In just over a month, Marvel will introduce moviegoers to their latest superhero making the jump to the big screen: Ant-Man!
More specifically, fans are going to meet two of Marvel’s Ant-Men. The first is Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man who was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby in 1962. Pym will be portrayed by veteran actor Michael Douglas in the film.
The second Ant-Man is Scott Lang, who will be the main character of the movie with Paul Rudd originating the role in live action. Lang was a later addition to the comics, who was created in 1979 by David Michelinie and John Byrne. Aside from a few years when he was “comic book dead,” Lang has been Marvel’s Ant-Man ever since.
But rather than shuffle Hank Pym off to the side, Marvel’s creators gave Pym multiple heroic personas and costumes; some of which will be reflected in the Ant-Man movie itself. Marvel also gave Pym mental problems, but that aspect of his character is unlikely to also make the jump to live action.
Before Ant-Man’s release on July 17, ComingSoon.net has assembled an overview of all of Hank Pym’s costumes, plus a few of Scott Lang’s costumes and even the third Ant-Man, Eric O’Grady… the one guy who won’t be appearing the movie. Or so we’ve been led to believe.
For the benefit of everyone’s sanity, we’re keeping this list to major costume changes. Just be grateful that we’re not cataloging the Wasp’s costumes! And if you don’t know who the Wasp is, you may or may not after Ant-Man hits theaters. The character hasn’t been confirmed to appear, but Evangeline Lilly is playing “Hope Van Dyne.” In the comics, Janet Van Dyne was the Wasp and, in a parallel future, she had a daughter named Hope.
Pym didn’t make his debut as Ant-Man until his second appearance in Tales to Astonish #35 in 1962. Although Ant-Man didn’t become a top selling character, this costume design was a classic that was only lightly modified over the next five decades.
As Ant-Man, Pym went on to co-found the Avengers alongside the Wasp, Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor.
The surprising thing about Pym’s history is that he was only Ant-Man for just over a year before adopting his second heroic identity: Giant-Man (in Tales to Astonish #49 in 1963. Pym used his size-changing abilities to grow larger and stronger, which led to his new persona.
Years later, a ret-conned explanation of Pym’s transformation into Giant-Man was that he felt inadequate next to Thor and Iron Man and came up with a way to compensate. That actually makes sense.
Giant-Man lasted about three years before Pym became Goliath in Avengers #28. To add a bit of pathos to Pym’s character, he was stuck at giant size during his earliest days as Goliath. Eventually, though, a cure to his condition was found.
Pym had more than one Goliath costume during his two years in this identity.
Pym’s mental problems first manifested themselves as a Dissociative identity disorder when he made his debut as Yellowjacket in 1968’s Avengers #59. As Yellowjacket, Pym thought that he had killed “Hank Pym” even though it was obvious to the Wasp that he was Pym. She quickly accepted Yellowjacket’s proposal and married him before Pym snapped back to normal.
Yellowjacket has actually been one Pym’s most frequently used heroic identities. It was also part of his downfall as a hero. As the years went on, Pym became more unstable and he actually hit his wife, Janet; an action that has haunted his character ever since. This eventually led to Pym’s retirement from superheroics.
Hank Pym: Super Scientist
Pym came out of his self-imposed retirement to join the West Coast Avengers… as himself. It may have been from the ‘80s, but that red jump suit is still a crime against fashion.
After years away from the Avengers (including a year spent in an alternate world… just don’t ask), Pym returned to being a full-time superhero with a costume that brought aspects of his first three heroic identities together in one suit.
Pym later had another identity crisis in which he was literally split off into two different men before his two selves were rejoined as Yellowjacket again.
After “Secret Invasion” storyline depicted the apparent death of the Wasp, Janet Van Dyne, Pym assumed her codename as a tribute to his former wife. Pym even gave himself wasp wings and Janet’s signature bio-sting. This was a rare period of mental stability for Pym, if you’re able to overlook the fact that he was dating an android programmed with the brainwaves of his dead wife.
Ant-Man (Scott Lang)
Scott Lang made his debut as Ant-Man in 1979’s Marvel Premiere #47, when he stole Hank Pym’s costume to save the life of his daughter, Cassie Lang. Pym was so impressed by Lang’s heroics that he refused to let Lang turn himself in. Instead, he offered Lang redemption for his past as a thief by allowing him to be the new Ant-Man.
To Lang’s credit, he lived up to the part and even helped the Avengers on several occasions. Most notably, Lang helped the Wasp take down the Absorbing Man and Titania when the Avengers had been beaten by the Masters of Evil.
For the most part, Lang’s Ant-Man costume was the same as Hank Pym’s costume.
A “Modern” Update
In the early 2000s, Marvel saw fit to give Scott Lang’s Ant-Man a modern update. The result was this hideous costume that he wouldn’t be caught dead in. Except he totally was. If not for the Ant-Man movie, Scott Lang would have probably stayed dead instead of being later revealed to have survived thanks to some time travel shenanigans.
Ant-Man For All Seasons
Scott Lang is currently headlining his own Ant-Man comic for Marvel with a slightly redesigned costume. It’s lightyears ahead of the last redesign. The prevailing thought at Marvel is that there’s no better opportunity to try to make Lang into an A-list hero… just in time for the movie.
Ant-Man (Eric O’Grady)
Which brings us to Eric O’Grady, the third Ant-Man, who was created by Robert Kirkman (“The Walking Dead”) and artist Phil Hester. With Lang’s death, the Ant-Man identity was once again available. O’Grady stole a prototype costume and became The Irredeemable Ant-Man, who used his powers to steal and spy on naked women.
O’Grady’s early time as Ant-Man was played off as a comedy by Kirkman and Hester. When O’Grady was brought into the Avengers Initiative, Thunderbolts, and Secret Avengers he displayed more of a heroic side.
Here’s where things get strange… even for comics!
O’Grady was seemingly killed by androids while performing an act of heroism. However, a Life Model Decoy (that’s basically an advanced android) was made with all of O’Grady’s memories. The LMD renamed itself the Black Ant and turned on the Secret Avengers. Black Ant may even still be out there, but he’s not Ant-Man anymore.
Ant-Man will hit theaters on Friday, July 17.