Off My Mind: Is Hank Pym a Wife Beater or Did He Get a Bum Rap?

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#101 Posted by mewmdude77 (1037 posts) - - Show Bio

I can forgive Hank Pym for what he did, he was under tons of stress and was a little crazy. Reed on the other hand, thats just more strikes against him, and makes me not like him more. Reed is suppose to be, like, the smartest man in the world, but he does the dumbest stuff ever! Now we get to Peter. Peter Parker, shame on you! Whenever Peter does something crazy or out of character like that, I do a big facepalm and shake my head. He should be more in control, seeing as he is mr. Responsibility, but since it never happened according to the stupid deal with Mephisto, theres nothing else to say.

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#102 Posted by briangermain (62 posts) - - Show Bio

I have to agree with frobin on the fact that this stuff happened at different era's I mena if you look at old Movies or even tv show there wasn't namby pamby politcal correctness about slapping someone. Yeah it looks like he decked her in this instance, but  a slap or two does not constitute abuse. Doctor's and others have been known to slap hysterical patients. Men throughout history have slapped hysterical women to get them to snap to attention or break them out of shock.  And women have slapped men throughout history for being jerks or saying something about them.  Just like spanking a child for discipline slapping someone is not abuse and just because some people have never been in a situation where they could see themselves "needing" to slap someone else still doesn't mean it's outright abuse.  The rough part here is two things one is where to draw the line and the other is intent.  So the question is did Hank mean to slap Janet to hurt her... if he did would not more battle have ensued? would it be abuse if he slapped she hulk even though likely she-hulk would send him through the next two walls? At best you might call Hank a wife slapper.  He didn't beat his wife he slapped her ONCE, and hasn't done so again since what the 1970's? To me a wife beater is someone who beats their wife, if not constantly then at least more than one slap.  Even one time of several slaps would be closer to what one might consider a "wife beater". Take it from a guy who had a fiance who was extremely abusive and would hit me daily, me thinking I was the guy (and no small guy) and supposed to be the "bigger person" and just plain old fashioned thought nothing about it for about three years.  But lemme tell you if you have someone beating on you daily for years, it's highly likely when you get frustrated enough and get stressed enough that sooner or later you will likely slap that person back. Guess that makes me a woman beater too.  I have been with my wife (not the girl who beat on me) for five years now and we have never had issue. How come no one ever calls abusive wives husband beaters? or child abusers kid beaters? here's the thing lil boys and lil girls it's the year 2011 if your going to hit expect to get hit back.
And that's all I have to say about that.

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#103 Posted by AtraCruor (241 posts) - - Show Bio

I think why Hank slapping Jan is one of the biggest things remembered about him because there's really not much else to his character that stands out to casual readers.  With Spider-Man for example, he has a diverse powerset and constant adventures that flood out something like the accidental hitting of MJ.  There's much more to his character that pulls attention from some singular event and the same can be said for a lot of the others.  Hank Pym though: He's smart, but there's Reed, he shrinks but there's Wasp, He grows (big woop) and gets "stronger" but there's still Thor, Hulk, and Tony.  While Reed is also a lot worse (me and some friends thinks he's a closet villian) he's got the adventures things.  Pym? He's got a goofy helmet that controls.... ants. 

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#104 Posted by Grifter21 (17 posts) - - Show Bio

Hitting Franklin was in a what if. I think Pym can't live it down, because that's his whole M.O. guilt. Ultron, hitting her, betraying his friends, being replaced among other stupid things. that's been his driving point for years and will continue to be. That's why whenever Spidey is having a bad day we are reminded he didn't stop a robber. Or that Batman's parents were killed in  front of him.

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#105 Posted by VampireSelektor (853 posts) - - Show Bio
I think I love you
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#106 Edited by lapis2 (40 posts) - - Show Bio

Reed smackin Sue by Bryne/Ordway (pretty sure its them)  nice!!!  And on Hank its about the most intersting thing hes ever done so I dont think people will forget it anytime soon.

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#107 Posted by YoungThriller (784 posts) - - Show Bio

It's pretty much is what it is.

