There are generally two kinds of superheroes. The first, more common, and more popular, is a character locked in stone: Batman is always Bruce Wayne, Superman is always Clark Kent, Spider-Man is always Peter Parker. The second is a rarer variant, used to portray a more realistic setting: Generational heroes, when one hero passes the mantle down to another. One of the more well-known heroes with this attribute is the Flash, wherein multiple people have been subjected to terrible scientific accidents, all of which give them super speed and associated abilities. Ant-Man, whose movie comes out today, is one of these superheroes. Here’s how the history goes:
Ant-Man prime was Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym. His discovery of a chemical substance he dubbed “Pym particles” urged his becoming a superhero, as the particles could allow him to alter his size while maintaining his strength. Sharing his discover with then-girlfriend, later wife Janet van Dyne, he became Ant-Man and she became the Wasp, also able to fly. They became founding members of the Avengers, and Pym was, in the comic series, the original creator of omnicidal robot Ultron. He took on a number of other titles, such as Giant-Man, Goliath, and Yellowjacket. He is present as the next Ant-Man’s mentor (and perhaps more?) in the Ant-Man movie, portrayed by Michael Douglas.
The second, Scott Lang, was a thief who became Ant-Man after first stealing the Ant-Man suit to help his sick daughter. With the encouragement of Pym, Lang became the hero, reforming his thieving ways. In true Marvel tradition, he was killed and brought back to life, his daughter became a heroine, and he joined the Avengers for a period. He is present as the main character and hero in the Ant-Man movie, played by Paul Rudd.
Eric O’Grady, not present in the film (Probably), is the third Ant-Man and, like his predecessor, came into possessions of the suit by stealing it from S.H.I.E.L.D. A man of few morals and even fewer scruples, O’Grady used the suit to primarily seduce women. He had a short-lived comic series, and ended up joining the Avengers and then The Thunderbolts, and then Secret Avengers (It has the name because nobody wants to admit their on the team) before dying at the hands of a villain named Father.
The final (though not current, as he exists only in a separate universe – and dies like right away) Ant-Man is Chris McCarthy. He appears first in the Irredeemable Ant-Man #1 in 2006. In this story, he’s friends with Eric O’Grady. He and O’Grady knocked Hank Pym unconscious, stole the suit, and McCarthy shrunk, getting lost in the helicarrier at the one-inch size. The helicarrier is attacked, and McCarthy dies. O’Grady takes the suit from him.
With rumors that Ant-Man already has a sequel in the works, will we see more of these names, especially since this info apparently comes from the future.
Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed this trip back through history. Ant-Man comes out today, in theaters, and we’re sure at least a few people will go see it.