Hope Van Dyne was the daughter of world-renowned scientist Hank Pym. Tragedy struck when her mother Janet Van Dyne disappered during a mission. Later, Hope became estranged with Hank and their relationship grew weaker over the years. However, with the threat of Yellowjacket on the horizon, Scott Lang was recruited by Hank to become the new Ant-Man, with Hope volunteering to train the former thief. Hope later desired to help Scott in his fight against crime. After realizing he had no right to keep Hope from becoming a hero, Pym outfitted her with personalized wrist devices which allowed her to discharge bio-electric energy blasts which she called her "wasp stings." Designing a specialized armor for her based on the original Wasp armor, Hope Van Dyne became the superheroine known as the Wasp in memory of her mother.
Hope uses a suit designed by her parents to give herself the following abilities:
- Size Reduction: Due to long-term exposure toPym Particles, The Wasp could reduce herself in size, down to the dimensions of the insect from which she takes her name, roughly 1/2 inch in height. She usually chooses not to retain her standard density while at this reduced mass, but can choose to do so at will. The "lost" mass is shunted to a pocket dimension for later retrieval. Additionally, her strength was boosted while she is at reduced size, to the extent that she can bend a one-inch diameter steel bar almost double. Her size allows her to be easily unnoticed in most cases, allowing her to become stealthy in some cases.
- Flight: Due to small implanted insect wings, the Wasp could fly at incredibly fast speeds. These are functional when she reduced herself in height, and can remain so until reaching a height that is a nearly foot shorter than her normal height. Her flight speed can also allow her to gain a form of superhuman reflexes and agility, being able to easily evade targets and attacks.
- Wasp's Sting: The Wasp could generate powerful bio-electric blasts from her hand that have been shown to be capable of cutting through high-density structures and is able to cause extreme pain to superhumanly strong and highly durable beings.
- Insect Communication and Control: Through the use of her retractable antennae, the Wasp could communicate with and control certain higher insects, in a manner similar to Ant-Man's Helmet. She rarely chose to utilize this ability, however.
- Size Addition: In addition to being able to shrink, Wasp could grow significantly in size as well. The growth process requires the rapid acquisition of bodily mass, presumably from an extra-dimensional source. This extra-dimensional mass fortifies all of her cellular tissues, including her bones and muscles, enabling her to support her increased weight, and giving her superhuman strength. Perhaps due to the bodily strains that her ex-husband Hank experienced as a side-effect of such powers, Janet uses this power only in emergencies, preferring to shrink to her wasp-sized form.