Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Why Impressionable Kalinaras Shouldn't Be Allowed to Watch TV:

Well, my roommate managed to find a bunch of old episodes of the 90s Avengers cartoon show. And after a marathon session of episodes, I have to say...

I find Hank Pym inexplicably hot.

I can't explain it. He's a jackass with confidence issues and I know about the abuse stuff in the comics...

But that just makes him more interesting to me. I can't explain it!

No wait, I can. He's like a fucked-up crossbreed of Scott Summers and Reed Richards. Who happens to be slim and blond and kind of pretty... (I'm such a bad feminist!)

I don't want to *date* him. I just want to look appreciatively...and send him to get lots of therapy or something.

That 40 Years of the Avengers CD is about 50 bucks, right? Well, I *did* get paid on Friday...

(Oh, and by the way? At least going by the cartoon characterizations, Wanda/Vision really does seem kind of fucked up...)



  • At September 10, 2006 1:58 AM, Anonymous david brothers said…

    In what situation would a lady marrying a 50-year old (or was it more?) robot that has the brain patterns of her former lover and/or Ultron not be a screwed up relationship? :)

    I'm not sure if the robot thing, the age, or the brain patterns thing is creepier. It's a hat trick!

  • At September 10, 2006 4:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I feel that the the "abuse stuff" in the comics is blown out of proportion, he hit her once while he was having a psycotic episode and trying to kill all his friends.
    they broke up over it, he has shown regret and she has shown forgiveness.
    then austen came along.

  • At September 10, 2006 7:04 AM, Anonymous Sleestak said…

    The abuse subtext goes back years and years.

  • At September 10, 2006 9:30 AM, Blogger Flidget Jerome said…

    I'm with the anon here.

    They got maried while Hank was under the delusion he was a villain named Yellowjacket who, by the way, he believed had killed Hank Pym so he could marry Janet. She, however, had guessed the truth.

    I try not to get shirty about this because the whole thing was so rediculously Silver Age it's like you can almost hear Louis Lane cheering on her insane husband-catching scheme. That's also why I haven't suggested it for the Damned List.

    Still, if you marry your husband while you know he's having a severe psychotic episode you really shouldn't be surprised when he keeps having them. You certainly shouldn't leave him over it.

    That said I adore Hank so I'm rather biased. It was his West Coast non-costumed era that did it for me; "Dr Hank Pym, Scientific Adventurer" was the greatest thing ever.

  • At September 10, 2006 11:56 AM, Anonymous david brothers said…

    Also, if you're into Hank Pym, check out Marvel's Beyond!, with words by Dwayne McDuffie and pictures by Scott Kolins. It's good stuff, and features Hank as a main character. Three issues out as of this past week!

  • At September 10, 2006 2:10 PM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Hank Pym? HANK PYM?? Errgghh. On the other hand, have you come across the um...rather interesting spelunking scene in the Avengers
    issue before all the Disassembled
    crap? Nude Hank! Nude tiny tiny
    Hank, doing some rather interesting
    things to Janet. It was all rather
    on the weird side, but you might
    be interested.

  • At September 10, 2006 2:30 PM, Anonymous Loren said…

    Hank Pym?!?! Feh! That's nothing. Try having a crush on Nightcrawler. He's blue, furry, has three toes and fingers, has glowing eyes and speaks with a German accent! Now that, my friend, is an odd crush! ;)

  • At September 10, 2006 4:08 PM, Blogger notintheface said…

    I loved him in the "Dr. Pym" persona, although sometimes he could be a prick with his powers, like when he first met Jim Rhodes: "Here, shake my hand.. HA!HA! I just shrunk you with Pym Particles! How do ya like that?" The guy must have been really popular at parties.

  • At September 10, 2006 4:48 PM, Blogger Doc Hall said…

    I've always associated Hank Pymm with the favoured drink of the slightly bewildered British upper class, Pimm's.

    This lead to the modification of the drinks most recent advertising slogun "It's Pimm's O'clock." as a phrase for whenever something is used or changed on a regular basis.

    "I see Dick Grayson is sleeping with another red head."

    "Oh? It must be Pymm's O'clock."

  • At September 10, 2006 6:52 PM, Blogger RAB said…

    Anonymous and Flidget have it exactly right.

    I'd add that the past events retconned into evidence of an abusive relationship were, at the time, very clearly defined in the original stories as being the result of outside influences. Hank Pym is affected by a batch of bad chemicals and in his delirium becomes Yellowjacket, but even in this uninhibited state he never abuses Jan. In a later story, Hank starts obsessing over his work and once even slaps Jan in anger -- and this is presented as being wildly out of character for him and utterly shocking to Jan. It then becomes clear Hank is under the hypnotic influence of Ultron. At no time in those stories was Jan a battered spouse or a trapped participant in an abusive relationship.

