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YMMV: Ant-Man
aka: Ant-Man

The Comics

  • Broken Base: Who's the best Ant Man? Bring it up and watch the flames explode forth.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: The Avengers issue where Ant Man (Hank Pym) singlehandedly takes down the entirety of the Masters Of Evil.
    • The time Ant Man teamed up with Hawkeye to take down Taskmaster, who had just gotten done wiping the floor with the other Avengers.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Eric O'Grady seems to be becoming a minor one due to being the most sardonic and humorous Ant Man as well as lacking the traits that make Lang and Pym Base Breakers (not to mention his cool costume). He's more popular than Scott Lang but has far fewer appearances than either Lang or Pym. Doubles as Vindicated by History as when he was first introduced he caused a major Broken Base.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: Calling Hank Pym a wifebeater. Not just for fans of the character but for Marvel fans in general, mainly because people just won't shut up about it. For bonus points bring up the infamous slap in a discussion even when the Ant Man in question is Scott Lang or Eric O'Grady.
    • Also similar to DC fans with Aquaman, calling Ant Man a loser with lame powers will instantly mark you as a target for hate; for Marvel fans "Ant Man is stupid" jokes stopped being funny 20 years ago.
  • First Installment Wins: Played with. As with many superheroes, Hank Pym is the most well-known Ant Man due to being the first one. That said due to his Never Live It Down status and personality, many prefer Scott Lang or Eric O'Grady as Ant Man. As noted above it's a big Broken Base. Hank's bad reputation may be part of the reason the live-action film uses Scott as the lead instead.
  • Fridge Horror: People regularly call his powers lame, but really, if Ant-Man wanted to, his powers would be down-right terrifying. Some writers seem to remember this, and have him, during his more sadistic moments, actually embrace how terrifying a swarm of insects would be, but most of the time its not really taken seriously. For reference, think of all those horror films or scary moments in shows and films where swarms of bugs crawl all over you and you can't do anything to defend yourself, and then you have a pretty good idea of his potential, and that's just insect control; he could easily shrink inside your body and just destroy your internal organs if he wanted. A lot of the people who seriously write off his powers as being lame must really not have much imagination. Really, it's actually a very good thing that Ant-Man is not a supervillain.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Just try to watch Ant-Man pop pills to change his size, in 1960s comics, without thinking of Viagra.
  • Iron Woobie: Hank Pym is a man who lost his first wife by secret police thanks to the Cold War, saw his colleague die, create an AI that turns out to be an absolute monster and therefore hold the guilt for every horrific act it does, go through a mental breakdown and (temporarily) kicked out of the team he was a founding member of, left destitute, and lost yet another wife (the daughter of said colleague, no less). In spite of this, he still strives to do whatever he can to be a true hero and save the world.
  • Memetic Loser: No matter how many writers manage to make him genuinely badass, Ant-Man will forever be known as the lame guy that hit his wife that one time and there will still be fans to mock his apparenly useless powers, regardless of his portrayals in current comics or the existence of the much more useful Giant Man.
  • Narm: His original archenemy Egghead could never become a serious threat. No matter what he tried the writers just couldn't make a scientist with an egg-shaped head into a cool villain. It reached its zenith in his final appearance, where he basically went through the supervillain equivalent of a mid-life crisis.
  • Never Live It Down: Hank Pym hitting Janet during a mental-breakdown-induced Face-Heel Turn. (This storyline also included him killing old enemies in cold blood, and releasing murderous robots on New York just so he could look like a hero when he stopped them; the whole thing would be a Dork Age if it didn't end with Pym recovering, then single-handedly beating the Masters of Evil.) Writers have explored the issue with various levels of grace since then, but more than once his hitting Wasp has devolved into a crude running gag which still colors newer depictions of him. In particular, the Ultimate version of Hank Pym is an outright wife-beater — and since The Ultimates is so popular, this has made things even worse for the "real" Pym.
    • Also, keep in mind that this is the woman who deliberately used his unstable mental state to force him into marriage with her, so she's not entirely innocent in the whole fiasco.
      • Neither is Captain America. He court-martialed a mentally fragile man for being inconveniently distracted when the bad guy was surrendering, leading to an Interrupted Cooldown Hug. He called it "recklessness". This from the leader of a team with Iron Man, of all people, as a mainstay.
