank, who has since been fired from the Ultimates; the two subsequently begin a platonic relationship. Eventually, Rogers finds out about the “affair” and confronts Janet. After an intense argument, Janet moves out and meets Hank at a nearby bar.
1. DESPERATE MUCH?
Wanting to prove himself again, Hank dons his Ant-Man persona and joins the Defenders, a rag-tag group of amateur vigilantes lacking any superpowers. Among his newfound teammates, Pym meets 19-year old Barbara Norris, who goes by the persona Valkyrie. Barbara, infatuated with Pym’s hero status, attempts to impress him by referring to herself as a “Thor-Girl” and stating she has impressive martial arts skills.
The two begin a brief affair, based more on lust and need for attention than true affection for each other. It’s hinted that in her admiration of heroes, Barbara has also developed a fetish for them, asking Pym at one point to dress up as Captain America. The reason for their breakup remains unknown and the two aren’t seen together after the invasion that takes place in Ultimates 2, though now they are presumably dead along with the rest of the Ultimate universe.
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