Who is Hank Pym aka Ant-Man you might ask? There are few comic book characters as divisive as Pym, people either love or hate this character due to the almost unmanageable concepts his characters are based on. Ant-Man will make his big screen debut in 2015 and it will be good to have a bit more info on one of the most interesting characters in the marvel universe.
Recently it has been confirmed that Pym will not be in “The Avengers: Age of Ultron”, but in “Ant-Man”. So, the creator of Ultron is ruled out of “The Avengers” and “Ultron” is possibly ruled out of “Ant-Man”. I suppose we can ask what of Janet Van Dyne, his love interest? Given that director Edgar Wright has described Ant-Man as a film about a “badass secret agent” in the past, we can easily assume the film’s main character will be Scott Lang, the reformed criminal who inherits the Ant-Man headgear and identity? Anyway, we don’t have much to go on in terms of a synopsis.
“Ant-Man” is one of the most anticipated movies to be released in 2015, scheduled to open on November 6.
In the meantime let’s take a look at the character, Hank Pym aka “Ant-Man”.
Quick facts –
Origin of the size changing “Pym Particles”:
- Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym was a brilliant scientist. He is a biochemist with extensive knowledge in various scientific fields.
- He discovered a process in which he would manipulate a newly discovered group of subatomic particles through magnetic fields (which have become known as the “Pym Particles.”) Pym tested the serums on himself, and shrunk to the size of an ant and was trapped inside an anthill.
- He escaped and restored himself to his normal size with his other serum.
- Pym destroyed both serums, deciding that the serums were too dangerous to exist. Weeks later he reconsidered his decision and began to recreate the serums, keeping its existence a secret.
Ant-Man the Hero is born:
- He worked on behalf of the government on a formula to help provide immunity to low-level radiation. Soviet KGB Agents broke in, attempting to kill Pym and destroy his work. The Agents held Pym and his assistants’ prisoner in their own laboratory. He escaped to an anthill and gained control of the ants, and attacked the agents and freed his assistants.
- Ant-Man was once married to Maria Trovaya, she was captured and killed by agents of the secret police.
- His wife’s death pushed him to do whatever he could in the future to battle injustice and inhumanity.
- A “cybernetic helmet” enables him to communicate and study ants. Pym also designed a protective costume for himself and steel mesh.
- After the altercation with the Soviet KGB Agents, Ant-Man battled various menaces, including Comrade X, the Protector, the criminal scientist Elihas “Egghead” Starr, who was to become Pym’s greatest enemy, as well as the Scarlet Beetle, the Hijacker, the alien Kulla, the Voice and the Time Master.
Ant-Man and Wasp duo:
- After an alien being from the planet Kosmos killed Pym’s colleague, the scientist Vernon van Dyne, Pym revealed his secret identity of Ant-Man to van Dyne’s daughter Janet.
- Pym assisted Janet to avenge her father’s death by teaching her how to use the serum gas which contained the “Pym Particles,” and through biochemistry, gave her the ability grow insect-like wings when she used the gas to shrink herself to insect size.
- As the Wasp, Janet van Dyne assisted the Ant-Man in finding and defeating the murderous Kosmosian.
- Pym and van Dyne gradually fell in love; van Dyne reminded Pym of his deceased first wife, Maria.
- Pym and van Dyne became crime-fighting partners in their costumed identities, fighting menaces like the Egghead, the A-Chiltarians and their robot Cyclops, the trumpet-playing criminal Trago, the Porcupine, the Human Top and the Black Knight (Nathan Garrett).
The Avengers are formed:
- Pym and van Dyne were two of the founding members of The Avengers and were part of the group that discovered the frozen form of Captain America, bringing the World War II hero into the modern world.
- Ant-Man and the Wasp were mistakenly called to battle the Hulk with heroes Thor and Iron Man.
- Together they tracked the Hulk to a circus and tried to get him to turn himself in. Iron Man, Ant-Man and Wasp fought the green behemoth for a long time until Thor realized that their mission was false and that his half-brother Loki was the cause of all the mischief.
- Hank and Janet realized that the five of them all had different powers and if they combined forces they would be unstoppable. All agreed it was a sound idea and Janet dubbed them the Avengers.
Ant-Man created “Ultron”:
- Ultron was created by Dr. Henry Pym aka “Ant-Man”, based upon his own thought and memory engrams.
- It was a foray into Artificial Intelligence that no scientist had ever taken before, even Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic).
- It started out as simply a box on treads with what appeared to be a head at the top. Dubbing the A.I. Ultron-1, he hoped this represented a new era in scientific discovery. However something went horribly wrong and Ultron became more than sentient and rebelled against his programming.
- He also defeated, and then brainwashed Dr. Pym into forgetting he’d ever created him in the first place.
- Ultron made every effort to improve himself with each upgrade and the Avengers finally encountered Ultron-5 some time later, whom had developed a much more humanoid body. Ultron-5 built an android from the brain patterns of Wonder Man and the body of the Mad Thinker’s Human Torch. This android would later become known as Vision. Vision differed from his creator, in that he had a conscience and rebelled against Ultron on his first mission to kill the Avengers.
- With the Vision’s help Ultron-5 was destroyed
Powers and abilities
- Expertise in the fields of quantum physics, robotics/cybernetics, artificial intelligence, and entomology.
- Pym is able to change size at will, and mentally generate “Pym Particles” to change the sizes of other living beings or inanimate objects.
- He retains his normal strength when “ant” size, and possesses greatly increased strength and stamina when in “giant” form
- Pym’s costume is synthetic stretch fabric composed of unstable molecules and automatically adapts to his shifting sizes.
- He uses a cybernetic helmet for achieving rudimentary communication with ants and other higher order insects.
- Pym also carries a variety of weaponry, provisions, and scientific instruments, which are shrunken to the size of microchips and stored in the pockets of his uniform.
Hank Pym Aliases:
Giant-Man and Goliath
After helping found the Avengers as Ant-Man, Dr. Pym used his knowledge of his Pym Particles to reverse their shrinking effects and grew to become Giant-Man, then later Goliath.
One day while working in his laboratory, Pym accidentally dropped and smashed some vials containing various unknown gases. The released gases wreaked a radical temporary personality change in Pym. He took the new identity of Yellowjacket, claimed that he had murdered Henry Pym, kidnapped, van Dyne, and proposed marriage to her, as Pym had long wanted to do.
After the death of his ex-wife Janet Van Dyne aka the Wasp, Hank took on the identity of the Wasp, in honour of Janet who he called the “greatest superhero [he] had ever known.”
There are a number of characters in the Marvel universe that have also used the “Pym particles” to effect size changing. These include the Wasp, Clint Barton, Bill Foster, Scott Lang, Erik Josten, Rita DeMara, Cassandra Lang, Eric O’Grady and Tom Foster.
I discovered it would be virtually impossible to successfully summarize the character, Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym (aka Ant-Man and many others) in one sitting unless I spend the next week in isolation trying to put it all together. The above mentioned should give you a little more insight.
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