Splash Page Issue 4: Ant-Man!
by Frank Landau
If you're anything like me, you've heard about Ant-Man, you may have seen the trailers for the new movie but you're still kind of wondering "why should I care about Ant-Man?" Well, faithful reader, that's why we're writing this article! And by we I mean I, but you're reading it, so we're a team! Like Ant Man is part of the Avengers team! Yeah, that just happened. Sorry.
The general consensus about Ant-Man kinda sounded like this:
"Ant-Man...yeah...they're making a movie about him. He has the power of ants. Seems pretty weak if you ask me. Ugh...why is Marvel wasting their time with this movie? It's already had a ton of issues in just finding a director, this can't be a good sign? Can it?"
Oh, ye of little faith. Remember when people were like "who the heck are the Guardians of the Galaxy? What's a Star Lord? Why does that walking tree have a raccoon...wait...does that raccoon have a rocket launcher?" All legitimate questions that were answered with this:
Let's get you caught up on our little buddy, the ruin-er of picnics everywhere, ANT-MAN!
The Origins of Ant-Man
In the comics, biophysicist expert Dr. Henry "Hank" Pym (Michael Douglas in the upcoming movie) discovered a chemical substance, that he appropriately named Pym Particles, that would allow the user to alter his size. When shrunk down to the size of an ant, he was able to retain his normal human strength (a Lego piece that would now tower over a shrunken person would be as light in weight to the teeny tiny Dr. Pym as it would be when he was normal sized). Dr. Pym also created a helmet that could be used to communicate and control higher order insects, like ants. The Pym particles worked both ways and he could also become giant sized with the same proportional strength increase.
An integral part of the Avengers, Hank Pym used his expertise in biophysics and invention of the Pym Particles to come up with other super hero aliases to aid the team(Giant Man, Goliath, Wasp, Yellowjacket...the 5th Beatle, one of the Seattle 7, a founder of Fight Club, but we don't talk about that. Hank Pym is a busy guy). Pym also is the creator of Ultron, who will be the nemesis in the upcoming Avengers sequel but from what we know of that story, the movie version of Ultron will be very different in origin.
Pym was not the only person to carry the Ant-Man mantle. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), was the second man to don the Ant-Man suit and probably the most prominent. Eric O'Grady, a low level S.H.I.E.L.D. operative puts on the Ant-Man suit for a while, but he will not be featured in the movie in any way, so this is the last we will speak of him.
Scott Lang was a brilliant electronics expert, but that didn't pay the bills. He turned to a life of crime and eventually landed in prison. He continued to studied electronics and after his release, secured a job with Stark Industries. His daughter got sick and, in a desperation move, broke into Hank Pym's lab and stole the Ant-Man suit to save his daughter. After successful, he intended to return the suit and turn himself in. Dr. Pym was waiting for him and instead of turning him in, he offered Lang keep the suit as long as he promised to use it for good only.
Ant-Man: The Movie
Here's what we know about the movie plot so far: Scott Lang is the protege of the brilliant entomologist and physicist Dr. Henry Pym. Lang has seen his thieving abilities land him in the slammer, but Dr. Pym doesn't lose faith in his former student. He still feels that he has something to offer and gives Lang a chance to "become the hero that your daughter already thinks you are," by becoming Ant-Man. Pym and Lang must pull of a heist that will protect the secrets behind the Ant-Man suit and save the world. We know that another one of Pym's students, Darren Cross, took over Pym's company (with the help of Pym's own daughter) and created his own similar version of the Ant-Man suit, which he militarized. What must Ant-Man steal to save the world? What secrets about the suit must he and Dr. Pym protect???????
The movie looks to be back on track after some concerns. The worries came from a lot of changes to the movie while in the production phase. Edgar Wright of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World's End fame was originally slated to direct but dropped out because of "creative differences." He will still be crediting as writing the script, though. Adam McKay of Anchorman, Step Brothers, and Talladega Nights notoriety teamed with Paul Rudd, who is playing the titular Ant-Man, and they worked on the screen play. The tweaked certain parts, both McKay and Rudd being well known for their ability to write excellent, believable dialogue. Peyton Reed was finally tagged as the new director of the film, his most famous work to this point being on the cheer leading staple Bring It On and the Jim Carey vehicle Yes Man. Those may not seem like great resume pieces for a superhero flick, but take this into consideration: Bring It On did have a great deal of choreographed action, which is essentially what you want in an action film. Not to mention that if you ask any female younger than 40, they can recite lines from this movie verbatim. So the man can create memorable films.
Ant-Man is often overlooked but has long been a cornerstone of the Avengers. The idea that he is unimportant because he can only shrink himself to the size of an ant is overlooking the extent of his abilities. When he is that small, he retains the proportionate strength of a human. He can shrink even further into the microscopic, sub-atomic realm, which gives him a great deal of possibilities. Think of a more subtle, covert attack that someone like the Hulk would be incapable of pulling off. He also can use the Pym particles in the opposite way and increase his size, as the comics have stated, up to 100 times the size of a normal human. I will admit that I am intrigued by this movie now. After researching Ant-Man and watching the trailer, I am on board for this one!