In this feature we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
Today, in honor of Ant-Man, we take a look at the return of Hank Pym’s wife from the dead…until, wait, never mind that wasn’t her.
We first learned about Hank Pym’s dead wife, Maria, in Tales to Astonish #44 (by Stan Lee, Ernest Hart, Jack Kirby and Don Heck), as Hank thinks back to his short-lived marriage and her tragic death and her rather opportune Bible quote that led to him becoming Ant-Man..
That was the case until decades later, in an arc in West Coast Avengers by Steve Englehart, Al Milgrom and Mike Machlan where Hank learns that his wife might be alive. He also is running afoul of one of his old foes, The Voice. It all comes to a head in West Coast Avengers #36, where Hank (who is on the run from his teammates, who have been brainwashed by The Voice to kill Hank) discovers his wife…ALIVE!!!
And thus Hank Pym was written out of the West Coast Avengers.
There was only one problem. Marvel editorial didn’t WANT Hank Pym to be written out of the West Coast Avengers. Englehart’s run on the book was brought to a close soon after #36 and new writer John Byrne was soon set to take over. I don’t believe Byrne had a specific desire for Pym on the team, but he might have. Either way, someone decided that they didn’t want Pym to be gone, so they had to come up with a reason for him to NOT leave the team.
Enter Solo Avengers #16, as Tom DeFalco, Al Milgrom and Jose Marzan reveal that Maria is a fake…
There is an odd bit at the end of the story where Hank is still not quite sure if it was meant to be Maria or not, but that was resolved when SODAM evolved into MODAM…
This might actually belong under Abandoned Love, as I’m unsure if this is a retcon or not. I lean towards yes, so I’m putting it here.
Okay, that’s it for this installment! If you have a suggestion for a notable comic book retcon, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
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