Heya Shortboxers, we’re back with more Just The Facts. We’ve looked at Suicide Squad and Aquaman before. In this post, we’re going to learn about Ant-Man! The Ant-Man movie comes out in just under a month; it’s time to become more familiar with our tiny hero.
In our Aquaman post, we lamented that many people would be new to Aquaman, but Ant-Man? We imagine there’s whole new level of newness. In addition to the surprise of Ant-Man getting a dedicated movie, we were also surprised that he is played by Paul Rudd of all people! Now, don’t get us wrong, we love Paul Rudd. We just never pictured him as a superhero. Alright, that’s enough of Paul Rudd, let’s get to the main event: Just the Facts: Ant-Man.
What you’ll find in this post is information cribbed from Wikipedia, Marvel, and YouTube users — we are here to collect and curate resources for you in one convenient place. You won’t find our opinions anywhere. And remember, this resource is for people that aren’t comic readers, there are plenty of places to get in-depth information about Ant-Man.
We’ll give you an intro, a list of Ant-Man’s powers (Marvel Comics Database) his origin story (written and on video via IGN), recommended reading (MCD) and comments about Ant-Man from comic readers (via Reddit). Oh, this is important, we’ll be talking about the Mainstream Marvel Universe Ant-Man, Scott Lang, Earth-616. Don’t worry about all of that if you don’t know what it means.
Powers and Abilities
*Note. Ant-Man relies on some kooky comic book science, so we’ll provide TL;DR descriptions of his powers. You can learn more here if you’re interested.
- Able to reduce himself to the size of an ant, approximately one-half inch in height.
- Can will himself and other objects to reduce in size or enlarge.
- Even if he is in his small form, the mass of his original form remains
- The original mass means a punch delivered by the half-inch high Ant-Man would feel like the blow of a normal-sized man.
- Possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, stature, and build who engaged in moderate regular exercise.
- In his smaller size, his strength is equal to an ant’s.
- Wears a cybernetic helmet permitting him rudimentary communication and control of insects. His helmet also contains sound amplification equipment that also shifts the frequency of his voice so that he can be heard by normal-sized humans despite his diminutive size, as well as providing its oxygen supply.
Note: Non-comic readers, superhero origins are hard to digest when reading, so if you’d rather listen, we’ve included an origins video below. (gathered from ComicVine)
Scott Lang was a down-on-his-luck electronics expert, who turned to burglary as a means of supporting his family. Scott proved to be a poor criminal and is arrested during a botched robbery. He is sent to prison but received an early parole for good behavior.
After his release from jail, he was hired by Stark International to resume his work in electronics. Although Scott’s life seemed to be improving, he was devastated to learn that his daughter Cassie is diagnosed with a serious heart condition. Scott desperately wanted to save Cassie’s life and sought the aid of the brilliant micro-surgeon Dr. Erica Sondheim. Unfortunately, Dr. Sondheim was being held prisoner by the mutated villain Darren Cross. To rescue Sondheim, Scott stole Hank Pym‘s old Ant-Man equipment. Taking the Ant-Man mantle, Scott used his newfound power to defeat Cross and save the doctor.
Scott was prepared to return to prison for his crimes, but Hank Pym was impressed by his heroics and saw Scott’s potential as a hero. Dr. Pym allowed Scott to continue using the Ant-Man equipment and identity. More importantly (at least to Scott), Dr. Sondheim was able to successfully treat Cassie’s heart condition.
Here’s an origins video for Ant-Man from the good people over at IGN.
Note: So, the Ant-Man Paul Rudd is playing in the movie is Scott Lang, the long-standing Ant-Man was Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas). We’re going to give you Scott Lang stories to read. Here are the recommended story arcs from the Marvel Comic Database.
- Marvel Premiere #47 and #48. These issues introduce Scott Lang, Pym’s successor as Ant-Man and take the character in a new direction.
- Ant-Man Vol 2. The adventures of Scott Lang, as he tries to balance being a superhero with being a father.
- Iron Man #133. Scott Lang on a perilous mission that illustrates the potential of Ant-Man
Thoughts from Comic Readers
It’s important to note that focusing on Scott Lang instead of Hank Pym was a curious one to comic readers. Hank Pym’s history of domestic abuse didn’t help. If you’re interested at all in that conversation, we’ve pulled some quotes from Redditors on what they think about that choice.