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Secret Invasion: Requiem #1

Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008
By: Shawn Hill

Dan Slott
Khoi Pham
Marvel Comics
Plot: After Wasp's funeral, Jocasta and Hank Pym try to address her loss by going through her Manhattan penthouse. They have different ways of grieving.

Comments: Yes, it's a reprint issue, but it offers more besides seeing updated coloring on two old stories. One is a Lee/Kirby collaboration from Tales to Astonish, where the winsome Wasp makes her debut as a star-struck groupie of Ant Man. The second is a much later moment in that ill-fated relationship, a Shooter/Hall tale where a desperate Yellowjacket, disgraced in the eyes of his more powerful teammates, lashes out at Jan in an unforgivable way.

It is pretty exciting to see what current coloring techniques can do to old style visuals -- the heavily inked lines have been retained with much more realistic modeling and shading on the forms they describe. It looks pretty good, especially because A. Crossley has retained a fair amount of the brilliant primary colors that defined the original printings.

But the framing story is worthwhile too. First, it makes one right move. But even more so, it offers our first taste of the next era of Mighty Avengers. This issue as a whole serves as a much more fitting homage to Janet van Dyne than did the final Bendis issue of that title, which as usual focused on the bad behavior of flawed individuals rather than on the achievements of one of Marvel's longest running heroines. This issue doesn't pick her best moments to shine, but her legacy is alive and well.

First, in Jocasta, who was modeled on Janet for her basic mental processes. But also in the characteristically tortured Hank Pym, who makes another in his series of drastic costume changes in honor of his murdered lover. In other words, he makes probably another dangerously risky psychological move, but for all the right reasons. The look on Jocasta's face as she witnesses this transformation says a lot. Slott and Pham clue us in with this requiem not to what has gone before, but to what might be coming as Mighty Avengers finally enters a new era mercifully free of Dark Reign.

Also included are a detailed bio on Wasp, and three pages of probably not even all of her costume changes over the years. This is a respectful package for her fans, making the best of a badly dealt hand.



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