Ant-Man is the codename of three characters in the Marvel Universe
: Hank Pym, Scott Lang, and Eric O'Grady.Dr. Henry "Hank" Pym
The original Ant-Man, Dr. Henry "Hank" Pym was created by Stan Lee
, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby
. Making his Silver Age
debut in Tales to Astonish #27
(January, 1962), Hank Pym was an ordinary, but brilliant biochemist. Happily married to Maria Trovaya, a political refugee, Hank was devastated when she was murdered on a trip to Hungary. Her death led to Hank's first mental breakdown, one of his defining attributes in later years. After recovering, Hank threw himself into his work, leading to the creation of a rare group of subatomic particles. Pym then uses the particles to create two serums: one that shrinks objects and one that makes them larger. Testing the first serum on himself, Pym shrinks to insect size for the first time but is unable to reverse the procedure. Now trapped in a nearby anthill, Pym nearly drowns in honey before being rescued by a friendly ant. The new friends fend off an attack by other ants looking for an easy meal before Pym makes it back to his lab. Using the second serum to return to normal size, Pym recognizes the danger of his discovery and decides to destroy the serums before they can do more harm.
Realizing that he was destroying a breakthrough, Hank recreated his serums a few weeks later. Inspired by his experience in the anthill, Pym uses the shrinking serum to become the superhero Ant-Man in Tales to Astonish #35
(September, 1962). He would pick up a partner a few issues later in the form of Janet van Dyne, a young socialite who closely resembled his dead wife. With her father dead thanks to the arrival of the creature from Kosmos, Janet volunteers to undergo genetic alteration at the hands of Pym to become "The Wasp
". Together, the heroes defeat the Kosmosian and become partners. Later, the duo would join Iron Man
in battle against the Hulk
until the heroes realize that they've been manipulated by Loki, the God of Mischief. Banding together, the heroes defeat Loki and officially become The Avengers
The second Ant-Man, Scott Lang was created by David Michelinie and John Byrne
. Lang first appeared in Avengers #181
(March, 1979). He assumed the Ant-Man identity Marvel Premiere #47
(April, 1979). An electronics expert on the brink of poverty, Scott Lang turned to crime to support his family. A poor criminal, Lang is arrested during a botched robbery and sent to prison. Studying electronics in his free time, Lang earns himself a job offer from Stark International after being paroled early for good behavior.
Resuming his work in the field of electronics, Lang's life appears to be on the upswing until his daughter, Cassie, is diagnosed with a congenital heart condition. The only person capable of curing her condition was Dr. Erica Sondheim, but she was being held prisoner at Cross Technological Enterprises (CTE). Desperate, Lang breaks into Hank Pym's home and steals some of Ant-Man's equipment so he can confront the villain Darren Cross, the owner of CTE. Engaging the villain as "Ant-Man", Lang successfully uses his new powers to defeat Cross and rescue Dr. Sondheim.
Prepared to return to prison for theft, Lang is shocked when Hank Pym allows him to keep the stolen Ant-Man equipment. Recognizing Lang's true nature, Pym's only condition was that Scott must use the Ant-Man persona to uphold the law. Relieved, Scott receives more good news from Dr. Sondheim: Cassie's heart condition was successfully cured.Eric O'Grady
The third Ant-Man, Eric O'Grady was created by Robert Kirkman and Phil Hester. He first appeared in 'The Irredeemable Ant-Man #1'' (September, 2006). Introduced as a low-level S.H.I.E.L.D.
