Superheroes already push the boundaries of what a movie audience will suspend their disbelief to see, but these folks take it up a notch.
Relying not on magic or enhanced strength or simple ropes and electricity, the Ant-Man family of heroes (which includes, but is not limited to, Ant-Man, the Wasp, Giant Man, Goliath, and Yellowjacket) instead use a combination of size-changing technology, bug telepathy, flight, and blasters to get the job done.
The ability to change their size is the one that gets the most attention, as in the comics and films Hank Pym discovered what he termed "Pym Particles," which allowed fluctuations in size while maintaining superior strength and durability. Pym (as played by Michael Douglas) may not be the marquee headliner in the Marvel Cinematic Universe-- that would be Paul Rudd's Scott Lang and Evangeline Lilly's Hope van Dyne-- but he crafted a series of bizarre inventions that led to all kinds of insane moments.
This list counts down the craziest uses of Ant-Man's powers, whether on himself or on others. As any comics fan will tell you, there are plenty of these, since changing size instantaneously allows for all kinds of wild hijinks to occur. We're focusing primarily on Ant-Man's powers here, though the Wasp, Giant Man, Goliath, and the Yellowjacket will all pop up, too, since they technically all use the same tech.
Some spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp will follow, so if you haven't seen it yet, stay way! Everyone else, get your regulators ready.
Here are the 20 Weirdest Uses Of Ant-Man's Powers.
20 Being a voice in Iron Man's head
Captain America: Civil War may not have been the first place you'd expect to see Scott Lang, criminal-turned-superhero, but he ended up joining superhero-turned-criminal Steve Rogers' team anyway.
Ant-Man's big moments in the movie might have been a bit more obvious, but climbing inside Iron Man's suit was still one of the crazier things Scott has done.
Think about it this way: it's your first time meeting famous superhero Tony Stark.
If you want to make a good first impression, maybe don't climb inside his mechanized armor and tell him you're his conscience.
Scott merely gets vented out of the suit with coolant for this, but if Tony Stark hadn't been in a forgiving mood it could have been a lot worse.
19 Entering the Cosmic Cube
One of the most infamous Marvel plot twists in recent history came when Captain America was brainwashed into believing he was a member of HYDRA. This kicked off a huge plotline as other Avengers came together to return him to his right mind. Two of those were Scott Lang and Bucky Barnes, who had to use the Cosmic Cube to fix Cap.
Better known nowadays as the Tesseract (or the Space Stone, in the MCU), the Cosmic Cube had been used to brainwash Cap, and Scott Lang used his powers to shrink Bucky Barnes down and send him inside it.
Once there, the Winter Soldier brought back the real Cap, who defeated the evil Cap, ending one of the most decried character arcs in Marvel history. All in a day's work for Ant-Man.
18 Stalking and other crimes
Fans who have only watched the movies may not know this, but there are more Ant-Mans than just Hank Pym and Scott Lang.
The third Ant-Man, Eric O'Grady, didn't have such a heroic nature.
O'Grady began his comics career by stealing Ant-Man's suit and committing all kinds of crimes, including theft and stalking women.
O'Grady went on to embrace a less criminal lifestyle, even helping Avengers and acting the hero at times, but he never really outgrew his darker nature.
This was an attempt by writers to turn Ant-Man into a kind of lovable rogue, but it wasn't successful. Few fans mourned when he was bumped off, thanks in large part to the creepy behavior he had exhibited so regularly.
17 Giant, drum-playing ants
Ant-Man has a couple of very different powers that wouldn't seem likely to be shared by the same superhero, but here we are.
Ant-Man can both change his size at will and direct the behavior of millions of ants at a time, and the latter was on display in the films almost as much as the former.
Along with Scott Lang's series of ant buddies (Anthony, Ulysses S. Grant, etc.), there have also been numerous unnamed giant ants that have helped him out over the course of his story.
However, it wasn't until Ant-Man and the Wasp that we found out they could be musically talented. An ant charged with replicating Scott's behavioral patterns plays the drums just like him - and probably better, given that he has more limbs.
16 A fist of ants
Controlling ants with so much precision means that Ant-Man essentially has the ability to 3D print any object he desires, at any scale he desires, as long as he's okay with it being made of ants. Since he's a superhero, that means that he's used this power once or twice to make a big ol' fist and punch a baddie with it.
This happened to the unfortunate villain Taskmaster, who seemed ready to deliver a final blow to Scott Lang before getting walloped with about a billion bugs.
Honestly, you'd think villains would be too scared to tangle with Lang after this. Who would want to come out of a fight and keep finding ants in their clothes?
15 Toddler Scott
One of the best scenes in Ant-Man and the Wasp also happened to be one of the strangest. Scott Lang's regulator was on the fritz in his new Ant-Man suit, and it ended up going out of control while on a mission in Scott's daughter's school. The result was a tiny, child-sized version of Scott Lang that had to run away as fast as his little legs could carry him when a teacher saw him.
