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Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Need Counseling


Jul 4, 2018

It's a special Ant-Man and the Wasp episode as Anthony & Dr. Issues examine HANK PYM! Our hosts discuss his multiple costumed identities (and invent a new one for him), and discuss his interactions with the other Avengers in light of the #MeToo movement. It's all here - Listen now!

SHOW NOTES:

  • Introduction
    • Explanation/apology for last week's Sentry episode
    • Discussion of Thanos Annual & new Sentry series
    • Plug for 2 Men and the Mouse podcast
  • Background (07:11)
    • Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby, and Dick Ayers in Tales to Astonish #27 (Jan. 1962)
    • Originally just Hank Pym, discovers/creates Pym particles, which allowed him to shrink in size
    • Studies ants & creates suit that allows him to communicate with them, calls himself Ant-Man
    • Reveals his identity to Janet van Dyne, socialite - gives her tiny wings with Pym particles and names her the Wasp - the two of them establish the Avengers with Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk
    • Tales to Astonish #49 - Nov. 1963 - creates Giant-Man identity, and begins dating Janet
    • Becomes Goliath in Avengers #28 (May 1966) upon his return to the Avengers
    • Creates Ultron (1968), who becomes one of Avengers' greatest foes
    • Becomes Yellowjacket (Avengers #59-60) after he suffers schizophrenia from chemicals, but recovers in time to marry Janet
    • Rejoins Avengers as Yellowjacket, but is kicked off team by Henry Peter Gyrich - comes back shortly thereafter
    • Sanctions Scott Lang as Ant-Man while he remains Yellowjacket
    • Begins to demonstrate mental breakdown - suspended from Avengers, he attempts a false flag operation with a robot
      • Janet discovers his plan, and he backhands her - how hard it was supposed to be is up for debate between Jim Shooter and Bob Hall
      • He is kicked off Avengers, and Janet divorces him
    • Jailed while stealing adamantium while under influence of Egghead, but later cleared once Egghead is killed by Hawkeye - decides to stick to Dr. Pym and do research with West Coast Avengers
    • Returns to Avengers as Giant-Man, helps team defeat Ultron again
    • Avengers Forever - In order to fight Immortus, Rick Jones calls upon past Yellowjacket and current Giant-Man - Yellowjacket betrays team to Immortus, but overcome by guilt and rejoins team to side with heroes
    • Split personality between Pym and Yellowjacket, until restored by Wasp
    • "Civil War"/"Secret Invasion" - Yellowjacket is pro-registration during Civil War, until it was revealed he was actually Skrull imposter named Criti Noll
      • Takes on Wasp persona after Janet killed by Skrulls
    • Creates Avengers Academy to train young powered individuals
    • Joins Secret Avengers as Giant-Man
    • "Age of Ultron" - Past Pym makes change to Ultron to allow current team to defeat him
    • Rage of Ultron - Merges with Ultron during attack
    • Rejoins Avengers as Pym/Tron, but team finds out he's being controlled by Ultron & throws him into the sun
    • Encounters team again during "Secret Empire", where he tries to reconcile Hydra Cap and A.I. Tony, but Tony says Avengers can't work as family because Hank hit Janet
    • Also turns out he has a daughter with first wife Maria - Nadia was raised in Red Room, and later becomes Wasp after being mentored by Janet
  • Issues (32:24)
    • Mental instability
      • First mental breakdown after first wife Maria Trovya was murdered
      • Suffered numerous breakdowns, often because Ultron went rogue
    • Bipolar disorder - dramatic version, cycles between manic and depressive over course of days
    • Feelings of inadequacy as compared to other heroes
    • Suicidal - talked out of it by Firebird during WCA run
    • Can never live down the slap - how do you handle Hank in midst of #MeToo movement
  • Treatment (55:45)
    • In-universe - possible group therapy with Avengers to discuss slap, if they're willing
    • Out-of-universe - address present situations, and work from there
  • Skit (67:52)
  • Ending

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