agent assigned to the Helicarrier
, Eric O'Grady was the kind of guy who'd lie, cheat, and steal his way through life. Fortune struck one day when O'Grady and his best friend, Chris McCarthy, are put on guard duty outside Dr. Hank Pym's lab after Wolverine
's dead body is brought aboard. Brainwashed by HYDRA, Wolverine is revived and starts killing everyone in sight. Panicking, O'Grady knocks Dr. Pym unconscious when the alarms start blaring. Messing around with the prototype Ant-Man suit in Hank's lab, Chris becomes trapped at insect size, causing O'Grady to panic again as HYDRA launches a full-scale attack on the helicarrier. Lost in the Helicarrier, Chris returns to full size only to be shot in the head. Looking for a place to hide, O'Grady stumbles across Chris's dead body and steals the Ant-Man suit. The Helicarrier sustains heavy damage during the attack, eventually crash landing in Arkansas. Surviving the crash, O'Grady retains his job as S.H.I.E.L.D agent during the day while experimenting with the Ant-Man suit at night.Comics
- The Irredeemable Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady)
- Ant-Man & Wasp (Eric O'Grady and Hank Pym)
- FF Vol. 2 (Scott Lang as a central character)
- Mighty Avengers: Hank Pym assembles and leads the second team to use this name.
- Avengers A.I.: A team made up entirely of artificial intelligences with Hank Pym as the leader.
- Ant-Man (Scott Lang)
- Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers: Hank Pym appears as Giant-Man, a former Avenger who was forced to retire when his powers started putting too much strain on his body.
- Ant-Man: A Marvel Cinematic Universe film that was originally going to be directed by Edgar Wright, before he left the project and Peyton Reed took over. Hank Pym and Scott Lang will both be in the film. Paul Rudd has been cast to play as the Scott Lang version of Ant-Man, who will be the lead. Michael Douglas will portray an older, retired version of Hank Pym in a supporting capacity.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance: An unplayable Science Hero, Hank Pym appears between missions to offer advice. One objective for the Omega Base mission is to find Pym's Ant-Man helmet.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2: Pym appears in his Yellowjacket persona as a boss for the Anti-Registration side.
- Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Pym is a non-playable character, appearing as part of one of Hawkeye's hyper combos.
- Marvel: Avengers Alliance: Pym is the featured hero for the seventh Special Operations, in an amalgam of his various personas (notably, he's wearing his current Giant-Man uniform - at least as default.
Tropes common to all versions of Ant-Man:
- Hand Blast: Each Ant-Man has blasters built into his gloves allowing him to fire bio-electric energy blasts from his hands.
- Legacy Character: Scott Lang and Eric O'Grady are legacy characters to Hank Pym; Stature (Scott's daughter, Cassie) is this to Scott and Hank; and Hank's own Wasp identity made him a legacy character to his own former sidekick.
- Made of Iron: Growing to giant size increases Ant-Man's density, giving him greater durability.
- My Suit Is Also Super: Each Ant-Man suit was exposed to Pym Particles, allowing it to change size with the hero that uses it.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The Ant-Men retain their normal density and strength at insect size.
- Power Perversion Potential: Both Hank and Eric have tapped this potential in very different ways.
- Size Shifter: Hank Pym initially required doses of Pym Particles in order to change size, requiring him to carry special pills or gas canisters. Later, Hank's body would start to generate Pym Particles on its own, allowing him to change size at will.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: Each Ant-Man has a cybernetic helmet that allows him to communicate with insects.
- Super Strength: Only available in giant form. A portion of the strength goes to supporting Ant-Man's body, leading to diminishing returns if he grows too large.
Ant-Man I (Henry "Hank" Pym)
- I Have Many Names: Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, and Wasp.
- May-December Romance
- Meaningful Name: When he went crazy and decked his wife, he happened to be going by Yellowjacket, a very dangerous insect for its Hair-Trigger Temper.
- Monster Protection Racket: At his lowest point, he built one of his lesser-known robots (Salvation-1) to stage a fight and make himself look good. He couldn't even manage that - Wasp defeated it and Hank was kicked out of the Avengers.
- Never Live It Down: He provides the picture for the comics page, slapping his wife Janet/The Wasp. Sometimes he has trouble living this down in-universe as well.
