Like most superheroes, the microscopic Ant-Man has gone through many radical changes through the years. The character started off as a simple scientist who could shrink to small sizes and communicate with ants. Now, there are three different versions of the superhero all with different personalities, abilities, and costumes. To make things even more confusing, each of these versions of the character have been known by a handful of different superhero names!
However, audience fell in love with the character thanks to the charismatic performance of Paul Rudd. 2015's Ant-Man was a welcome addition to the MCU, leading to a guest appearance in Civil War as well as his own sequel. He still may not be a household name like Captain America or the Hulk, but the founding member of the Avengers has developed somewhat of a following over the years.
Even the most intense fans of Hank Pym (or Scott Lang, or Eric O'Grady) don't know everything about the microscopic Avenger. The character has evolved so much since his introduction in 1962 that he is nearly unrecognizable from his original incarnation, with new superpowers being introduced into his repertoire and his personality changing at the whim of whoever is writing him at the time. Throw in the fact that if feels like everybody and their brother has been Ant-Man at some point, and you get a character that is hard to keep up with even for the most hardcore of Marvel lovers.
Even things as simple as Ant-Man's physical appearance and biological makeup are full of secrets and fun facts!
Here are 20 Strange Facts About Ant-Man's Body!
20 His giant skeleton became a Post-Apocalyptic city
Old Man Logan is one of the strangest stories in the history of Marvel Comics, yet it is one of the most beloved. It stars Wolverine as he goes on a road trip with an elderly and blind Hawkeye in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where almost all the superheroes have perished and the world's villains reign supreme. It also features a family of Hulk's hillbilly children and a dinosaur possessed by the Venom symbiote. It's bonkers!
One of the more macabre elements of Old Man Logan is the fate of Hank Pym. While in his Giant Man form, Hank is defeated in battle by an army of Molids and sadly perishes. However, nobody has the time nor the resources to remove his enormous remains from the battlefield. As a result, the settlement "Pym Falls" is created around his giant skeleton.
19 He used his powers to creep on Ms. Marvel
There's a reason that the Eric O'Grady version of Ant-Man was known as "The Irredeemable Ant-Man!" O'Grady really had no interest in being a superhero whatsoever.
Like Scott Lang, he simply wanted the suit for his own personal gain. However, unlike Lang, Eric's motivations were less about him helping a loved one and more about being a total creep and a jerk. He used his powers to impress women and break into high security areas to steal things.
Perhaps the most creepy act ever performed by O'Grady was when he used his powers to infiltrate one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s facilities as part of one of his slimy schemes.
Of course, before he does anything else, he uses the costume to shrink down to a microscopic size so that he could spy on the leader of the Mighty Avengers, Ms. Marvel, while she showered.
18 He became a Vampire
Marvel's Ultimate Universe has always been known as the one where anything and everything can happen. It doesn't follow the canon of the 616-universe, so often it is where writers go to play with radical ideas they have for beloved characters.
The Ultimate version of Scott Lang had two different versions, the first of which he was known as David Scott.
Scott was one of many Giant-Men created as part of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s superteam the Reserves. When the Reserves were called in to assist the Ultimates during a vampire outbreak, David Scott is bitten dozens of times and succumbs to the disease. In the chaos of the battle, Scott is brought down by one of his fellow Giant-Men.
17 He doesn't lose any of his strength when he shrinks
Ant-Man's whole shtick is that he can change the size of his body at will using what are known as "Pym Particles." This leads to a bunch of unique and creative action scenes involving the Smallest Avenger. In the MCU alone Ant-Man has ridden on Hawkeye's arrow and invaded the innards of Tony Stark's armor.
One question that often gets asked is: how does he still inflict damage on his enemies when he's so tiny? Wouldn't his punches just feel like a bee sting?
Thanks to the power of comic book science, Ant-Man doesn't lose any of his human strength when he shrinks down to to the size of a pea.
This means that, although he is now light enough to ride on ants without crushing them and travel on projectiles without affecting their trajectory, his body can still pack a punch when it wants to!
16 But he does get stronger when he grows!
Comic book science is a wonderful thing. It's what allows writers to explain away things that would make absolutely no sense in the real world: Tony Stark's using unattainable technology? It's because he found a new element! Hank Pym can change size at will? It's because he made a new scientific discovery!
As with most superheroes, you don't want to think too hard about the science behind Ant-Man.
This becomes apparent when you look at how his body changes when becoming Giant-Man. When he gets smaller, Scott Lang retains his strength but not his mass. When he reverses things and goes six stories tall, however, he gains superhuman strength and becomes much heavier than he was as at regular size.
15 His head became the Punisher's trophy
It's really hard to sympathize with the Eric O'Grady version of Ant-Man. Though his antics are hilarious to follow, he's kind of a scummy person and not somebody you should be rooting for. Even when he does a rare act of heroism, it's generally because he wants to gain something out of it personally - whether that be money or fame or the adoration of women.
