One of the founding Avengers is back for the first time in almost a decade

Avengers Inc. #1
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

One of the original Avengers is back for the first time in almost a decade in September 13's Avengers Inc. #1 from writer Al Ewing, artist Leonard Kirk, colorist Alex Sinclair, and letterer Cory Petit.

The inaugural issue of Avengers Inc. drags Janet Van Dyne, AKA the Wasp, herself a founding Avenger, into a murder mystery with deep ties to her past - ties that are revealed to go even deeper than she realizes by the last page.

So what's going on with the Wasp, and who is the classic Marvel character pulling the strings of her latest adventure?

You may already have a guess, but read on to find out.

Spoilers ahead for Avengers Inc. #1

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Avengers Inc. #1 begins with someone using special technology to sneak into the ultra-secure super prison known as the Raft, murdering six villains who are imprisoned there, including Wasp's arch-enemy Whirlwind, who is killed while awaiting trial for his actions in the recent Wasp limited series.

Despite Whirlwind's crimes, which include stalking and attempting to murder Janet, she becomes embroiled in the mystery, offering to work as a superhero consultant for the city of New York at the behest of mayor Luke Cage, whose only stipulation is that she can't wear a costume while working.

Despite a moment of shock for the fashion-forward Wasp, who has been known to wear a new costume on nearly every adventure in her career, Janet pushes forward, ordering Jarvis to open "Wardrobe Zero," which includes numerous sets of high fashion outfits designed to be functional with her Wasp powers.

From there, things progress quickly - Janet goes to the morgue to investigate the bodies. But while she's there, all six villains reanimate, quickly capitalizing on the confusion to attempt an escape. All but Whirlwind, that is.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

As the other villains are regaining consciousness, Whirlwind undergoes a transformation in which a red diamond appears on his forehead and his skin becomes pale. He helps Janet fight off the other villains, introducing himself as Victor Shade - the name the Vision uses for his human alter ego.

The pair vow to find out what's going on, with Wasp also promising to keep a close watch on the new Victor Shade, who is inhabiting the body of one of her worst enemies.

At the end of the issue, two figures analyze the results of the murder and resurrection of the villains, lamenting the strange condition of Whirlwind after their "experiment." 

One of the people is immediately revealed as Eric O'Grady, the Irredeemable Ant-Man who has his own history with dying and being reborn. But the second figure, an older man in a lab coat, is only shown from behind until the last page - which reveals that he's none other than Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man and a founding Avenger.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Since 2015's Avengers: Rage of Ultron, Pym has been bonded with his own malevolent AI creation Ultron, and has been mostly absent from the Marvel Universe. But 2022's Ant-Man limited series seems to have laid the groundwork for Pym's full-on return.

What's interesting is that the Pym in Avengers Inc. #1 is an older man with white hair, not unlike his older MCU counterpart. Traditionally in comics, Pym has been a few years older than Janet Van Dyne, but not much - and he's never been elderly.

So what happened to Pym and why? We're expecting some more answers when Avengers Inc. #2 releases on October 18.

Ultron is one of the best Avengers villains of all time.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)