With the original Avengers team largely departing the MCU, the team will need a new leader in Avengers 5 and the perfect hero would fix past MCU mistakes. Marvel’s premiere super-team is in need of leadership and the best candidate has been there, largely wasted since Phase 2. Phase 4 of the MCU marked the end of an era. Now the MCU is moving in new directions, exploring new characters and new ideas such as a teased MCU Secret Wars storyline. However, there are still several established characters and ideas that have not quite gotten their proper due, either because they were overshadowed by the Avengers or simply introduced to the universe too late to really be involved much in events. One of those characters is Hope van Dyne, aka The Wasp.
Introduced in 2015’s Ant-Man, Hope van Dyne is the daughter of Henry Pym and Janet van Dyne. When the decision came down to adapting the Avengers property, Ant-Man was left off the table due to a longstanding controversy surrounding the character that took root in the early 1980s. Because of that decision, the Wasp was also left out of 2012’s Avengers. However, the Wasp is a staple of the Marvel Universe in the comics and the Avengers in particular.
The Wasp has unfortunately been wasted in the MCU due to the timing of her introduction, but this could still be salvaged by not only making Wasp a proper Avenger, but the eventual leader of the Avengers. It would certainly be consistent with the Wasp’s role in the comics. Furthermore, it could be done in a natural way that directly expands on the arc she’s already had throughout the Ant-Man movies.
Wasp’s History With The Avengers In Marvel Comics
The Wasp is a character with a long and illustrious history among the Avengers. Originally the partner to Hank Pym’s Ant-Man, Janet van Dyne was one of the founding members of Marvel’s flagship superhero team and was the one to come up with the group’s name. She’s served on the roster for numerous iterations of the Avengers. Traditionally, the Wasp was portrayed as jubilant and witty, but also tough and prone to bold acts of selfless heroism. So it seemed a natural progression for the character to eventually mature into her place among Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, becoming the first female leader of the team in 1982. Wasp’s time as the leader of the Avengers, regardless of the era, was always marked by roster expansion and a greater female presence on the team, recruiting heroes such as the She-Hulk in the ’80s, and later overseeing the first time in Avengers history that the roster would have more women on it than men.
The MCU’s Hope van Dyne, however, is a different story. The character does not exist in the mainline Earth-616 universe of the comics at all. The character in the MCU is vaguely based on Hope Pym’s Wasp, a character in Marvel’s MC2 Universe, which is essentially a future timeline, telling the tale of the next generation of superheroes, such as Mayday Parker / Spider-Girl. While Hope is heroic in the films, her comic book counterpart is a villainess and founding member of the anti-Avengers team, the Revengers. Hardly anything is taken from this iteration of the character aside from her given name and her desire to follow in her mother’s footsteps, albeit in a far less warped capacity.
The MCU Has Wasted Wasp So Far
Evangeline Lily’s Wasp has unfortunately been woefully underutilized in the MCU to this point, but Avengers 5 could rectify that. She’s functionally a completely new and original character, as necessitated by how Marvel chose to adapt the Ant-Man property while navigating around certain controversial details. While Ant-Man and the Wasp is arguably about her rather than solely about Scott Lang, she’s only been used in those movies, save for her brief appearance at the climax of Avengers: Endgame. While she technically wasn’t the Wasp until around the time of Infinity War’s events, she fails to show up even in a cameo capacity elsewhere, meaning the MCU’s Avengers roster has never had a Wasp on it.
This is despite the Ant-Man movies building up Janet van Dyne to be the exact fearless and heroic personality that she is in the comics. They establish the legacy of Janet as something for her daughter Hope to aspire to, rather than the abstract desire to prove herself to her father. But Hope has yet to really have an opportunity to realize that potential on-screen. The second Ant-Man film is a more personal story and affords Wasp few opportunities to be a hero in quite the same way. And, while fun, her appearance in Avengers: Endgame takes place alongside dozens of other superheroes vying for audience attention. There is no development for her or any of the returning Avengers in Endgame’s final battle, aside from perhaps the brief realization that she’s now involved in something much larger than anything she’s dealt with before.
Wasp As The Leader In Avengers 5 Would Fix MCU Mistakes
The easiest solution for this would be to allow Hope to become a proper member and eventual leader of the Avengers. Wasp leading a new era of the team would make all the sense in the world, considering her comic book history and her competence in the MCU. Perhaps she will not be the leader straight away in Avengers 5but setting Wasp up as a proper member of the Avengers would be as simple as a throwaway line in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. She was introduced to the team in Avengers: Endgame, so it would not be a stretch to imagine her being formally inducted into the roster after helping with Thanos. It would be a fitting way for her to step into the role Janet van Dyne / Wasp had in the comics.
Rather than being coddled, Hope had a burning desire to prove how capable she was to her father and the rest of the world in the first Ant-Man movie. It led to rash decision-making and standoffishness that she overcame with time. With her coming to understand her mother’s role as a hero, the next logical step for this Wasp would be to take a more actively heroic position in the world. Joining the Avengers would fit the bill, allowing her to not only live up to her mother’s legacy but eclipse it, proving that she can hang with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and even lead them in time. Marvel What If …? already teased this possibility in its zombie episode. What If …? saw Wasp become the Avengers’ leader when the other de facto leaders succumbed to the zombie virus. She was indirectly to blame for the outbreak, but in taking responsibility for it, she led the team fearlessly and proved herself to be a real hero in the end, noble sacrifice and all.
Will Wasp Lead The Avengers In The Next Movie?
It’s not particularly likely that the Wasp will be the leader of the Avengers, especially not as early as the next movie. The position looks to be something Sam Wilson as the new Captain America will fill, considering how much he’s already been built up in the MCU and how much experience he has. Avengers 5while almost certain to happen, is not currently in the works as Marvel instead focuses on building up Phase 5 through its various new properties and the launch of its Disney + TV shows.
That does not mean Hope leading the team could not happen in a later Avengers movie, however. With the original team passing their torches to new heroes, the Wasp should get to lead the Avengers at some point during her remaining time in the MCU. While Hope is not Janet, she is filling Janet’s role in the MCU as a character who in the comics has traditionally been known for giving the Avengers direction when they need it. The Marvel What If …? show even displayed how effective she might be as a leader already, part of the long-overdue evolution of female superheroes in the MCU. With so many potential new leaders in Avengers 5it only seems fair that the Wasp finally gets her chance to realize her heroic potential.
Next: What Ant-Man 3’s Quantumania Title Really Means
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