In The Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher, the entire Marvel Universe is overcome with a virus that turns them into violent monsters. Being the Punisher, Frank Castle uses his skills and advanced arsenal to try and stop their rampage; he eventually comes to blows with O'Grady, easily dispatching him and placing his head on his mantle like a hunting trophy.
14 He has created a bunch of super-children
Scott Lang and Eric O'Grady may have somewhat of a large following, but Hank Pym will always be the original Ant-Man! Seriously, every single major character featured in the pages of an Ant-Man book has ties to the scientist in some form or another. If not for his scientific brilliance there would be no Pym Particle tech in the first place!
Anyone who dons the moniker of the Ant-Man seems to have good genetics, as well.
Across the different continuities Hank Pym has had multiple children in Nadia, Hope, and his son Henry Pym Jr. - all of whom become superheroes or supervillains at one point. Scott's daughter, Cassandra Lang, also got her hands dirty when she fought alongside the Avengers as the superhero Stature, and later Stinger.
13 Pym Particles Allow his body to travel through other dimensions
When you think of Ant-Man, what instantly comes to mind? Generally people think of a humorous character who is able to shrink and grow in size who fights alongside his wife, The Wasp. However, fans tend to forget that every single Marvel hero has dabbled in the realm of sci-fi at some point or another.
Those who watched 2015's Ant-Man will remember the brief period of time in which Scott and the villain Yellowjacket get stuck in an endless cycle of shrinking to subatomic levels. What they may not know is that, once the hero has this skill mastered, he is able to use it to his advantage!
Shrinking down to a subatomic level allows Ant-Man's body to become so small that he can travel across the different dimensions of the multiverse at will.
12 He was once a Caterpillar
At the turn of the century, comic book publishers were doing everything they possibly could to make sure that they were still appealing to audiences in the Digital Age. This led to a bunch of interesting (for better or for worse) crossovers and elseworlds stories that put their most famous characters in situations that had no bearing on the 616 universe.
One of Marvel's crossovers was the short-lived Marvel Fairy Tales series in which beloved heroes and villains replaced the main characters of classic fairy tales.
Avengers Fairy Tales #3 retold the story of Alice in Wonderland, starring Cassandra Lang and the rest of the Young Avengers.
Cassie's father, Scott, makes an appearance as the famous caterpillar from the tale that guides her through part of her journey.
At the end, Ant-Man appears once again, now metamorphosed into a beautiful butterfly!
11 He exploded once (but he got better!)
By the early 2000s, the Avengers titles were in a slump. Audiences had tired of watching the traditional team of Cap, Thor, Ant-Man, Wasp, and Hulk (She-Hulk in this case) fight villains week after week. The solution? Eliminate most of the team!
Legendary writer Brian Michael Bendis took over the title in 2004 with Avengers Disassembled; this story saw Scarlet Witch turning evil and eliminating her teammates.
Scott Lang was unfortunately one of this event's casualties. Wanda resurrects the D-list hero Jack of Hearts and sends him into the Avengers Mansion. Ant-Man tries to start a dialogue with Jack, but he promptly explodes.
Luckily, Cassandra Lang and the Young Avengers are able to travel back in time and save her dad, bringing him back to the present and preventing his demise in the first place.
10 Ant-Man became a Zombie (and loved it)
In the early 2000s, Marvel was trying a lot of different Elseworlds stories in an attempt to keep an interest in physical media alive. One of these stories was the ever-popular Marvel Zombies, a story which saw an alternate version of Earth infected by a zombie outbreak that turned our favorite heroes turned into hungry monsters. The story arc was so popular that it got not one, but three sequel series!
Hank Pym (as Giant-Man) is one of the key players in Marvel Zombies.
Even after he became zombified, Pym retained his intellect.
He was the one who held Black Panther hostage as a food source, and was the de-facto "leader" of the Zombie Avengers. In the end, Zombie Giant-Man was defeated along with the rest of the Zombies by Sandman, who was implanted with Tony Stark's flesh-destroying nanobots.
9 His Body Was Once Replaced by a Skrull
Civil War was one of the biggest events in Marvel's history. Sure, the publisher had always done massive hero-vs-hero fights, but this was the be all, end all. The story arc left a huge impact on the entire Marvel Universe - until they decided to retcon everything with Secret Invasion, where we found out that during the time of Civil War, a bunch of our heroes had been replaced by Skrulls.
Hank Pym was perhaps the biggest cop-out of the story. The hero's dark side had come out during Civil War, but of course, that was just because he was really an alien clone in disguise! Gone were the consequences of Goliath's passing, the cloning of Thor, and his general disdain for his fellow heroes in general. Early on in the invasion process, Hank Pym was kidnapped and replaced with the Skrull Criti Noll.
8 His body was too ripped to fit in his costume
To play a superhero, you have to be in tip-top physical shape. Particularly, the MCU makes it a habit of taking actors who are traditionally fit with "dad bods" and turning them into a sculpted symbols of fitness. This happened with Chris Pratt, Chris Evans, and even Paul Rudd!
However, it seems like Scott Lang was a little too ripped for his own good! During an interview, Michael Douglas (Hank Pym himself) claimed that his co-star Paul Rudd's body was too fit for the Ant-Man suit.
