The Wasp series started off with Janet and Nadia Van Dyne’s origins colliding as we learned at the end of the first issue that the Creature From Kosmos is what ties them together. This revelation does put a lot into question about whether this will change what we know about Janet and Nadia. Along with that, it appears we are finally going to get more about what happened to Maria Trovaya, Hank Pym’s first wife and mother of Nadia, as that has never been really explained. Let’s find out with Wasp #2.
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Kasia Nie
Colorist: KJ Diaz
Letterer: Cory Petit
After only getting the name of WHISPER out of Whirlwind, Nadia reveals to Janet that she actually investigated the WHISPER organization after they met. Nadia says she found out the WHISPER organization previously worked for The Maker as a mask used by their true leader who has been hiding in clear sight.
When Janet takes a look at Nadia’s information, she recognizes the specific signal that she found is from the Creature From Kosmos responsible for killing her father. With Nadia’s suggestion, Janet calls Edwin Jarvis to assemble any available Avenger for backup.
When they arrive at the location where the signal Nadia was tracking the Wasps are hit by a surprise attack from Fantasma, who has created an army of Wasp androids using Janet’s various costumes. Janet is knocked out in the attack.
Nadia uses a combination of her combat skills and suit tech to defeat most of the Wasp androids. When Janet regains consciousness, she and Nadia defeat Fantasma.
Janet and Nadia go into the building they found and reach a hidden room. When they open the door Janet and Nadia are vaporized by the Creature From Kosmos, leaving only their costumes behind. End of issue.
Issues like Wasp #2 are a reminder of how little development Janet Van Dyne has received even though she is a founding member of the Avengers. That shows in how Al Ewing and Kasia Nie work together integrating both Janet and Nadia’s backstories together with info dumps in the first half of the issue.
Most of the time having this type of information dumps with characters narrating the story rather than letting the story develop hinder a comic book’s momentum. That is not the case with Wasp #2. This is where Ewing and Nie as a creative team show their chemistry as they provide the reader with a lot of key information. It works to the strength of both as Ewing lays out the mythology that is being worked with in Wasp. Nie draws a splash page that does a great job of showing the history of WHISPER to complement the explanation Nadia is giving.
This in turn puts over both Janet and Nadia’s family dynamics. They are both there to support one another. When it seems that one of them is about to go out on their own the other is there to bring them down to Earth. We see that with Janet calming Nadia down to talk through what she discovered with WHISPER. Then when Janet recognizes the information as tying back to the Creature From Kosmo it is Nadia who stops Janet from going alone and reminds her they have backup they can call in their Avengers allies. It all works as a good balance to show how Janet and Nadia’s mentor-protégé relationship is rooted in them being family.
Where the strength of Wasp #2 is Janet and Nadia’s relationship the threat they face in the form of Fantasma is more of a mixed bag. On the positive side, it did give Wasp #2 a chance to have some action after the first half was heavy on exposition. This in particular put over how Nadia’s powers are superpowered based like Janet’s. In the process, we saw Nadia’s Red Room training being what was needed to defeat the boss character Fantasma.
Establishing this for readers who don’t know Janet and Nadia well works well into how things ended in Wasp #2. Given that Creature From Kosmos vaporized both Wasp we will likely see them somewhere else without their superhero suits’ weapons help. That means we will see Janet using her superpowers with Nadia relying more on her combat prowess since she doesn’t have her suit wherever they ended up.
On the negative side, the appearance of Fantasma was just a bit too random. Ewing did not do a good job of tying Fantasma into what Creature From Kosmo is doing. At least with Whirlwind, we saw the character mentioned being used by WHISPER. Here Fantasma just randomly shows up to a mid-dungeon boss that is easily defeated. This in turn makes the villain nothing more than a throwaway grunt you never worry about the Wasps overcoming.
That said, Kasia Nie’s artwork is what saves Fantasma’s appearance in Wasp #2. Fantasma using the different costumes Janet has worn as Wasp was a nice touch to get the villain to play mind games with our heroes. Nadia was also showcased well with how she combined her fighting skills with her suit’s abilities.
Wasp #2 worked well to progress the story forward. We got more details on the greater plot involving the WHISPER organization and Creature From Kosmos. In the process, we get even more hints at how Janet and Nadia Van Dyne are closer tied together than either knew. The ending worked well to hook the reader in to find out what will happen next.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10