Sunday, December 5

Marvel’s first Ant-Man still can’t escape his abusive past

Thanks to an infamous moment in Ant-Man’s past, Marvel refuses to let Hank Pym learn from his worst mistake … and unless that changes, he never will.

Warning: Contains spoilers for The Darkhold: Wasp # 1!

Marvel Ant Man It has more than fifty years of history in comic books, but Marvel’s publisher has decided that the character should be known only for a moment, and has refused to allow him to change ever since. While several characters have dressed up as Ant-Man, Hank Pym was the first and possibly the best known, and along with his wife Janet Van Dyne (the Avispa) became one of the founding members of the Avengers. But in The Dark Hold: Wasp # 1, Marvel reveals what they really think of the shrinking hero.

Hank and Janet’s marriage has had its ups and downs like most real-world relationships. But all that came to a head in Avengers # 213, in which a chemical spill forced Hank to adopt the unstable personality of Yellowjacket, another alter ego at the time. Yellowjacket attacked a surrendering villain, prompting the Avengers to consider revoking their membership. A furious Hank retired to his laboratory for days; when Janet came to see how he was doing, he angrily punched her in the face.

Even though Hank was I never really wanted to hit Janet (editor Jim Shooter stated that the panel was the result of a lack of communication between the writer and the artist) and the fact that Hank was under the influence of mind-altering chemicals (which he did not deliberately use), Ant- Man was forever cemented in readers’ minds as a domestic abuser who routinely beats his wife. Although Hank realized that what he had done was terrible and worked to make sure it never happened again, and although the pair would eventually reunite after Janet left Hank, this is the story of Ant-Man who won the race. greater traction in pop culture than any other. .

Get into The Dark Hold: Wasp # 1, in which the events leading up to Hank hitting Janet unfold in a similar fashion … but this time, a dark inner monologue makes Wasp hate and despise Hank even before he hits her. Hank’s demeanor is exaggerated to cartoonish levels of anger; it seems ready to explode at any moment. When Hank actually hits Wasp, she responds by repeatedly stabbing him with a piece of broken glass. Hank lies dead and Wasp is alive… but what is meant to be a victorious moment for Janet is doing both parties no favors. With this problem, Marvel has decided that there can be no salvation for Hank. O Janet.

Domestic abuse is a very real problem in the world, but Marvel has seen fit to place Hank Pym firmly in the category of a serial abuser who cannot be helped. In the real world, there are programs like anger management to help violent people improve their lives, but Marvel refuses to tell that story. Instead of, Ant-Man The worst moment is reviewed over and over again, with no possibility for the character to learn from his mistakes and become a better person.

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