Learn all about Ant-Man, Marvel’s great little hero!

Although it may be surprising, Ant-Man is one of the most iconic characters in Marvel Comics. He has also always been one of the more minor ones, in all of his incarnations, despite having a major role in many of the major superhero conflicts and in Marvel history in general.

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However, his definitive consecration only came with the premiere of his solo film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (from now on, UCM). Ant-Man (2015), directed by Peyton Reed, was an unexpected critical and box office success and popularized the character among the general public. After briefly appearing in Civil War , the character already has a second film together with his inseparable companion in fatigue, Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018), which offers us a deeper approach to the character’s mythology.

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For its film version, Marvel Studios did not opt ​​for the original version of the hero, played by Hank Pym, but rather chose Scott Lang , the second person to wear the mantle of Ant-Man and who currently holds the title in the vignettes.

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He has become the new (and unexpected) star of the MCU. He is a divorced father and ex-convict. He is Scott Lang, the second Ant-Man. Join us on a journey through the crazy story of this great little hero!

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Hank Pym: the first Ant-Man

Originally, we can say that Dr. Henry (Hank) Pym was created as the typical mad scientist so common in the 60’s, both in movies and in comics. Even after assuming his superheroic identity, his insecure and reserved character made him the traditional hero with confidence issues so common in Marvel at the time.

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Created by editor/writer Stan Lee , screenwriter Larry Lieber , and artist Jack Kirby , the character first appeared in Tales to Astonish #27 (1962), later getting his own series regular: The Astonishing Ant-Man.

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In “The Man in the Ant Hill” (“The man in the anthill”), Dr. Henry Pym discovers a set of subatomic particles which he calls (in a display of originality) “Pym Particles” , which allow him to create a formula to reduce size. Initially, he intended to use the serum to help humanity by facilitating the transport of food or troops in war situations, but abandoned the idea after having a terrible encounter with dangerous ants when he was shrunken in size.

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However, in Tales to Astonish #35 , he decided to pick up his invention and use it on himself to become a superhero, Ant-Man. He later helped found the Avengers along with his partner at the time, The Wasp, and was a long-time member of the group.

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The constant nervous breakdowns and personality disorders suffered by the character make him one of the most complex and (at many times) hated in the vignettes. Deep down, he was always a misfit, with a great feeling of inferiority compared to his fellow Avengers, despite being one of the most brilliant and complex minds in the Marvel Universe. During his career, he has assumed different superheroic identities , but never stayed in any of them for long.

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In constant search of redemption for his past mistakes, Pym was always hopelessly doomed to failure and self-loathing caused by his human weaknesses.

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Currently, he is “fused” with his most perfect (and deadly) creation, the killer robot known as Ultron. This human-machine hybrid entity continues to harbor a staunch hatred of the Avengers and has lately been involved in the search for the Infinity Stones.

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Although Hank Pym and his eventful trajectory deserve an article of their own, you can find more information about him in The Wasp article.

https://www.aficionados.com.br/todo-sobre-la-poderosa-the-wasp/

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In the UCM movie, Michael Douglas plays an aging Henry Pym, the first Ant-Man and father of Hope Van Dyne, the new Wasp, second to take up the mantle after her mother. Douglas’s character appears in the film as Scott Lang’s mentor and the one who provides him with the suit and technology to become the new Ant-Man.

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Scott Lang, the bandit who became a superhero

Scott Lang made his first comic book appearance with David Michelinie and John Byrne in Avengers #181 (1979). Scott was an electronics expert who, faced with the difficulties of supporting his family by doing repair work, decided to commit several robberies, finally being arrested and imprisoned.

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He continued to study electronics in prison, and upon his release was hired by Stark International to work in their design department. Under Tony Stark’s guidance, he would be responsible for installing a new security system for Avengers Mansion.

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However, his real debut as Ant-Man was in Marvel Premiere #47-48 (1979), in the hands of Bob Layton and John Byrne . When he received the news that his beloved daughter Cassie had been diagnosed with a serious congenital heart defect, Lang enlisted the help of Dr. Erica Sondheim. Desperate to help his daughter, he decided to return to theft as a last resort.

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After breaking into the New Jersey home of Dr. Henry Pym, Lang stole the Ant-Man suit and went in search of Dr. Sondheim, who was being kidnapped by businessman Darren Cross to correct her own heart condition.

