Although Nadia Van Dyne will still be around in Champions, after July, her current feature series, The Unstoppable Wasp, will end. On Monday, writer Jeremy Whitley announced via Twitter that issue #10 will end the current Unstoppable Wasp run, which is truly unfortunate, given how deftly the series has handled mental illness, among other tough topics. However, as Whitley notes in his Twitter thread, “Nadia” means “hope” — and he has plenty of hope for the character and her future at Marvel.
Nadia's first inclination is always to extend a hand, to help, to be a friend. She assumes the best in people and wants to give them the chance to change. Between her kindness, her intelligence, and the occasional kick in the face, there's nothing she can't do. Nadia means hope.
— Jeremy Whitley, Agent of G.I.R.L. (@jrome58) May 13, 2019
In his Twitter thread, which acknowledges the impact of hearing from readers who connected with Nadia in this run, Whitley says The Unstoppable Wasp #10 will mark the conclusion that he and editor Alanna Smith hoped to get to when they learned that Marvel was reviving Nadia’s series, after its first run concluded in just eight issues. That means the ending will hold some weight and (hopefully) feel like a proper conclusion to this arc, which has so far seen a deft exploration of Nadia’s bipolar disorder, in addition to in-depth looks at her friendships with the members of G.I.R.L., as well as her burgeoning confidence as a superhero and scientist.
Plus, as noted by Whitley in his Twitter thread, The Unstoppable Wasp ended once before – and it came back. “Through the love and support of its fan base, it came back,” he wrote. “And because of that, by July, we will have had ten glorious new issues of Unstoppable Wasp.”
Whitley also wrote, “I’m not angry. I’m happy we got to come back and tell the story I desperately wanted to tell. We got to share our GIRLs with the world in ways that I hadn’t dreamed of in the early going. There are still three issues left, but trust me, it will be three great issues!”
When The Beat reached out to Whitley directly for comment on the series ending, he said, “It was a joy to get to come back and write it at all. It’s a rare thing that books come back from being cancelled, especially when they started out being about barely established characters. Nadia had all of three appearances when I started writing Unstoppable Wasp, so getting a chance to mold her the way we have has been extraordinary. Issue #10 was always where we were planning to when we started the book, so we got to finish everything we had planned, but I still have plenty of stories about Nadia and the Agents of G.I.R.L. that I’d love to write.”
In the interim, Whitley encouraged his followers to support The Unstoppable Wasp by buying the comics and trades, reviewing them on platforms like GoodReads and Amazon, and spreading the word about Nadia and G.I.R.L. to their friends, family and social media networks.
He also teased a new Marvel project, which will apparently be announced tomorrow. And although this new project isn’t Nadia-focused, Whitley’s writing for this character has changed the game and will hopefully lead to more and better representation of mental health in comics, especially for younger readers who may struggle to feel seen and heard.
Samantha Puc is an essayist and culture critic whose work has been featured on Bitch Media, The Mary Sue, Bustle, and elsewhere. She mostly writes intersectional pop culture analysis with a particular focus on representation of LGBTQ and fat characters in fiction. Samantha is the managing editor at The Beat, as well as the co-creator and editor-in-chief of Fatventure Mag, an outdoors zine for fat creators who are into being active, but not into toxic weight-loss culture. She lives in Montana with her partner and cats.