So I was taking another look at the All-New, All-Different Marvel lineup, when I noticed something strange: no sign of Janet van Dyne, the Wasp. She may be included in the books they haven’t revealed yet, but she may not. In fact, she really hasn’t appeared in the Marvel universe since the end of AXIS. There aren’t even any alternate versions of her in Secret Wars (or at least none that I saw).
And when I tried to think of a book she headlined, I couldn’t. The Wasp has never had her own book. For a character created in 1963, who was a founding member of the Avengers (and who named the Avengers), this is weird. All the other founders got their own titles — most of them multiple titles. But not the Wasp.
In fact, the only time the Wasp’s name has been used is in the one-shot Avengers Origins: Ant-Man & the Wasp in 2013. Even the three-issue mini-series Ant-Man & the Wasp in 2010 wasn’t about Janet — Ant-Man at the time was Eric O’Grady and the Wasp was Hank Pym (Janet was dead at the time).
So what gives? Why has Janet never headlined her own book?
Perhaps it has to do with the fact that she was pretty tied to Hank Pym through most of her history. She was his girlfriend and partner in the book Tales to Astonish and then in The Avengers she became his wife. Ant-Man himself never headlined any books at the time either, so perhaps the writers simply saw them as a package deal.
But that changed over time, especially as Hank developed mental problems. Currently, Hank himself doesn’t have an ongoing series, but successor Scott Lang does.
But perhaps that’s the problem: Janet van Dyne is a rich socialite fashion designer. There’s really not much angst to wring out from that, as compared to Hank Pym (bipolar inventor) or Scott Lang (single father criminal) or any of the other founding Avengers. Without a hook, a Wasp book simply didn’t seem doable.
Which is strange, because you can totally figure out a hook for a Wasp book, especially after what happened in Rick Remender’s run on Uncanny Avengers: “Janet van Dyne is searching for her daughter, whom she knows still exists, somewhere out there in the multiverse. And she will do anything to find her.”
There’s your hook, Marvel. Give us a Wasp book please.