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Avengers 2: Why Ant-Man’s absence ruins the whole movie


This past week, I saw Avengers 2. It has been lauded by fans as an incredible blockbuster with favorable reviews from critics even despite some getting offended by a bad joke made early on in the film.

Thoughts on that from Stephen Coganator can be found here:

I was also offended by the movie, but not because of any joke, any line, any particular portrayal, but rather the entire storyline fell short for me. Avengers 2 is what happens when you try and shoehorn an Avengers script that excludes Ant-Man from the Ultron plotline. It makes you change the entire Avengers story to the point where it no longer makes sense.

I have harped on Ant-Man and Marvel’s new movie that is coming out July 17, 2015 and those thoughts can be found here: But there I spoke of why Marvel choosing Scott Lang over Hank Pym as the Ant-Man is a terrible move. Here I want to illustrate how because Marvel didn’t make time to create Hank Pym, it screws up the entire Avengers movies. Avengers 1 didn’t feel right without Pym, but it wasn’t as awkward as the second one because Loki, the primary villain for Avengers 1 had his respective hero Thor in the movie stopping him.

Whereas Ultron of Avengers 2 is so atomically linked to Pym’s character that to separate them is like trying to have water without the two parts hydrogen. It can’t work. Hank Pym as Yellowjacket was the one who created and then took Ultron down in the comics, yet Hank has no part of the Ultron storyline, a saga in which he and Janet Van Dyne/The Wasp were central figures in the comics.

I’m harsh and critical of Marvel Studios because from the 2008-2011 years when its focus was on creating origin movies leading up to the Avengers movies, it took the time to introduce Iron Man, the Hulk, Black Widow, Captain America, Thor and Hawkeye either by making them a primary subject or use of a cameo. Yet the entire 2009 year featured nothing from them and they ignored Hank Pym because director Edgar Wright had the reigns to a separate Ant-Man project.

They should’ve yanked the plug and told Wright that he could direct a Pym version to go alongside the Avengers, but Kevin Feige, executive producer for Marvel, decided that the Avengers without two of its primary and necessary members was more respectful to the loyal comic book fans and Stan Lee.

Instead, Tony Stark was responsible for Ultron’s creation; D-list character Scott Lang will be the face of Ant-Man, and Hank Pym’s Giant Man persona will not exist; Hank’s Yellowjacket persona will instead be adopted by a villain; Janet Van Dyne will be dead and a non-existent daughter named Hope will replace her; and Hank will be made into a 70 year old man in the movies, even though he’s supposed to be the same age as Tony Stark or younger?

That’s a lot of Marvel and Avengers mythology upended just to accommodate the square peg that was Edgar Wright’s old and Avengers-incompatible Ant-Man script into the round hole that is the Marvel universe. It wasn’t worth throwing Hank and Janet under the bus just for some British filmmaker who hasn’t done anything anyone’s cared about since Shaun of the Dead in 2004, and who only ended up leaving the project anyway. Hank and Janet deserved better. The Avengers deserved better. We the fans deserved better.

For my second, more detailed review of Avengers 2 where I critique the movie more thoroughly, please go here:


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2 thoughts on “Avengers 2: Why Ant-Man’s absence ruins the whole movie”

  1. Wow. Haven’t we covered this topic already? Not that I’m saying you’re not entitled to your opinion – but you have now spent two entire articles on your Ant-Man vendetta. You could have at least explored the content of Age of Ultron or actually reviewed the movie comparing and contrasting it with the comic’s origin.

    Either way … it has been well established that the MCU is not following the comic canon. It borrows from many aspects of the Marvel source material from 616 to the Ultimate universe and isn’t claiming to be faithful to any one book in particular. Currently, none of the MCU movies have stuck 100% to their comic counterparts. Honestly, I kind of prefer it that way. I’m not the biggest fan of most golden or silver age comics. They tend to be very cheesey and have a very specific tone that does not translate well when you’re trying to create a modern comics world.

