The Wasp (Janet van Dyne)

The Religious Affiliation of
The Wasp
Janet van Dyne

Religion: Dutch Reformed (nominal); atheist CBR Scale: U

Name: The Wasp

Alter Ego: Janet van Dyne

Other Names: Janet Pym; Giant-Woman; Pixie; Faery Queen

Classification: hero hero  

Publisher(s): Marvel

First Appearance: Tales to Astonish (vol. 1) #44 (June 1963): "The Creature from Kosmos!"

Creators: Stan Lee, Ernie Hart (as H.E. Huntley), Jack Kirby, Don Heck

Super? (Has Super Powers/Special Abilities/Technology): Yes

Number of Appearances: 1,339

   Comic Book Appearances: 1,322

   TV, Film Appearances: 17

Teams/Affiliations: Lady Liberators; The Avengers; The Ultimates

Employer: Van Dyne Industries

Occupation: business owner, fashion designer, socialite

Birth Place: Cresskill, New Jersey, USA

Race: white

Gender: female


BELOW: The Wasp: "Thank Heavens": The Wasp is not portrayed as particularly religious, but she appears to have at least some religious sensibility. When she finds herself alive rather than tramples because of a fortuitous gap in the ground, she spontaneously thinks "Thank Heavens the ground here is so uneven!" The phrase "Thank Heavens" or "Thank Heaven" is often used by religiously observant people as an intentional way to avoid taking the Lord's name in vain (one of the Ten Commandments). Is this why the Wasp uses this phrase? Possibly. But this may be more of a linguistic expression borne of a religious background or upbringing rather than a conscious, intentional expression of gratitude to the Divine.

The Wasp: Thank Heavens

Source: The Avengers (vol. 1) #3 (Jan. 1964): "The Avengers Meet... Sub-Mariner!", pg. 21, panels 4-5. Written by Stan Lee. Art by Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman. See also: gratitude to God; Heaven; The Wasp (Janet van Dyne)

BELOW: The Wasp senses an evil presence: The Wasp (Janet Van Dyne) here demonstrates an unusual ability sometimes attributed to her in early Marvel stories but later forgotten: the ability to sense evil. In this scene, the Wasp is sensing the evil Space Phantom, who has transformed himself into a wasp in order to escape detection from the Avengers. Comic book writers with a more scientific outlook, such as Mark Gruenwald, have made the point that "evil" is an abstract religious concept and doesn't really have a scientifically discernible physical manifestation, despite how it is sometimes portrayed in comics. Thus, "sensing evil" would be a purely spiritual (or at least mystical ability). Yet the Wasp's powers were given to her by purely scientific means by Hank Pym, a very secular-minded scientist. Wasp's ability to sense "evil" is particularly interesting because throughout her career as a super-hero, she herself has largely been a secular character.

The Wasp senses an evil presence

Source: The Avengers (vol. 1) #2 (Nov. 1963): "The Avengers Battle... the Space Phantom", pg. 14, panels 4-5. Written by Stan Lee. Art by Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman. See also: evil; The Wasp (Janet van Dyne); The Space Phantom

BELOW: Tony Stark (Iron Man) contemplates the dark "secrets" of his fellow Ultimates:

Then again it wasn't like Banner was the only one whose character could be considered . . . murky. They all had secrets... And Janet, ah, Janet. Darling, Tony thought, nobody likes a mutant. Yet here you are.

Source: The Ultimates: Against All Enemies (2007), pg. 7. Written by Alex Irvine. See also: prejudice; anti-mutant; The Wasp (Janet van Dyne)

BELOW: Wasp thinks about Captain America's morally conservative views about women's clothing:

Something had been on his mind, distracting him in the middle of sentences. He hadn't even commented on her dress, which she'd chosen specifically to provoke him because he was still such a fuddy-duddy about women's clothing.

Source: The Ultimates: Against All Enemies (2007), pg. 122. Written by Alex Irvine. See also: modesty in apparel; Captain America (Steve Rogers); The Wasp (Janet van Dyne)

BELOW: The Wasp's ability to sense evil ascribed to "half female intuition, half insect super-sense": The Wasp's ability to sense "evil" is not explicitly identified as a "spiritual" or "religious" ability (although "evil" is a religious/spiritual concept). Rather , it is said to be "half female intuition, half insect super-sense." Early Marvel writers often spoke of "female intuition" as a mysterious, almost mystical sixth sense.

The Wasp's ability to sense evil ascribed to half female intuition, half insect super-sense

Source: The Avengers (vol. 1) #2 (Nov. 1963): "The Avengers Battle... the Space Phantom", pg. 15, panel 1. Written by Stan Lee. Art by Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman. See also: intution; The Wasp (Janet van Dyne); The Space Phantom

The Wasp (Janet van Dyne) The Wasp (Janet van Dyne) The Wasp (Janet van Dyne)


From: "Atheist representation on the Avengers" forum discussion, started 20 June 2001 on the Comic Boards website (; viewed 24 May 2007):

Posted by Jae on Wednesday, June 20 2001 at 11:07:15 GMT

Atheist representation on the Avengers

The teams pretty well rounded now, but are there any atheistic members?...


Posted by Kevin Phillips on Wednesday, June 20 2001 at 14:04:31 GMT

In the Last Avengers Story, the Wasp said she didn't believe in God.


