Janet and Nadia are forced to imagine a world without The Wasp… And it’s an even worse world than you imagine. Your Major Spoilers review of Wasp #3 from Marvel Comics awaits!
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Kasia Nie
Colorist: KJ Diaz
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Alanna Smith
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 22, 2023
Previously in Wasp: Captured by an alliance of their oldest enemies, Janet and Nadia Van Dyne find themselves trapped in a past where a key part of their history – Henry Pym, the Ant-Man – never existed at all. As strange new lives play out around them, they must find their way back to the Wasp… or cease to exist entirely.
AN AVENGER AND AN ORPHAN
After seemingly being disintegrated by the Kreature from Kosmos in the last issue, Janet Van Dyne and Nadia Trovaya find themselves trapped in dream worlds, each derived from their past. Janet finds herself looking at her dead father, while Nadia is once again in the Red Room, being trained as a disposable killer. The one difference comes in the lack of Henry Pym, who helped Janet shape her heroic career, and whose influence helped Nadia escape. Instead of becoming The Wasp, each woman finds herself forced to shape her own destiny, with Janet (who, you must recall, named The Avengers) taking a role as a freelance superhero troubleshooter, and Nadia moving to the top of the class. While investigating his missing friends, former Avengers majordomo Edwin Jarvis tracks down the Kosmosian, only to be thrown into his own hallucinatory reality, which pushes the Kreature too far, forcing it to combine their three realities into one.
That’s how the issue ends with The Orphan, agent of the Red Room, arriving to murder Janet “The Avenger” Van Dyne.
WHO NEEDS THAT HANK GUY ANYWAY?
It’s quite a cliffhanger, and one that artist Kasia NIe pulls off flawlessly, giving Nadia the look of a hardened killer. Indeed, the art is excellent throughout, with special attention given to a sequence of a massive Kreature from Kosmos attacking the Brooklyn Bridge, only to be taken down by Janet and a tank of ammonia. The resourcefulness of both would-be Wasps is on display throughout the issue, with the clear message being that neither Wasp owes her entire life to the late Henry Pym. Given that it’s also the 30th Anniversary of Ant-Man, it’s something of an odd stance, but I like what it says about Janet, the best Avenger of them all. There are also lovely moments of character work, such as Jarvis threatening Tony Stark that he will “call Doctor Richards” if he doesn’t get a callback, or Janet’s discussions of how hard it is to corral a team with Hercules, Namor, and Doctor Druid. (Anybody who read Avengers in the mid-80s knows the truth of that sentiment.)
BOTTOM LINE: EXCITING AND WELL-DESIGNED
In short, Wasp #3 is a success, delivering the best issue of the series so far by focusing on our titular heroes’ strengths, giving Jarvis an important role, and letting Kasia Nie really go nuts on the facial expressions and detail, rounding out to 4 out of 5 stars overall. There’s clearly a lot to conclude in the next and final issue, but I’m certain that this creative team can pull it off, and I look forward to reading it.
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Imagining a world without Henry Pym goes very differently than expected, but neither Wasp realizes... until it's too late. Well-done.