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CSBG Archive

Month of Avengers/X-Men Top Fives – Top Five Wasp Costumes

All month-long we’ll be featuring top five lists about either the Avengers or the X-Men. Here is an archive of all the past top five lists!

In this installment, based on a suggestion by Josh G., we take a look at the top five Wasp costumes…



First off, got to pay homage to Kirby’s original…

This Herb Trimpe design circa 1972 is one of her most well-known outfits, but I dunno, it is basically just John Buscema’s design from Avengers #53, just with a different color pattern that I don’t think was even particularly great.

5. Avengers (Volume 3) #36

I think this Alan Davis design is quite snazzy.

4. Avengers #194

I always liked this George Perez design just for out there it is. It really is a daring design.

3. Avengers #53

The aforementioned Buscema design, this one basically defined the Wasp’s styles for years to come…

2. Avengers Forever #1

Carlos Pacheco’s design is so strong…

that with just some slight adjustments during Geoff Johns’ run…

this costume has been perhaps the most-worn costume the Wasp has had. It’s a really strong, modern look.

1. Avengers #267

I freely admit that this Buscema design is basically just an updated version of his classic Avengers #53 design, but there’s just something so striking about the use of yellow and the dark blue that really stands out and I think it is no coincidence that Pacheco went for a similar approach with his design…

Does the fact that I associate this costume with such a great period in Avengers history help? Sure, but I still think it the Wasp’s best costume.

That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!


No.1 is very chairwomanesque.

Yeah, I agree. In fact, the one downside is that it perhaps makes her look a BIT too matronly, but I think it works for her.

I got to say I think #3 should of been #1
oh and my opinion I hated #5 & #2

Was #4 white or some kinda shimmery silver sequin thing? Please say shimmery sequin thing.

I need to throw out some love for the green-and-purple number Jan wore during the original Secret Wars. It wasn’t a particularly memorable costume *except* that she wore it for all 12 issues of the series–probably a record by Jan’s standards at the time.

I always assumed Wasp was wearing her pajamas throughout Secret Wars.

#2 is perfect. Powerful, eye-catching, sexy without being sleazy.

I agree with everything except the Perez one. Yes it’s daring but man is it ugly nonetheless.

I’ve always loved Perez’s version and would rank it at #2, or even #1 on a personal basis. Any of the Buscema ones were cool, and worthy of the top spot. They’re also likely to be the most conservative in Jan’s long history of constant wardrobe changes. Davis made her look kind of regal with his own creation, so I like that as well.

Jan’s haircut is also essential. The 1970’s through Crossing era design is her signature look. There’s a letters column from 1981 (might be issue #213 or so, but I’d have to check to be sure) where a fan sent in a detailed list of all the outfits Jan had worn since her debut up to the (then) present time. I think the reader even ranked each one as well, sort of like Mr. Blackwell.

#2 is the best one. I actually don’t like that Buscema one because it makes her seem too old.

#5 is just kind of ugly.

Want a good honourable mention? She spent an issue wearing someone’s handkerchief as they were wisked into space to face Moondragon. She had to stay small or… oops.

Her new costume in Uncanny Avengers is a nice combination of Kirby’s classic and #1’s color scheme.

There was an issue of Micronauts where she wore a napkin.

One fun thing about the Busiek/Perez run on Avengers is that Wasp wears a different costume in each story arc.

Aww, you could have gone for a top TEN here. I love Jan and her design changes over the years. Perez had the most fun with it.

The pointy-headed Kirby design should be #1. Otherwise, these are good picks.

Laurence J Sinclair

September 26, 2013 at 10:08 am

That #1 looks really similar to Squirrel Girl, doesn’t it?

Design number four, by George Perez, is one of my favorites. I guess Perez liked it a lot, as well, since he briefly brought it back during his run on Avengers volume 3.

I give it to No. 2. As Brian points out, she’s probably worn that costume more than any other, and with good reason. It instantly says “wasp” when you look at it, but still looks very modern.

I do dig the retro outfit currently being worn in “Uncanny Avengers.”

I’m also surprised the “Secret Wars” look didn’t get a mention. But then, it’s always how I think of Jan. It’s the first time I saw her. And I believe she was getting “killed” at the time.

Thank you for not including the human/wasp hybrid look she was sporting during “The Gathering”…

The Secret Wars outfit was a simple matter of Mike Zeck essentially being “stuck” with whatever she was happening to be wearing in the Avengers at the time. It was a really garish outfit. Those shoulder pad things? Yeesh.

