In Drawing Crazy Patterns, I spotlight at least five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics).
Today, we look at how many times Hank Pym and the Wasp have left the Avengers together. This might seem unsurprising, but when you consider how often they have served on the Avengers separately from each other, not to mention that they got divorced over 30 years ago, it is surprising how often they still leave the Avengers together (THREE of the five entries on this list are AFTER they broke up).
THE ORIGINAL AVENGERS BREAK-UP...FOR A VACATION?
Now, don't get me wrong, whatever you want to do, you should do, and if Hank and Janet didn't want to be Avengers anymore, then more power to them, but it's just funny that they initially left the team because Hank promised Janet a vacation. Also, how weird of a relationship did they have before they got married? He just would not commit! It's bizarre.
Also, you have to love that they A. thought that they might find a new Avenger member in the mail, despite not actually telling anyone that they were looking for new Avengers and B. that that foolish plan actually WORKED, as they had a letter from Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch asking to join the Avengers. Boy, I guess I should go check my mail now for that lottery check I didn't enter to win...
THE OIL FIELDS OF ALASKA WERE CALLING
After they returned to the team and were consistent members for another 40 issues or so, Roy Thomas decided to mix things up a bit and write Hank and Janet out of the book by having them go on a mission for the government for Hank to study the effects of Alaskan oil fields on wildlife. How this fit into Hank's expertise is beyond me, but I guess it's true - comic book scientists are ALL over the map, specialty-wise.
Nice of Bill Foster to go with them.
SEPARATE BUT TOGETHER
Okay, so Wasp later returns to the team without Hank and then has a LONG stint on the team, which includes them divorcing after Hank (who had recently returned to the team because he was pissed that his wife was getting more attention than him) struck Janet. Hank worked through his issues and joined the West Coast Avengers as just Doctor Hank Pym. Wasp eventually ended up on the West Coast team as well, and she and Hank began dating. In Avengers West Coast #69, the heroes vote on the membership of the team (I love superhero stories that are all about rounds of voting) and while Hank and Jan make the team, they announce that they're leaving...
However, it turns out that this time it was not a romantic thing. Just a coincidence.
Boy, the Wasp sure loves vacations.
Hank ended up back on the East Coast Avengers team and Janet slowly but surely worked her way there, too, where she was then mutated into a giant Wasp during the Crossing crossover when Hank saved her life through an experimental procedure after Iron Man had nearly killed her. Around this time, it also turned out that Hank was putting tracking devices in her (what the hell, man?). Anyhow, they sacrificed themselves with the rest of the Avengers in the Onslaught event.