- Omni Disciplinary Scientist: While starting out as "merely" a brilliant biochemist, Hank's story arc eventually led to him becoming an innovator in numerous fields, including particle and quantum physics ("Pym Particles"), electronics/robotics/programming (Ultron) and of course, entomology. Eternity (later revealed to actually be Loki in disguise) told Hank he was Earth's "Scientist Supreme" because his prowess with wide-spread scientific disciplines allow him abilities akin to magic, a claim that tends to lose some credibility given the fact that Reed "I Can Make Cosmic Cubes For The Lulz" Richards exists.
- Professor Guinea Pig: in his origin story, he tested his shrinking serum on himself.
- Replacement Love Interest: Janet van Dyne was a dead ringer for Hank's dead wife, Maria.
- Robotic Spouse: Hank's relationship with Jocasta, the robot bearing some of the memories of his ex-wife.
- Science Hero: Pym takes up this role at times, usually if he needs a break from the strain that comes with constant size shifting.
- Second Super-Identity: Hank Pym has a habit of juggling multiple superhero personae. Some attribute this to his insanity.
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: The instability of the Pym Particles trapped Hank at various sizes over the years.
- Tangled Family Tree: Legacy-wise he technically has 4 "grandchildren": Cassie Lang (by being Scott Lang's daughter and inspired by his heroism), Victor Mancha (built from Ultron Tech and human DNA) and both versions of the Vision (as the original was built by his "son" Ultron, and the second was a back-up copy of the original's programming). Mind you before their deaths in Avengers: The Children's Crusade Cassie and the second Vision dated, making them something of Kissing Cousins.
- Also, if Ultron is his "son", Jocasta, his "robotic wife", can be considered both a robot clone of Janet and both Pym's niece, as Ultron created her, with some of Janet's memories, to satisfy his budding Oedipal Complex.
- Jossed in-universe: Jocasta doesn't consider Henry Pym to be her grandfather, but, having created one of the first and the most powerful AI running rampant in the Marvel Universe, and being Ultron her creator, she staunchly and vocally believes that Henry Pym has to be regarded as the "God of Robots", and thus, when they dated, she claimed that her experience was more akin "Kissing God".
- 10-Minute Retirement: Pym has retired several times over the years, sometimes taking Janet with him, but it never stuck.
- Wedding Smashers: The Ringmaster and the Circus of Crime attack during Hank's wedding to Janet, prompting a return of Pym's Giant Man persona.
- What The Hell, Hero: Pym has gotten this more than a few times, but probably the biggest came when Pym led the Mighty Avengers. It turned out a member of their team, the Scarlet Witch, had in fact been Loki in disguise as part of one of his trademark evil schemes. Pym's response was to ask the God of Evil to join the Avengers for real. Every person in the room, including Loki himself, reacted this way, and his Avengers team actually broke up for a time on the grounds that Pym was either too crazy or too stupid to lead them.
- Working with the Ex: Hank and Janet continued to work together as Avengers even when she started dating other men. It was awkward for both.
Ant-Man II (Scott Lang)
- Action Dad: He has a daughter, Cassie Lang.
- Adult Fear: He became a burglar first, Ant-Man later to properly care for his Ill Girl Cassie. He spent his life protecting and caring for her. Then Cassie followed in his footsteps becoming a teenaged heroine. She died, brutally killed in front of him. Scott was devastated.
- Brilliant but Lazy: According to Word of God Scott Lang excels at electrical engineering as well as some other fields but never quite applies himself.
- Costume Copycat: Scott stole the Ant-Man suit from Hank Pym's house, using it to break into CTE to confront Darren Cross as "Ant-Man".
- Hurting Hero: Scott is one after Cassie's death.
- Ill Girl: Cassie Lang. At least when she was a child.
- Loser Protagonist: In Nick Spencer's run.
- Justified Criminal: Scott turned to burglary as a last resort after his daughter is diagnosed with a congenital heart condition. His Earth's Mightiest Heroes incarnation provides the page image for Health Care Motivation.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Gives one to Dr. Doom in Matt Fraction's FF run after Dr. Doom killed his daughter.
