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Uncanny Avengers Spotlight: The Wasp

Rick Remender talks about where Janet Van Dyne fits into this new team and their mission!



Uncanny Avengers #5 cover by John Cassaday

By Ben Morse

Captain America, Havok and the rest of the Uncanny Avengers have undertaken perhaps the most ambitious agenda in the stories history of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, seeking to safeguard the Marvel Universe and fulfill Charles Xavier’s dream of human-mutant coexistence at the same time. Even with the likes of Thor, Wolverine, the Scarlet Witch and Rogue backing their play, they need all the help they can get.

Fortunately, this February, in UNCANNY AVENGERS #5, the reinforcements have arrived.

As the Wasp, Janet Van Dyne stands not only as a charter member of the Avengers, but one of their most illustrious leaders, having helped the team weather campaigns by Kang, sieges by Baron Zemo and more. Thought dead following Secret Invasion, Wasp recently returned, revealed to have been trapped in the Microverse fomenting rebellion against a power hungry warlord.

Janet will jump into the newest Avengers cause as only she can, providing not only power and experience, but resources and insight.

UNCANNY AVENGERS writer Rick Remender talked about what the Wasp means to this team, her motivations for joining, and how she’ll affect her newest allies. The Wasp is one of the earliest characters to really hit in the Marvel Universe as we know it, a founding and classic Avenger. Where did you first encounter her and how did you become a fan?

Wasp was so carefree; she was above everything that was happening.

Rick Remender: The first time I read her was in SECRET WARS, and I remember she was infiltrating and pretending to have a relationship with Magneto. I remember thinking that she was super crafty and that she was playing Erik. SECRET WARS was the first comic I read and as a character I thought what a cool character she was. Wasp was so carefree; she was above everything that was happening.

Then moving on past that, there was the Roger Stern era, which I really enjoyed quite a bit when she led the Avengers; a lot of Kurt Busiek’s take on her. I really just feel like it’s more of a gut instinct now that if you’re going to have an Avengers team, that Wasp is the leader. Wasp is the leader of the Avengers in my mind for some reason, even more than Cap, as ridiculous as that is. It’s not ridiculous, because I think back to those old Stern issues and it’s always been that the other people have lead during the best of times. She was the leader during “Under Siege,” and she got them through it, so I think a lot of people default to that.

Rick Remender: Yeah, and that’s a fact, and that’s probably where a lot of it comes from. And there’s something really nice to me in having Wasp and Cap on the team; it shows such a solidarity that they’re really here to give this everything they can, so that when you see Havok and Rogue saving the day, [they’re] next to two of the leaders of the Avengers. When you see Havok being the leader, and Wasp and Cap are taking his orders, that’s something that’s really going to lend credibility to him as someone that the general population really needs to respect, and it maybe helps see mutants in a different light.

I think Wasp really lends weight to the fact that this is a big Avengers unit and not just some amalgamation thing. She definitely helps solidify the fact that this is the Avengers. And she’s not necessarily a Cap or a Thor, who are classic Avengers but also breakout icon solo heroes. Wasp is very much embedded as an Avenger.

Rick Remender: She’s an Avenger and she’s always in the book; that’s her book since AVENGERS #1, even more than Hank Pym. It was always Wasp that felt more in control of things. I’ve also got big plans for her. I was talking to Kurt Busiek about this and one idea that came up is that she’s a very natural fit to help with the PR motive that this team is working under. She’s got plans, she’s got ideas, she’s actually going to market a line of clothing based on mutants. Their parents fear you, but the kids will think you’re cool. [Laughs] She’s like, “you guys are edgy and dangerous, and people like that, so if you want to make something more widely accepted, make it cool.” It’s a little manipulative, but at the same time, we’re going to see that play out in the Marvel Universe a little bit. What draws Wasp to the mission statement of the Uncanny Avengers? Because unlike some of the other members, she’s not a mutant and doesn’t necessarily have self-interest here, so she has to have her own motivation.

Rick Remender: There is context here, and the reality is that she sees Wanda [Scarlet Witch] as one of her best friends, and somebody that she wants to help as well as seeing that [Captain America] is intent on doing this thing and seeing that it’s right. She’s also a charitable person, and she’s somebody that has money; she’s high society and she’s a fashionista, but she’s also someone that’s heroic and kind and giving, and she wants to serve. This is an opportunity for her to find new purpose in life as well given all she’s been through living in the Microverse and being thought dead for so long.

Here Wanda is, back in the Avengers, after everything she did, she’s been giving a chance to redeem herself. She sees her friend needing to redeem herself and just how passionate she is about this, and this is something that is a good cause. And it’s a better cause than just sitting in the mansion and waiting around for a red alert; it’s something that she can get behind it and she is specifically tapped for her ability to cook up ideas, as she understands branding, she understands fashion. Wasp has plenty of history with the Avengers, but not so much with the X-Men. Will she clash with these new people? Is she going to find some friendship?

Rick Remender: Well, some of both. You’ll get a really clean idea in issues #5, #6 and #7 where she’s going to stand and how her personality jives with the X-Men. The soap opera is really important to me, so a big part of this for me is naturally throwing these characters together and seeing what happens based on their current states of mind.

Wasp is back on Earth, having been thought dead for a long time and just gone through hell, so she’s got a very new perspective on life. She’s very optimistic, she’s very bright and cheery, but she’s also not going to waste any time. And that’s the reality of being on a team like this, is that hey, we could really go any minute. We could be killed by Kang in 30 seconds. I like her thirst for life and adventure and romance and optimism, and she’s going to be the one to point at the X-Men and quite frequently say, “god damn you dreary mutants, just cheer the f up.” And I like that, I like that she’s the one sitting around commenting on the drama, and she’s constantly making quips. And she has a big romance coming up as well. Oh cool.  I’m very interested in seeing her play off of Rouge. I feel like that will be…fun.

Rick Remender: Yeah, that’s my instinct as well. In issue #5 [Oliver] Coipel is going to have a bunch of sequences with Rogue and Wasp bouncing off each other.

Join us again later in the week when the Uncanny Avengers Spotlight turns on Wonder Man!

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The Wasp sounds like a superhero name.