    • What's particularly frustrating is that Jan and the other Avengers forgave Hank long ago — it's the writers (and Hank himself, really) who won't. Every time the incident is laid to rest, someone comes along to dig it up again. Most recently, Chuck Austen, in his brief Avengers run, wrote Hank as a misogynist, Jan as a pinball, and Hawkeye as a jerk who's held a grudge against Hank since the '80s. (In fact, they've always been close friends, and Clint's support was a big factor in Hank's redemption.) Hank and Jan have a profoundly messed-up relationship, but this was no more than a caricature of it.
      • Word Of God is that the "hit" was a misunderstanding on the part of the artist — the original script stated that Hank accidentally struck Janet while making a dramatic gesture during their argument, but that the artist of the issue depicted it in a way that it looked much more intentional than intended.
    • This is shown to be a part of his character in-universe, too, as a consequence of the fact that this is all writers ever do with him; in The Initiative, Trauma loses control of his powers and Hank witnesses his greatest fear: a battered Jan telling him that no one will ever forget how he lost control exactly one time.
    • An earlier scene in The Initiative shows former Slingers hero Prodigy calling Pym a wife-beater under his breath. This implies that Hank's wife-beating past is common knowledge amongst the superhero set, and not just the Avengers.
    • Extending to the supervillain set too, in Dark Reign we have Norman Osborn ribbing on him about this. Hank just counters with his killing of Gwen Stacy.
    • Perhaps the most extreme form came in Marvel Zombies, where the local Hank Pym bit Jan's head off - to his disgust (zombies hate the taste of zombies) and to little effect (zombie, anyone?). Well, that was because they were arguing over how he was keeping Black Panther as a secret living food supply, but still.
    • The incident in The Ultimates was just the tail end of a fight partially based on insecurities Hank had been suppressing for some time, aggravated by a recent humiliation in battle, he had a substance abuse problem, and the marriage was pretty much falling apart anyway. He seemed to immediately regret what he'd donenote , and the second miniseries seemed to be trying to turn him into a Jerkass Woobie. Particularly notable is that even after he got beaten up by Cap, no one really wanted anything to do with him. Like the 616 version, he lost control once, with extenuating circumstances, and it ruined his life and reputation. Just like reality.
      • In the case of Ultimate Hank Pym, Betty Ross revealed that that wasn't the first incident in their relationship. She stated that Pym abused Jan while they were in college as well, saying she'd show up with clumps of her hair missing, and that he once hit her so hard the roof of her mouth split open. That said, Pym's explusion for the team was more so because Nick Fury didn't want the team to gain bad publicity over the incident.
      • That's also overlooking the fact that he didn't just hit her. Once it escalated into a full-fledged fight, Jan had used her shrinking powers to defend herself. After he blasted her with bug spray, he used his Ant-controlling helmet to sic his robot ants on her. She was lucky to survive. To make matters worse, he clearly wasn't lashing out in a fit of rage at this point, but gleefully attempting to murder her. There's a line he says after she screams his name in protest that goes something like: "Does anyone hear an annoying, high-pitched Jiminy Cricket voice?" complete with a huge Slasher Smile.
    • One tumblr post, made by a comic fan who has experienced domestic abuse and works with helping other victims, also calls to light that people repeatedly calling him a wife beater is actually damaging to efforts to end domestic abuse, as what happened with Hank is completely different then what actually happens during an abusive relationship. Unfortunately, some people just. Don't. Get. It. It's located here.
      • Similarly, one thread was started on Brickepedia about what powers Ant-Man should have in LEGO Marvel. The thread wasn't even a few hours old when somebody put "He's also a wife beater", despite it having absolutely nothing to do with the thread subject. Fortunately, the one who started the thread called him out. See for yourself.
    • This has been getting slightly better due to his portrayal in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes where he is never even hinted at being abusive.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: during Dark Reign.
  • The Scrappy: Hank has his haters, but not enough to qualify as a Scrappy. Eric's personality meanwhile merely makes him a Base Breaker. Scott Lang, however, in general seems to be the least liked among the Ant-Men. Due to not being a scientist himself or having a unique personality, many Ant-Fans tend to find him rather boring, making him close to this.
    • The Earth's Mightiest Heroes incarnation of Scott Lang suffers from Overshadowed by Awesome, having a much smaller following than the other two Heroes For Hire do. It doesn't help that he only showed up in half as many episodes as they did, and that Crispin Freeman didn't come back to voice his final appearance.
    • And now, Lang is getting his own ongoing comic to tie in with the film's upcoming release, which has began to make some feel like he's becoming a Creator's Pet. However, some feel he was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap during FF, so this is also welcomed by some. In either case, there's some resentment from Hank fans that he's getting a book when Hank has never done so.
  • The Woobie: Hank Pym and Scott Lang both. Meanwhile Eric is a Jerkass Woobie.

