First appearing in Tales to Astonish #35 in 1962, the incredible shrinking Ant-Man began as the superhero persona of Henry "Hank" Pym, the world's leading mind in scientific knowledge and discovery. Since his debut, Pym has had a hand in creating various other comic book characters, including the Wasp, Giant-Man, Goliath, and Yellowjacket. Others have also replaced him as Ant-Man, including Scott Lang and Eric O'Grady.
These days, the Marvel Cinematic Universe's iteration of the size-shifting Avenger appears as a less serious take compared to the franchise's darker offering. With Ant-Man and the Wasp now in theaters, the side trip adventure will play into the coinciding events of Infinity War, providing a less significant storyline which will offer some much needed comedic relief as well as a distraction from the somber Thanos finger-snap ending which devastated so many fans in the third Avengers movie.
As much as fans often pass over Ant-Man as a secondary sidekick whose powers are rendered useless in larger scale battles, the truth is he harnesses some of the most tactically advantageous powers for the Avengers as well as a few reality-altering powers which could leave even Thanos feeling like a lousy villain.
From his superhuman abilities under the Giant-Man persona to his ant-controlling abilities when he's only half an inch in stature, Ant-Man comes with a wide range of gifts, all with their own level of effectiveness.
Take a look with us as we uncover the 20 Powers You Didn't Know Ant-Man Has.
20 Amplified Voice
Shrinking down to microscopic size will naturally affect the sound of one's voice, but Hank Pym, being the tech-savvy genius he is, has managed to work his away around one of Ant-Man's biggest hiccups through the use of sound amplification equipment which allows normal-sized people to hear the Ant-Man's regular speaking voice despite his shrunken stature.
To further praise Hank Pym's otherworldly intelligence, it's been pointed out that no normal level of science would be able to amplify the Ant-Man's voice without drastic effects.
By the laws of physics, the normal human speaking voice operates at a range of 200 hertz, which would realistically increase to about 3,500 hertz if someone was the size of an ant. Because of this, Ant-Man's voice should be high-pitched and squeaky. Therefore, Pym's design is capable of defying the laws of physics.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Yellowjacket codename is designated to Hank Pym's former protege Darren Cross, who usurps his mentor as CEO of Pym Technologies, later rebranding it as Cross Technologies.
In the comics, the first iteration of the Yellowjacket persona was created by Hank Pym after exposure to toxic gases left him in a schizophrenic state, radically changing his personality.
As creator of both the Yellowjacket and Wasp suits, Pym has access to flight capable technologies and has taken on such personas, giving him the ability to fly while in his miniaturized form.
Although Ant-Man isn't typically seen flying without the help of another insect, Pym has the option of fitting the suit with flying tech if he so chooses, making it an odd choice that he prefers to stay grounded when he's traveling.
18 Control All Insects (Not Just Ants)
An essential addition to the Ant-Man suit, the cybernetic helmet created by Hank Pym allows its wearer to communicate telepathically with all insects, not just ants, as many Marvel fans may believe.
Broadcasting at a range as far as one mile, there are no apparent limitations to the amount of insects that Ant-Man can speak to at one time
The EMP Communication Device, or Ant Training Device, uses electromagnetic waves as a method for stimulating the olfactory nerve center of insects, which in turn mimics their pheromones, giving the helmet's wearer the ability to control the insect by telepathic suggestion.
Given Ant-Man's long-standing reputation as a friend among insects, he's developed quite the army of reliable miniature sidekicks if he's ever in need.
17 Translate and Understand Insects
It's well known that Ant-Man's EMP Communication Device allows him to use electromagnetic waves to influence the way ants respond in certain situations. Rather than directly controlling the ants in question, Ant-Man projects images inside the heads of the ants, which in turn causes them to react appropriately by influencing their decisions.
While it may be a useful method for gathering a large insect population and getting around quickly in the miniature world, the truth is communication is a two-way street and it helps very little if Ant-Man isn't able to understand his reliable companions. Luckily, his helmet can translate insect signals into something understandable to the human ear.
It comes in handy and essentially provides the Avenger with a wide-ranging colony of miniature spies who can report back to him to relay information.
16 Quantum Telepathy
Playing an essential role in Ant-Man and the Wasp, Hank Pym and Hope van Dyne reluctantly recruit Scott Lang when they discover a way of retrieving Janet, Hope's mother, from the Quantum Realm. Spending months of work on a Quantum Tunnel and a specially designed pod to locate her position within the Quantum Realm, they are able to rescue Janet, but not without her receiving a few super-powered alterations along the way.
Upon her return, it's immediately evident that Janet is carrying a large amount of Quantum energy, which she may transfer onto others. It's also becomes clear that she can communicate telepathically with anyone who's made contact with the Quantum Realm, including Scott Lang.
Exposure to the other dimension in all likelihood could give Lang similar telepathic powers, though it's unknown if we'll ever see them.
15 Dimension Hopping
Initially cast off as an Easter egg in the first Ant-Man, the Quantum Realm - or Microverse, as it's known in Marvel comics -is a secondary universe which is only accessible through magic or through shrinking to a subatomic level.
