Saturday, 18 July 2015

Hank Pym Beats his Wife

Hank Pym Beats his Wife
(but then again, she is a total slut who sleeps with all his friends)

Now, I'm not saying I that's an excuse - but I understand.
Magneto? Really?
That's you best friend's estranged and abusive father!!!
Have you no shame...?
[*ahem*] *whore* [*cough*]

Hank Pym was Not a Wife-Beater

By Jim Shooter
Back in 1981 I was writing the Avengers. Hank Pym aka Yellowjacket was married to Janet Van Dyne aka The Wasp and things had not been going well for him for a long time.

Before I embarked on the storyline that led to the end of Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne’s marriage, I reread every single appearance of both characters. His history was largely a litany of failure, always changing guises and switching back and forth from research to hero-ing because he wasn’t succeeding at either. He was never the Avenger who saved the day at the end and usually the first knocked out or captured. His most notable “achievement” in the lab was creating Ultron. Meanwhile, his rich, beautiful wife succeeded in everything she tried. She was also always flitting around his shoulders, flirting, saying things to prop up his ego.

As I was developing the storyline, I discussed the potential pathology of their relationship with a psychologist who happened to be sitting next to me on a five-hour flight. The story made sense, he thought. I went ahead with it. During the time the story was running, I got a great deal of hate mail. It worried me enough to ask Stan what he thought. He said he got the same kind of mail in the ‘60’s regarding Peter Parker’s various romantic travails. He asked me how Avengers sales were doing. They were in fact, increasing by 10,000 copies per issue. Stan said that people obviously cared passionately about what was happening to Hank and Janet, as if they were real people. That’s the key. And he said, “Don’t worry about the mail.”

In that story (issue 213, I think), there is a scene in which Hank is supposed to have accidentally struck Jan while throwing his hands up in despair and frustration—making a sort of “get away from me” gesture while not looking at her. Bob Hall, who had been taught by John Buscema to always go for the most extreme action, turned that into a right cross! There was no time to have it redrawn, which, to this day has caused the tragic story of Hank Pym to be known as the “wife-beater” story.

When that issue came out, Bill Sienkiewicz came to me upset that I hadn’t asked him to draw it! He saw the intent right through Hall’s mistake, and was moved enough by the story to wish he’d had the chance to do it properly.

By the way, I was too busy to finish the story, so Roger Stern took over two-thirds of the way through. I thought he did a great job. He’s an excellent writer who doesn’t get enough credit.

Mrs. Back Issue Ben: Why I Dislike Janet Van Dyne, and Why I Love Hank Pym

Today, for Valentine's Week, I turn the Cube over to Mrs. Back Issue Ben (Kimberly Smith), who is here to talk about the Hank Pym/Janet Van Dyne relationship, why she dislikes Janet, and why she loves Hank. Enjoy!

Top 5 Reasons Why I Dislike Janet and Love Hank Pym

by Kimberly Smith

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love. However, since I think Valentine’s Day is a joke (scam?), I have written this article about Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne and their toxic relationship.

They have one of the most dysfunctional relationships in comics. . . but why?

It’s because Janet is annoying and Hank is awesome. That’s it! Pretty simple. Glad we had this talk.

Oh, you don’t believe me? Well, let me elaborate.


5. She’s a “fashion designer,” and yet her fashion sense is horrid. From the bullet hat to the big chest W. From the costume’s color schemes to the bad haircuts. I’m putting this at the top of the “Why Hank Pym went crazy” list. Plus, she changed her costume so much that that’s probably what made him schizophrenic. He thought she was eight different people so he was just trying to keep up.

4. She’s a ditz. Even though this was how most females were written in the 1960s–1970s, her ditziness endured. I hear some people disagree with this because of her time as Avengers Chairman, but I remember a lot of whining, shopping, and reminding everyone that she was chairman. Plus, Under Siege, big feather in your cap there, Chairwoman.

