Writer: Jeremy Whitley / Artists: Elsa Charretier and Megan Wilson / Marvel Comics
Issue #2 of The Unstoppable Wasp picks up right where #1 left off. To recap, in issue #1 Nadia, newly escaped from The Red Room, finds herself teaming up with Ms. Marvel and Mockingbird to save the city from a woman mad scientist in a giant robot. (That sentence there? That’s the kind of sentence I had always thought I’d write as a comic reviewer, one that is accurate and absurd simultaneously. #WriterDreams) Now, Nadia has taken up residence in her father’s old house/lab and begun researching other girl scientists to recruit into her own crew: Genius in Action Research Lab, or G.I.R.L.
With the help of Jarvis, and after a slightly too long explanation about how girls have been systematically overlooked by other genius scientists like Bruce Banner and Tony Stark, Nadia sets off for her first recruit: Taina Miranda. Taina is a Puerto Rican New Yorker robotics engineer who uses crutches and a wheelchair to get around.
This kind of inclusion of people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse bodies is what Whitley and crew have promised from the beginning. It is very refreshing and exactly the kind of representation we’re always calling for. It’ll take a few issues till we see how deep this commitment goes, but clearly Taina and Alexis are bound to be core characters in the first run. At no point does Nadia ask about the crutches. She goes direct to: You’re a robot genius, do you want to come spend my money and play in my lab? Well, if you put it that way…
With one sidekick recruited, Nadia goes off to meet the superhero guest star of this issue: Lunetta Lafayette, AKA the Miraculous Moon Girl, AKA the smartest person in the main Marvel universe. But before these two can make nice and start creating, The Unstoppable Wasp and The Miraculous Moon Girl have to fight a giant rat… with gooey results (there’s another one of those dream sentences).
The pace in this issue is a little slower, which is to be expected. Nadia’s Russian accent/misplaced words habit is cute, but rides the edge of being corny. Otherwise, the quips from the other girls are perfect, including:
Alexis Miranda (Taina’s sister): Welcome to Chez Miranda… Hey abuela! We got guests. One of Taina’s friend and her… manservant?
Jarvis: I’d prefer “chaperone,” miss.
Alexis: White people got a lot of names for “Dude who follows you around.”
The backgrounds are in places more implied that detailed, and in others properly crowded to represent girl genius at work. I could use more information in the images, but overall, the art maintains the traditional, newsprint like quality of issue #1 and serves the story well.
Lastly, the last page features an interview with two women scientists, so do read to the end!
The action and dialogue continue to be fun and friendly, I’m on board to see what G.I.R.L comes up with.
Rating: 8.5 Puerto Rican Robotics Whizzes out of 10