Tuesday, 18 September 2012
I Was Wrong, He Was Mad;- How Henry Pym Fell Apart Between The Panels (The Year In Comics No 37)
I'm still writing about the early years of Marvel Comics for the coming ebook, and I'm still being surprised, and at times even genuinely amazed, by what I'm stumbling across. By now, I suppose I ought not to be, but there seems to be no limit to how these old stories can reveal entirely unsuspected aspects of themselves. As such, I've found myself having to throw away beliefs that I've complacently held to for decades now, and a prime example of that is the matter of Hank Pym's psychological problems. It wasn't so long ago on this blog that I was arguing Pym's potrayal as a perpetually disturbed individual was an ill-judged later imposition, and yet now I'm convinced that's not the case at all. Doctor Henry Pym has clearly been a profoundly disturbed individual since at least 1963's Tales To Astonish #44, and that's the starting point for this week's post by yours truly over at Sequart Publishing. The introduction of the Wasp in that issue briefly delivered to Marvel's readers an untypically steely if naively lovelorn teenage super-heroine, as we discussed last week. What's disturbing is that the same tale established Pym as a spectacularly disturbed widower worthy of the antagonist's berth in a Gothic novel. The evidence tends to lurk between Jack Kirby and Don Heck's panels, mind you, but it's all there.
Should you be at all interested in Henry Pym's shiversome mental problems, and his unconsciously manipulative behaviour where the traumatised Janey Van Dyne is concerned, then you can reach Sequart Publishing here. And if you'd prefer just to have the visual evidence for such a contention, then I'll post it here on Thursday coming, following tomorrow's discussion of a baker's dozen of disastrous comic-books. Please do feel free to pop in then, or, indeed, at any time. The reviews and discussions which were traditionally a feature of TooBusyThinking will be returning in the close future, so there may yet appear some material here to while away the deader moments of the day.