Ant-Man: A Short Comics History
July 5th, 2015 | by Sarah Anderson
Ant-Man is on its way to theatres, starring Paul Rudd as Scott Lang and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym. If either of those names sound familiar, they are the two characters who are best known for carrying the identity of Ant-Man. He’s a look at who they are, as well as their histories in Marvel Comics.
Henry ‘Hank’ Pym:
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Hank was the first Ant-man and one of the founding members of the Avengers; a genius scientist with a very strong interest in entomology. The start of Pym’s superhero career began with the discovery of Pym Particles; microscopic particles that manipulate the size of anything. During his research, he accidentally shrank into an anthill with a special helmet designed for the user to talk to ants. Further experimenting with the same particles revealed Pym could grow to very large heights, balancing another superhero identity as Giant-Man.
Influenced by his girlfriend, Janet Van Dyne (aka The Wasp) who was also affected by the same particles, the two of them turned to a life of crime fighting. At one infamous point in his character history, during his attempt to create an operational AI to help with peacekeeping, Pym unintentionally created Ultron, a genocidal robot with a God complex and one of the Avengers’ greatest enemies.
A very different version than was portrayed in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Sadly, Pym’s life later became bleaker, after he was exposed to an unstable formula that induced a kind of schizophrenia, causing him to adopt the name ‘Yellowjacket’.
Henry Pym’s had a successor to the name of Ant-Man and one with quite the sympathetic story.
In order to the save the life of his young daughter, Cassie, Scott Lang broke into Hank Pym’s lab to steal the Ant-Man costume, which he needed to rescue a doctor that could save her. After saving both their lives Lang attempted to give back the costume and turn himself in, but Pym allowed him to continue carrying on in the role of Ant-Man.
Prior to his new superhero life Lang was a very gifted electrical engineer, this knowledge came in handy during his tenure as Ant-Man; especially when it came to technical and security challenges. One such time allowed Lang to temporarily join the Fantastic Four while another allowed him work at Stark International.
While he is a new superhero to the public, Scott has always been a hero to his daughter, Cassie Lang; inspiring her enough to follow her father’s footsteps and become a Young Avenger by the name of Stature, with the same abilities as her father.
Scott’s backstory is not a very common one among superheroes, but it shows that anyone could turn their life around and become a hero.
Ant-Man opens in theatres nation-wide on July 17th.
Sarah Anderson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow her on Twitter: @SarPAnde