Comfort Food Comics Potluck is a regular column where I ask some of my favorite people to write about their special Comfort Food Comics.
Today’s column comes from Danielle, a burgeoning new writer and friend of mine who I always enjoy seeing takes and writing from and was delighted to see this piece submitted for my site. This comic is also a personal fave of mine and I really enjoyed everything Danielle had to say about it.
To start off, for much of my life I’d had no idea who Janet Van Dyne was, or even that she existed. I suppose that, like many people, my first exposure to the character came about discourtesy of Avengers #213, although mine was seeing it happen via a screencap. Over time and little by little I learned more about Janet Van Dyne and my appreciation of the character grew as such. Yet it was not until reading and rereading Unstoppable Wasp #7 where I shifted from “oh this character is cool” to “I love this character.”
Rereading it now, Jan’s opening narration of “. . .once you start doing it, it changes your life forever.” lets me know that I’m in for something special, even if it doesn’t seem apparent. Jan’s internal monologue that continues onward functions as a mini-biography which helps further to connect to the character and see why she is amazing. My favorite bit of narration is when Jan brings up misconceptions about her, particularly “the worst is that I’m some kind of team mom . . . I’ve never been the maternal type. I never had kids. I was always doing my own thing.” In this specific way, I saw myself in Janet Van Dyne because I’m not the maternal type either and kids is never a plan for me.
Each time I flip through the issue, I always pause when Jan begins to make phone calls and fly around. I read each phone call out loud and feel the unceasing sincerity in her voice as she works to make things better. I think perhaps this is truly where I came to love the character Janet Van Dyne. I couldn’t imagine many, if any, of the Avengers taking the time to do what Jan did here. I loved that the issue ended as it began: “Here’s the thing about being a super hero —- once you start doing it, it changes your life forever.”
It’s a special thing when you come across a piece of media that enables you to love a particular character and Unstoppable Wasp #7 worked out that way for me. Its ins and outs, Jan’s heroics and narration, and the deep understanding of Janet Van Dyne. I don’t know when I’ll ever get a chance to read an issue like this again.