The superhero landscape is all too often dominated my male characters, whether they be superheroes or villains. All too often the girlfriends, mothers, wives, relatives, and supporting characters of the heroes are used as pawns to motivate the male character into greatness or tragedy. Just think about how many female characters are killed, maimed, or depowered all has plot drives for their male saviors. Think Ms. Marvel, Barbara Gordon (The first Batgirl), and Gwen Stacey! You would think female superheroes who are at times just as powerful, and in many cases more capable, than their male counterparts would be immune to this sexist nonsense. You would be wrong…and it has quite a few fans in an uproar over Marvel’s latest movie, Ant-Man.
Janet Van Dyne, better known as “Wasp” is a prominent character in Marvel Comics. Not only has she been around for more than sixty years, she was a founding member of The Avengers (not Captain America, Black Widow, or Hawkeye), and even named the heroic team. In Ant-Man she is killed off to Hank Pym the angst he needs to retire as Ant-Man and ultimately gives way to Scott Lang. Scott is good, but Hank and Janet’s daughter, Hope, is better. However, despite her being highly intelligent, able to kick ass, and train the superhero to be, she is relegated to the role of supporting character and love interest.
Although Marvel has confirmed Hope will appear as Wasp in future films, she should have been in this one and prominently. Ant-Man and Wasp are partners and adventurers. Unlike women in early comics Janet went into battle with her love interest and was very bit the hero he was. She was at the frontier of femism! With the hashtag of #JanetVanCrime, fanboys and fangirls have tweeted and posted their disdain for Marvel. Check out some of the posts below:
Get it together Marvel!