Sunday, December 29, 2013

Brain Splatter Marvel Cinematic Universe Meet and Greet: Avengers 101, Janet van Dyne, The Winsome Wasp

Marvel will kick off the third phase of its cinematic universe in July, 2015 with Ant-Man. One of Marvel's longest developing projects, Ant-Man, directed by Edgar Wright, will tell the story of Dr. Henry Pym, one of the original Avengers.

After the jump, we'll meet the partner and eventual wife of Pym, Janet van Dyne, The Winsome Wasp!

Originally appearing as a shallow and seemingly guy crazy stereotype, Janet van Dyne, a founding member of the Avengers, went on to become one of Marvel's most courageous and clever heroes, responsible for naming the team, and even, at one time, leading Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Janet van Dyne became the Wasp through a series of events that began when her father, Vernon van Dyne, was killed when he accidentally opened a portal to an extradimensional prison while searching for evidence of extraterrestrial life. A creature named Pilai, a member of a sub-species from the planet Kosmos, killed the scientist by telepathically inducing a heart attack through immense fear. 

Out to avenge her father's death, Janet contacts Dr. Henry Pym, her father's former colleague, who vows to help her in her search for vengeance. Pym and van Dyne are mutually attracted to one another immediately, though neither of them act on their attractions at first, and work well together. Pym reveals (not exposes) himself to van Dyne as Ant-Man and, through a series of procedures, imbues her with the ability to change her size, fly via surgically enhanced wings and channel her bioelectricity through specially made bracelets that act as her "sting" making her the Wasp! Eventually, Pym's PhD in biochemistry comes in handy when he recognizes that Pilai, a creature made of organic acid, can be neutralized. The pair dispatch of the Pilai and become crime-fighting buddies. 

She and Pym continue working together, most famously with Iron Man and Thor to help stop the Hulk, whose rampage was caused by Loki., in the first group outing for The Avengers. She has almost always been, with few exceptions, an Avenger and was, though indirectly so, responsible for the defeat of one of the Avengers greatest foes, Ultron. Ultron, who was made by Pym, captured the Wasp and used her brain waves as the template for his robot-wife, Jocasta. It was her courage, bravery and heroism which Jocasta attained that led to Jocasta's call to the Avengers for help. 

The most recent incarnation of The Wasp

Her relationship with Pym has often been at the center of her character's arc, thought not always, and famously brought attention to domestic abuse when Pym, who had suffered years of mental breakdowns, beat her when she confronted him about a plan to attack the Avengers. The two divorced, though they eventually reconnected romantically.  The Wasp has been an invaluable member of the Avengers, famously changing costumes frequently throughout the years. 

Actress Rashida Jones has long been the rumored front-runner for the role of Janet van Dyne, with her chemistry with Paul Rudd (the two worked together on I Love You, Man), who has landed the role of Hank Pym, being cited as the reason for her spot as the lead candidate. Rudd, as of now, is the only official cast member, however, that should change relatively soon as Ant-Man begins filming May 1. Jones certainly looks the part and is an underrated actress. She can certainly do comedy, a must given it's a Marvel film and will be directed by Edgar Wright, and has enough experience to hold up against some action and drama. Of course, at this point, it's not worth overdoing the speculation since she has not been cast.

And we come to a close to lesson 2 in Avengers 101.