Jim Shooter: Hank Pym was Not a Wife-Beater

Pym hits his wife

On his website, Jim Shooter says that he never intended for Hank Pym to purposefully strike his wife, Janet:

In that story (issue 213, I think), there is a scene in which Hank is supposed to have accidentally struck Jan while throwing his hands up in despair and frustration–making a sort of “get away from me” gesture while not looking at her. Bob Hall, who had been taught by John Buscema to always go for the most extreme action, turned that into a right cross! There was no time to have it redrawn, which, to this day has caused the tragic story of Hank Pym to be known as the “wife-beater” story.

It’s true, being a wife beater is the one thing that people know about Hank Pym (if they know anything about him). In fact, since he’s changed his powers and costume so many times (Ant Man to Giant Man to Yellowjack and so on), it’s the one consistent thing about his character: one time he hit is wife. The panel above is also the very first image that came up when I did a Google Image search for “Hank Pym.” It’s something writers can’t get past, and I think it’s because wife-beating is such a no-no in our culture (rightly, obviously). Hank Pym always has to be a wife beater because for him to be anything else would mean we’re forgiving him for it. (via)