Monday, August 24, 2015


Stan Lee presents: SPIDEY and the YELLOWJACKET -- together!

Writer: Chris Claremont | Artist: John Byrne | Inker/Colorist: Dave Hunt
Letterer: Bruce Patterson | Editor: Archie Goodwin

The Plot: Web-swinging home from dinner at his Aunt May’s house, Spider-Man is ambushed by a mystery assailant with fire and ice powers. Far above the city, Hank and Jan Pym -- Yellowjacket and the Wasp of the Avengers -- are preparing for a romantic evening in their penthouse apartment when Hank spots the wall-crawler falling to his doom. Yellowjacket saves Spider-Man and he comes to in the apartment.

As Spider-Man works to piece together the identity of his assailant, the villain assaults the penthouse, revealing himself as Equinox. Spider-Man, Yellowjacket, and Wasp battle Equinox out of the apartment and down into the city, where Equinox apparently kills Yellowjacket by way of a tanker truck explosion.

Continuity Notes: In an unconscious haze following Equinox’s first attack, Spider-Man dreams about his late girlfriend, Gwen Stacy.

Equinox first appeared in MARVEL TEAM-UP #23, wherein he was defeated by Iceman and the Human Torch.
Yellowjacket offers to help Spider-Man against Equinox as repayment for the web-slinger helping him rescue the son of Doctor Curt Connors in MARVEL FEATURE #4.

During the fight, Yellowjacket reveals that he’s made some upgrades to his costume.

Equinox is approached by a woman named Margay Sorenson, who carries a hi-tech blaster and announces herself as Equinox’s mother, telling Spider-Man and the Wasp that she may have a cure for his condition. Spider-Man promptly disregards her since the cure is not definitive.

My Thoughts: Honestly, it's hard for a Claremont/Byrne collaboration of this vintage to do any wrong. Even when the story is basically a nonstop fight scene and the logic is a little iffy -- Spider-Man makes the huge jump to assume that Equinox is after him simply because he tipped the Human Torch off to Equinox’s plans back in issue 23 -- the story is well-written and beautifully drawn such that these lapses aren't a big deal at all.

I have to say, though, that I've never quite “gotten” the Wasp. She was young when she first appeared, something like eighteen years old. At this point she's probably in her early twenties. Byrne certainly tries to sell her sex appeal when she comes on to her husband in the story’s early pages. But for me, the Wasp has always read as a much older character. Possibly because I first encountered her in SECRET WARS as the Avengers’ leader or, more likely, because of her short hairstyles, which I tend to associate with older women in comics. But whatever the reason, the Wasp has never struck me as a “sexy” character, but rather as a mature, motherly type in the vein of Sue Storm. Not that I have any particular complaints about anyone’s handling of the character, mind you. I simply think she usually reads much older than intended.

But! On with the story. Yellowjacket’s dead and the Wasp has vowed bloody vengeance. Claremont and Byrne are off to a fine start together on MARVEL TEAM-UP.


  1. ...Yellowjacket and the Wasp of the Avengers -- are preparing for a romantic evening in their penthouse apartment when Hank spots the wall-crawler falling to his doom.

    Seriously, I love comics. Just the image of a two people sitting down to a romantic dinner, only to have Spider-Man suddenly appear outside their window, falling to his death, prompting them to action. Great stuff.

    As for the Wasp, I too have always read her as probably being older than she is actually is meant to be (probably because my first experience with her was Stern's AVENGERS), but that never stopped me from finding her to be an attractive character. There's an issue of AVENGERS guest-starring Paladin just prior to "Under Siege", in which Wasp is vacationing somewhere tropical for which Teen Teebore had some fondness. :)

    1. There was an issue of Peter David's SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN where Spidey teamed up with Wasp and Paladin (with whom I think the Wasp had a little thing at some point or another?), and at one point Wasp is accosted in her civilian clothes, so she shrinks and is left to fight in her underwear. So I know what you mean about her having sex appeal. I just think she generally translates to the printed page as a woman in her forties rather than her twenties. I can't really explain why.


  2. Janet turns 23 in Avengers #43, inheriting the fortune left by her deceased father, according to my notes for an Ant-Man article I wrote last year. I don’t see any other ages jumping out at me from said notes but it’s pretty clear in her early appearances that she’s much younger than Hank and indeed simply young, period. Hank calls her “little more than a child” and “only a child” in her debut. I refer in the article to her being a teenager when they met, which I must have gotten explicitly from the stories or at worst derived contextually from an on-page birthday. All that being said, though, Janet always seemed older to me as well, maybe just because of what she’d been through and how by this era she could be written as a confident, married female superhero who still had sex appeal rather than the orphaned ingenue debutante pining for her partner.

    1. Yeah, I definitely like the Wasp as a mature and level-headed leader. I just can't figure out why I read her as so much older than she is. I think it just has to be the hair.