Published March 27, 2023

A Tiny History of Wasp's Crystal Lab

As Janet and Nadia van Dyne's adventures continue in 'Wasp' #3, revisit a shared piece of their history.

As one of oldest alternate dimensions in the Marvel Universe, the Microverse has played a key role in many stories since its introduction. In recent years, the setting has become closely associated with Hank Pym, AKA Ant-Man, and Janet van Dyne, AKA the Wasp—which shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the Microverse is accessed by shrinking to an incredibly tiny size. 

However, Wasp’s relationship to that alternate dimension is much more complicated than Ant-Man’s. Here’s what you need to know about the Microverse and the history both Janet and her fellow Wasp, Nadia van Dyne, have with the location.

A Tiny History of the Microverse in the Marvel Universe

In CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS (1941) #26, Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes found themselves in a tiny city called Mita after taking a drug that made them shrink. This tiny world was a precursor to what eventually became the Microverse. 

More than a decade later, in FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #16, Marvel’s titular First Family battled Doctor Victor von Doom in a place called Sub-Atomica, which is also part of the Microverse. Ant-Man assisted them in that fight. 

Over the following decades, the Microverse became more fleshed out. Readers were introduced to various Microverse locations and characters, many of which were bizarre.

Janet van Dyne, Trapped in the Microverse

Despite Pym’s early encounter with the Microverse in FANTASTIC FOUR, Janet van Dyne didn’t have much history with the dimension until SECRET INVASION (2008). During that event, a Skrull impersonating Pym gave van Dyne a growth serum that also secretly contained an airborne toxin that could turn her into a devastating chemical weapon. During their battle against Earth’s heroes, the Skrulls activated this contingency. To save the planet and his friends, Thor seemingly killed Wasp. 

However, van Dyne didn’t die. Instead, before Thor could do the deed, Wasp shrunk herself down, trapping herself in the Microverse in the process. While there, she battled against a tyrant named Lord Gouzar. Eventually, Janet used her Avengers’ Priority Card to contact her former allies, who rescued her from the dimension. Together, Wasp and the Avengers defeated Lord Gouzar. 

Later, in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE (2012) #20, Wasp returned to the Microverse, where she again took on Lord Gouzar, this time to rescue some people who’d accidentally become trapped in the dimension.

Nadia van Dyne’s Time in the Microverse

While Janet’s time in the Microverse wasn’t exactly pleasant, Nadia van Dyne has embraced the tiny dimension in a big way. Early in her history, Nadia and Janet teamed up to defuse some bombs in the Microverse. Nadia also has a lab in the Microverse that she uses to work on projects, taking advantage of the idiosyncratic way that time works in the dimension.

Nadia spent an entire series in the Microverse: ANT-MAN & THE WASP (2018). In that series, Scott Lang, AKA Ant-Man, became lost in the Microverse. Nadia set out to rescue him, and together, the two took on some of the weirdest and wildest creatures that the Microverse had to offer.

Janet and Nadia van Dyne’s adventures as Wasp have continued in the pages of WASP (2023) by Al Ewing and Kasia Nie. Don’t miss the third issue of the series, now on sale!

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