Issue(s): Avengers #59
When that doesn't go over very well, he grabs the Wasp and flees to his Hornet's Nest Hideaway. Yellowjacket forces himself on the Wasp, kissing her, and then pushing her away, saying he's letting her go.
When the Avengers catch up with them, they found them outside of City Hall, and the Wasp announces that she's going to marry Yellowjacket.
The Wasp faints in every other panel this issue.
Yellowjacket's powers are electric stings shot from his hand, flight, and the ability to control these cute little bee-guys.
Cameos by J. Jonah Jameson and Spider-Man reacting to the arrival of Yellowjacket to the super-hero scene.
What's really going on here, of course, is that Henry Pym has completely flipped out. He feels so inadequate that he can't bring himself to ask Janet to marry him, so he invents a new personality for himself, one that is confident and powerful, and "kills" his old persona. I don't know if he is doing something to mentally control Janet (If he can control wasps, can he somehow influence her? Has he been doing something all along to influence her?) or if she actually can tell what's going on and is trying to help him because she loves him. Either way, in the end she decides that...
It's so bizarre and weirdly executed but it's a good underlying theme. I don't know if it's brilliant or terrible. Buscema's art is great, so that makes me lean towards brilliant.
Adding this scene for comparison to a minor swipe by Frank Giacoia in Avengers #73.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: For what it's worth, Yellowjacket's appearance in the Avengers Forever limited series takes place between this issue and Avengers #60.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Super Action #20
Posted by: David Banes | November 18, 2013 8:12 PM
You always gotta wonder - can Hank so disguise his voice that they don't know it's him? Jan at least seems to realize it. Couldn't the Vision at least recognize it?
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 27, 2015 10:03 AM
T'Challa SHOULD have recognized Hank- there's some debate about whether his senses are "peak human" or "superhuman" but either way it makes no sense for Jan to recognize Hank but not T'Challa. Earth's Mightiest Heroes II tries to retcon this into the others realizing it's Hank and playing along because they're worried about his sanity.
Posted by: Michael | January 27, 2015 10:31 AM
Yellowjacket is another of Roy Thomas's Golden Age homages. The Golden Age one appeared in comics from Charlton.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | November 10, 2015 11:00 AM
Hank Pym was okay as Ant-Man. I don't like him as Giant-Man or Goliath. He is worse as Yellowjacket.
Posted by: Steven | July 4, 2016 8:20 AM
In the seconds Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes miniseries, Joe Casey retcons events so that the Avengers realize that Yellowjacket is Hank Pym the instant he shows up. A psychiatrist at SHIELD ask the team to play along with his delusion that he's a completely different person who killed Pym because supposedly revealing the truth to him might cause him to become even more unbalanced. Yeah, it doesn't make much more sense than the original story by Roy Thomas, but Casey gives it his all.
In any case, despite the fact that Thomas is still very much writing in what I refer to as "San Lee Lite" mode, with the plots often being propelled along by the characters acting like idiots or seriously misunderstanding what's going on, this is still pretty good. I like Don Heck a lot more than fnord does, but I will agree that many of the Avengers issues he penciled were average and unremarkable. John Buscema coming onboard as penciler seems to really have inspired Roy Thomas to bring his A game. Throughout the late 1960s and early 70s, working with either Big John and his brother Sal, Thomas introduces a number of brand-new characters who went on to become central elements of the Avengers mythos: the modern-day Black Knight, the Grim Reaper, Ultron, the Vision, Yellowjacket, the Squadrons Sinister and Supreme, Arkon, the Zodiac, and so on.
Posted by: Ben Herman | August 27, 2016 1:34 PM
Casey's retcon is stupid as hell and destroys the dramatic impetus of the Thomas original. Boo, hiss!
Pym is probably capable of changing up his pitch and perhaps adding a slight accent (YJ seems to speak more "street" than stuffy ol' Hank Pym, as well) to confuse and fool the Avengers for a moment, with Vision having barely even met Hank and Clint seeing red over the alleged "murder". The Panther is a more difficult case, though, I agree.
As for Jan, she definitely knows it's Hank when she accepts, as Thomas explains in #60 (and as you note in your review of that issue). Although she probably has to take a few minutes between this issue and that to look up the law (as she notes she did) and be sure the marriage is valid, spouse's name (and sanity) be hanged.
Posted by: Dan Spector | August 28, 2016 8:02 PM
But Thomas's original story made no sense- why, as you mention, didn't Panther sense Hank was Yellowjacket? Why are marriages while crazy valid in the MU? Why can't the Avengers arrest Yellowjacket after he confesses to murder? Why aren't the Avengers angry at Jan for taking advantage of Hank's mental illness to get married?
Posted by: Michael | August 28, 2016 11:08 PM
To me it seems like Thomas is peddling shock in these stories without really trying to work out the contingencies beforehand. Then he tries to use outlandish contrivances to dig his way out after he's already committed to the story. Ultimately he can't make it work logically.
I had exactly the same reaction to the 60-plus pages he covered in the two part story spanning Avengers #56 & Avengers Annual #2. I'm thinking the Marvel method is maybe too unstructured for him (at this time in his development as a writer) and he needs more structure to support the kind of extended storylines he wants to write. When one writes a script, one has to work out all the details beforehand, and any corrections can go into the script before the artist ever sees it.
Here I assume Thomas is throwing a story idea to Buscema, letting Buscema do a lot of the plotting, and then probably pulling his hair out trying to work all the dialog and narrative he needs to explain his intricate storyline into the finished art. In Annual #2 he tries to wrap up everything in 4 pages of a 44 page story and it just doesn't work. It doesn't make sense, I don't think it ever made sense, and Thomas would have known that if he'd had to write a full script all at once. But he didn't, and it didn't.
Posted by: James Holt | October 9, 2016 5:05 PM
Another example of Spider-man being careless with his secrets there. Presumably, by this time, Jameson had already started siccing Spider slayers and Scorpions on him so perhaps giving away his origin to him isn't a good idea.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | April 12, 2018 4:59 PM
Well, it's not hard for me to believe that a man whose scientific achievements include shrinking/growing methods and the creation of artificial intelligence, might also be able to find a way to disguise himself from super-people whose abilities he knows well. His super-suit somehow scrambles the Vision's sensors, throws off the Panthe's senses, disguises his voice, etc.
Regarding the legality of the marriage, it might be valid because the Avengers seem to enjoy a special legal status that grants them special clearances and so on. Sort of like military justice works in the case of soldiers.
Posted by: Rick Lopez | July 20, 2018 1:01 AM
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