If the reactions of the general public are any indication, all bug-themed super heroes are not created equal. When you mention Spider-Man, nobody skips a beat. As soon as you start talking about Ant-Man, though, everyone looks at you like you have six legs.
So, who is Ant-Man? And what’s with his big ol’ helmet?
First, the powers. Ant-Man gets his namesake for two reasons: 1) He can shrink. 2) He can talk to ants using his helmet. And while they may not be the best conversationalists in the animal kingdom, they’re good at following basic instructions—“Fly into that bad guy’s eyes and distract him!” for instance.
Now, before you make a crack about the bottom of a boot being his arch nemesis (and really, that was a bit obvious — shame on you), you should know that Ant-Man retains his full-grown strength in his ant-sized body. While that may seem like an odd ability at first, try taking a left hook from a full-grown man concentrated into a fist the size of a pinhead, and you’ll see that it comes in handy (it also helps when fending off those rogue boot heels).
Those are just the powers. What about the man beneath the helmet? Well, actually, “men” is more accurate. When you talk about Ant-Man, you’re really talking about three different characters who’ve all held claim to the name:
- Henry “Hank” Pym – Inventor of the Ant-Man suit, and founding member of the comic book version of the Avengers. He’s in the movie.
- Scott Lang – Burglar. Ex-con. Stole the Ant-Man suit to rescue a doctor who could cure his daughter’s heart condition. The movie is about him.
- Eric O’Grady – The “Irredeemable Ant-Man.” He used the Ant-Man suit to spy on women. They’re not making a movie about him. Ever.
While Hank Pym is in the movie, and played by Michael Douglas to boot, he’s not our star. And there’s good reason for that. Read that description above. Super scientist. Founding Avenger. Between Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, we’re kind of full up on quirky scientists with a penchant for justice and bright colors.
But Scott Lang? Someone who: A) Stole because he couldn’t support his family with his day job, B) Got caught and went to jail for a few years, C) Got divorced by his wife while in jail, and D) Was forced to return to burglary to save his daughter’s life? Well, that’s something we don’t have in the Marvel movie universe.
It’s an origin that’s fairly unique among super soldier serums, radioactive spider bites, and orphaned aliens from another planet, to name a few.
So what do you think? Is Ant-Man a midnight premier, or a “wait for Redbox?” If you’re going the premier route, don’t forget to grab your own Ant-Man costume for the occasion.
And let’s keep our fingers crossed in hopes that Marvel doesn’t go too deep into the bench and pull out Frog-Man, or else we comic book fans are going to have a tough time maintaining the pop culture cred we’ve built up.