Do all roads lead to the Wasp in Iron Man 3 (and The Avengers 2)?

Normally, I would never post about a nebulous movie rumor, but the potential for discussion and mystery is so cool that I couldn't resist. It concerns the possible cinematic introduction of one of the actual, original founding members of the Avengers from the Marvel comics: Janet van Dyne, aka the Wasp. Rumors concerning the Wasp in the first Avengers movie definitely existed before they were squashed, but lately, we've been treated to a bunch of hints that might actually make this a credible subject for speculation.

So, why bother doing an entire post about speculation? The stakes are high, if you've been hoping for more Marvel heroines on the big screen, especially one with superpowers who could also be in The Avengers 2. It's also just so irresistibly old-school Marvel. Let's look at some of the evidence that might just point to the Wasp.

  • Item 1: A major factor driving the Wasp rumors is the prominence of Stephanie Szostak's name in the official synopsis for Iron Man 3 -- she's billed sixth in the cast list, though her role, thus far, is unnamed. (She also appears for a moment in the trailer, as the woman shoving Tony Stark against the wall at about 1:06.)
  • Item 2: We've seen glimpses of possible connecting elements for Marvel's "Phase 2" roll-out, including A.I.M., or Advanced Idea Mechanics, the fictional company included in set photos from Iron Man 3 (as well as promotional tee-shirts at San Diego Comic Con) that is also rumored to appear in Ant-Man. So, logic tells us:
    If A.I.M. and Szostak are in Iron Man 3, and A.I.M. is in Ant-Man, and Ant-Man founded the Avengers with the Wasp, then Szostak must be the Wasp.
    It's a big reach, but it's a fun reach, and there's a common denominator (A.I.M., which actually points more towards M.O.D.O.K. than the Wasp).
  • Item 3: The most explicit hints, including the involvement of A.I.M. in Ant-Man, come from a mysterious Twitter user named Roger Wardell, who claims to have inside information on everything Marvel -- but no one knows who he really is. So, consider that permission to be very skeptical. That said, Wardell posted a tweet recently about how the revelation of Szostak's role in Iron Man 3 will cause fans to "go crazy." Have any of his "bombshells" panned out? Actually, yes, though it's a spoilery one -- two tweets, one from August and another from September, have mentioned (spoiler text ahoy) Pepper Potts putting on the Iron Man armor. This was confirmed by Marvel this week. So, maybe there's something to this Wardell character.
  • Item 4: also received an anonymous tip that claimed, flat-out, that Szostak would be playing the Wasp. But that might be slightly too shady -- or is it? In context, it might make all the sense in the world.
  • Item 5: Ant-Man, the other founding member of the Avengers (and the Wasp's love interest), is getting his own movie with Edgar Wright at the helm, possibly as soon as 2014. At this point, not having the Wasp on board would seem like a conspicuous omission, don't you think?
  • As I said, these are all theories and rumors, based on tidbits of information that may or may not be related. Not to mention that all we really have to go on is that Stephanie Szostak is a female actor in a Marvel movie. There are tons of characters she could be playing -- but the Wasp is looking pretty good.

    Rumor Patrol: Iron Man 3 To Introduce The Wasp? [Screen Rant]

    Photo credit: Marvel


    1. Interesting. I’d like to read about the crossovers to SHIELD, assuming that project is still on. And in my ideal world there’s a crossover with Alpha Flight.  (yes yes, I know, can’t happen, but in an IDEAL omnishambles of superheroedom)

    2. I’m still wondering if Tony Stark is finally going to face a villain in an Iron Man movie that wasn’t wholly of his own creation. For all the public adoration he got in Iron Man 1 and 2, nobody seemed to notice that all the bad guys got their weapons (or at least their weapon designs) from Tony himself.

      1.  I mentioned that fact to a friend and he told me flat out that I was full of crap. Then I showed him how right I was…he hasn’t spoken to me since then…

        1. It’s a surprisingly common plot device for action movies. At least half the spy thrillers out there seem to be about an elite, well-funded covert agency trying to stop a nefarious plot by one of their own former agents.

      2. Who’s the villian that has a suit similar to Iron Man, but it’s mostly Biological technology, and software upgrades. I think it might’ve been just something like Iron Man II, but I could be wrong.

      3.  Both noticed and appreciated as logical. I mean, what are the odds that two people would have invented superpowered flying suits of armor at the same time?

        1. Logical, maybe… but not much of a heroic storyline as such things go.

          “Gosh, Mr. Stark! If it hadn’t been for you we might have all been killed by all those weapons you created! I mean, SOME of us were killed anyway, but it was nice of you to save the rest of us from your terrible, terrible inventions.”

