Hank Pym loves Tigra

Let’s get this right out of the way.  In 1980, superhero Hank Pym instantly became the most despised Marvel character when this one panel forever destroyed his reputation:

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And still today, many fans (some of whom weren’t even alive when that happened) haven’t forgiven him for backhanding his wife.  I’m not saying that a superhero’s domestic abuse crosses the line when supervillains’ serial murdering gets waved off as character development.  Pym definitely deserved a good decade or so of indignant hatred, but the unforgivable aspect from fans may be a bit overblown.

I mean at that time, his wife Janet fought crime as the superhero Wasp, who regularly got sliced up, lit on fire, smashed to pieces, and more every other day as an Avenger — at that stage in her career, she probably woke herself up in the morning with a backhand to the face.  Plus, as a Marvel comic supergenius, obligation dictates that Pym must carry a horrific character flaw.  Iron Man’s a severe, passionate narcissist.  Mister Fantastic loves science more than his wife.  Black Panther annulled his own marriage to Storm without telling her first.  And Dr. Doom, well, that guy’s a tyrannical dictator on his nicest days.  Etc.  Heightened intelligence comes with a catch.

Recently, during the Marvel event Secret Invasion, the shapeshifting Skrulls invaded Earth.   Janet sacrificed her life to save all her friends.  Also, a Skrull posed as Pym and knocked up the superhero Tigra.  Bad times for everyone.  We pick up after that.

Today, I’m using some scenes from the following issues:
Avengers Academy #2, written by Christos Gage and drawn by Mike McKone
Avengers Academy #6, written by Christos Gage and drawn by Mike McKone
Avengers Academy #7, written by Christos Gage and drawn by Mike McKone
Avengers Academy #12, written by Christos Gage and drawn by Tom Raney
Avengers Academy #13, written by Christos Gage and drawn by Sean Chen
Avengers Academy #14, written by Christos Gage and  drawn by Sean Chen
Avengers Academy #20, written by Christos Gage and drawn by Tom Raney
Avengers Academy #26, written by Christos Gage and drawn by Tom Grummett
Avengers Academy #12, written by Christos Gage and drawn by Karl Moline

Pym (now Giant Man) becomes the head instructor at Avengers Academy, where he can try to make a difference as a long-time Avenger and blah blah blah.  Also, his dating life sucks.

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Oh yeah, Tigra teaches too.  Before inspiring teenage superheroes, some super leftover sore spots need mending first.

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Now, this whole paternity thing tends to be confusing when aliens and ancient cat people get involved. Yes, Tigra loved Giant Man in the past, but that was a Skrull and not the actual Giant Man.  The impostor impregnated Tigra, but since Skrull shapeshifting takes place at a genetic level — the child has Pym’s DNA.  Which means Giant Man’s the dad, but not the father.

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While neither Tigra nor Pym have the emotional capacity or stability to successful maintain parenthood, much less a relationship, the two will just do the best they can, gosh dang it.  Before a blast of Pym self-pity, I want you to keep these next few pages in your memory.  The dude’s an original Avenger for a reason:

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Plus, he commands a young army of superpowered recruits:

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Unfortunately, every badass moment drowns in Pym’s sea of self-hatred and overwhelming regret. Personally, I like the re-characterization of Pym as a powerful superhero struggling with powerless issues.  Just understand that he wears his tear-stained heart on his sleeve.  Luckily for our protagonist, every gallant move Pym makes to train these kids receives notice by his furry co-teacher.

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One major benefit of this hook-up: both characters finally chow down on a slice of happiness pie that has been sorely lacking from both their lives the past year or so.  Even now, Giant Man continues to mourn his ex-wife and Tigra remains psychologically ruined from the Hood’s brutal torture.  If Daredevil swung through the window to join them in their moment of passion, Marvel’s sadness triumvirate could be healed all at once.

For all the fight scenes and teenage drama in Avengers Academy, you’ll have to buy the series.  But I plead to my fellow comic book readers: you can still hate Pym, but please forgive him.  This man has been on an apology-palooza tour for three decades straight.

