Thursday, March 31, 2011

1981 Revisited: Hank Pym was Not a Wife-Beater says Jim Shooter

As some of you might know, Jim Shooter has started to blog:

A lot of his posts so far have dealt with his early career at DC Comics and with the Legion of Super-Heroes and some broader commentary on Marvel Comics in the 1970s.

However, one post related to the 1980s did jump out at me, Hank Pym was Not a Wife-Beater:

From Shooter’s point of view, who wrote the Avengers in 1981:
 “He was never the Avenger who saved the day at the end and usually the first knocked out or captured.  His most notable “achievement” in the lab was creating Ultron.  Meanwhile, his rich, beautiful wife succeeded in everything she tried.  She was also always flitting around his shoulders, flirting, saying things to prop up his ego. 
In that story (issue 213, I think), there is a scene in which Hank is supposed to have accidentally struck Jan while throwing his hands up in despair and frustration—making a sort of “get away from me” gesture while not looking at her.  Bob Hall, who had been taught by John Buscema to always go for the most extreme action, turned that into a right cross!  There was no time to have it redrawn, which, to this day has caused the tragic story of Hank Pym to be known as the “wife-beater” story.”
Interesting that such a miscommunication has rippled through the Marvel universe and shaped many Avengers-related storylines.


  1. Then, he should have said he was not SUPPOSED TO BE a wife beater, but he became one due to the art. Because he definitely beat his wife.

  2. i'm actually kind of glad to hear it was an art issue and not intended, because i was always really bothered by that change in hank's personality. it always struck me as totally out of the blue and not at all in-character, and since then it's become his defining characteristic.

  3. Yeah, I think Shooter's having a bit of revisionist recall.

  4. Well in the story Pym was a wife beater and that is that. If you give Shooter the bnefit of the doubt, despite his inteintions the result was different Hank became a wife beater.
    Shooter managed to pulll some controversial sotries back then, like MS Marvel s rape on Avengers 200, or the Hulk s rape by gays at Ymca.
    Be well Jason.

  5. Shooter has no reason to lie. What would he gain by it at this late date?

  6. This is the story that made Pym interesting and worth telling stories about. Before that he was a 3rd-stringer at best. Never could carry his own title.



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