Who is Ant-Man? (Marvel Characters)

Ant-Man Profile (Marvel Comics)

Who is Ant-Man? (Marvel Characters)
Ant-Man Profile (Marvel Comics)

Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath, and Yellowjacket, despite who is behind the mask at any given time, have been mainstays of the Avengers team, and Pym is one of the most important recurring characters in Marvel Comics.

  • Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Goliath/Yellowjacket 
  • First Appearance: Tales to Astonish #27 (cover date: January 1962) 
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby 
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics Powers: Shrinking, increasing size, communication with ants (as Ant-Man) Weapons: Helmet to control the minds of ants (Ant-Man); Bio-sting (Yellowjacket) 
  • Base of Operations: New York City 
  • Key Allies: Wasp, Iron Man 
  • Key Enemies: Ultron, Whirlwind 
  • Team Affiliations: Avengers 
  • Secret Identity: Henry Pym (all three identities); Scott Lang and Eric O’Grady (Ant-Man); Bill Foster (Black Goliath/ Giant-Man/Goliath); Rita DeMara (Yellowjacket) 
  • Nicknames: N/A

Who is Ant-Man?

The first individual to don the mantle of Ant-Man was Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym, a brilliant scientist who discovers the size-altering “Pym Particles” (Lee, Lieber, and Kirby, Tales to Astonish #35, September 1962). 

Deciding to become a crime fighter, Pym teams with girlfriend Janet Van Dyne. Pym places implants in Van Dyne’s shoulders that allow her to grow wings once shrunken by the Pym Parti cles, making her the superheroine “Wasp” (Lee, H. E. Huntley, and Kirby, Tales to Astonish #44, July 1963). The two become founding members of the Avengers, eventually marrying in The Avengers #60 (Roy Thomas and John Buscema, Janu ary 1969). 

Years later, reformed criminal Scott Lang steals Pym’s Ant-Man helmet and Pym Particles to become the second Ant-Man (by which time Pym has reversed the Pym Particles to become Giant-Man). Decades later, a third man, Eric O’Grady, an unscrupulous SHIELD agent, steals the Ant-Man suit and dons the identity in order to pursue his own personal pleasure, reluctantly becoming a hero eventually.

After a brief stint as the original Ant-Man, Pym learns to reverse the Pym Par ticles, allowing him to increase his size significantly, changing his hero name to Giant-Man (Lee and Kirby, Tales to Astonish #49, November 1963) and later Goli ath (Lee and Don Heck, The Avengers #28, May 1966). Years later, Stan Lee an artist Don Heck create Pym’s African American lab assistant, Dr. Bill Foster. 

ant-man power ability

Fos ter grew up in the slums of Watts outside Los Angeles, and he becomes a bio chemist working first for Tony Stark and eventually for Pym. In 1975, after the apparent deaths of Pym and Van Dyne, the creative team of Tony Isabella and George Tuska have Foster utilize the Pym Particles to become Black Goliath, shortening the name later to just “Goliath” (Tony Isabella and George Tuska, Power Man #24, April 1975). He then becomes the second Giant-Man a few years later (Mark Gruenwald, Ralph Macchio, and John Byrne, Marvel Two-in-One #55, September 1979).

Depressed over his initially unrequited feelings for Van Dyne, Pym later experiences a lab accident, exposing him to mind-altering chemicals and leading him to don his third persona, Yellowjacket. First claiming to having killed both Pym and Van Dyne, the Avengers eventually discover Pym’s true identity and seek help for their comrade (first appearance as Yellowjacket: Thomas and Bus cema, The Avengers #59, December 1968). 

See also: Superman Rogues’ Gallery

In 1986, reformed criminal Rita DeMara assumes the identity of Yellowjacket. Pym would spend the next few dec ades going back and forth in hero identities. During the Civil War story line of 2006–2007, Pym once more donned the persona of Yellowjacket.

Perhaps the most significant Hank Pym story line appeared early on, under the creative team of Roy Thomas and John Buscema. In 1968, the Avengers face off against a villain calling himself the “Crimson Cowl.” 

In the following issue, how ever, the villain is exposed as Ultron, a robot built by Pym and programmed with Pym’s own brainwaves (Thomas and Buscema, The Avengers #54–55, July– August 1968). In the ultimate Frankenstein analogy, Ultron would become one of the most formidable foes of the Avengers, continually “upgrading” into newer and more dangerous incarnations over the years. Ultron later gives birth to the villain turned-hero Vision.

In 2001, Marvel Comics launched its “Ultimate” line of comics, relaunching major titles with a new universe and continuity in an attempt to appeal to new, younger readers. In this reality, under the creative team of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch, Pym is hired by Nick Fury and SHIELD to work on their “Super Soldier” project, an attempt to repeat the success that had led to Captain America decades earlier (Millar and Hitch, Ultimates #1, March 2002). 

This reality presented a darker, more psychologically unhinged Pym (along the lines of the original Yel lowjacket), who is married to Janet Van Dyne/Wasp. Pym is a physically and emo tionally abusive husband.

The Hank Pym character has appeared in numerous Marvel animated series: The Marvel Super Heroes, X-Men, The Avengers: United They Stand, Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes, The Super-Hero Squad Show, and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. In the animated series Avengers Assemble!, the Scott Lang Ant-Man appears. 

As part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Scott Lang becomes Ant-Man under the tutelage of an older Hank Pym in the 2015 film Ant Man directed by Peyton Reed, starring Paul Rudd as Lang and Michael Douglas as Pym. 

Ant-Man appears alongside the other Avengers for the first time in the 2016 film Captain America: Civil War (directed by Joe and Anthony Russo). Rudd then resumed the role in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), directed by Peyton Reed.

The Hank Pym and Bill Foster characters represent a popular trope of Marvel Comics: that of the genius scientist-turned-hero. The Lang, O’Grady, and DeMara characters represent another popular Marvel story arc: that of the reformed vil lain. 

Overall, the characters of Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath, and Yellowjacket, despite who is behind the mask at any given time, have been mainstays of the Avengers team, and Pym is one of the most important recurring characters in Marvel Comics.

See also: Avengers, Captain America: Other Media, Scarlet Witch/Quicksilver/Vision; Thematic Essays: The Nonconformist Hero and the Silver Age: The 1960s, From Rel evance to Acceptance: The Bronze and Copper Ages—The 1970s and 1980s, The Super hero in the Post–9/11 World.

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Tag: Ant-Man's first appearance was in Tales to Astonish #27 (January 1962), who is antman marvel, Ant-Man (Scott Lang) In Comics Powers, Villains, History, ant man real name in real life, 

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