    I’m not saying that Pym isn’t a good character or that he doesn’t belong in that world, because he is and he does, but even in the comics, he is not one of the big players in the current gallery of Marvel heroes. I understand that Pym is your favorite character (or at least your favorite character to complain about) but that doesn’t mean that good, well-written stories can’t be created without adhering to the law that is the original source material. Pym isn’t that necessary to the universe. He is a founding member of the Avengers, but he is absent a lot of the time without doing anything spectacular. He is also kind of redundant given the other cast of characters. It would be cool to see him in the movies, but they don’t suffer because he’s not in them. They could probably cut two or three McGuffins in the MCU and it would make the movies better.

    While AoU isn’t the greatest movie by any means, I thought its internal logic for Ultron was pretty sound. It’s not the Ultron from the comics, but at least they did a good job with the Ultron they did make. Plus, it roughly resulted in a similar enough character. Ultron himself was not even on my list of complaints about the movie. He was portrayed fairly well given how they set him up. AoU’s biggest issue was that it was too action oriented and OVERCROWDED with content to the point where Joss Whedon had to fight to keep the content he actually wanted in the movie.

    You know what fans forcing content into movies just because they want to see what it looks like makes? Spider-Man 3. It sucks that Pym wasn’t in the movies, but that’s not the story Marvel wanted to tell. Yes, Edgar Wright (who is a phenomenal director BTW) was working on a project, but as seen by DC’s more recent Wonder Woman debacle, big studios have not problem yanking projects from creators because of creative differences. If Marvel had ever intended to incorporate Hank Pym into the Avengers, they would have found a way to do it.

  2. Wow. Haven’t we covered this topic already? Not that I’m saying you’re not entitled to your opinion – but we have now spent two entire articles this Marvel sucks because no Ant-Man vendetta. You could have at least explored the content of Age of Ultron or actually reviewed the movie comparing and contrasting it with the comic’s origin.

    Either way … it has been well established that the MCU is not following the comic canon. It borrows from many aspects of the Marvel source material from 616 to the Ultimate universe and isn’t claiming to be faithful to any one book in particular. Currently, none of the MCU movies have stuck 100% to their comic counterparts. Honestly, I kind of prefer it that way. I’m not the biggest fan of most golden or silver age comics. They tend to be very cheesey and have a very specific tone that does not translate well when you’re trying to create a modern comics world.

    I’m not saying that Pym isn’t a good character or that he doesn’t belong in that world, because he is and he does, but even in the comics, he is not one of the big players in the current gallery of Marvel heroes. I understand that Pym is your favorite character (or at least your favorite character to complain about) but that doesn’t mean that good, well-written stories can’t be created without adhering to the law that is the original source material. Pym isn’t that necessary to the universe. He is a founding member of the Avengers, but he is absent a lot of the time without doing anything spectacular. He is also kind of redundant given the other cast of characters. It would be cool to see him in the movies, but they don’t suffer because he’s not in them. They could probably cut two or three McGuffins in the MCU and it would make the movies better.

    While AoU isn’t the greatest movie by any means, I thought its internal logic for Ultron was pretty sound. It’s not the Ultron from the comics, but at least they did a good job with the Ultron they did make. Plus, it roughly resulted in a similar enough character. Ultron himself was not even on my list of complaints about the movie. He was portrayed fairly well given how they set him up. AoU’s biggest issue was that it was too action oriented and OVERCROWDED with content to the point where Joss Whedon had to fight to keep the content he actually wanted in the movie.

    You know what fans forcing content into movies just because they want to see what it looks like makes? Spider-Man 3. It sucks that Pym wasn’t in the movies, but that’s not the story Marvel wanted to tell. Yes, Edgar Wright (who is a phenomenal director BTW) was working on a project, but as seen by DC’s more recent Wonder Woman debacle, big studios have not problem yanking projects from creators because of creative differences. If Marvel had ever intended to incorporate Hank Pym into the Avengers, they would have found a way to do it.

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