In an interview with Men’s Health, I had a chance to talk about the impetus behind a superhero who struggles with her own mental health.
Jeremy Whitley has built his career on smashing taboos and opening up representation in popular culture. The comic book writer, who’s worked for Marvel among other companies, started the award-winning series Princeless in 2011, depicting a young black princess who starts to question what it means to be a princess—and, instead of waiting for her prince charming to save her from imprisonment in a tower, trades her dress for armor and does something about the situation.
“I have two daughters who are both young women of color, and I wanted them to see themselves reflected in this fairy tale where they often don’t get to see themselves reflected,” Whitley told Men’s Health. “And that sort of blew up into a larger thing over time that’s still ongoing.”
His latest accomplishment is bringing a nuanced understanding of mental health, and bipolar disorder in particular, to Marvel’s current Unstoppable Wasp series that he’s writing. (Issue No. 5 recently came out, and Issue No. 6 will be released on April 10.) …You can read the rest of Paul Schrodt’s article at Men’s Health.
In the fifth edition of the “Unstoppable Wasp” comic, protagonist Nadia Van Dyne (known as the Unstoppable Wasp in superhero form) comes to terms with her mental illness.
Jeremy Whitley, writer of “Unstoppable Wasp,” said it was important to him and his editor to represent mental illness in a superhero’s life — particularly because in the past, comics have often associated mental illness with villains. …Continue reading Juliette Virzi’s article at The Mighty.
This article from The Mighty discusses Nadia’s Bipolar Disorder. It also includes links to other articles about fictional characters dealing with mental health issues.
I got a chance to discuss The Unstoppable Wasp, and specifically, Nadia’s bipolar diagnosis, with Marvel.com.
Since the very beginning, Marvel Comics has presented its Super Heroes as, above all else, people.
Matt Murdock manages his blindness, Bruce Banner copes with his anger, and Charles Xavier contends with his paralysis while, concurrently, Daredevil protects Hell’s Kitchen, the Hulk smashes Super Villains, and Professor X leads a school of gifted youngsters.
While these characteristics are what help make our heroes human, they do not define them or weaken them; they’re simply a part of who they are.
In the same way, today’s UNSTOPPABLE WASP #5 sees its eponymous hero at a crossroads in her life. As Nadia Van Dyne encounters her mental illness for the first time, she and the Agents of G.I.R.L. grapple with its powerful effects while never losing sight of their love for—and responsibilities to—themselves and each other.
Stevens, Tim. “Exploring Mental Illness with “Unstoppable Wasp”, Marvel.com. 19 Feb. 2019
Written by Jeremy Whitley with art by Gurihiru, this story—covered today in the New York Times—is set to change everything about Nadia’s life.
You can read the entirety of the interview with Tim Stevens at Marvel.com.