The Ant-Men Origins

I recently had a reader say in the comments that she (or he, men can have Swan Pride too. I don’t judge) didn’t know anything at all about Ant-Man. I briefly explained Hank Pym and Scott Lang. I figured, however, that today would be a good day to give fuller origins to the characters. So without further adieu, who are the Ant-Men.

Hank Pym

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Pym is one of the oldest superheros in Marvel, predating Spider-man, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and just about everyone but Cap and the Fantastic Four. Hank Pym discovered “Pym Particles”, which allowed him to decrease dramatically in size. He developed a specialized helmet so he could talk to ants and command them.

He had a girlfriend (later becoming his wife), Janet Van Dyne. Janet also had shrinking abilities due to the Pym Particles (although the “Ultimate Version” has her being a mutant). She was equipped with wings and stingers, which basically shot beams of bio-energy at opponents.In 1963, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Hank Pym, and Janet Van Dyne (with her superhero name Wasp) formed the Avengers. It was Hank who first suggested they team up and Wasp who coined the name “The Avengers” in the first place.

They were members for a while, although Pym’s pacifist ways often got in the way. Pym never wanted to be a hero. He just wanted to be a scientist. In more recent comics, Pym actually formed his own version of the Avengers to combat Norman Obsorn’s HAMMER (a new version of SHIELD).

Pym’s awesome, but he has two big flaws. First, he created Ultron. He didn’t mean it as a bad thing, but Ultron grew a mind of his own and quickly became one of the biggest threats to the Avengers. Hank never quite got over that. Secondly, he had a couple instances of domestic abuse. He hit Vanet a few times, eventually leading to a divorce.

After an accident involving lab chemicals, Pym’s mental state fell into question and he adopted the name Yellowjacket. Technically, he is something of an anti-hero, but the character is much more villainous than Pym’s original form. He reverted back and fourth between the mindsets throughout the years.

Scott Lang

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As you can see, most of the history of Ant-Man comes from Hank Pym. That makes it extremely interesting that the movie would choose to focus on Scott Lang, when there is so much to pull from of Pym. Nonetheless, Scott Lang is still a pretty cool dude.

Scott became Ant-Man through a criminal act. When his daughter grew ill, Scott broke into Pym’s apartment and stole his shrinking suit. He used it to break and enter in hopes of saving his daughter. He found that the doctor that could help his daughter was taken prisoner. Lang saved him and Pym offered to let Lang keep the uniform, if he used it for good.

Scott never really did much work by himself. He helped out the Avengers a couple times, as well as the Fantastic Four and The Defenders. His daughter, Cassandra Lang, became a superhero named Stature and eventually joined the Young Avengers.

Movie

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The movie will primarily focus around Scott Lang, played by Paul Rudd. Hank Pym will be in the movie, played by Michael Douglas. There has been confirmed Janet’s daughter, but no Janet herself. The Ultron connection will likely not exist in the movie.


So that’s the basics of the Ant-Men. Most people think Hank Pym when they think Ant-Man, but the MCU is choosing to go a less-predictable route with it. Will it work? Well only time will tell.

Check back tomorrow for another villain added to Agents of SHIELD.

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2 responses to “The Ant-Men Origins

  1. “She” is correct. Thanks for that…Wikipedia always has those overly long article and you never know if you will stumble over a spoiler. I prefer to know the basics, not the whole story.

    Mmm…I guess they want to go the road less travelled and are not keen on a superhero who is a domestic abuser? A thief with good motivations is certainly easier to sell to the unassuming audience. Plus, there is already a scientist in the Avengers group with Bruce (well, technically two, but the shorthand for Tony is “rich playboy”), but no thief.

    What about the motivation of the two characters? Why did the original Ant Man even invent a suit like that, and why decided the Lang to keep being a hero after rescuing his daughter?

    • Pym invented it for the sake of science, pretty much. He was mainly using it as a tool for scientific experiments (such as shrinking himself and walking around Ant-Hills). He answered a phone call asking for help, which led to him and his girlfriend to the origin of the Avengers. Pym is first and foremost a scientist, and secondly a superhero.
      Lang mostly got the suit because Pym didn’t want it anymore. He was sick of the violent ways of the Avengers and Lang demonstrated a use of the suit in crime-fighting. Pym, wanting to stop being a hero, gave it to him. Truthfully, I don’t know Lang’s motivation for being a hero. If I were given superpowers like that, though, I would probably be one too. Hahaha.
      And you have a good point with the “already two scientists in the Avengers”. I hadn’t thought of that before.

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