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After defeating Cross (and thereby earning himself an archenemy for life), Scott got Dr. Sondheim to save her daughter’s life and decided to return the Ant-Man suit and turn himself in for stealing it. However, Hank Pym resolved to let him continue to use the suit as long as it was for good and gave him his blessing to become the new Ant-Man.

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Scott Lang, reformed ex-convict, divorced, devoted father…Marvel had found a new hero who represented the kindest and funniest part of the Ant-Man legacy, totally opposite to the one represented by Pym, a character tormented for having created Ant-Man. Ultron and for his past of domestic abuse. A new hero was born!

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powers and abilities

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1. You can shrink and enlarge

Thanks to the Pym Particles that are in his suit, Scott is able to shrink down to subatomic levels . Ant-Man carries a supply of Pym’s particles on his belt, allowing him to shrink down to the size of an ant, about half an inch tall.

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He can also grow to the height of a skyscraper, making him Giant-Man…

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The nature of these particles discovered by Henry Pym is unknown, as well as their origin and mechanisms. They are contained in a gas and are stored in a special container that generates magnetic fields. At first, Ant-Man needed to use the gas to change his size. Later, his abilities evolved and he is currently able to control that ability mentally, changing size as he wishes. These reducing particles do not have a time limit to their potency.

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When reduced to submicroscopic size, he can access the myriad “subatomic universes”, including the Microverse.

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2. Ant with the strength of a man

Due to the mysterious nature of the Pym Particles, Ant-Man maintains his normal human strength even in insect size, increasing his power and agility, as well as possessing the same physical abilities as an ant. This means that a punch from Ant-Man at his half-inch size would feel like a punch from a normal-sized man.

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As he increases in size, he also gains great superhuman strength and stamina .

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3. It can communicate with ants

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Ant-Man’s cybernetic helmet (designed by Hank Pym) allows him to communicate with ants and even control them , thus leading hundreds of ants and using them to attack his opponents.

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Thanks to this technology, Ant-Man can transmit over a distance of approximately one mile (1.6 km), depending on the materials around him. His helmet also contains sound amplification equipment that also allows him to change the frequency of his voice so that he can be heard by normal-sized humans despite his diminutive size, as well as providing him with his own oxygen supply.

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4. Equipment and technology

Ant-Man’s suit is what makes his size change possible, being essential to him. Scott’s suit is made of elastic synthetic fabric composed of unstable molecules and automatically adapts to his size.

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The gauntlets on Ant-Man’s wrists allow him to fire bioelectric blasts of adjustable strength. His original helmet was capable of firing “disruptive blasts” of blunt force, but less powerful than The Wasp’s stings.

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5. Other skills

Scott has a master’s degree in electrical engineering, as well as additional advanced electronics training that he received while in prison. On occasion, he even made his own modifications to Ant-Man’s equipment, such as installing the Pym gas dispenser on his helmet instead of his belt or mounting an electrical disruptor on his helmet for offensive.

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We cannot forget that he is also a clever thief; Even before he got the Ant-Man suit, he was able to infiltrate and hack advanced security systems.

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Replacement hero with multiple affiliations

During his early years as Ant-Man, Scott Lang appeared primarily in the Iron Man and Avengers series (both scripted by creator David Michelinie), becoming a recurring supporting cast and a valued ally and sidekick.

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In his first mission with the team, in Avengers #195-197 (1980), Lang took the lead to help the supergroup and Yellowjacket, who became his mentor with Tony Stark, save The Wasp from the clutches of a dangerous new Enemy: The Taskmaster , a skull-masked villain capable of mimicking the abilities and movements of anyone who approaches him. This excellent character with a terrifying design by George Pérez became from that moment on Lang’s fetish villain.

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While the Avengers let him show up on missions, Michelinie made Lang a regular supporting cast for his memorable run in Iron Man , where he led Tony to the hell of alcoholism. The new Ant-Man, who worked for Stark industries, appears in several memorable sagas and was the key to helping Iron Man find out who possessed copies of his technology during the Armor Wars saga and helped him when he was trapped inside his armor.

