The Unstoppable Wasp Review

 

Now, I will preface this by saying that I’ve been a fan of Jeremy Whitley for several years. I first discovered him, like many fans, when I picked up Princeless and fell in love with it. Similarly, I am also a fan of Elsa Charretier whose art I first saw at a convention where she had a beautiful Catwoman piece of art that caught my eye. Her art also caught my eye when Infinite Loop came into our shop. We here at Out of the Fridge were fortunate enough to have Whitley agree to an interview via skype that you can listen to here. So all that being said, I feel it’s fair to tell you, dear reader, that I am mildly biased in this piece. I went into this feeling like I would love this book since I loved the team. So I’ll go ahead and give you a hint: I loved this book.

Now that that’s out of the way, let us get into the book, shall we?

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The Unstoppable Wasp

The Unstoppable Wasp picks up after our titular character Nadia Pym’s introduction in All-New All-Different Avengers . Now, Nadia is a brand new character brought about by digging up some ancient Marvel history. I won’t tell you the juicy whole story here but the important part is that she is the long lost daughter of Hank Pym, the first Ant-Man. She been locked away in the Red Room her entire life.

Because of her circumstances, she is new to everything. She’s never experienced the outside world which gives Whitley a vehicle to introduce readers to the Marvel Universe as Nadia is introduced to them. As we learn about her we also learn about the people around her. Something that will undoubtedly be an excellent way to introduce younger readers or fans coming to comics from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the rest of what the universe has to offer.

Nadia is a delight! She is excited by everything and everyone. She loves learning whether it be scientific or what item is best at a local bakery or even what a smoothie is. Her love and excitement is infectious. On top of her enormous heart she is a genius like her father. Her scientific backgrounds is the perfect instrument talk about women in the STEM fields. Women are, of course, already in these fields but we often hear about low numbers of women going into STEM jobs so it’s always a good move to have a character that would encourage young girls to pursue any interest they may have in such a field. Whitley does a fabulous job in this first issue of discussing issues of sexism in the scientific fields while simultaneously bringing up some of the leftover sexist issues with the Marvel Universe itself. Issues arise involving women being ignored in their field in favor of men (Hank Pym, Bruce Banner, and Tony Stark are dropped as examples).

We meet a female villain who Nadia recognizes from her scientific articles who seems to feel she was slighted by the afore mentioned superhero scientists.  Nadia also doesn’t immediately recognize Bobbi Morse aka Mockingbird because, as it turns out, she knows Bobbi from reading about Hank Pym’s works where she is named as Barbara Morse. Nadia gushes about Bobbi’s own scientific work calling her “lady adventure scientist”. This leads to a slightly tearful response from Bobbi of “They usually just remember that I used to be married to Hawkeye…”

Whitley is able to point out these sexist aspects of our society very effortlessly without making the book ABOUT that. It’s mostly just about Nadia and how she sees the world-but how she sees the world is unaffected by our societal issues. She spent so long doing science alone that she was never exposed to sexist ideas until she saved herself from the Red Room.

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The Unstoppable Wasp #1 art by Elsa Charretier

Elsa Charretier’s art is delightful. I’ve always compared her art stylistically to Darwyn Cooke-with the utmost love. Megan Wilson is on the colors which fit Charretier’s art perfectly for this book. They’re bright but don’t feel childish or “girly”. The art still feels like a superhero book which is a complaint I’ve had against many of Marvel’s other female lead books-to me, they felt as though Marvel thought they had to make the art cutesy in order to sell the book to women. While the art is on the cute side it fits very well for a book about a teenage girl without feeling like it’s talking down to the reader.

Unstoppable Wasp is clearly a great book for young women but it’s enjoyable for any age and I would encourage most anyone to pick it up. It’s smart, funny and full of heart-just like Nadia Pym: The Unstoppable Wasp!

 

 

 

written by Kelly Okler with Alison Poppy

 

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