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YMMV / Ant-Man

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  • Broken Base: Is Hank Pym the best Ant-Man, or is Scott Lang? Or is it Eric O'Grady? Bring it up and watch the flames explode forth, especially after the movies have made Scott the Ant-Man in the eyes of the public, to the disappointment of Hank fans who feel that Marvel has begun pushing him to the side because of this.
  • Can't Un-Hear It:
    • As Hank's fan-favorite portrayal in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes was very iconic and popular among the comic book fans of Hank Pym and considered to be the greatest media rendition of Henry Pym ever to exist in any media outside of the comics, fans tend to hear the voice of Wally Wingert as Dr. Henry "Hank" Pym (or whenever Hank is Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, or Wasp) whenever they are reading his lines from just about anywhere.
    • Paul Rudd's performance as Scott Lang in the MCU has been met with tons of acclaim for the humor and emotional depth he brings to the role, and has cemented itself as the definitive portrayal of the character.
  • Crazy Awesome: Hank Pym, particularly in his Mad Scientist-inspired phases, such as his original interpretation as penned by Stan Lee, or his late West Coast Avengers tenure. Making insects grow giant, saving chainsaws, laser weapons and guns on his miniaturized toolkit, and making crazy invention after crazy invention (such as an infinite mansion, multiple robots and artificial intelligences) have made many readers fall in love with him.
  • Death of the Author: Commonly pops-up as Hank is a very divisive character to write about, to say the least.
    • A number of comics readers as well as John Byrne have called out Jim Shooter's attempts to say that the "famous slap" was an accident and a mistake by the artist and not an attempt by him as a writer to show Hank slapping Janet. As people who read Avengers #211-213 point out both dialogue, and later action, unquestionably treat the scene as abuse, down to Janet hiding her black eye behind glasses in the court martial meeting with the Avengers.
    • Kurt Busiek's attempts to have Janet acknowledge that she had part of the blame in Hank's constant breakdowns and issues has gotten some fans up in arms because of how he handled it.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception:
    • Lambasting Ant-Man's powers as "lame". This one has died-off a bit, since the movie helped the Pym family gain a lot more respect, and showcasing how shrinking while keeping your mass is actually a badass power.
    • Bringing up the slap in any conversation that pertains to Ant-Man or the Pym family, as irrelevant as it may be. Particularly when Pym is not the Ant-Man who is being talked about, or conflating the 616-version with his 1610 counterpart, who actually was a domestic abuser. Many will lecture you on the context of the slap, how he wasn't in his right mind at the time, that it's portrayed as one of Hank's biggest regrets in later stories, how it wasn't even the writer's intention to look the way it did, and how he has never displayed behavior like that since then.
  • Fandom Rivalry: An understandably heated one has cropped up in recent years between Ant-Man fans who are particularly defensive of Hank Pym and fans of his ex-wife, Janet van Dyne, somewhat similar to the one that exists between fans of The Joker and Harley Quinn. Due to the obvious. As attitudes on issues like mental issues, abuse (especially non-violent abuse), victim-blaming, and feminism have changed over the years, its lead to a split between people who believe Hank is 'the real victim' due to his mental problems while believing Janet should have done more to help him, and those who think his mental problems don't absolve him and Janet wasn't responsible for Hank's mental issues. The fact that Hank treated Janet somewhat poorly prior to the slap, contrasted by Janet getting something of a Breakup Breakout from the ordeal, helps fuel the fire.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • With The Superior Foes of Spider-Man, due to Nick Spencer writing Ant-Man's most recent ongoing and using it as a semi-sequel to Superior Foes.
    • The fandom of Ant-Man as a character has always had a friendly relationship with the fandom of Hawkeye, owing to Clint's strong friendship with both Hank and Scott (and for fans of the younger generation, Kate and Cassie's friendship), and the fact both character suffer from an unjustified bad reputation.
    • With Daredevil's. Both are Iron Woobie superheroes that take a lot of shit from the universe, yet strive to do something good out of it, and Mark Waid had Hank appear as a supporting character on his Daredevil's series, while also being acknowledged as one of the best Hank Pym writers by the fanbase.
  • Hard-to-Adapt Work: Henry Pym has appeared in some adaptations to other media, but none of them have even tried to adapt or reference the infamous moment when Hank slapped his wife in any way, not that it prevents it from being a major Never Live It Down moment for him. Not even the Ultimate Avengers animated film, a direct adaptation of The Ultimates. That would be an incredibly controversial film that nobody is willing to make.
  • 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.
  • Jerkass Woobie: All three of the Ant-Men to different degrees; each one are very flawed men who've all done morally questionable stuff to different extents, however they've also suffered so much, as a result of their actions and behaviours as well as just bad luck, that its hard to not empathise with them. This is what ultimately lead to Eric's LMD post-death Face–Heel Turn; he'd suffered no matter how much he tried to improve his character, and just as he died he regretted the effort, and so when he thought himself revived he betrayed his partners.
  • 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 apparently useless powers, regardless of his portrayals in current comics, how shrinking is an actually amazing power when written well, or his other scientific endeavors. Even before the "slap", Hank had a reputation among fans for being a useless Avenger and was mocked in the comics for being a house husband who was overshadowed by his more charismatic wife and who was known if at all, as the "creator of Ultron". The current series has an interesting take on this. It goes out of its way to prove how capable and intelligent Scott actually is, but only occasionally has him win his fights, and has him treated horribly by a bulk of the characters he bumps into.
  • Never Live It Down: Three things mainly:
    • Hank Pym's powers being useless and unimpressive, next to the Avengers (yeah even Hawkeye was seen as more useful than the shrinking guy). This was true well before the "slap" and his reputation among fandom as a Joke Character led in turn to his numerous personality changes to make himself a badass which also lent him a constant sense of insecurity that gave him a reputation as the screw-up Avenger.