          1.  I don’t know, I’m totally on board with the idea that Tony Stark is pretty much his own worst enemy. But I’ve always been a fan of flawed heroes.

      4. Isn’t more like he’s fighting his fathers legacy? Obi was Howard Starks partner who then sold weapons to terrorists and eventually went apesh** as the iron monger. Ivan Vanko’s father co-developed the arc reactor with Howard then Ivan took revenge. Tony had a small part in Obi’s turn but he was really Howard’s man.

    3. Gosh I hope not. Never cared for the Wasp, or Ant Man for that matter. I just hope that someday when they get around to doing Wanda the Scarlet Witch, they do it right.

    4. Item 6: They recently re-introduced Janet’s character to the comics universe in “Avengers” #32. One could mark it off as a coincidence, but Marvel has always liked to synchronize their comics universe with their movies universes, from Spider-Man’s organic webbing to quietly replacing the original Nick Fury with the one that says “badass motherfucker”.

      1.  Marvel has been universally awful about synchronizing their comics to the movies. They have yet to have a single movie come out where there is a comic you can point to and say “If you liked the movie, try reading this comic”.

        When the Avengers movie, the largest movie of the year, came out they were in the middle of a giant company crossover called Avengers vs. X-Men. If someone who liked the movie had picked it up they would have found a group of Avengers that don’t share any resemblance to the movie fighting a group of X-Men who don’t bear any resemblance to the group appearing in those movies. Oh, and several characters would be in the wrong group. And they are all fighting in response to a story that was published over thirty years ago.

        Way to build your reader base guys. Synergy!

        At least that’s better than Thor. When his movie came out, he was dead at the time.

        1. It’s not so much a direct synchronization of universes as it is a more subtle altering of events to coincidentally coincide with the films. When the Avengers movie came out, they also released a series called “Avengers Assemble” that was in-universe and had an Avengers team that consisted of the film’s characters (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, and Black Widow) doing a bunch of crap that I didn’t actually read. But the comic also re-introduced a previously deceased Thanos in a clear ploy to bring him back in time for Avengers 2.

          The same thing happened with the Guardians of the Galaxy, resurrecting a dead character (Star-Lord) in time for a brand new Guardians of the Galaxy comic series. Interestingly, another character who died along with Thanos and Star-Lord, Richard Rider (Nova), was NOT brought back to life. Instead, they opted to replace him with a NEW Nova, a younger character named Sam Alexander. There has yet to be an in-universe explanation as to why Thanos and Star-Lord were brought back, but Rider was not.

          Also there’s a new series coming out from Marvel with Hawkeye, Black Widow, Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, and Maria Hill. If that doesn’t scream “Subtle Movie Tie-In Cash Cow”, then I don’t know what else would.

    5. This might sound dumb, but having the Wasp in Avengers goes a little bit too far for me. I have a hard time imagining the movie’s Tony Stark in a world where people can grow and shrink that much.

      I realize The Hulk already does this somewhat but it just seems different in scale.

      Hopefully if things are handled as well as the first Avengers I’ll end up loving it.

      If it’s true she’s in it at all.

      1.  Given that the same world with Tony Stark’s technology also has straight-up magic from Asgard, plus a single genetic “mutation” that grants all kinds of wildly different powers… yeah, miracle tech and/or genetic modification that can make someone shrink or grow is okay with me. It’s really no more or less ridiculous than any of the various mutant powers.

    6. The Wasp isn’t a particularly kickass female character though, is she?  She shrinks to the size of a gnat and and can shoot tiny bolts and, um, that’s it really.   Better they bring in the She-Hulk (who was also an Avenger for a while).   Not only is she awesome but they don’t even have to invent a whole new backstory for her.

      1. I dunno, she’s usually the first person to literally get up in a villain’s grill.

        Although she does embody the old sexist ideal of ‘men heroically smash and women attack from afar for safety’

    7. Love Hank and Jan, hope they’re in, but not holding my breath.  Ironic an Ant Man movie is up when actually in Avengers lore it’s always been the Wasp who’s been more popular (I would think, she’s in hundreds of issues).

    8. My trouble with Wasp was always how the writers had to frequently do massive contortions to come up with reasons why she wasn’t 100% useless in this crisis.

    9. No one ever seems to mention the fact that she looks exactly how I would envision The Wasp in real life. The thought of having her aboard the Marvel Cinematic Universe as anyone but the Wasp would be farcical. Even if they cast someone else who does a great job as Jan we will always look back and think, “Why didn’t they just get Szotack to play The Wasp?” It would be like casting Samuel L. Jackson as a random S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. There’s no way they would cast someone so perfect for one role as anything else.

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