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Wednesday, December 31, 2008 

Hank Pym taking up Janet VanDyne's role doesn't sound right

With the Winsome Wasp terminated by Brian Bendis for now in Secret Invasion, what's happening next? Hank Pym is taking up her codename as Wasp in Mighty Avengers:
In this week's Secret Invasion: Requiem, readers found out that Hank Pym will be taking on a new name: Wasp.

In a new eight-page story by Dan Slott and Khoi Pham that accompanied reprints of two classic Marvel stories – Tales To Astonish #44 and Avengers #213 – Secret Invasion: Requiem shows that not only did Hank Pym adopt the name Wasp, but he also attempted to replicate her powers for himself. In a story that had him interacting with Jocasta, Hank made the change as he reviewed his relationship with Janet, deciding to do something that is rare in comic books – becoming a male character who takes on the legacy of a deceased female character.
Yes, it is pretty rare for a man to do that, but then, it's rare for it to take place following a female's death too. And something doesn't sound right about it here. Maybe it's just me, but this makes Hank sound nuts. And it doesn't get much better with the following:
While it was only eight pages, the story has gotten a lot of reaction. Many readers have commented not only on the name change, but the developing relationship between Jocasta and Hank. And as Slott told Newsarama earlier this month: "One of the messed up things about Hank is that he's going to be spending a lot of time with Jocasta. Most people forget that Jocasta's robot brain is based on Janet Van Dyne's brain patterns. And... let me creep you out... could this lead to a new relationship? Think about it. Jocasta's a cyber-reflection of Jan, a version of Hank's dead ex-wife, a version he could never hurt physically or emotionally. There's something very disturbing about that."
I agree, there's something very disturbing indeed. Just what is the whole point of furthering the damage done to Hank years ago when he suffered serious frustration and nervous breakdowns at work, which finally led to his and Jan's divorce after he'd smacked her at least twice? Now, it sounds like it's going to be made worse, that he's so far obsessed with Jan that, not only is he taking up her role and powers, he's developing a relationship with a robot whose mind patterns are based on Jan's as well, because he can't get along without her?

Sorry, but I don't think it adds anything to Hank, and only serves to further a lot of character damage done years ago, and to tear down the attempts to fix said damage later on. It's also telling of how some minor characters can be more vulnerable to serious misuse than major ones are.

So this is what Jocasta's being brought back for, and Jan being offed for - so that now, Hank can be in a mentally disturbed relationship with a robot instead of a living human or humanoid because her brain patterns are based on those of Jan's. All at the real Jan's expense. Simply ridiculous.

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