The latest addition to the gigantic Marvel Cinematic Universe is Ant-Man. Even though as a hipster marvel fan you are not aware about anything regarding Ant-Man, but fear not! This easy guide will help you understand and know more about some facts you were oblivious to, since you were busy fangirling over the Avengers, so that later you can actually understand what your comic book nerd friends are talking about.
Ant-Man is one of the first and long-standing superheroes, especially the Henry “Hank” Pym version of the character.
The version that the title of the film refers to will not be Hank Pym, but Pym will be in the movie as an older man no longer capable of heroic activities and he will be played by the wonderful Michael Douglas.
There are 3 characters who have donned the Ant-Man costume.
Hank Pym was the original Ant-Man in the Marvel Comics Universe. He was a scientist/biophysicist who later discovered a serum which could alter human size and he vaguely named it “Pym Particles” and this made him Ant-Man. He eventually created other heroic identities for himself, including Giant-Man, Goliath, Wasp (reserved for his wife, Janet and used briefly when she was supposedly dead) and Yellowjacket. (in the movie, Yellowjacket is played by Hank Pym’s prodigy Darren Cross).
Hank Pym was also one of the first founding members of Avengers.
The second Ant-Man was Scott Lang, a thief who stole Pym’s Ant-Man suit to save his daughter’s life. Pym was impressed by Lang’s heroics and he allowed him to take over the role.
The third Ant-Man was Eric O’Grady(so far will not be in the cinematic universe) who was initially a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. and used his powers to spy on Ms. Marvel in the shower. He later redeemed himself by sacrificing his life and then the not-so-dead Scott Lang (presumed to be dead by being blown up with the zombified version of Jack of Hearts, under the influence of Scarlet Witch) took back the title of Ant-Man.
When Henry Pym first discovered his size-reducing serum, he became trapped in an anthill and was pursued by the ants within. He escaped with the help of a friendly ant and restored himself to his normal size.
Ant-Man has a special ability to converse with insects due to a special cybernetic helmet built by Dr Pym. He and all the other Ant-men used this helmet.
After Pym, it was his second wife Janet Van Dyne who used the particles to become the famous member of Avengers, The Wasp. This is not the case in the movies, as it is rumored that the daughter of Pym, Hope Van Dyne will uphold this character.
Other than the known 3 versions of Ant-Man, various Marvel characters have also used the Pym Particles.
- Pym’s wife Janet became the Wasp,
- Bill Foster used the titles Goliath and Giant-Man with the particles,
- Josten used the name Goliath,
- DeMara used the name Yellowjacket,
- Cassandra Lang – daughter of Scott – went by her own name,
- Tom Foster used the name Goliath and
- Barton, having temporarily abandoned the Hawkeye role, became Goliath.
Ant-Man has also been a member of a number of Avengers spin-off groups, such as –
- West Coast Avengers,
- The Mighty Avengers,
- The Avengers Academy,
- The Secret Avengers and
- The Avengers A.I.
His group endeavors did not stop with that. He has also been a member of the Defenders and the Secret Defenders and a part of the Illuminati – an extremely elite and secret group of genius superheroes who work behind the scenes in the Marvel universe to prevent potentially cataclysmic events from occurring before they get a change to gain any traction or momentum.
Once, when Reed Richards went missing, Ant-Man joined the Fantastic Four as a Physicist and a fighting member.
The movie itself will be an important inclusion in the MCU as it might attempt at filling up the time gaps and loopholes. Since Pym is the founding member of Avengers, just like Agent Carter, this will provide answers to what happened after Captain America : The First Avenger in the MC timeline. Rumors also include Howard Stark to make an appearance as John Slattery joins the Ant-Man star cast, famous for playing Howard’s older version.
Another important tie up of the timeline if the rumors are true, then the theft of the suit might tie Ant-Man directly to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as the theft takes place during a Helicarrier crash. Should this hold true, Scott Lang is stealing the Ant-Man suit while Steve Rogers and his team are fighting HYRDA, providing a direct link into Phase 2.
The story of Ant-Man was supposed to be a one shot by Stan Lee in the si-fi anthology called ‘Tales to Astonish’, but due to it’s increase in popularity, Marvel made it into a superhero series. Hopefully the movie too bags such great support. Ant-Man will arrive in the theaters on July 17th , 2015.
P.s. A Falcon cameo and a Hulk Easter Egg is also teased !!