This article contains spoilers.
We were teased early this year with news that we’d be meeting a new Wasp in the new run of the Avengers comic series. Today, that Wasp has been revealed, making her debut in All New, All Different Avengers #9, and her backstory is a complicated web tying together a good portion of the Ant-Man and Wasp legacy.
Making a dramatic entrance, a young woman wearing an updated Wasp costume busts into the new Avengers HQ, temporarily located in an airbase hangar. This doesn’t sit well with resident Jarvis, the resident butler. He angrily storms up to the new Wasp, demanding she reveal herself as a Janet Van Dyne imposter. Van Dyne, if you remember, was the previous Wasp.
What follows is the revelation that this new might not actually be opposed to that, considering she is Janet’s step-daughter.
Turns out, this Wasp is Nadia Pym, the daughter of Hank Pym and his first wife Maria Troyava. Resident Avengers fangirl Ms. Marvel begins filling in the blanks of the sudden revelation ,explaining how Maria was a Hungarian national Pym married years before meeting Janet. Unfortunately, Maria was kidnapped and murdered, but not before giving birth to Nadia.
Suddenly, Nadia is enveloped in a large portion of the Cold War mythos of the Avengers universe. She is taken in by Bucky Barnes’ The Winter Soldier (presumably while he is still working as a Soviet assassin) before starting a training regiment at the Red Room, the secret program that birthed spies like Black Widow. Turns out, though, that she demonstrated a keen aptitude for science, presumably through her parents genetics, and she’s forced to reverse engineer a black market version of the Pym Particle, the shrinking science behind the Ant-Man and Wasp suits. She successfully cracks the particle, using it to escape and find her birth father, which is what leads her to meet the Avengers today.
This is a big back story for such a sudden introduction, though it seems likely that Marvel is keen to push forward the Wasp as a main hero, given that she will soon be sharing the stage in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp, the surprise sequel to last year’’s Ant-Man starring Paul Rudd.
In Ant-Man, the Wasp was seen in a flashback to when Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym was still Ant-Man, along with his then wife who held the Wasp mantle. She died during a mission, and by the end of the film, Hank passes on the Wasp suit to his daughter, Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly). Many fans were upset that they did not see Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne character don the Wasp suit in the film, especially given the fact that she already knew how to control most of the powers associated with Ant-Man and Wasp suits.
Marvel is looking to remedy the character’s oversight as well as add more female presence in this movie by making Wasp a main character in the future Ant-Man film. We know that Lilly, Rudd, and Douglas will reprise their roles in returning director Peyton Reed’s sequel, but not much else is known about the film’s plot. Ant-Man and Wasp is currently slated for a 2018 release.