Marvel’s original Wasp has teamed up with her successor to take on a Marvel murder mystery that could have grave consequences for the future.
The following contains major spoilers for Wasp #1, available now from Marvel Comics.
For the better part of a century, Janet Van Dyne and Hank Pym have long been pillars of the Marvel Universe. They might not be at the forefront of the action as they once were, but that hardly means that their names don't still carry a great amount of weight. That makes it all the more serious that the latter of the two has just been pulled into what is sure to be Marvel's next great murder mystery. If she can solve it, she will have helped to bring one Wasp closure where previously there were only questions.
On what would otherwise be an ordinary day, the titular hero of Wasp #1 (by Al Ewing, Kasia Nie, KJ Díaz, and VC's Cory Petit) finds herself consoling her superpowered successor. Though Nadia Van Dyne has plenty else to worry about between her role as part of Genius Action Research Labs and her work with Gamma Flight's Doctor McGowan, her mind can't help but wander to her long-lost parents, most of all her mother. The younger Wasp may have known her father as well as she possibly could have, but her mother was ripped out of her life on the same day Nadia was born. Now, all Nadia can think of is bringing her mother's killers to justice, and Janet knows all too well what that pull is like to let Marvel's other Wasp go it alone.
Much like Nadia, Janet knows exactly what it is like to have a parent's life stolen away by villainous forces. In fact, the death of her father at the hands of the monstrous, interdimensional Pilai that spurred Janet on to become a hero in the first place. Much the same, Nadia has found great purpose in being a hero, especially when it comes to avenging those who are no longer alive to defend themselves. This includes the Avenging Ant-Man's first wife – Maria Trovaya.
As the daughter of an esteemed geneticist and former political prisoner in her native Hungary, Maria's life was always mired by the ever-present shadow of unseen threats. While it seemed like Maria had escaped them once she met, fell in love with, and married Hank Pym, everything she had built for herself would come crashing down on the night of the happy couple's honeymoon. In a surprise attack, Maria was kidnapped by agents of the infamous Red Room, who killed her before raising Nadia to be the perfect assassin. Thanks to the Pym Particles in her bloodstream, Nadia was eventually able to escape and make herself known to her father's old colleagues on the Avengers. But, she never tried to uncover the secrets behind her mother's death until now.
This isn't to say that Maria's death wasn't tragic or impactful, but rather that it was previously a relatively ordinary occurrence in a world filled with shape-shifting alien invaders and literal gods among men. As such, it wasn't the kind of mystery that had an opportunity to envelop Nadia's life, at least not while she had infinitely more pressing matters to contend with. Now that she finally has a chance to stop and reflect on her life, she also has a chance to realize just how much there is left to know about her mother.
Luckily, Nadia has not only one of the most capable Avengers by her side, but that very same hero is also a loving and caring stepmother who has dedicated herself to making sure the young Wasp only follows in the best of her footsteps. Hopefully, that will include bringing those who stole away her mother to justice, no matter how deep they have to dig into the past to do so.
John Dodge has been an avid consumer of comic books and nerd culture for as long as he can remember. An expert on competitive gaming and obscure kids shows from the 80’s and 90’s, John has far too many opinions about Beetleborgs for someone in their thirties. You can find him occasionally discussing them over on Twitter at @JohnJDodge.