Posted by Jae on Wednesday, June 20 2001 at 13:41:05 GMT

...Hey, does anyone think Jan is a hedonist?

This character is in the following 317 stories which have been indexed by this website:
Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel #1 (Jan. 2009): "Part One"
Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #40 (Nov. 1986): "Love" (cover & 1-panel cameo)
The Amazing Spider-Man
Avengers / Thunderbolts
The Avengers
Avengers Academy #1 (Aug. 2010): "Permanent Record" (photo/picture/video)
The Avengers Annual
Avengers Assemble (vol. 1) #1 (July 2010)
Avengers Finale #1 (Jan. 2005)
Avengers West Coast Annual
Avengers: A Marvel Treasury
Avengers: Deathtrap, The Vault (Sep. 1991): "Deathtrap, the Vault"
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Avengers: The Initiative #1 (June 2007): "Happy Accidents"
Avengers: The Ultron Imperative #1 (Nov. 2001): "The Ultron Imperative"
Black Goliath #1 (Feb. 1976): "Black Goliath"
Captain America & the Korvac Saga #1 (Feb. 2011): "Strange Days" (dream)
Captain America
Captain America 70th Anniversary Magazine
Captain America and the Falcon (vol. 1) #7 (Nov. 2004): "Lost in Translation" (hallucination)
Captain America: Man Out of Time #5 (May 2011): "Part 5"
Captain America: Reborn
Captain America: The Legend #1 (Sep. 1996)
Civil War: Battle Damage Report #1 (Mar. 2007)
Cloak and Dagger (vol. 2) #9 (Nov. 1986): "The Lady and the Unicorn" (only on cover)
Contest of Champions II
Daredevil (vol. 1) #236 (Nov. 1986): "American Dreamer" (only on cover)
The Defenders
Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #1 (Nov. 1988): "Love is the Spell. The Spell is Death!" (cameo)
Fantastic Four: The World's Greatest Comics Magazine! #11 (Dec. 2001): "Doom Triumphant!"
Giant-Size Avengers
Giant-Size Defenders #4 (Apr. 1975): "Too Cold a Night For Dying!"
GLA #2 (July 2005): "Dismembership Drive" (only on cover)
Heroes for Hire (vol. 1) #1 (July 1997): "Heroes and Villains" (1-panel cameo)
Hulk Smash Avengers
The Incredible Hulk (vol. 2) #154 (Aug. 1972): "Hell is a Very Small Hulk!"
Iron Man & Captain America Annual 1998 (Dec. 1998): "Life & Liberty"
Iron Man
The Irredeemable Ant-Man #7 (June 2007): "Uninvited"
Journey Into Mystery (vol. 1) #116 (May 1965): "The Trial of the Gods!"
Lunatik #1 (Dec. 1995)
Marvel Age Annual #1 (Jan. 1985)
Marvel Comics Presents
Marvel Double-Shot #2 (Feb. 2003): "The Roots of All Evil"
Marvel Fanfare (vol. 1) #57 (June 1991): "A Norman Breyfogle Portfolio"
Marvel Feature
Marvel Graphic Novel #16 (Sep. 1985): "The Aladdin Effect"
Marvel Holiday Special 2004 #1 (Jan. 2005): "Jonah's Holiday Carol"
Marvel Knights Spider-Man
Marvel Super-Hero Contest of Champions
Marvel Super-Heroes
Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars
Marvel Team-Up
Marvel Two-in-One
Marvel Universe: Millennial Visions
Marvel Universe: The End
Marvel: Heroes & Legends '97 (Oct. 1997): "Avembers Assemble!"
The Marvels Project #1 (Oct. 2009) (1-panel cameo)
Maximum Security
The Mighty Avengers
Ms. Marvel (vol. 2) #14 (June 2007): "The Deal: Part 2" (cameo)
Mythos: Captain America #1 (Aug. 2008)
The New Avengers
The New Avengers 100 Project (May 2011)
The New Mutants (vol. 1) #45 (Nov. 1986): "We Were Only Foolin'" (only on cover)
Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #7 (Sep. 2006) (mentioned)
Omega the Unknown Classic
The Order
The Rampaging Hulk (vol. 1) #8 (Apr. 1978): "Gallery of Villains"
Secret Wars II
Sleepwalker #3 (Aug. 1991): "Theater of Madness!" (dream)
Solo Avengers
Spider-Boy Team-Up #1 (June 1997): "Too Many Heroes -- Too Little Time" (character based on)
Super-Villain Team-Up #14 (Oct. 1977): "A World For the Winning!"
Tales of Suspense
Tales to Astonish
The Thing (vol. 2) #8 (Aug. 2006): "Last Hand"
Thunderbolts: Life Sentences #1 (July 2001): "Life Sentences"
Ultimate Captain America Annual #1 (Dec. 2008): "Training Day"
The Ultimates: Against All Enemies (2007)
Ultraforce / Avengers #1 (Fall 1995): "Becoming More Like God"
Unlimited Access #4 (Mar. 1998): "Combined Forces" (character based on)
Untold Tales of Spider-Man
The West Coast Avengers (vol. 2) #1 (Oct. 1985): "Teammates!"
Wonder Man #1 (Mar. 1986)
The X-Men
X-Treme X-Men #11 (May 2002): "Beachhead!" (cameo)
Young Avengers

Suggested links for further research about this character and the character's religious affiliation: