Janet van Dyne was introduced in Tales To Astonish #44, as the daughter of a brilliant scientist; Dr. Vernon van Dyne. In the course of the first adventure, she helps Ant-man defeat the creature from Komos, a creature that her father accidentily brought to earth. By the end of the issue, Ant-Man and the wasp have the beginnings of a partnership, something she hopes leads to much more, unfortunitly her father did not survive his initial encounter with the creature.
After seveal advenutures together, she (with ant-man at her side) would go onto become a founding member of the Avengers. In fact she can be credited with giving them their name. It would be soon after that, that Janet Van Dyne and Hank Pym would begin to have the real sparks of a relationship beyond that of Ant-Man / Giant-Man and the wasp.
in a short run of side stories the wasp also has shown a lighter side of service, in the form of storyteller for offered children and sick veterans.
Reading Order & Appearance list for The Wasp*:
*Based of of what I have reviewed so far in silver aged comics.