The costume designers on Ant-Man had to tone down the padding and fake muscles on the character's suit because it looked to bulky when they put it on the actor's body.
7 His suit gives him superhuman agility
Everybody knows that Ant-Man's whole power set revolves around his ability to shrink and grow in size. Other than that, Hank Pym and Scott Lang and Eric O'Grady are just your typical powerless superheroes who rely on technology to fight crime. However, the different versions of the character have their own personal traits they bring to the character: the master-thief Scott is much more stealthy, Hank Pym is a scientific genius and inventor, and Eric is creepy.
One thing that all of the Ant-Men have in common is their superhuman agility.
Along with its powerful gadgets, the Ant-Man suit also gives its wearer heightened dexterity and flexibility. This comes in handy when the hero is trying to literally thread the needle as he flies through the air at high speeds!
6 He was Half Mutant
The Ultimate Universe version of Hank Pym takes all of the worst traits of 616 Hank and dials them up to the extreme. In this universe, Pym is extremely abusive to his wife Janet and exhibits signs of mental instability. He is also a lot more willing to commit unethical experiments than his regular-universe counterpart.
Another defining feature of the Ultimate version of the character is that he gets his powers not from a scientific discovery he made, but because he is half mutant!
Ultimate Janet van Dyne is a closeted mutant, and Hank is the only one who knows her secret. Acting in accordance with his Ultimate personality, he instantly experiments on his true love by transfusing her blood into his. This also transfers her mutant ability to shrink and grow in size to her husband.
5 He can control Pym Particles using his mind
Hank Pym is one of Marvel's top minds; his genius and love for science is rivaled only by the likes of Reed Richards and Bruce Banner. His entire legacy is built upon his breakthrough discovery of the Pym Particles, a rare breed of subatomic particles that bypass the Square-cube law of physics and allows their users to change size at will.
Early on in the comic run (as well as the MCU), Ant-Man utilizes the Pym Particles through little discs carried around in his utility belt. However, as the comics went on and the character evolved, Hank Pym eventually gained the ability to control the particles using nothing but his mind!
This ability extended not just to himself: Hank could mentally control the size of stationary objects, as well.
4 He can shoot bioenergy out of his hands
If the trailer for Ant-Man & The Wasp is anything to go by, it looks like Hope van Dyne is going to have the traditional powers of her comic book counterpart. Her character can shrink and grow like Ant-Man but also has the ability to fly with wings that sprout out of her back and shoot "Bioenergy" out of her hands. Scott hilariously learns that Hank had this tech before, but just didn't feel like giving it to him.
In the comic books, Hank actually harnesses the power of Bioenergy for himself!
As the Yellowjacket (one of Hank's many alter-egos), Pym has the ability to shoot blasts of energy at his enemies, a power he calls the "Bio-Sting." Strangely, Hank willingly gives up this power whenever he goes back to being Ant-Man or Giant-Man.
3 When he shrinks, he gets minor invulnerability powers
In the world of comic books, it can be difficult to keep up with how different characters evolve over the years. As mentioned previously, Ant-Man started off with a very basic power set, but now has so many pieces of technology and abilities at his disposal that he seems like a completely different character!
Thanks to his Pym Particles, Ant-Man can store an entire arsenal inside of his utility belt as well as gains superhuman agility when small.
Being tiny also gives Ant-Man the benefit of minor invulnerability.
Though the level of his invulnerability varies depending on who is writing the story, Hank Pym has shot himself out of the barrel of a gun and come out unscathed.
In the MCU, Scott Lang often falls from tall heights and comes out without a scratch thanks to this ability.
2 His body and mind were fused with Ultron
Ultron is Hank Pym's ultimate failure. The MCU shifts the blame to Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, but in the original comics, the supervillain was all Hank's idea. He originally designed Ultron to be a protector of the Earth and uploaded his own intelligence into the robot, however, Ultron went rogue and began to despise his creator and humanity in general.
The recent story Rage of Ultron deals with the father/son like relationship between the two characters. During the climax, Ultron and Ant-Man were fused together into a single, horrifying entity.
The Avengers are able to defeat Ultron-Pym, leaving him to float in space for eternity. A few years later, Pym returns to the fray, now in full control of the Ultron shell around him.
1 He has a split personality
Though Hank Pym is a brilliant mind who has done more than enough good in his life, he is also notorious for being an arrogant jerk and the creator of Ultron. Then there was the time that he struck his wife, an action from which his reputation has never recovered. This has led to many fans speculating that Hank is mentally unstable.
All evidence would point to this being true. Early on in his career in the Avengers, Hank started to feel inadequate next to the genius of Tony Stark and the power of the Hulk. As a result, Hank gives himself the ability to grow 200 feet tall and changes his name to Giant-Man and later Goliath. He later accidentally inhales chemicals that give him Schizophrenia, leading to him to adopting the persona of Yellow Jacket and becoming a brooding antihero.
Did you know all these strange facts about Ant-Man's body? Did we forget any cool facts? Let us know in the comments!