The best I can do is show you Pym’s genuine maturity and growth.  As the series hits its unfortunate conclusion, his confidence and leadership soar — something embarrassingly and frustratingly lacking from the former superhero before then.

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Awesome, right?  That’s Captain America-level inspiration going on.  Plus, once he starts to forgive himself, his relationship with Tigra can progress to its appropriate and mushy place.

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No more, I’m afraid.  Until these two pop up again as regulars in a new series, I’ll accept this as a well-deserved happy ending.

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12 Comments on “Hank Pym loves Tigra”

  1. This is the character that i will recruit in MAA currently xD
    Pym really “redeemed” himself haha
    nice review as always

    • Jason Levine says:

      Ha, I’ve gotten most of the other MAA characters, but I don’t think I have the CP points this time around. Oh well, don’t we have enough awesome Tacticians already?

      Thank you!

  2. xmenxpert says:

    I like Pym. He’s always been a great character, and Christos Gage’s use of him in Academy was excellent.

    As for him hitting Janet, well, she should’ve brought him a sandwich and a beer. Besides, she was kind of annoying back then anyway. There were times I wanted to smack her. (Joking aside, it should also be noted that the writer of that scene imagined it as almost more of a shove. The artist decided to make it more dramatic, with her almost flying across the room.)

    • Jason Levine says:

      I’ve heard all the stories too about it sort of being the artist’s fault. I was thinking about this before I went to bed, but remembering when the Ultimate versions of them had their domestic dispute, we should have forgiven normal Hank Pym instantly by comparison.

  3. Jason says:

    How can a guy who bunks with Thor call himself an atheist? The Marvel U is a place where gods walk the Earth.

    How did one moment of violence, when Pym was in a severely troubled mental state, come to define his character for thirty years? What were the writers thinking? Oh, we have the war hero, the Norse god, the techno freak, the green monster, the fashion plate, and the wife beater? Slapping his wife once, an act for which he was extremely apologetic when he came to his senses, is hardly the kind of habitual behavior that marks an abusive personality.

    Hank, build a bridge and get over it.

    • Vector Didact says:

      Hank sees no evidence that Thor is really a God
      As far as he is concerned, Thor is an Extra-dimensional being

      And as far as the magic Thor uses
      Asgardian Magic is their science
      It is tech, but so advanced we don’t understand it

  4. lolroflmaodq says:

    im sorry did we suddenly move into a day and age were women didnt hold the same responsibilities for both actions and words as any man does why does it matter if he slapped her its not as if he gave a her a hulk style pavement beating and im sorry but imo if women want to cry about equal rights then mouthing off and getting the shit knocked out of you by i’ll be it unnecessarily violent men is part of the deal equality means equal no more no less in my experience women say whatever they want to no matter how hurtful because of a cultural bias on abusing aka slapping pushing which in most womens opinion somehow entitles them to say things one man would never dare say to another without accepting some repercussion but women spout them off continuosly sorry for the long comment but i really hate this cultural idiocy

  5. aReader says:

    The mental image of Daredevil bursting in through the window while GM and Tigra were having *ahem* “alone time” is both hilarious and disturbing, and will no doubt haunt me until my dying day. Or at least until dinner.

  6. Yukime Hiwatari says:

    Me alegra saber que Hank Pym es redimido pero creo que parte mi corazón el hecho de que no este con Janet.
    Dado que los últimos números revelan que de cierta forma Jan esta viva es… es… ahhhh no puedo soportar la idea de que no estén juntos… pero si es el mejor final para Pym… lo aceptare u.u

  7. thefool99 says:

    Pym wasn’t responsible for the spousal abuse. Kang was driving him to break. To hold Pym responsible is like holding Stark responsible for Yellowjackets (Rita) death. And why was Tony never held accountable?

  8. 従来のことを考えたら、ワキ脱毛はずいぶん安くなったものです。そこにあるのは、ワキ脱毛を脱毛のビギナー専用の位置づけに設定しており何はともあれ安い費用で体験してもらおうと計画しているからです。


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