While a tiny version of Paul Rudd you could carry around in a backpack was certainly entertaining, the team soon got him all fixed up and back to normal - though not before Hope and Hank got some digs in. It was funny enough to keep us from fixating on the uncannily small body with Paul Rudd's face on it.
14 Curing the Hulk of ALS
Ant-Man has had numerous dealings with the Hulk, whether as Scott Lang, Hank Pym, or Eric O'Grady. Not only that, Ant-Man has also been inside Hulk's body more than once. O'Grady tried it to slow down Hulk's rampage and it didn't end well, but the craziest one has to be what Scott Lang did.
One of Hulk's plotlines a couple decades back was that he was suffering from Lou Gehrig's Disease, which was slowly destroying him.
To cure him, Reed Richards and Ant-Man teamed up. The cure, however, was bizarre: Scott had to dig up the body of Bruce Banner's deceased father, harvest healthy genes from there, and then shrink down to implant those genes into the Hulk. Just, you know, ordinary hero stuff.
13 Breaking Cassie’s model train (Ant-Man)
One of the great strengths of the Ant-Man film franchise is its ability to generate conflict that feels huge but is actually occurring on a small scale.
Perhaps the best example of this came in the first film. Ant-Man and Yellowjacket have a climactic duel while on top of a moving train - a Thomas the Tank Engine train set, in fact, owned by Scott's daughter Cassie.
It made for a great moment of comic relief when Yellowjacket looked terrified to see a train moving toward him, only to remember that he still had the durability of his normal size, and it was a toy. Poor Cassie probably had to clean up the mess the superguys left behind.
12 Entering the Quantum Realm
It may make absolutely no sense scientifically, but the Quantum Realm is one of the most important parts of the Ant-Man film franchise.
A kind of adaptation of the Microverse from the comics, the Quantum Realm is a place beyond time and space that can only be accessed by someone shrinking smaller than an atom-- and there's a good chance you'll be trapped there.
Needless to say, you'd have to be desperate or crazy to risk going there.
Yet that's exactly what Ant-Man and the Wasp (Scott Lang, Hank Pym, and Janet van Dyne) do in the first two films. Scott goes sub-atomic to stop Darren Cross in the first, Janet does it to get inside a missile in a flashback, and Hank goes into the Quantum Realm to save her in the second.
11 Shrinking inside a neutrino
A lot of crazy stuff went down when Hank Pym merged with his own creation, Ultron (-in the comics, it was Ant-Man, not Tony Stark, who made Ultron). With Pym's size-changing abilities and Ultron's, well, huge arsenal of abilities, they formed a villain that was difficult for even the Avengers to stop.
Things went sideways for the antagonistic amalgamation when they tried to tangle with Vision, who wound up defeating them and fusing them into a ship bound straight for the sun. How did they survive this?
To avoid getting burnt to a crisp, Hank Pym used his powers to shrink them down inside a neutrino (a sub-atomic particle), which sheltered them from the heat and radiation. This gave them plenty of time to ponder their existence, natch.
10 Scott and Janet's mind link
The world of Ant-Man is well beyond the range of actual science, and that means that Ant-Man's powers change and combine in a variety of strange ways. One of these came in Ant-Man and the Wasp, where Janet van Dyne forms a mental connection with Scott Lang.
This happens because Scott was in the Quantum Realm in the first film, where Janet had been trapped for three decades.
She's able to use the powers she's gained from spending so much time there to essentially leave a piece of her consciousness inside his mind. A telepathic link with his girlfriend's mom is probably not something Scott Lang expected when he signed up to be a superhero, but that's just the way it goes.
9 Making Darren Cross shrink uncontrollably
There are more than a few entries on this list that refer to incidents where the Pym Particles' size-changing abilities went out of control. One of the most frightening to witness was Darren Cross' demise in the first film, as Scott Lang broke the Yellowjacket's regulator from the inside, causing it to shrink without regard for the human inside it.
In a legitimately disturbing sequence, fans watched as Cross' limbs and head seemed to violently shrink into his body. It wasn't the same thing as Scott shrinking to a sub-atomic level, as it was disproportional and must have hurt the villain quite a bit.
For a relatively plain antagonist (essentially a rival businessman with a grudge), this was a wild, crazy end.
8 Trapped in giant form
"Pym Particles" have a long and strange history in the comics, and they weren't always beneficial to the heroes who utilized them. For example, sometimes they would make a person's size unstable, or even worse, stick them in the wrong one.
Fans got to see a funny scene with Scott Lang dealing with this problem in Ant-Man and the Wasp, but Hank Pym had a more frustrating issue in the comics.