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#108 Posted by ferroboy (3 posts) - - Show Bio

I have to say that I never did see Hank Pym as a wife beater - just a guy who screwed up once. Did it require a deep apology and NEVER doing it again? Of course. But that's it. What's funny is that the one who was thinking Hank wasn't worth Jan's time is now dating him.

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#109 Posted by GERALD (175 posts) - - Show Bio

"Hank Pym did hit his wife. It was an accident."

No it wasn't. It doesn't matter if Shooter intended for it to be accidental, the artist did not draw it as such and therefore this "he didn't mean to" theory isn't cannon. That would be like if George Lucas originally wanted Vader to kill Palpatine because he owed him money and someone claiming that was the cannon reason Palpatine died.

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#110 Posted by Gambit1024 (10217 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm bumping this for good measure. No matter how many times I repeat it, the message still isn't getting across.


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#111 Posted by EMH_Bruce (858 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024 said:

I'm bumping this for good measure. No matter how many times I repeat it, the message still isn't getting across.



For me Hank isn't a "wife beater", he would be if he would doing it many times, but not because of one time slapping Jan in affect.

I wonder why no one mentions Harold Barton


or Brian Banner

Incredible Hulk #611
Incredible Hulk #611

maybe because they're both dead? Sure they aren't heroes, but they beat their wives and kids! Brian even killed his wife because she wanted to get away from him!

I will never put Hank in the same category as those two!

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#112 Posted by mk111 (3148 posts) - - Show Bio


The main difference is, those two were scumbags.

For Hank Pym, he was supposed to be a hero that kids could look up to. It doesn't help that around the time, fans were getting annoyed at how emo Pym was getting. And then he almost got the Avengers killed by some out-of-control robots.

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#113 Posted by Teerack (10230 posts) - - Show Bio

He hit her ONCE while going through a mental break down, and he regrets it more than anything else in his life, so no.

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#114 Posted by roboadmiral (577 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the reason it's really stuck with Pym is that he doesn't have much going for him in the way of being heroic. Sure, he's been around a while, but he's never been terribly useful. The guy had to MAKE a villain that only he could be to prove his worth. There's no counterbalance. The only memorable moments he has are of him being a jerk.

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#115 Posted by EMH_Bruce (858 posts) - - Show Bio

@mk111 said:


The main difference is, those two were scumbags.

For Hank Pym, he was supposed to be a hero that kids could look up to. It doesn't help that around the time, fans were getting annoyed at how emo Pym was getting. And then he almost got the Avengers killed by some out-of-control robots.

Yeah ok, your right with those two are being scumbags.

but at least Hank feels remorse and I think a person (hero or not) who makes mistakes (in general, I don't say hitting a person is just a mistake) and feels sorry, is more likeable then one who is perfect in every way.

Hank and Janet in JLA & Avengers #03
Hank and Janet in JLA & Avengers #03
Hank and Janet in JLA & Avengers #03
Hank and Janet in JLA & Avengers #03

(I don't know how Marvel treats the DC & Marvel Crossovers, but I think DC includs them into their canon.)

.....if I think about it, somehow this reminds me of Ravager (Rose Wilson), for some time she wasn't right in her head, (because of Deathstroke, her father, who drugged her) and did many stupid things, she even took her own eye because of that.

After she became a Teen Titan she got reminded of that time by her teammates (mostly Wonder Girl) every time she tried to help.

I have to say that really annoyed me, she was a great character with flaws and everything and it was a pity when she left the team.

I haven't read anything about her in N52, but I read the whole TT V3 run and even though she did really stupid things sometimes I really liked her, same goes for Hank. (I have to read more about him yet, but I will)

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#116 Edited by trawlertrash (1 posts) - - Show Bio

You lost all credibility when you compared Black Canary decking Green Arrow to Hank HITTING HIS WIFE UNPROVOKED. If you seriously think those two things are equal, you are part of the reason that it's okay to hit your wife in our society. Hank never atoned for it, and continued to be verbally abusive. Even Tony Stark calls him a wife beater. Reed is just as abusive to Sue and the fact that he's let off for that is disgusting. They're both abusers with a larger pattern of verbal and emotional abuse.