3. There’s no polite way to say this—well, there probably is, but I’m not going to—she’s a whore. I can understand sleeping with others after she and Hank were divorced, but not other guys that Hank knew. Even though she didn’t know Tony Stark was Iron Man, the Avengers still knew Tony Stark. Then she cheats on Hank with Hawkeye. Hawkeye, probably the one guy that was always there for Hank. Then there was Paladin. And she flirts with just about every guy she comes across. Life is not a garden, sweetheart, so stop being a hoe.

2. She has a big mouth. Let’s face it. Avengers Disassembled and House of M was all her fault. She opened her big mouth to Wanda about her kids and POOF! Hawkeye’s dead, Scott Lang is dead, and eventually, most of the world’s mutants were powerless. (Which also leads to Cyclops becoming a bigger douche than he already was. See, her influence is spreading.)

1. She made Hank Pym crazy. Yep, I said it. It was all her. “Let’s go dancing.” “Let’s cuddle.” “Hank, pay attention to me.” “Isn’t Thor cute?” “You’re such a handsome square.”

“Hank, Hank, Hun, Hank, Henry, Hank, Lover, Hank, Hank. . .”


“. . .I love you.”

She was basically an attention leech, and he had a mental breakdown and married her. She knew he was crazy but she didn’t care. I’ll say it again: he had a mental breakdown, and during the middle of it, they got married. She was going to have her man if it killed him.

In the entire history of the characters, whenever he appears without her, he is great. He’s stable and heroic. But, add her to the mix and he’s a psycho time bomb. Tick, tock, tick, tock....crazy’s coming!

And now... why Hank Pym is awesome.

Because I said so, and that should be good enough!

But since it’s not...


5. Hank makes the Marvel universe more exciting. Where would the Marvel universe be without him? He created Ultron. Ultron created Vision, Jocasta, and Victor Mancha (along with others). Hank created the Wasp, and even though I consider this a bad move, his heart was in the right place. He wanted to help. There have been multiple characters that carried the mantles of Yellowjacket, Goliath, Giant-Man, and Ant-Man. He either created or co-created The Secret Avengers’ Satellite HQ, The Infinite Mansion, The Negative Zone Prison, and a bunch of other things. It’s hard to find something in the Marvel Universe that he has not been involved in.

4. Hank is always willing to lend a hand. When asked for his help, he’s there. Janet with her father, Trish Starr and her prosthetic device, Firestar and her suit that siphoned excess radiation, Tony Stark with multiple things, Bill Foster, Reed Richards, Scott Lang, Iron Fist (see Power Man and Iron Fist #125) and on and on and on.

3. He created his powers on purpose. It wasn’t an accident like The Hulk or The Fantastic Four. He wasn’t born with powers like Thor or mutants. He had to create them himself. He’s one of the few early Marvel characters that wasn’t a hero by mistake, or his powers a burden. And when he didn’t feel like those powers were good enough, he gave himself more. He made himself into a hero. Some people like to focus on his mistakes, but he became a hero because he wanted to. And he didn’t need anyone’s help to do it.

2. He's brave. Let’s look at the original male Avengers: Captain America, The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and Ant-Man. If you line them up and throw a boat at them what would happen? Who is most likely to get hurt? Remember this is before Hank had all those other fancy powers. At that point he could really only shrink and talk to ants. Even though he was out muscled and outmatched, he fought anyway. He stood shoulder to shoulder with gods and living legends, and he didn’t flinch. That makes him braver than the others in my opinion.

1. He’s interesting. He’s not a perfect superhero....because perfect is boring. He makes mistakes and he accepts them. He is flawed, but he tries and he keeps trying. You can knock him down but he gets back up and tries again. He’s the hero you would be. Neurotic, self-conscious, and sometimes prone to creating mass-murdering robots. But through it all, he strives to be better, to do better, to make a difference, and help people.

And if that still doesn’t convince you, then just look at how awesome these pictures are...

And there you have it. In summary, Hank is awesome and Janet is annoying.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

For a completely opposite look at the Hank/Janet relationship, read Rachel's column here!

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