Interesting list. I am partial to the AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES design. The earphone/antenna headpiece was nifty.

For a character without anything close to one dominant look, there are clearly certain things that work better for The Wasp. The short hair (or even a pixie cut) is the core of her visual for me. She is attractive, but not sexualized. That is reinforced by the tendency to have her body covered from the neck down. That general modesty makes her occasional forays into the role of Reluctant Fanservice Girl (i.e. Micronauts #42) work. It also helps her project a level of authority when contrasted with the less modestly dressed female Avengers.

The Yellow and Black color scheme evokes an actual wasp, so it is kind of amazing how infrequently that it is used. Items 1,2 and 5 all make good use of the iconic color scheme.

The high necked tunic over the black tights reinforces her general modesty. It was present in the original Kirby design as well as selections 1 and 3. It also gives the feeling of being a defensive garment. That reinforces that Jan has always been the most physically vulnerable Avenger. She is a physically small person with the ability to get even smaller, so it makes sense that she would want clothes that protect her.

Yeah, it may not have been used in the comics, but I’d say her best look is her EMH design. GREAT look that emphasized the fun nature of the character.

#1 is THE Wasp costume for me.

But I do quite like the red Byrne costume with the black arrow design from the neck downwards.,

Partial to the Perez one (#4) from that Taskmaster storyline. I like most of the Perez ones (that orange one from the Korvac saga was fun, too).

I always wanted to see her in that purple one she shows Yellowjacket in #212 before Hank flips out and destroys it (in his abusive breakdown days).

I like the whole Wasp-always-has-a-different-costume thing. Kitty Pryde sort of tried that idea, but to much lesser effect. (any top five potential there?).

Most are fine, but that variation on #2 is awful. It looks like something a stripper with a scorpion fetish might decide to wear.

> http://images.mocpages.com/user_images/48287/1373078758m_SPLASH.jpg

I agree with Nemesis@ on this one. I was always partial to the blue & white costume she wore foe a while in the early 1990s.

Here is a question … What does Janet Van Dyne look like?

Seriously, her face and body shape vary from artist to artist pretty substantially. The most consistent thing is her hair color, but even it changes. Her height and weight are all over the place.

Kirby gave her a heart-shaped face and thin, pear shaped body. He made her maybe 3 inches shorter than Hank Pym at the shoulder.

Alan Davis kept the pear shaped body, but gave her an oblong face.

George Perez kept the heart shaped face, but gave her an hourglass figure.

John Buscema gave her a square face and an hourglass body. He also made her substantially shorter than her partner.

Carlos Pacheco gave her a square face and an apple shaped body.

Those are five great artists, but they were each drawing totally different women. I mean, we are not talking about details nose or eye shape. We are talking about the basic look of the character. It sort of amazes me that Editors seems totally free to dictate plot to writers, but utterly ignore keeping their characters on model. It seems as though the later is a much more essential function.

I do like how Jan is one of the few female heroes who are always dressed for action, from neck to toes. You won’t see her fighting crime while in a fancy bathing suit, for years on end

Dean – my mental image of Jan isn’t pictured here, but is generally a cross between a Byrne Jan from ca. Avengers (volume 1) #188 and a Perez/Vey Jan from Avengers (volume 3) #28. Petite, between 5’2” and her official 5’4″, roundish face, large eyes, small-breasted but not flatchested, slightly larger hip measurements.

The slightly smug looking Jan from the last panel of page 5 of (vol 3) #28 and how she appears through most of that issue is what Jan looks like to me.

Pacheco’s a good alternate. I like the face Alan Davis gives her in (vol 3) #38, but I think he makes her too a little too skinny in that issue, and I don’t particularly like the way he does her face and hair in later issues of his run.

My favorite Buscema Jan is the one from the Lady Liberator issues. There on the splash page, you’ve got the large expressive eyes I like Jan to have in artists’ renditions.

Frank Cho’s Jan in the early issues of Mighty Avengers was too well built, though lovely to look at, but I didn’t think the Louise Brooks hairstyle worked on her. Jantron (Tony Stark’s body rebuilt to house an Ultron with Jan’s appearance) was a good looking woman, but not really based on the body I picture Jan having.

Early Perez tended to make all his women buxom. His early period renditions of Jan are a little too substantial physically, but I generally like his face for her in the 1977-80 period.

I could probably go on, but it wouldn’t be that interesting.

I miss Jan in the Marvel movies. :( She is the heart and soul of the Avengers, she completes the team, as shown in EMH.

Till I looked it up it never really clicked how many color variations Wasp has had of different costumes, no more just different designs.


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