In an early Avengers series, Pym had to deal with all kinds of hardships under the monikers Ant-Man, Giant Man, and Goliath.
One of the reasons he took the alias Goliath was because his size-changing powers had frozen him at about 10 feet tall.
This came in the midst of some other troubles for Pym, and was an added grievance.
7 Attacking Luke Cage’s nervous system
Another strike against Eric O'Grady's character came when he teamed up with the villainous Norman Osborn and the Thunderbolts. At one point, that team tried to attack Luke Cage and force him to join them, and O'Grady was the point man in the assault. Entering Cage's body on some waffles he was eating, Ant-Man attacked Power Man's nervous system.
This, plus guns, telepathy, and other measures, was finally enough to bring Luke Cage down. O'Grady redeemed himself somewhat by helping Luke Cage escape, but this was another low moment for him, as it wasn't the life he'd envisioned when he became a superhero. His team doesn't even help him get out of Power Man's body after he got in.
6 Tearing Doctor Doom apart
Since the Fantastic Four haven't been a part of the MCU, we haven't gotten to see Scott Lang take on Victor von Doom, but we can assure you that their confrontation in the comics was something to see. In a more modern storyline, Doctor Doom is responsible for the termination of Scott's daughter Cassie, and Scott had to bide his time to get his revenge.
He certainly got it, as the final battle found Scott inexorably destroy one of the most ubiquitous (not to mention powerful) villains in the Marvel world.
Using Pym Particles, Scott discovered that he could manipulate his strength and durability, crushing Doom's impenetrable armor with his bare hands.
He beat Doom so bad the villain repented and became a hero.
5 Eating The Watcher
A lot of crazy stuff happens in Marvel Zombies, the alternate universe where the Marvel superheroes and villains get infected with a powerful zombie virus. The virus used heroes to spread it-- after all, who could stop an intelligent zombie version of Captain America from infecting the world?
One of the craziest moments of the series belonged to none other than Hank Pym, who floated through the universe with a gaggle of other zombies, eating as he went. He ended up in another Earth with none other than Uatu (aka The Watcher, one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe) on the moon.
Giant Man got big, ate The Watcher, and stole technology that allowed him to travel to other dimensions and spread the virus to new realities, contaminating two universes with the zombie virus.
4 Stealing from the Avengers
As a franchise, Ant-Man has always felt a bit like a spunky outsider looking in at the rest of the MCU, and that might be because of this particular interaction.
One of the first tasks Scott Lang undertook as a "hero" was to steal a specific device from the Avengers headquarters itself.
That meant going up against none other than Sam Wilson, the Falcon.
In a comedic battle with Cap's right hand man, Scott Lang managed to show the world that Hank Pym's tech could go toe-to-toe with one of the Avengers' best.
Immediately using the powers of Ant-Man to steal from Earth's Mightiest Heroes was a crazy plan, but it ended up paying off for Scott and Hank. They saved the day even though they had to go through an Avenger to do it.
3 Getting on Hawkeye’s arrow
One of the most famous images in all Avengers comics finally found its way onto the silver screen in Captain America: Civil War, as Ant-Man teamed up with Hawkeye to take down Iron Man.
It's an idea that just makes a ton of sense in terms of pulpy comic book action; why wouldn't the tiny guy want to get shot on top of a projectile by the arrow guy?
Obviously, if you're thinking rationally, there are a ton of reasons why this is a crazy bad idea. Thankfully, the writers of Civil War listened to none of them, and gave us this excellent moment because they knew we had been good and deserved it.
2 Going giant against the Avengers
It's interesting that a lot of the craziest MCU Ant-Man moments happened within twenty minutes of each other, when Scott Lang went to Germany to help Captain America fight the other Avengers. The airport fight scene turned heads as the MCU showed off how fun it could be to have a dozen different superheroes fighting at the same time, and Ant-Man didn't disappoint.
To help Cap, a guy he just met, Scott Lang grows sixty feet tall and fights War Machine, Iron Man, and Spider-Man, all at once.
This decision ends up getting Scott thrown in jail and later on house arrest, so it's safe to say it wasn't the most reasonable choice he's made.
1 Journey to the center of the android
Are you beginning to sense a theme here? A lot of Ant-Man's most famous stories with the Avengers involve him going inside the bodies of team members to fix whatever is going wrong with them. At least the one with Vision is visually enthralling, as Neal Adams' art showing Hank Pym navigating the android's psychedelic insides is a pleasure to see.
Vision had collapsed with an unknown ailment, and since the Avengers couldn't just call a doctor to fix the synthetic being, they turned to their resident tiny scientist.
It ends up being just a wiring problem in Vision's brain, but this story was crazy because of the journey, not the destination. The art of the story alone makes it worth a look.
Did we miss any crazy uses of Ant-Man's powers? Let us know in the comments!