    The latter storyline was written by Jim Shooter. At some later point, Shooter went a bit nutty himself and started retconning his own work, making Hank Pym crazy and abusive for real. Then even worse writers have come along to build this angle up as a lazy substitute for characterization, without any understanding of spousal abuse and the sort of personalities that perpetrate same. At various times, Steve Englehart and Kurt Busiek have tried to stem the damage and restore some continuity with the character's past...but their efforts have always been ignored or overruled.

    It matters a lot, because if you have a "superhero" who batters his wife, it isn't just an interesting twist or a minor quirk: it says something fundamentally bad about that character, it makes the wife who stays with him a complicit victim, and it makes the other so-called "heroes" totally unsympathetic and scummy for not staging an intervention and helping his wife escape. It would render the entire concept of the book an ugly mockery, and I'd be horrified to think of any children reading such a thing.

  • At September 10, 2006 6:56 PM, Blogger Zaratustra said…

    It's simple.

    Girls love assholes.

  • At September 10, 2006 7:39 PM, Blogger Flidget Jerome said…

    So, Rab, basically it makes it like Ultimate Avengers?

  • At September 10, 2006 9:18 PM, Blogger Hugo said…

    I also think he's hot. Sue me.

  • At September 11, 2006 12:20 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    david: Well...I'd heard he was initially more like Wonder Man...

    But yeah, still creepy. Go them! :-)

    anon and sleestak: Hopefully I'll have my comics soon, so I can weigh in. Right now I'm going by what I hear.

    flidget: That Yellowjacket stuff is special! It's great!

    But yeah, from the little I've read and the cartoon alone I really don't understand why not a single Avenger went " it just me or is Hank a little off...Let's take him to a therapist or something..."

    And I want to read those comics!

    david: Ooo. I've heard that's good.

    sally: I can't help it! He's intriguingly fucked up! And he's pretty! And I'm shallow!

    loren: Hee, Nightcrawler's kinda cute though. If you're into elves. :-P

    notinthe: Hee. That sounds hilarious!

    doc: Heh!

    rab: It does seem like an annoying retcon. Though, if they did choose to go that way, an abuser genuinely repenting and going to counseling and such to try to fix himself could be a very compelling story. Shame that the character sounds like he's been retconned into it.

    zaratustra: :-P

    flidget: Hee.

    Hugo: Hey, we could start a club!

  • At September 11, 2006 12:46 AM, Blogger Evan Waters said…

    The problem is, even when one writer does try to portray Hank as redeemed, another just throws in some lazy "shouldn't you be somewhere BEATING YOUR WIFE?" quip, and we're back at square one.

    The whole thing just needs to be retconned out of existence, and any writer who tries to bring it back threatened with a very large club. It may well be the only way to make the character a viable superhero.

  • At September 11, 2006 8:50 AM, Blogger Amy Reads said…

    Hi, Kali,
    Unfortunately for me, my image of Hank is all wrapped up in his Ultimates incarnation, so I'm afraid even seeing cute him in the Avengers cartoon wouldn't do it for me.
    But then, I'm a classicist. I get dreamy over Batman and Wally West's Flash. Two sides of a coin, no? Broody and obnoxious. Apparently, that's how I like 'em!

  • At September 11, 2006 9:01 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    evan: Yeah, that can get irritating. :-( Still, even if you retcon it, it'll be brought back by the next guy.

    amy: Aww, Ultimate Characterization's always off. He's not THAT bad in the main universe. :-)

  • At September 11, 2006 6:59 PM, Blogger notintheface said…

    Kali, I made up the "HA HA" dialogue, but he actually did that to Jim Rhodes in WEST COAST AVENGERS when he didn't trust Rhodes in the Iron Man suit. And then he threw giant coins at him (throwing them at normal size and enlarging them in midair). Another time, he shrunk Wonder Man without permission and then told him to fly inside some robot's body and enlarge inside the robot when the particles wore off. Just like that. Sand Hawkins must have been taking notes.

  • At September 12, 2006 6:45 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    notinthe: You know, just when I think people can't make me *more* interested in the character. :-)

  • At September 12, 2006 10:11 PM, Anonymous carla said…

    Warning you: that Avengers DVD is awesome... but it's actual scans of the original comics, with shadows of staples and none of it is shrunked down to fit on a computer. Certainly worth the money, but just remember what you're getting.

    And ... I have a severe soft spot for Hank Pym. He may not be the best hero, he may have HUGE relationship problems and did try to kill himself when Tigra gave him the brush off... but that's what makes him all the more real. I know those nerds.


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