Eva Longoria of "Desperate Housewives" fame was photographed leaving the L.A. offices of Marvel Studios clutching a business card and some comic books in her hand. The comic book on top? That would be a copy of the Avengers.
The first thing that popped in my head when I heard this: She's going to be Thor!
No, no, just joking. The first thought is that she wants to be Janet Van Dyne, the winsome Wasp, a founding member of the Marvel super team and eventual wife of Hank Pym, the Ant-Man.
Longoria, at least judging by her prevailing gossip-page persona, does seem to have some of the Wasp's, um, entitlement attitude. Van Dyne was a flighty, sometimes conniving and always spoiled daughter of a wealthy scientist, and after his death she used her inheritance for world-class shopping sprees.
She pretty much had a new costume on every few pages in the comics. And in the early days, she sure was kidnapped a lot.
Her first appearance in "Tales to Astonish" No. 44 introduced her on the cover as "Ant-Man's gorgeous new partner-in-peril," but it could have been "smoking-hot sidekick in distress."
But more than a villain's trophy and a Manhattan social butterfly, the Wasp became an especially perceptive member of the Avengers and a key part of the team chemistry that made it less of a simple boy's club. As the years went on, she was increasingly portrayed as the savvy woman on the team who might have a makeup mirror in her hand but was also more intuitive then a lot of the lab-coat geniuses around her.
Van Dyne could be also pretty calculating, which raises another thought: If you look at these parking-garage photos of Longoria, it sure does seem like the actress is flashing that comic book with a bit of purpose. I wonder if she is trying to stir up a bit of fan chatter that will help her lock in the role...
-- Geoff Boucher