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Especially memorable is the Iron Man saga #131-133 (1980), where he was reunited with Dr. Sondheim to try together to find a cure for Bruce Banner/Hulk. The result, as expected, was a failure…

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Michelinie used Scott Lang and Taskmaster (her favorite characters) again in Marvel-Team Up Spider-Man #103 (1981), where she teamed up with the Wall-crawler in a memorable adventure.

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The two heroes would coincide again years later in another adventure, also under the pen of Michelinie, called “Spidey’s Totally Tiny Adventure” (1990), which was developed in the annuals of the three heads of the launcher and shows us the journey through of various microverses of a dwarfed Spider-Man.

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These different appearances are a sample of the secondary role to which Scott Lang was relegated for a long time. He refused to join the Avengers to take care of his daughter, but was always available when needed and more than happy to lend a hand to any superhero who asked for his help.

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He returned to help the Avengers on several occasions, one of them in Avengers #223 (1982), to help stop Taskmaster again with Hawkeye, leaving us an image to remember that would be imitated and honored multiple times since then.

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This scene was recreated in the movie Captain America: Civil War (2016), to the delight of fans.

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When the Masters of Evil took control of Avengers Mansion and captured most of the group’s members in the Under Siege saga, Lang was instrumental in helping The Wasp defeat Absorbing Man. and Titania, two villains much stronger and more powerful than them, when they attacked the hospital where Hercules was hospitalized with the intention of assassinating him.

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For a time (late 1980s and 1990s), Scott Lang preferred to move away from The Avengers to find shelter in Tom DeFalco’s Fantastic Four, where he replaced a presumed dead Reed Richards, eventually becoming a member of the Fantastic Four . and usual secondary.

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When most of Earth’s heroes seemed to perish after the Onslaught attack (that crazy fusion between the minds of Professor Xavier and Magneto), Scott joined the new lineup of Heroes for Hire as an expert in electronica in one stage scripted by John Ostrander.

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New century, new girlfriend… and to raise mallows

Scott Lang left behind a bygone era to give a new facet to his life, that of Jessica Jones’s hot boyfriend, in the exceptional series Alias ​​(2001-2004), by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos .

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Carol Danvers had managed to set him up on a date with the former heroine now a detective, and the two seemed to hit it off from the get-go.

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Lang was the good guy and voice of reason who tried to bring stability to his life, although for Jones he was just entertainment, someone who helped him on his missions and took his heat away. When she told him that she was pregnant with Luke Cage, her story ended.

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Meanwhile, good old Scott had officially joined the Avengers, becoming a full-fledged member. However, he had to deal with serious problems, such as the loss of custody of his daughter Cassie and an unbearable coexistence with another member of the group, Jack of Hearts .

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The relationship between them seemed hopeless, until Cassie was kidnapped by a madman and Jack decided to rescue her at the risk of being consumed by his own powers, which finally happened. Sadly, Jack sacrificed himself for Scott’s daughter, leaving Scott with a great deal of guilt.

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And we come to the event that shook the foundations of the Avengers (and Marvel) and that marked the end of one era and the beginning of another. In Avengers: Disassembled ( Avengers #500-503 ), a Scarlet Witch who has lost her mind (once again) becomes the hand of Brian Michael Bendis to destroy the team, leaving the way clear for a new formation at will. her. But that is another story…

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In the already mythical Avengers #500, Scott Lang would be the first to bite the dust. When a “zombified” Jack of Hearts reappears with a warning message for his former companions, Scott is apparently killed (ie, off-screen), when Jack explodes, taking with him half of Avengers Mansion and our hero.

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We can say that Bendis managed to put him back in the spotlight only to use him as bait for his plans. Rest in peace Scott Lang.

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Irredeemable Ant-Man

With Scott Lang dead and Hank Pym leading the Mighty Avengers, a new character appeared on the scene to take on the identity of Ant-Man. Irredeemable Ant-Man #1 (2006), by Robert Kirman and Phil Hester, was the debut of Eric O’Grady , a lousy SHIELD agent who stole Pym’s technology and became the third Ant-Man.

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Eric O’Grady, unlike his predecessors, had few heroes. A low-ranking sHIELD official, womanizer, coward, he was a clumsy, self-centered antihero who only did good when he had no choice. Despite being the antithesis of Pym and Lang, the character earned the title of the third Ant-Man and, incredible as it may seem, became a hero.

