Comics Used To Be Fucking Stupid! #1: The Horny Wasp

16 Sep

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On today’s installment, we look at Avengers #2, published in November 1963.

And we will discover a shocking and unshakeble truth…

THE WASP WAS INITIALLY PORTRAYED AS A BUBBLE-HEADED, SEX-STARVED DUMBASS!

Exhibit A

As the story begins, our heroes sit around a flat screen TV on a table in Tony Stark’s living room or wherever the fuck this is…

Exhibit B

Later on, the heroes must gather their forces to defeat this “Space Phantom” character. Ant-Man arrives on the scene, joined by Wasp. And they materialize seemingly out of thin air! (The others seem to have forgotten the essential nature of Ant-Man and Wasp’s powers. Even though they’ve apparently been working together for at least a few days now. This is, after all, issue number 2).

But never mind any of that… Pay close attention to what seems to be on Janet Pym’s mind as they contemplate what to do about this villain…

At this point, I’m honestly not sure if Janet Pym is Hank Pym’s wife. I don’t know enough about the history… And, frankly, I don’t really care. Also… It should be noted that she is always referred to as either “Jan” or “Wasp,” but never as having the last name Pym. Nor is there any real non platonic connection established between the two characters. So, for all I know, they’re just friends at this point. They work together… Whatever. And maybe he pines for her, while she’d much rather be with either the “adorable” Thor… Or the “handsome” Iron Man… By the way, it’s curious that she refers to Iron Man as “handsome,” considering that, at this point, they are unaware that he is Tony Stark. So she has no idea what Iron Man actually looks like. I guess she must have a golden metal fetish.

In any case, given that I’m unclear of the history and relationship between Ant-Man and Wasp, I find this next scene confusing…

Exhibit C

This is curious, isn’t it? She compliments his blue eyes. She clearly finds him attractive. Meanwhile, he refers to her as “little one,” and tells her to be serious. Now that could be literal. At this point, Henry Pym has assumed the form of Giant Man and she is still merely The Wasp. So, yes, at this particular moment in time, she is “little.” It could also mean she is younger than him. I hope she’s not his daughter or something because that would be creepy. In a very real Serge Gainsbourg – Charlotte Gainsbourg kind of way that I, personally, don’t find particularly cool or interesting. But anyway, I don’t know why this exchange is played out in this way. Other than to simply acknowledge that he is using that condescending tone to refer to her because this is a patriarchal comic book written and published in 1963.

Exhibit D

Hank Pym sends his “little one” to the office of Dr. Donald Blake, who no one knows is actually The Mighty Thor… As far as they’re concerned, he is just this doctor who kind of looks like Thor and has the capacity to somehow summon Thor. But he isn’t actually Thor.

Well come on Wasp… Maybe the Norse God Thor is a little out of your league? So maybe this handsome doctor who kind of looks like him is a good enough substitute? Think you can maybe downscale your standards just a little bit there? I’m sure he has money. He could take you to that soda shop on Second Ave and buy you the biggest egg cream there is!

Exhibit E

And, sure enough, Doctor Blake summons Thor (and then disappears from sight quite unceremoniously and no one cares) so the Norse superman may now join the others in their quest to defeat this evil “Space Phantom.”

Oh… HE talks corny, but the rest of the dialog in this 1963 comic book is just full of authenticity and nuance, of the way people speak in real life.

Right.

COMICS USED TO BE SO FUCKING STUPID!!

See you next time.

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