Review: The Unstoppable Wasp #1

unstoppable_wasp_1_coverGirl. Genius. Hero. Unstoppable.

Nadia spent the entire first half of her life a captive of The Red Room, but now this teenage super-scientist is on her own for the first time, and she’s ready to spread her wings! Hank Pym’s daughter has a lot of time to make up for and she’s determined to change the world. You know, if she can get her U.S. citizenship first.

It’s a new year and Marvel’s kicking it off right with The Unstoppable Wasp from writer Jeremy Whitley and art by Elsa Charretier, and I can sum my review up with… yes, please! More of this!

You don’t need to know who this new Wasp is to enjoy this first issue, Whitley lays everything you need to know out, but in a way not knowing could be better. The comic is one of discovery as Nadia learns about her new country and what it is to be a superhero. There’s an innocence about Nadia that’s refreshing and interesting, a positive attitude about life you just rarely see in general. And it’s somehow infectious!? Yes, even this grumpy person found himself soon smiling and enjoying myself.

The first issue involves Ms. Marvel helping Nadia get her citizenship, but not without a super villain showing up, thankfully Mockingbird is there to do battle as well. And through all of that Whitley deftly paves the way for a couple of things. First, the comic pays tribute to the first(?) kick-ass female scientist of Marvel Bobbi Morse, aka Mockingbird. It’s a bit of history that Nadia acknowledges and is just a fantastic way to honor the past while passing the baton along. Second, the inclusion, and some specific dialogue, of Mockingbird is a nice nod to her own series that ended last year and the abuse hurled towards its writer Chelsea Cain. Third, the comic takes head on the fact that Marvel’s “smartest people” have until recently been male (and mostly white with Black Panther being the first exception and Blue Marvel later being added). The comic is a perfect companion with what’s being done in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur taking on the Marvel patriarchy and having fun while doing that.

Charretier’s art is a reason for that fun adding a look that takes some of the best we saw in previous volumes of Hawkeye where there’s factoids and other small details that add so much to the storytelling. I challenge you to not smile while there’s a focus on the joints of the rampaging robot.

The comic wraps up with a spotlight on real world scientists which emphasizes some of the themes and parts of the comic, and it’s just awesome to see. Anything to encourage people who don’t normally go into a field is a good thing, and to see real world examples is a great way to go about that. It’s again a small detail that just adds to the overall experience.

If you can’t tell, I really dug the first issue. It’s the fun escape I was looking for when I read it and sets up a series that’ll be a great mix of serious, fun, and encouragement. A solid debut and a great way to begin the year.

Story: Jeremy Whitley Art: Elsa Charretier
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review