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#117 Posted by NixNightbird (33 posts) - - Show Bio

Correction: The events of Brand New Day did NOT wipe out Peter and MJ's time together. It just wiped out the marriage. According to current canon, they were still living together all that time. EVERYTHING that happened in the previous timeline still happened, it just happened with them as boyfriend/girlfriend.. And yes, that means MJ was pregnant out of wedlock.

This does make you wonder why rewriting the timeline was preferable to divorce, but that's neither here or there. The point is that the article above is wrong on this point: Peter striking MJ still happened, but they weren't married when it did.

As for Janet/Hank: I always thought it was a bit harsh to act like a backhand swat from Hank at normal height was the cause of terrible physical damage to Jan. This is a woman who fights for a living. She has been punched, kicked, zapped, tossed, crushed, smashed, and physically assaulted by superhumanly strong villains, yet at that one moment she got a black eye from her normal-strength husband who wasn't even trying to hurt her.

Ultron can punch her with metal fists and send her flying across the room and she doesn't get a bruise, but when Hank swings at her, she's as delicate as can be? Seriously?

Maybe Janet painted on the black eye to make Hank feel guilty.

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#118 Posted by Xaviersx (86 posts) - - Show Bio

Both, he hit his wife, so he did hit her that time, and even though he was not habitual with it, it's a bum rap that it outshadows his heroic accomplishments, and also that the same behavior in other characters is never addressed in the same vein that Pym is saddled. He's the poster child of something that is associated with continual abuses, whereas Peter Parker and Mr. Fantastic don't lose commercial viability despite their similar writer written story lines. For pure fiction, Hank suffers some very real consequences, he's in the running for Hulk's damages of consequences . . a hero who's caused harm but still has to be or tries to be the hero ~ though Hulks rampages have more instances, way more.

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#119 Posted by tsparks1307 (1 posts) - - Show Bio

If you look at the Ultimates 2, Hank's spousal abuse is expanded. I realize this is Earth 1610, but considering how many elements of the Ultimates are used in the movies, it's not unreasonable to assume this could as well. From the Marvel Wiki:

" He was abusive to her early in their relationship and he hit her twice. The first time he put her head through the bathroom door, and the second time he punched her so hard at a Christmas party that he split the roof of her mouth in two. Betty Ross also claimed that several times Janet appeared to be missing chunks of hair.[1]

Hank attempted to change, going on a medication, and Jan believed that joining the Ultimates could be a new start for them. But later the tensions of losing and humiliating himself in a battle with the Hulk, and his jealousy of Jan's friendship with Captain America, led to a heated argument between the couple, resulting in Henry hitting her once again. Jan retaliated, and the battle between the two grew more vicious. When Janet resorted to using her mutant powers, shrinking to wasp size, Henry retaliated by donning his Ant-Man helmet and commanding an army of ants to attack her. After the fight Janet was in a state of anaphylactic shock, caused by receiving multiple ant stings at wasp size. Captain America beat her husband into a humiliated pulp for assaulting his wife, despite the fact that Henry grew to giant size in the practically one-sided fight. However, when Captain America visited Janet Pym afterwards, the news made her even sadder. To Mrs. Pym, her hopes for saving her marriage had been destroyed."[2]

I never much cared for Ant-Man or Hank Pym, and the fact that he truly is a wife beater, makes me care even less. Hank Pym is a wife beater, and a piece of shit, it doesn't matter if he's one of the smartest men on the planet, or a founding Avenger.

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#120 Edited by Comicdude360 (3245 posts) - - Show Bio

I hate how it's a big deal when he does it but every one forgets about others like mr fantastic.

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#121 Posted by Kinasin_ (1352 posts) - - Show Bio

Bum rap all the way.

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#122 Posted by Spider-ManWins (3899 posts) - - Show Bio

It's cuz spiderman IS actually cool

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#123 Edited by Nerelith (1 posts) - - Show Bio

The issues I have with a Lot of the things people say here do trouble me, as I read this. Being female I think my life experiences give me a different perspective.