- Papa Wolf: Go after Cassie and Scott will make you regret it.
- Part Time Hero: Scott only donned the Ant-Man costume for brief periods early in his career, preferring to raise his daughter and, later, run his own electronics store.
- Red-Headed Hero: Scott is redheaded.
- Reformed Criminal: Scott is a former thief.
- Romantic Runner-Up: Lang dated Jessica Jones for months but she ended up with Luke Cage.
- Unexplained Recovery: Lang was killed in an explosion at the start of the Avengers Disassembled storyline. Scarlet Witch later brought him back.
Ant-Man III (Eric O'Grady)
- Achilles' Heel: Eric's Achilles tendons become vulnerable when he's in giant form.
- The Adjectival Superhero: The Irredeemable Ant-Man.
- The Atoner: The reason why he's in the Secret Avengers now. That, and Steve Rogers decided to give him a second chance.
- Clear My Name: Subverted O'Grady did indeed steal the Ant-Man suit and evade SHIELD while on the run. But in order to get back into their good graces after he was found, he passes most of the blame for the serious stuff onto Mitch Carson (who was revealed to actually be a serial killer and about to brutally kill O'Grady anyway when SHIELD caught up to where Carson was holding him) and sold out Black Fox at the end of his series as well.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Although by Secret Avengers he is doing this less often.
- Damage Control: While on the run, Eric briefly joined an incarnation of the organization under the name Slaying Mantis.
- Dirty Coward: O'Grady has a tendency to shrink and hide in the face of danger.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Less then a few issues into Remender's start on Secret Avengers, after being given a back story that didn't even fit his previous history well, he is killed off and replaced.
- Eccentric Mentor: Black Fox was this for O'Grady early on, aiding in crimes as well as playing video games in their down time. The relationship went south however after Black Fox stole his Wii.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Taskmaster from his days in the Avengers Initiative.
- Handsome Lech: He's pretty perverse and not above using his status as a superhero to pick up women. Best way to describe him would be Barney Stinson with superpowers.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Eric is ultimately killed while saving a young child from the Descendants. In his final moments, he notes that it was worth it, since after a lifetime of being an asshole, his last moments on Earth were spent finally doing the right thing.
- How Do I Shot Web?: Eric went through a trial-and-error stage after he stole the Ant-Man suit, burning Mitch Carson's face with his rocket boots and nearly killing an attempted rapist because he underestimated his own strength at insect size.
- Jet Pack: The G.I. Ant-Man suit flies using a set of rocket boots. They can also be used as a weapon in the right circumstances.
- Karma Houdini: While never out and out villainous, O'Grady was on both the Shadow Initiative and Osborn's second Thunderbolts team.
- Kill and Replace: Poor Eric ends up being killed by the Descendants and replaced by a Life Model Decoy.
- Marshmallow Hell: O'Grady snuck into the cockpit of Air Force One hidden in Black Widow II's cleavage.
- The Peeping Tom: A complete pervert, Eric used the Ant-Man's shrinking powers to spy on Ms. Marvel while she was in the shower.
- Powered Armor: O'Grady's stolen Ant-Man suit. Later, Hank Pym would add the power to grow to the suit, renaming it the G.I. Ant-Man suit.
- Red-Headed Hero: Eric is also redheaded.
- Spider Limbs: The G.I. Ant-Man suit has two retractable limbs used for balance and wall crawling.
- Stealth Pun: His original suit's official name is "G.I.ANT-MAN" which could be read as General Infantry Ant-man or Giant Man, could also be considered Fun with Acronyms on Skrull Hank Pym's part.
- Tagalong Kid: His role in the Secret Avengers seems to be this, though he tries hard to prove himself.
War Machine: Let's go, kid.
Ant-Man: I got a codename, you know?
War Machine: Not to me. Not until you live up to it.