Does Hank Pym's history of spousal abuse tarnish his character?

#1 Posted by yumyumbubblegum (618 posts) - - Show Bio

It wasn't until I read Avengers Academy #21 that I remembered that Hank Pym was once a "wife beater", and somehow he is now the headmaster of an academy training super powered juvenile delinquents? I never truly got over that to be honest. Makes me wonder whether or not he deserves to bear the mark of an Avenger, unless the whole fiasco was retoconned and he was a skrull....

#2 Posted by chalkshark (1195 posts) - - Show Bio

Hank Pym is not a wife beater. This bit of character assassination has dogged the character for decades. He hit the Wasp exactly one time. He was in a highly unstable emotional state when he did it. He had never hit her before. He never hit her since. There was no history of physical abuse in their relationship. At all. The writer of that issue of Avengers, wherein the strike took place, a guy named Jim Shooter, has stated that Hank was supposed to have accidentally struck Jan, while throwing his hands up in frustration & despair. The artist, Bob Hall, misinterpreted Shooter's intent for the scene, & turned it into a back handed slap. According to Shooter, there was no time to have the panel re-drawn before the book went to press, therefore, Pym came off looking far worse than Shooter ever wanted. 
 
Now, if we're talking about the Ultimates version of Hank Pym... yeah... that  guy's a scumbag. He tried to straight up murder the Wasp in a jealous rage. 

#3 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio

The title of this thread makes me laugh, even if that one panel wasn't taken out of context, one instance hardly equates to a "history". I personally wouldn't justify hitting his wife regardless but I think there needs to be a hero (besides Richards, as he's like Pym but with different team-mates) who abuses their spouse on a regular basis or did at one point just so people realize Pym isn't really close to an actual 'wife beater'.

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#4 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29510 posts) - - Show Bio

He isn't one.

#5 Posted by venomoushatred1001 (12273 posts) - - Show Bio

@chalkshark said:

Hank Pym is not a wife beater. This bit of character assassination has dogged the character for decades. He hit the Wasp exactly one time. He was in a highly unstable emotional state when he did it. He had never hit her before. He never hit her since. There was no history of physical abuse in their relationship. At all. The writer of that issue of Avengers, wherein the strike took place, a guy named Jim Shooter, has stated that Hank was supposed to have accidentally struck Jan, while throwing his hands up in frustration & despair. The artist, Bob Hall, misinterpreted Shooter's intent for the scene, & turned it into a back handed slap. According to Shooter, there was no time to have the panel re-drawn before the book went to press, therefore, Pym came off looking far worse than Shooter ever wanted.

Now, if we're talking about the Ultimates version of Hank Pym... yeah... that guy's a scumbag. He tried to straight up murder the Wasp in a jealous rage.

Well said. And true.

#6 Posted by SC (13348 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree, strip Pym of the A on his chest, he doesn't deserve to bear it. Ugh, hate guys who hit women, take that loser Spider-man off the Avengers too, he hit Mary Jane once as well, that blonde bimbo Thor? He smacked Lady Sif upside the head too, WTH is he an Avenger? Wolverine? He killed half his former girlfriends. Tony Stark and Carol Danvers are drunks, so chances are they hit their respective partners too. Superman? He's not an Avenger but he has hit Wonder Woman so he should be ineligible. I am pretty sure Wonder Woman hit him as well so, strike her of the list. Basically IMHO, only Captain America, and D-Man are worthy to wear an Avengers outfit.  
 
(or it could be considered a character flaw, of a character, one which they have tried to arise from, and often criticizes himself for his action, never forgetting, often trying to redeem himself (its been a plot for the character many times - oh and see things like the Janet Van Dyne center? Anyway character has never forgiven himself. Thats pretty cool, allows an important social issue to be brought up now and then, and well, I like that lack of self forgiveness, way better than trying to smooth things over or pretend it didn't happen, has turned a bad into a good. Even the circumstance of the situation was pretty complicated - and pretty much a result of the awkward heavy handiness that comic writers have when trying to interject serious real life social issues into plots of comics, (or have artists draw things a bit more exaggerated than intended) it could be a lot of things, Pym is a fictional, character. Not real. I guess perspective might be a good thing? Considering half his team mates have gone crazy and killed people, enslaved the world, engaged in civil wars, and often fight other characters regardless of gender - stuff that if done by real life people would be crazy bad things. Or I suppose Pym could shave and dye his hair blond get a bunch of tattoos and release some hardcore rap and get angry on Morning TV breakfast shows. For realz breezy)

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#7 Posted by WarMachineMarkV (1214 posts) - - Show Bio

- The problem is Marvel did nothing with this character for so long, the only storylines anyone remembers with him front and center was the "pimp slap incident" and his mental breakdown. When that is the only thing that comes to mind its easy to see why that is what he is generally thought of as, regardless of its accuracy.

- Marvel is trying to make Pym more prominent in the past few years, but the majority of readers simply don't like/care about him anymore.

- The execution has been terrible in his character rehab with the whole "Scientist Supreme" and his joke of a stint running the Mighty Avengers and now Avengers Academy. Could someone please put him in a role he is actually suited for and not just being thrown in?

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