The first and most glaring is the fixationn many have on " It only happened once... and he was Very sorry"

The problem is, that when a woman is struck, she doesn't think." this was the ONLY time." she thinks " this may be the FIRST time."

Some also want to focus On the fact that she has taken blws from Ultron Robots etc... a back hand from her husband should be " No big deal." The damage is NOT Just physical, it is emotional. When the person you trust most in the world to care for you, and your heart..Hits you in the face.... you don't care that he was under stress. You don't care that he was almost out of his mind... the ONLY thing you care about is.." I trusted him."

Another is.." he was going mad, she antagonized him.... what did she expect?"

Unfortunately this is typical. Blame the victim. She had it coming. She should have known better, she knows How he gets, and if only she had shut up and made him a sandwich it would never have happened.

Some say " he was very very sorry." that's the thing...all abusers are always VERY sorry after... They slap... they say " I am sorry but.... you Know How I get... if Only you didn't Push me!" And this is what I hear many here repeating.

The last I wish to focus on. The effect of ONE back hand slap in the face is not something to be trivialized. The woman sees it as " this is what you get if you don't do what I expect." and even if he is sorry, that slap will loom in her memory, as an option he has at his disposal. it will shade her decisions. Times she MIGHT open her mouth, suddenly she thinks about it longer ..and thinks," is it worth the possible slap?"

Even ONE slap is a sign that there needs to be a temporary seperation while the issues are worked on. Even if the striker... is 100 % sincere.. he is a trigger for her, and she for him. The ONLY way to address the issues that led to violence need to be addressed in an atmosphere where the struck feels safe. And living with a loved one that struck you, is never going to make him or her feel safe.

he or she, the struck, needs to feel they can pick up and walk away,.. that way IF there is reconsiliation, it is because he or she feels it was their choice.

many say " he wasn't an abuser" And I agree, beating your spouce one time doesn't make them an abuser. But it makes them a wife beater.

There is an old joke..

Two friends are at a bar talking. One says to the other.

" How many buildings do you need to design before you can call yourself an architect?"

" why you ask?" " well, it seems to me that beffore you can call yourself an architect , one building isn't enough. Same thing for a plumber, you can't call yourself a plumber because you unclogged one toilet right? And artists... you aren't an artist because you drew One stick figure drawing..."

" what's your point mac?" " why is it that all it takes is sucking one c*^$... and you are a c*^$sucker for life?"

Somethings... all it takes is once.

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#124 Posted by just_sayin (675 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Pym got a raw deal. Why is it that a guy who in the midst of a mental breakdown hit his wife once can't have a single story not mention the event that happened 33+ years ago. But Mr Fantastic slaps his wife and kids like they are piñatas and no one says anything. Spider-man slaps his then pregnant wife across the room and damages a wall and we don't mention it ever again. Iron Man attempts to sleep with the Wasp shortly after she leaves Hank and later tries to kill her and it doesn't get mentioned. He kills an Avenger, Rita DeMaria, the female yellowjacket and it doesn't get repeated every issue like it would with Pym. Batman has slapped Robin, who was a young teenager at the time, on numerous occasions, why don't we hear about Batman the child abuser?

Yes. Pym got a raw deal.

4689910-reed slaps sue yet again.png
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#125 Posted by OGradyFan (11 posts) - - Show Bio

The whole thing is Janet's forgiven him (multiple times) and he's never repeated such behavior but no matter what they believe that's his character ,ultimate didn't help matters as I've actually seen a recent video of LORE(a series that compresses major events of a character/hero into 1 minute bites) that references ultimate like it happened in 616.

It's even crazier when you remember Janet was pretty off her rocker at points and in fact originally stated when she was called nuts for wanting to marry Yellowjacket before anyone knew it was Hank, that it was her only chance at happiness after Hank buried himself in his work(bottom panel):

Janet's happiness is that important.

So yeah the fact Hank is considered this wife beating monster is a HUGE bum rap deal, especially as he has gone through hoops of even making a chain of domestic abuse centers in her honor.

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