Superhero Origins: Ant Man



Superhero Origins: Ant Man

A one of a kind Marvel hero, Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym is the man who discovered how to shrink objects while conducting research for the benefit of mankind. Testing the experimental serum on himself, he shrank down much smaller than expected and was unable to reach his antidote. This led him on an adventure into an anthill before finally restoring himself and developing a means to control ants, a power which he used to fight criminals. Join as we will explore the comic book origin of Dr. Henry Pym, otherwise known as Ant Man.

Superhero Origins: Ant Man

He’s the smallest member of the Avengers! Welcome to and today we will explore the comic book origin of Dr. Henry Pym, otherwise known as Ant Man.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen to primarily follow the storyline, which unfolded in 1962’s “Tales to Astonish” issue #27 and was expanded on in issue #35.

In his debut comic appearance, Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym was introduced as a man who had discovered how to make objects shrink. Somewhat of a mad scientist, his research was done to not only benefit mankind, but to prove his worth within the scientific community.

Having successfully shrunk and re-expanded a chair, Hank perfected his serum with the goal of using it to revolutionize transportation, by reducing the cost of shipping people and things around the world.

Requiring a living test subject, Hank decided to test the experimental serum on himself by placing a drop on his arm. Instantaneously, he shrank down much smaller than expected.

Having accidentally left the antidote on the window ledge, he ventured outside crying for help. Even though no one could hear him, he caught the attention of a colony of ants.

Surrounded by the insects, Hank decided to take cover by hiding inside their anthill. Falling into a pit of honey, he was lucky enough to have been saved by a friendly ant, before using his knowledge of Judo on the other not so friendly ants to escape.

Fleeing, he used his kindly ant friend to ride up the wall to his laboratory window. There, he used the antidote to return to normal. Terrified from his experience, he destroyed his work to prevent such a situation from arising again.

However, weeks later, he realized that he had acted irrationally and decided to recreate his serums. He also became infatuated with ants, studying them in an attempt to learn how they communicate.

Discovering that the key was an electronic wavelength transmitted through their antennae, he created a cybernetic helmet, and a suit capable of resisting insect stings and bites.

Hank was soon forced to test his re-created serum and new outfit when armed communists broke into his lab in search of on an anti-radiation formula Hank had created for the American government.

Shrinking, he journeyed back to the anthill. There, he attempted to use his helmet to tame the ants.

At first he encountered resistance from the largest ant, with the resulting fight revealing that the revised serum had reduced his physical size, but not his strength. Using this, his outfit and knowledge of Judo, he eventually gained control and recruited an army of ants.

Returning to the lab, he snuck in and untied his assistants while commanding the insects to attack. With the ants causing a distraction and plugging the enemy guns with honey, his lab assistants managed to fight off their assailants. Before it was all over, Hank returned to his office, and enlarged himself.

Continuing to use his powers as Ant Man, Hank went on to solve countless mysteries and fight various threats. Along the way, he shared his discoveries with his girlfriend Janet, who became his miniature partner “The Wasp.”

Together, they became two of the first five founding members of the Avengers, working alongside Iron man, Thor and the Hulk.

Over the years, Hank used his ingenuity to develop other crime fighting identities.
These included transforming into Giant-Man, and Yellowjacket.

Set to make his long-awaited live action film debut in 2015, Ant Man will spearhead Marvel’s phase three. This will finally have him take his place among his fellow members of the Avengers team.

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