She's Alive, Dammit! The Unstoppable Wasp #1 Review

Introduced in Mark Waid's ANAD Avengers, Nadia Pym a.k.a. the all-new Wasp is Marvel's new teen heroine. She's also another case of the publisher introducing a legacy character, while keeping the one originally associated with the name around. In this case, the original is still actively using the name, as Janet Van Dyne, veteran superhero and founding Avenger, has not (contrary to what you might think given her recent low profile) retired or died. Still, Jeremy Whitley and Elsa Charretier's opening issue proves there is space for the new teenage Wasp in the Marvel universe.

(Minor spoilers beyond this point.)

"Happy scientist" is such a perfect opposite to "mad scientist," I'm shocked no one thought of it before.

While Nadia's origin story was first told in All-New, All-Different Avengers, the comic wisely chooses to repeat it for newcomers' sake. Our newest size-changing heroine is the daughter of original Ant-Man Hank Pym and Maria Trovaya, his first wife. The two were happily married for an incredibly short time, as the pregnant Maria was kidnapped by villains associated with the Red Room - the Soviet project that Black Widow originated from. Unlike Natasha Romanoff, Nadia was assigned to the project's research division where she was tasked to study and reproduce Western scientific developments. She manage to recreate her father's size-changing invention and escaped the Red Room to find Hank - only to discover he died heroically.

(Well, not quite, but she doesn't know that yet.)

I feel you, Bobbi. Getting your comic cancelled and your writer harassed off Twitter must be tough.
Nadia's upbringing led to her having curious blindspots. She knows every scientific development in history, but she knows little of the outside world, especially the culture. Similarly, she can't tell most of the superheroes apart (having to rely on her former Avenger friend, Ms. Marvel, and her extensive knowledge), but she knows every major scientist. For instance, she has no idea who Mockingbird is, but knows Barbara Morse, biologist and "lady science adventure," perfectly well.

Despite all that, similarly to another recent female character Kimmy Schmidt, Nadia remains positive, upbeat and (heh) unstoppable in her desire to make the world a better place. Whitley's skilled, joyful writings helps sell that, showing her navigate modern New York with ease, making friends everywhere she goes. He makes her seem like Marvel's obvious answer to DC's Harley Quinn and Starfire  a girl burned with tragic backstory who nonetheless remains positive and peppy.

Boy, those Captain America: Civil War references are piling up, aren't they?

As does the art. While Elsa Charretier's main cover is debatable (as upbeat as it looks, Nadia' pose is pretty impossible, anatomically speaking), her work on the interiors is positively energetic. Which is to be expected if you're familiar with her on the pre-Rebirth Harley Quinn and Starfire. The creative paneling makes conversations and flashbacks as enjoyable as the issues obligatory giant robot fight.

The first issue is a fun introduction to a new character. Nadia is as enjoyable as she is driven, and the issue is sure to leave you completely abuzz.

(Don't judge me, you'd write that too.)

The Unstoppable Wasp #1 is written by Jeremy Whitley and drawn by Elsa Charretier and Megan Wilson. You can it at your local comic shop or on comiXology.

Dominik Zine is a nerdy demisexual lad from northeastern Poland and is generally found in a comfy chair with a book in hand.