Writer: Jeremy Whitley / Artists: Elsa Charretier and Megan Wilson / Marvel Comics
It has been a rough few months for me and Marvel comics. They cancelled my two favorite series. Civil War II was an unmitigated downer in which everyone’s hero Captain Marvel went all evil-beard universe and killed everyone we loved. Even Storm has gone to war in the Extraordinary X-Men series. Into all this sound and fury comes Nadia Pym and she is right on f’n time.
The Unstoppable Wasp is a big surprise hug from someone you love as a comic-book. (I mean that in a good way, I know surprise hugs aren’t for everyone.) She’s such a cinnamon roll they even call her one IN THE COMIC. This girl makes friends standing in line at Immigration, the only place closer to hell than the DMV. She makes Bobbi Morse giggle and they drive around in her red Mustang (because of course, Bobbi Morse drives a red Mustang). She dances to Dazzler’s one hit song (that’s what she’s doing on the cover). She is infectious, and feminine, and adorable. She is also determined, and tough, and dedicated to righting wrongs in the world. This is the feel-good comic of the year and when was the last time someone said THAT about an issue from the Big 2?
I’m a Jeremy Whitley fan, so really, none of this surprises me. If you’ve read his work on My Little Pony, Princeless, or Princeless: Raven Pirate Princess, you know he makes his money writing bright, lovable teen girls who may kill you with cuteness, but can also kill you with a sword and a drop-kick if you don’t play nice. His characters are authentically, unapologetically girls, and he brings a joy to comics that can so easily be lost when they’re facing intergalactic threats. He’s got great skills for the pop culture references that are mandatory in our hyperlinked culture and is dedicated to bringing new kinds of girls/teens/women into the story mix. Sketches for future characters are floating around the Twitterverse and they look *great*:
Clearly, his art team is just as effervescently good. Elsa Charretier has DC Comics: Bombshells, along with one of the covers for the Love Is Love0 comics anthology that came out in December in her portfolio. Their colorist, Megan Wilson is likewise amaze-ing — her previous work was in Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat. These pages pop, alternating between huge perspective bending fights and smaller facial closeups that really deliver on the moods of the characters.
If you like your comics complicated, unresolved, or edgy, this isn’t it. If you’re here for the fun, buy The Unstoppable Wasp. If you know a pre-teen girl who’s interested in comics but doesn’t know where to start, buy her a subscription. When she becomes a theoretical physicist, you can take a little slice of the credit.