    • Hank Pym being the creator of Ultron is another thing he's not able to help down. His most impressive invention and achievement as a scientist, creating an autonomous AI with its own personality, ultimately led to the creation of a mass-murdering Robotic Psychopath who is one of the greatest villains of the Marvel Universe.
    • Hank Pym slapping Janet and being a terrible husband. In Avengers #211-212, Hank suffered a mental breakdown-induced Face–Heel Turn, which included him murdering several of his former enemies and releasing murderous robots on New York so he could look like a hero when he defeated them. When Jan tried to stop him, he struck her and then remorselessly forced her to participate in a scheme only to be shamed when that scheme failed and Janet saved his life anyway, after which she divorced him. The majority of both writers and fans alike ignore the rest of the story, namely that Hank took responsibility for his actions and spent decades in comics continuity reforming and improving himself, and that he and Janet even dated again years after that. The fact that some comic writers use this story just to take cheap potshots at Hank, or don't bother to write him in a nuanced way — like Chuck Austen — just adds more fuel onto the fire.
  • Older Than They Think: A lot of the stuff about Hank Pym being a Butt-Monkey and Memetic Loser which many see as a result of "the slap" are much older than that. Hank Pym had always had issues about being Overshadowed by Awesome, he was also not a regular active Avenger as much as Janet was, and while the Wasp remained a fixture of Avengers adventures, Henry Pym was Demoted to Extra being a "house husband" and rarely appearing in comics at the time, and that their relationship was very messed up even before the dissolution to the marriage. As Jim Shooter pointed out:
    Jim Shooter: Before I embarked on the storyline that led to the end of Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne's marriage, I reread every single appearance of both characters. His history was largely a litany of failure, always changing guises and switching back and forth from research to hero-ing because he wasn’t succeeding at either. He was never the Avenger who saved the day at the end and usually the first knocked out or captured. His most notable "achievement" in the lab was creating Ultron. Meanwhile, his rich, beautiful wife succeeded in everything she tried. She was also always flitting around his shoulders, flirting, saying things to prop up his ego.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Hank was never particularly popular back in the day, and understandably, his rep took a hard hit after the slap. However, his redemption, character development, and strives to make up for it have earned him a lot of fans, and the expansion on his mental problems have caused him to become something of a champion for fans with bipolar and similar conditions due to the strength he demonstrates by dealing with the condition.
    • Eric was rescued from being a Base-Breaking Character during Dark Reign thanks to his character development being completed, thus changing him from a deliberately unsympathetic asshole to a Lovable Rogue with a Hidden Heart of Gold.
    • For Hank fans, Scott Lang seems to be in the process of this thanks to Matt Fraction's FF run and Nick Spencer's Ant-Man run.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Some Hank Pym fans who resent his wifebeater reputation will go out of their way to blame the entire incident on Janet, often to the point of accusing her of being the abusive one. Commonly they cite that she "manipulated" Hank into marriage, but it was Yellowjacket, a persona of Hank's born from a psychotic break via chemical exposure that didn't realize he was Hank, who proposed. Bear in mind that she accepted this proposal after he had just kidnapped her, assaulted her, and forced himself on her, so its less 'manipulate a poor mentally ill man into marriage' and more 'accepting a dangerous mentally unstable man's marriage proposal'. While Janet is not entirely blameless in this scenario, as the resulting marriage was a mutually-destructive one that both of them had a hand in the dissolution of, her level of responsibility for it is often exaggerated.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Some have claimed this about the 2015 run. While its gotten positive reception, fans of the Young Avengers and Cassie Lang really dislike the treatment her character has been given, as many felt it would have been a lot more interesting if instead she continued to be an active hero, working alongside Scott as a father/daughter team.
    • However, "Astonishing Ant-Man #6" has Cassie getting her powers back.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Veronica knew that Eric was a sleaze and a liar despite this she still believed his lie about Chris cheating on her. She doesn’t even have the excuse of her grief over Chris’ death as the lie happened before that. From there she continued to fall for his lines ignoring all past associations with him even after confronting the woman who Chris was supposedly sleeping with she still didn’t see the obvious until Eric came right out and said it. All in all while you do feel sorry for her for being taken advantage of by Eric like that. The narrative tries to paint her as a victim. Unfortunately what ultimately happened to her come across as the consequence of holding such a huge Idiot Ball for so long.
  • Values Dissonance: A very strange back-and-fourth of this goes regarding how Hank and Janet's relationship is viewed. During the Lee/Kirby tenure, Hank was written as a casual misogynist who regularly belittled Janet... which is exactly how every superhero at the time was written. As the understanding and handling of mental illness has evolved, many people have looked at the way Hank was treated by his partner and friends when faced with a mental breakdown, and point out how no one actually bothered to help him and instead fed on his delusions, which was acknowledged by writers like Kurt Busiek. Then another subset of readers came to see this as absolving Pym of the blame he originally carried, with the issue getting increasingly murky as the years go on.
  • The Woobie: Dr. Hank Pym. Jesus Christ, the shit this dude has been put through. First wife, dead. Second wife, dead. His robot son? Genocidal killing machine. The only robot son that wasn't genocidal? Killed by his genocidal brother. Best friend, Bill Foster, murdered. Other best friend, Scott Lang, was dead for a time and barely talks to him anymore. Just about anyone he ever cared about has wound up dead. He's had at least four documented mental break downs and all of his inventions have been turned to criminal use, tarnishing his scientific legacy. And all of this was before he was merged with the aforementioned killing machine, launched into space, and forgotten about. It doth suck to be Hank Pym.