The Film

  • Broken Base:
    • The casting of Michael Douglas as Hank Pym. Big time. At least partially fuelled by the fact that people were excited about the idea of Paul Rudd playing Pym (he's playing Scott) and confusion over where this leaves Jan. Some people would prefer Pym to be the original Ant-Man than Scott. Though the decision of having Scott as Ant-Man in the movie rather than Pym might be due to the latter's Never Live It Down moment (see the comics).
    • The absence of Janet Van Dyne in the film. Some fans are wondering how it'll work, as Janet is usually a love interest for Hank to at least some degree in most universes, and should she be as old as Hank or Scott. Given that focusing on Lang with Hank and with Micheal Douglas has confirming that Janet died before the events of the movie, several fans were upset about this. Even this went as far with fans creating a hashtag named Janet Van Crime over Twitter in protest.
    • The news that Edgar Wright has left the project as of May 2014 (after being attached since 2006). Many have not taken this news particularly well. There's also a split here between people supporting Wright (Marvel's major rewrite of the film was Executive Meddling that he was rightly angry at) or the studio (Wright shouldn't have been surprised that Marvel wanted to tie the film into the rest of the MCU). Wright also didn't help himself by explicitly comparing himself to Buster Keaton, and his difficulties working with the big studios. People who wanted Hank and Janet as founding members of the Avengers like in the comics also resent Wright for making the characters off limits due to his pet project, then leaving anyway.
    • Marvel fans seem unable to agree whether Peyton Reed will prove himself a worthy director. There's some issue people have with the fact that, despite Wright leaving, they're still following what was set up while he was helming the project, most notably the controversial decisions he made as director.
    • The movie itself has been subject to criticism about Marvel making yet another superhero movie starring a White Male Lead over more diverse characters like Black Panther or Carol Danvers. While the complaints of Monochrome Casting and The Smurfette Principle in the MCU aren't without merit, they tend to ignore that Ant-Man has been in the works for years, predating the MCU itself. But with the news that Black Panther and Ms. Marvel (renamed Captain Marvel) will have their solo movies in Phase 3, the complaints have died down.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: the cover of Tales To Astonish #43.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Is that Paul Rudd?"note 
  • Older Than They Think: Many people assumed that Hope Pym was a Canon Foreigner. In actuality, the character originates from the Marvel Comics 2 universe.
    • Also the idea of Hank Pym being a widower; in the mainstream continuity he lost his first wife during the Cold War.
  • The Woobie: Promotional material suggests that Hank Pym will be this; at the very least he had to raise Hope on his own because MCU Janet Dyne died some time ago.

alternative title(s): Ant-Man
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