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Ant-Man and the Wasp
by yo go re

Who says superheroes never wear ponytails?

Hope van Dyne gears up with signature stingers and high-tech wings as the buzzworthy hero, Wasp.

"Buzzworthy." That's cute. Hope was a good part of the first Ant-Man movie, but she didn't have a ton to do once the action started - on the other hand, at least she didn't end up a hostage for the hero to worry about, right?. She trained Scott Lang, since she was more of an action girl than he was an action boy, and then there really wasn't much more for her until the post-credits scene, when we were teased with a Wasp costume. But hey, you've got to save something for the sequel (which is the same thing we said about Giant-Man, though Wasp still opted to sit out Civil War), and sure enough, it's sequel time. And for the sequel, she not only gets a costume and a superheroic identity, she gets equal billing in the title! This little lady's hit the big time.

When the first official photo of the Wasp outfit was revealed, there were, of course, the usual complaints about it having molded boob-armor, which are not entirely unwarranted - the complaints that is, not the boob-cups. The design still would have worked without separate boobs. See, while the black-and-gold colorscheme is heavily inspired by one of her comicbook costumes, the pattern on the chest directly references a wasp's face: the breasts are the eyes, the pattern below them is its mouth, and the stripes above are the antennae. It truly is a smart piece of design work! It's not often we can say a comic movie costume is better than the comics that inspired it, but this is really sharp.

(It's worth noting that, thanks to a few minor, minor tweaks to the design between the time this figure was made and when the costume was finalized for Ant-Man and the Wasp, this is technically an Ant-Man 1 version of her suit. Just for the record.)

The movies recognize that miniaturized lungs wouldn't be able to process normal-sized oxygen molecules, so Wasp wears a full-head helmet. It has a point on top, just like the character's original look in the comics, but adds a long mask with translucent yellow goggles over her eyes. If you can ignore the eyes behind there, you can even have her hold it like a separate helmet, because the set includes an unmasked head as well.

And what a head it is! This is, without question, one of the single best likenesses an action figure has ever had. She could easily hang with NECA or Sideshow. Like Vasquez, there's no angle from which this toy doesn't look like the actress it represents. Remember that McFarlane Toys, the company that was willing to sacrifice any credibility it might have once had upon the altar of sculpt uber alles, made an Evangeline Lilly figure in its Lost line; that figure isn't even in the same area code as this one. Amazing, amazing work by Hasbro.

Wasp gets all the usual articulation, despite having a totally new sculpt, but she also gets a little extra: she's got wings, after all, and they need to move. Each of them - two large, two small - gets a simple hinge, but it's enough for posing them. The wings are semi-opaque, with an appropriate honeycomb pattern that makes it clear they're mechanical devices and not something organic. Like Falcon and his Redwing drone, she has an alternate backpack that shows the wings retracted, for when you want a more casual appearance.

Beyond the two backpacks, Wasp only comes with a pair of flat hands, for flying poses, and the head of Cull Obsidian, this series' Build-A-Figure.

Hope van Dyne getting a promotion from support staff to co-star would be reason enough to get this action figure, but the truly stunning likeness is not one you'll want to pass up.

-- 05/28/18

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