Of the Widow and the Wasp

It's officially 65 days until the movie hits local shores. That's just a little more than two months away and I have to fill that time up with this weekly blog about anything and everything Avengers.
For this week's edition, I wanna tackle these two Avenging ladies.
One is a founding member. The other is in the movie.

From Black Widow and the Marvel Girls
Both are insect-themed heroes created by the man himself: Stan Lee.
Both debuted during the opening salvo that heralded the age of Marvels.
Of course I can just as easily be describing Marvel's flagship character, but what I've come to realize recently is that these two ladies occupied a certain niche position that Marvel didn't define for their first few female characters like Susan Storm or Jean Grey. Rather, their roles in the grand scheme of things were originally set by DC, not necessarily for female characters, and that's what makes them interesting.

First let's look at the Wasp.

From United They Stand
Sure, just like the two previously mentioned ladies above, she's the token founding female of the Avengers, but prior to that she was Ant-man's partner - in more ways than one.
Sure, she debuted as a heroine, but not in the way that Marvel, at the time, placed them: As the doting, more powerful paramour of the leader in a team.

Figures from the Toy Biz original Avengers boxed set
Rather, she performed the role of sidekick, distaff counterpart, and even romantic interest - tropes roles that DC markedly defined with Robin, Batgirl/Supergirl, and Lois Lane.
And Janet Van Dyne had to be all that for Hank Pym.

Now let's look at the Black Widow.

From Earth's Mightiest Heroes
She's only the third female recruit to the Avengers' rank whose career started off as a villainess to Iron Man. It would be easy to make the Catwoman connection at this point, but it's her role as Hawkeye's recruiter that makes her a curious case.

From the upcoming movie
She was the alpha female (Again, a rare occurrence among Marvel ladies at the time) - a mysterious, non-powered but lethal one at that - who went after an enemy with superior weaponry and took in an orphan from a circus.
Sound familiar?
In this light, all the roles that the Wasp played for Ant-man fall on Hawkeye.

From Ultimate Avengers

As for the Scarlet Witch, well, her character development is very Marvel. Just like the Invisible Woman and Phoenix, she was the all-powerful token female member, beginning with the villainous Brotherhood, then with the second wave of Avengers along with Hawkeye and Captain America. In both instances, her twin brother Quicksilver was with her. He may not be the leader of either groups nor her paramour, but he still fits the role of overly protective male like a glove.

The first three lady Avengers!
Feel free to comment below.

For a related entry, please check out my post in my previous blog where I argue that the Invisible Woman is possibly Marvel's Wonder Woman.

1 comment:

  1. Well its just like in real life the males worry about their females. I mean the men are supposed to be the protectors even if woman can and are capable of taking care of themselves. Kinda like how mothers worry about their children more than man.
    Also being powerful isn't exclusive to females especially those above and you kinda have to have something to be with the avengers. Blackwidow started out as a villian so of course she had to be capable of fighting good to be a threat like all villians. Blackwidow isn't really a token character in the comics but I guess for the movie she is.