Many villains and superheroes live inside the Microverse, the most notable of which are the Micronauts, based on the popular Mego toyline.
Apart from the Microverse, there are additional abstract universes known as Underspace and Overspace.
At his smallest, Ant-Man can shrink to imperceptible size, entering the infinite plane of reality known as Underspace, where he later establishes the base of operations for the Infinite Avengers. At his tallest, he can enter Overspace, a plane above all other realities where he is able to confer with abstract Cosmic entities.
14 Bio-energy Projection
In the first Ant-Man film, Hank Pym hilariously acknowledges the shortcomings of the Ant-Man suit when he informs his successor Scott Lang that Yellowjacket's cooler, more advanced tech - including flight-capable wings and energy pulse stingerd - were intentionally left off of the Ant-Man suit. In the comics, the Yellowjacket was just one of the many personas Pym would assume, giving him all the abilities of the MCU's villain.
Consisting of four tentacle-like stingers, the bio-energy projections of the Yellowjacket suit can shoot blue energy beams which can burn through most substances. Even at a reduced size, the beams are powerful enough to destroy a full-sized human target in much the same way as a bullet, making it even more of a mystery as to why Pym would leave them off the Ant-Man suit.
13 Create An Infinite Amount of Space
Stretching through an infinite amount of corridors, all which lead to a limitless number of doors with access to various dimensions and planets, the Infinite Avengers Mansion was first conceived by Hank Pym when he thought of a way to intersect scientific research with the field of magic.
The mansion would become the headquarters of his team, with Pym adding doorways for everywhere imaginable.
In order to establish the miles-long hideout for the Infinite Avengers, Pym was able to shrink down enough to enter the abstract pocket dimension of the Underspace, giving him an unlimited supply of room.
Once created, he employed the help of Jocasta, Ultron's former evil robotic mate, to act as the mainframe and guide of the mansion with an infinite amount of bodies placed throughout the building to assist with directions.
12 Enhanced Strength
The wearer of the Ant-Man is capable of reducing to a subatomic level by using Pym Particles to shift his mass into another dimension without reducing density, allowing him to keep his original human strength while still being as small as an ant. Given the wearer's strength relative to his size, he is able to lift objects well beyond an insect's normal capacity.
In the MCU, Scott Lang's alternative form of Giant-Man gives him additional strength which increases relative to his growth, making him capable of handling immensely large objects such as buildings or aircraft carriers, as witnessed in Captain America: Civil War. Due to this, Lang is capable of becoming among the strongest individuals in the MCU.
11 Communicate With Cosmic Entities
Although he may not appear so in the MCU, Ant-Man has unfathomable potential as one of the most powerful figures in Marvel canon, thanks in part to his access to multiple planes of existence. Chief among them is the Overspace, which is only within reach when the Avenger uses Pym Particles to grow to extraordinary heights.
Once large enough, he can enter the Overspace, where he is able to confer with abstract Cosmic entities such as Eternity and the Living Tribunal.
Upon meeting with Eternity for the first time, the Cosmic entity punched Hank Pym in the stomach to demonstrate the world's treatment of him. He was also given a designated purpose by the omniscient power, who informed that he will be the leader of of a new Avengers team still to come.
10 Increased Agility
In the first Ant-Man film, Hank Pym challenges Scott Lang's mental fortitude during a training montage in which he's asked to run through a hallway, shrink down to the size of a pin drop and squeeze through a keyhole.
Putting the suit's full abilities on display, Lang is able to fly through the limited space allotted with help from the superhuman agility provided by the Pym Particles.
Much like an insect of a similar size, once shrunken down, it can take a while for something small to travel a seemingly short distance. Luckily, the wearer of the Ant-Man suit doesn't have to worry as their speed, balance, endurance, and overall body coordination are given an incredible boost, granting him the advantage to fight normal-sized opponents.
9 Protect His Brain from Mental Degradation
Upon reducing yourself to the size of an insect, a multitude of formerly innocuous objects suddenly become potentially hazardous. Something as simple as a blade of grass can appear as large as a skyscraper, making it enough to end one's life if it were to fall over. Luckily, Ant-Man's helmet serves many purposes, from being weather-sealed to preventing drowning in a rainstorm to being expertly padded to absorb particularly strong impacts.
Of all the features which accompany Ant-Man's helmet, the most significant addition in the MCU is the headwear's design to protect its wearer from mental degradation.
As Hank Pym acknowledges, the repeated use of Pym Particles can have a costly effect on the chemical make-up of the brain, causing their user to go mad and making the helmet a crucial part of the suit.
8 Enhanced Durability
The first time Scott Lang transformed into Giant-Man, he admitted that the anatomic strain on his body was so exhausting that he passed out. By the time he clashed with the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War, Lang had fully figured out how to stay awake while in his enlarged state.
As evidenced by his performance against Team Iron Man, Lang became noticeably slower and clumsy due to the increased density and mass of his body, though there were advantages to going super-sized.
