Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Hope Stings Eternal

Say, we all like Hope Pym, don't we? Fresh from her scene-stealing roles in last summer's "big" blockbuster Ant-Man and soon to be co-spotlighting in the sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp, America fell in love with the spunky, sarcastic daughter of grizzled Hank Pym who eventually wound up kissin' Scott Lang for no apparent reason at all, but what the heck, made for a happy Hollywood ending, yay! As aptly played by the talented and photogenic Evangeline Lilly, Hope Pym's been a character everybody can't wait to see more of, not only on the movie screen, but on the comics page! Who doesn't want to see Hope Pym in the comic books? You can't wait for that, right? Well, didja know she's already appeared in Marvel Comics? And didja know she's kind of a rhymes with witch? In fact, let's take a look at just how much you don't want Hope Pym to appear in Marvel comic books! You can pretty much tell from panel one, specifically using the words "idiots" "mockery" and "prime operatives." You know she's up to no good! (Nice shoes, though.)


Panels from A-Next #10 (July 1999), script by Tom DeFalco, plot and pencils by Ron Frenz, inks by Al Milgrom, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Jim Novak

And by the time we see her (A-)next, she's already got a vicious but stylish costume and a gang of supervillains with a snappy name ready to destroy the all-new, all-different Kidvengers! And also...some guy in a plaid shirt...I don't know how he got in there.

Two-page splash from A=Next #12 (September 1999); script by Tom DeFalco, plot and pencils by Ron Frenz, inks by Al Milgrom, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Jim Novak
(Click picture to Pym-size)

Well, maybe she's just a misguided, misunderstood young soul who's understandably if misdirectedly upset about the death of her Ant-Dad, and she really doesn't mean anybody any harm at all...


Still, deep inside that tiny, tiny Pym-shrunken heart, Hope (a.k.a. the Red Queen) surely has some love for her twin brother Hank Pym Jr., saddled with the totally amazingly bizarre superhero name "Big Man." What, was "Strong Guy" already taken? oh wait. Yes, it was.


Perhaps she'll be able to bond with Cassie Lang, the daughter of another Ant-Man, and they could go to a spa and have a laugh together and


OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD HOPE


Well, that knocked some sense into her, as well as the dislocated vertebrae and the three broken ribs. I'm sure she'll be perfectly sane and reasonable, ready to be on the side of the angels by the time she next appears in another one of Tom DeFalco's Marvel: The Next Generation productions:


Panels from American Dream #1 (July 2008), script by Tom DeFalco, pencils by Todd Nauck, inks by Scott Koblish, colors by Rob Ro, letters by Dave Sharpe

Say, Hope: you got any anger management issues?




Panels from American Dream #2 (top and middle) and #5 (bottom) (July and September 1998), script by Tom DeFalco, pencils by Todd Nauck, inks by Scott Koblish, colors by Rob Ro, letters by Dave Sharpe

Perhaps that's why it's so satisfying to see her beaten down to the floor like a chump:


I must not tell lies: that's actually the Hope Pym of Earth-982, the MC2 universe populated by Spider-Girl, J2 (son of the Juggernaut), Wild Thing (daughter of Wolverine and Elektra), um...Fuzzy Face, the junior clone of the Beast, Kid Hulk, Travel Iron Man, and...I dunno, the Thing's adopted kid Rocky, as far as I know. So she's not the "canonical" Hope of Earth-616, Earth-616.8, or even the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Earth-199999, better known as the year that massive nuclear explosion...cause: human error! made the Moon tear out of Earth orbit and hurl into outer space...doomed to travel forever through hostile environments. Whoops, no, I've made another one of my silly mistakes...that's Space 1999.

So, since a kind and gentle if acerbic and witty Hope Pym debuted in 2015 up on the movie screen in a bajillion-dollar moneymaking flick, you'd assume you'd pretty much seen the end of the oh-so-subtle portrayal as Hope, BEE-villain the Red Queen. Right, 2015?


Panels from Spider-Island (2015 Secret War limited series) #4 (November 2015); plot and script by Tom DeFalco, plot and pencils by Ron Frenz, inks by Sal Busceme, colors by Andrew Crossley, letters by Clayton Cowles

FOR PETE'S SAKE HOPE

So: Hope Pym. A nasty piece of work, portrayed with all the three dimensions of an unfolded piece of origami and the subtlety of the Hulk getting into Walmart on Black Friday. You can love her or hate her, but let's be honest, you really don't wanna read any more comic books about her.


Panel from American Dream #4 (August 2008), script by Tom DeFalco, pencils by Todd Nauck, inks by Scott Koblish, colors by Rob Ro, letters by Dave Sharpe

1 comment:

Blam said...

Unless we're in for a very surprising Marvel flick, I doubt Hope Pym will be doing any "potlighting"... 8^)