Who is Ant-Man you ask?
Well it’s actually not a simple answer… You see ‘Ant-Man’ is a persona that’s been passed down almost as many times as Robin!
The original Ant-Man, Dr. Hank Pym, first showed up in 1962’s “Tales to Astonish” #27 (created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Larry Lieber) although he didn’t don the mantle of “Ant-Man” till Issue 35.
He used the formula on himself a la ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids’ and had himself some mystery-solving shenanigans. Pym then created a device that enabled him to control ants, which I guess came in handy, somehow.
Next Hank teamed up with his girlfriend, Janet Van Dyne who donned the identity of ‘The Wasp’!
Believe it or not, both Hank and Janet were original founding members of The Avengers!
Yes, those Avengers. Don’t believe me? Google it. Look at that cover of the original Avengers issue: you got Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, and Loki – and at the bottom, if you look closely, you can see Ant-Man and the Wasp in the foreground…
After a while, Pym got tired of being the smallest Avenger – he reversed his serum and became Giant Man!
Later on he changed his mind yet again and became Yellow Jacket… and then Goliath… and then, like Prince, went back again.
Pym has another significant contribution to Marvel history – he created Ultron!
Yup, one of the greatest Marvel villains of all time was created by this dude. “Good going Pym. Thanks for that,” said everyone from in the Marvel universe.
Hank Pym also went down in history as the first wife-beating super hero, not exactly a prestigious award, (which was also a main plot point in ‘The Ultimates’), but I’m assuming that’s been ret-conned by now or something. All in all, Hank was kind of a failure, in fact the one time he saved the day, turns out that was a Skrull (revealed during ‘Secret Invasion’).
As ‘Ant-Man’, Hank was replaced by Scott Lang who actually held the title the longest. First introduced in ’79, Scott Lang was a one-time thief who once worked for Tony Stark. He stole Hank’s Pym particles in an attempt to save his daughter’s life and later redeemed himself by donning the mantle of ‘Ant-Man’.
Lang helped the Avengers beat the Masters of Evil in “Under Siege” and joined the Fantastic Four on a few adventures. He also eventually gained the ability to shrink to microscopic size. In Brian Michael Bendis’s ‘Alias’, Scott Lang dated Jessica Jones for a time.
Then in “Avengers Disassembled” he got killed by the Scarlet Witch… but he got better (long story). More recently, in Matt Fraction’s ‘FF’, Scott joined the Future Foundation and teamed up alongside She-Hulk, Medusa and Miss Thing as the leader of a replacement Fantastic Four.
Lastly we have Eric O’Grady.
This guy’s even more of a screw up than Pym (sensing a pattern here). Seriously though, this dude is a total schmuck.
First introduced in ‘The Irredeemable Ant-Man’ by Robert Kirkman and Phil Hester, O’Grady was a low-level Agent of SHIELD who decided to steal a prototype Ant-Man suit, which he then uses to steal more stuff, stalk women, and manipulate others for his own selfish purposes. For instance, right after his best friend was killed in the line of duty, he immediately set about seducing and sleeping with his dead friend’s girlfriend who he got pregnant and subsequently abandoned.
O’Grady served on Norman Osborn’s ‘Thunderbolts’ team during “Dark Reign” and eventually joined Hawkeye’s ‘Secret Avengers’ roster before biting the dust.
Scott Lang is back to being the current Ant-Man and has a new series!
In the upcoming “Ant-Man” movie, Paul Rudd stars as Scott Lang with Michael Douglas as an older Hank Pym. Edgar Wright (of ‘Shaun of the Dead’) helped write it and was originally slated to direct, but bowed out after a few creative differences with Marvel Studios and Disney. The movie’s been in production since 2006 (before the release of the first ‘Iron Man’!) and is finally hitting theaters on July 17th, 2015!