As Ant-Man increases his stature, his density as well as his effort and exertion are also increased, gifting him with superhuman strength and enough muscle to easily toss and crush vehicles. His durability is also significantly boosted, giving him the ability to sustain more powerful bodily blows with little to no wear.
7 Advanced Computer Skills
At the start of Ant-Man, Scott Lang is serving his final days at San Quentin State Prison on a three-year sentence after cracking into the security system of the company Vistacorp. Although he quickly built a reputation upon his release as the wise-cracking criminal, his stealthy abilities came in handy when he was able to infiltrate Cross Technologies and defeat Darren Cross before he could sell his replicated Pym Particles to HYDRA.
Earning a master's degree in electrical engineering, Hank Pym detected the upside to a tech-savvy, strong-willed individual like Lang. Apart from his computer knowledge, which helps when facing particularly advanced pieces of technology such as the Iron Man suit, he's also capable of slipping into any area undetected, which is only benefited by the shrinking abilities of the Ant-Man suit.
6 Change the Size of Anything Within His Reduction Field
Triggering electrical impulses in the brain, Pym Particles create an organism-wide reducing field which can shrink their host's body at a uniform rate until a desired height is reached. Similarly, when the user consumes the alternate growth Pym Particles, an enlarging field is triggered which can cause the person to grow exponentially.
When transitioning from a human size to either the Ant-Man or Giant-Man, Ant-Man can extend the capabilities of the suit to either shrink or grow other nearby people or objects within the field.
If touching an object, the object will change size with the wearer, but other objects within the field can also be manipulated if Ant-Man chooses to affect them.
5 Change Size at Will
Although Pym Particles can be advantageous to their user for a time, repeated exposure often leads to both mental and physical downsides which worsen over the years.
According to the comics, Hank Pym's continuous use of the particles eventually leads to a molecular mutation in his body which grants him the ability to both shrink and grow in stature spontaneously with little more than a concentrated effort of the mind.
Originally inhaled or drank by the wearer, the Pym Particles would interact with electrical impulses in the brain, which in turn create an organism-wide reduction or enlarging field.
While the ability to change size through sheer will power would become much more convenient for the Ant-Man, it would inevitably send him into an early retirement, as hinted at by Pym in the first Ant-Man movie.
4 Enhanced Reasoning and Reflexes
Like any super-suit, the Ant-Man suit is specifically designed for the convenience of the wearer. An important feature of the suit is the gloves, which contain both the red and blue variants of the Pym Particles. Once inhaled, the red allows the wearer to shrink to subatomic size, while the blue variant helps the user grow to a gargantuan height.
Although it's known how the suit works to help Ant-Man change sizes, there is no way for the wearer to know with certainty when to stop either shrinking or growing; therefore, the wearer must possess a heightened reflex level.
In order to change to the proper size and stop on time, Ant-Man must rationally read his surroundings to determine the correct change in stature, then be ready to stop at a second's notice.
3 Ignore the Concepts of Time and Space
Operating alongside her husband as a working member of S.H.I.E.L.D., Janet van Dyne preceded her daughter Hope as the first wearer of the Wasp suit until she shrunk down to subatomic size in order to disarm a Soviet ICBM missile. To become small enough, she would disable her regulator, causing her to continuously shrink into the infinite space of the Quantum Realm, until she was recovered years later.
As depicted in the MCU, the Quantum Realm is an untapped potential of infinite power where the standard concepts of time and space don't exist.
Although the certainty of the realm's powers aren't specified, its possibilities are nearly endless, giving its user the ability to defy the laws of time and space. This makes it completely possible for Ant-Man to time travel or teleport if he chooses.
2 Disappear Completely Through Abstract Dimensions
Once a person inhales enough Pym Particles to shrink into the Quantum Realm of the MCU, they must be prepared to stop the fast-acting molecular changes happening throughout their body. Otherwise they will continue to shrink with no end.
Inside the Quantum Realm, a person ceases to exist within a known plane of existence, making it nearly impossible to be perceived by other lifeforms in various existing dimensions.
The definition of disappearing off the grid, the Quantum Realm, much like the Underspace in the comics, plays host to a fractal-like reality where people can live out their days in eternity, dissolving into nothing but pure waves of energy.
As such, the Ant-Man is capable of shrinking down to the Quantum Realm, giving him the ability to disappear completely without being detected.
1 Supreme Scientific Knowledge
As Hank Pym so humorously informs Scott Lang in Ant-Man, the Ant-Man suit "isn't some cute tech like the Iron Man suit," it's a reality-altering uniform that transcends the limits of science to push society to new extremes.
In the Mighty Avengers comic storyline "The Unspoken," Hank Pym extends past those limits. He grows so large he enters into the abstract dimension known as Overspace. There he meets the embodiment of Eternity, which tells him that he is the Earth's Scientist Supreme.
He's the only individual capable of pushing scientific knowledge to such extremes that it appears almost like magic in its application.
Using his advanced discoveries in the scientific field, Pym is able to tap into otherwise unattainable powers, including shrinking his body into subatomic size, making him among the universe's most super-intelligent figures.
What other powers does Ant-Man have? Let us know in the comments!