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He even got the blessing of Hank Pym himself, on the condition that he join the Super Hero Initiative, the government superhuman defense program promoted by Iron Man after the events of Civil War .

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Sadly, O’Grady apparently died in the pages of Rick Remender’s Secret Avengers collection , to be replaced by an evil LMD (Life Model Decoy) version called Black Ant . To add insult to injury, when Black Ant was shot, he hinted that the real O’Grady was alive somewhere.

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Deaths and resurrections in the family

During the time that Scott was dead (you didn’t think it was going to be permanent, did you?), his daughter Cassie had developed her own size-changing powers and had become a superhero herself. Cassie had always idolized her father and had been secretly exposing herself to Pym Particles for years. Under the name of Stature, a female version of Giant-Man, she joined the young group of heroes called Young Avengers , in a remembered maxi-series by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung, to honor the memory of her father.

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In the event The Children’s Crusade (2012), the work of the same authors, a Scarlet Witch in search of redemption for her past mistakes, joined the Young Avengers on a journey through time to rescue Scott Lang from the moment of his death. death and bring him alive to the present.

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Scott Lang was back among the living again…but he still had a heavy blow to suffer.

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Sadly, father and daughter couldn’t be together for long, as Dr. Doom gained god-like powers after manipulating the Scarlet Witch and Cassie heroically sacrificed her life trying to stop him.

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Scott Lang, leader

Heartbroken after his daughter’s death, Scott swore he would do anything he could to make Doom pay for what had happened. Angry and confused, he briefly joined the new Defenders formation to battle the Death Celestials.

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However, life had other plans for him. In FF vol. 2 #1-16 (2013-2014), Matt Fraction and Michael Allred gave Ant-Man a new job. When the Fantastic Four left Earth for a season to embark on a space mission, Reed Richards left Scott in charge of the Future Foundation , Mr. Fantastic’s school for gifted genius children.

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Leading the Foundation meant that Scott was in charge of several children when he had not yet recovered from the death of his daughter. A way to heal the wounds, Dr. Richards must have thought… Either way, this time with the FF allowed Scott to regain his self-confidence.

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At the time, Scott would also lead a backup Fantastic Four, made up of She-Hulk, Medusa, and Darla Deering (a former hookup with Johnny Storm under the name Miss Thing). The series culminated in a confrontation with Doom, whom Scott would manage to defeat and make feel guilty for having taken his daughter from him. But this victory didn’t bring Cassie back…yet.

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Shortly after, in the aftermath of the AXIS event , an “inverted” Doom managed to temporarily take away a portion of Scarlet Witch’s powers to make amends for what he considered one of his biggest mistakes: the murder of Cassie Lang. In this way, Scott’s daughter finally returned to the world of the living.

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New era and successful film

Reunited again with his daughter Cassie after their respective resurrections, 2015 was the year of the premiere of his solo film (a success with critics and audiences, no less surprising than expected) and of his new title, at the hands of Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanas .

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Cassie’s mother decided to move to Florida to get her recovered daughter away from everything that has to do with superheroes. Not wanting to be away from her, Scott decided to quit her job at Stark Industries to start his own security company and become a good father to her daughter.

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Within Ant-Man Security Solutions he will have the “help” of several third or fourth rank villains, especially the Grizzly (a spiteful ex-con in a bear suit) and the Machinesmith (an arrogant cyborg with control over technology).

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That first volume was followed by another called Astonishing Ant-Man, with the same creative team, who played with the idea of ​​the hero’s return to the criminal world. This stage as a whole is a little gem about the most tragicomic side of the life of the average superhero, satirically addressing issues such as midlife crisis, job insecurity and the effort to be a good father.

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hero on the run

During the events of Secret Empire , Scott is forced to collaborate as a double agent for the HYDRA forces, who had his daughter kidnapped. During this event he had the opportunity to meet Hank Py again, in his new form “fused” with Ultron.

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Ashamed of his forced betrayal, he later decided to join the Guardians of the Galaxy to “escape” Earth for a time.

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little big man

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Ultimately, Scott Lang is just a single father trying to do the best he can to be with his daughter and make amends for the mistakes of his past. When Scott doesn’t have Cassie by his side, he tends to make questionable decisions, so let’s hope the two can get back to as normal a relationship as possible…Ant-Man’s job permitting!

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