Wasp #10 // Review
It’s going to be kind of a rough sprint to the end of the series for Nadia Pym. The young genius was going to have a rough enough time trying to make it through a big tech expo without having to deal with a psychotic superhuman with stolen tech. Now that the villain in question is threatening the lives of her loved ones, things are going to get ugly in the final issue of The Unstoppable Wasp. Writer Jeremy Whitley keeps things creepy enough to propel action as robots and sociopaths scramble around threatening the innocent. Gurihiru’s American/Manga art fusion maintains an appealing angle on the creepy tech without losing sight of the momentum of the action necessary to keep the issue running.
As the issue opens, super-adventurers Mockingbird and Bucky have traveled to a top-secret Red Room base in chilly Russia. In hopes of finding, among other things, information about Nadia's real parents. Things haven't gone well for them as they are attacked by vicious, little metal toddler robots with dead eyes and piranha teeth, that insist upon calling Bucky "Daddy." Meanwhile, Wasp is confronting the sinister villain Fantasma who is threatening to pass her hand straight through her friend's brain. A disturbing sight, given that she has taken the form of Nadia's adoptive mother, Janet.
It's really too bad that Whitley has been forced to end the series on this story. The character herself continues at precisely the moment when everything comes together at the end of this issue. Whitley's vision for the character's arc this series has been enjoyable. The entire ensemble of characters Whitley has delivered to the page have a great sense of community about them. Whitley has been crafting in a way that really lends itself to a long-term series. There IS a chance that the series might continue as Whitley stated on Twitter back in May. With any luck, there may be a resurgence in interest with this final issue and the subsequent trade collection. Whitley's Nadia has been a lot of fun.
Gurihiru juggles action with drama and little bits of interpersonal comedy with a deft heart. There's a really delicate balance between action, mild horror, and human interaction that Gurihiru manipulates. With clever enough precision to keep all of the elements in Whitley's script from crashing into each other. Perhaps Gurihiru's most significant accomplishment is keeping all the character's personalities distinct. It's kind of a large ensemble largely lacking in the usual types of visual cues that keep everyone in a superhero comic book looking different. Gurihiru allows everyone in Nadia's life his or her own personality in facial expressions and body language without exaggerating anything. It's quite impressively subtle visual work. With any luck, Gurihiru will have more of a chance with this sort of thing in other series in the future.
Back in May, Whitley's third recommendation for those interested in keeping the series running included this bit of advice: "Review it. You don't know everybody out there, but when you review our books on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes, and Noble, etc.,. then your recommendation can help other people find the book." Okay...so here's my recommendation. Anyone else wants to hang out with Nadia and her friends? They're all pretty cool. It's a fun ensemble. Check it out.