Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Secret Origins: The Wondrous Wasp by Lee, Hart, Kirby, and Heck (With Friedrich, Russell, Starlin, and Janes)

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! When Young Groove saw the far-out Jim Starlin/Mike Esposito cover of Marvel Feature #8 (December 1972), I knew something was up. Ant-Man and Wasp were in their original outfits. Did I smell a reprint coming...? You bet your sweet bippy! The Dread Deadline Doom smacked Ant-Man's regular creative team upside the head, which led to a partial reprinting of Stan Lee/Ernie Hart/Jack Kirby/Don Heck's origin of the Wasp from Tales to Astonish #44's "Creature from the Kosmos". Now  I never was one to get all uptight when the DDD left Marvel to run such reprints, 'cause I'd never seen 'em before, so they were new to me, dig? And I figured with all the Ant-Man movie news coming out now, plus the announcement that Evangeline Lily will play a role in it has your appetite whetted for some Ant-Man/Wasp history. The news makes Ol' Groove hope the lovely lass from Lost plays the Wondrous Wasp!

Now, there's lots of dispute over the credits for "Creature..."; on the splash of MF #8 they credited Lee and Kirby; Grand Comics Database credits Hart and Heck. In Superhero Women, Stan himself lays it down like this: he plotted it, editorial assistant H.E. Huntley (aka Ernie Hart or Ernest Huntley Hart) scripted it, Jack Kirby laid it out, and Don Heck finished/inked it. Sounds good to me! The credits for the 70s framing sequence are a bit easier: Mike Friedrich wrote it, P. Craig Russell penciled the first two pages, Jim Starlin penciled the "new" half of page three and all of the final page, and Jimmy Janes inked 'em up right purty. Whew! Enough yang, yang, here come the origin of the Wasp!


  1. I love the Wasp's original costume. I wish they had never changed it. That great pointed head-covering with the antenna's was very unique and appealing. Left alone it could have become quite iconic. Well, as iconic as Ant-man's look. If that counts as iconic. I wonder who designed that first Wasp costume, Heck or Kirby? Even though Heck had an interesting design sense (look at how ornate his costume designs were. Hawkeye, Crimson Dynamo, Titanium Man, Mandarin, etc.) I think this costume smells like Kirby.

  2. Thanks again for all the great stuff, Groove! A slight correction, though: the new story was by Mike Friedrich, not Gary.

    1. What a bonehead I am! All that trouble to get the credits on the reprint straight, and I fowl up the easy part! Sheesh! Thanks for the head's-up, Scott!

  3. Hey Groovster!
    I just cane by to see what all the BUZZ was about! Yikes! I alwats loved Ant-Man & all Hank Pym's incarnations that followed. I loved this way too short series just like the Beast over in Amazing Adventures. Herb Trimpe loves Ant-Man too that's why he had him in the Hulk comic a few issues also. I always hated how Marvel trashed him in the late 70's? Early 80's on the Avengers. Making him a nut job, wife beater & paethic loser. I

    was thrilled hearing about the Avengers movie. But was very disappointed we had no Ant-Man or Giantman in it. The Ant-Man movie so far sounds to me like a lame comedy. Same with the Guardians of the Galaxy. I don't mind humor, other wise I wouldn't had loved Marvel in the 60's- early/mid 80's. But these sound like their going to be what Howard the Duck was in 86! A train wreck! I love Michael Douglas ever since 72 in When Michael Calls & the Streets of San Francisco. But even bigger fan of his father Kirk Douglas Spartcus! Who would been the perfect Magneto back then & Yul Brenner as Prof.X!

    I just think he's way to old now. His wife Kathern Zeta Jones should had played Wonder Woman 20 years ago too. With Linda Carter as the queen too! Hollyweird sure keeps blowing it! I truly believe Kirby stole a few ideas from 50's monster & SF movies. Like the Incredable Shrinking Man! THEM! The Amazing Collosol Man both the Hulk's origin Gamma bomb scene & Giant-Man. As we'll as both the Hulk & the Thing's looks & personalities. From the 50's-70's Wrestlers the Crusher & Baron Von Rashi the Absorbing Man. Even SNL made fun of Ant-Man. Poor Ant-Man! What's next?? Ant-Man vs Aunt Bee!!?? RRAAIIDDD!!



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

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