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Movies: How Marvel Screwed Up Ant-Man Before It Could Even Start


July 17, 2015 is the date. The Friday that has been awaited by comic book fans for a long, long time.

It will be the debut of Ant-Man, the live-action movie starring Paul Rudd as Scott Lang and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym in storyline revolving around fathers and daughters and the powers that a simple ant can have while fitting along with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I, however, will not be watching the movie. Well, I’ll “watch it” because it’s part of my duties here, but I won’t pay to go to the theater. I boycott this movie because of the most severe creative difference and on behalf of hardcore comic book fans who know the original story, I must tell you why you shouldn’t watch this movie.

Because it isn’t the real true story of the Avengers.

Wait, you might say. How does the Avengers play into an Ant-Man movie? Think of your high school science class and remember the atom. How electrons rotate around the center nucleus. All these solo movies featuring superhero origins are electrons that revolve around building up a central story line, the nucleus, the Avengers movies.

And Kevin Feige, Marvel executive producer, who I’ve been critical of in the past may make a lot of money and a cute movie. But hardcore fans will feel robbed of two of the greatest characters that Stan Lee and Joe Kirby every put on a panel.

That’s my main objection to this movie. It’s that they’re eliminating Hank Pym (original Ant-Man) and Janet Van Dyne (The Wasp) from their own storyline in The Avengers from the comics and making this movie about one-note superhero Scott Lang, who is a boring character that has nothing to do with the Avengers.

Allow me to explain.

The original Ant-Man is Hank Pym, a young genius scientist who discovered the Pym particles-subatomic nano-particles that can alter the mass of an object. He can use the particles to either decrease his size or increase his size. As Ant-Man, Hank can shrink down to near-microscopic size while retaining full-size strength, because the particles increase his body density while reducing his mass.

This gives him incredible speed and agility when he shrinks because his weight is reduced to nearly nothing while his strength is constant. He can also shrink and grow so fast that it seems like he’s invisible or teleporting because he can be in front of you one second and behind you the next.

Hank Pym can also increase in size as Giant-Man, which is basically Ant-Man with a “G” and an “I” in front of the “A.” As Giant-Man, Hank Pym can increase in size to over 100 feet in height, and his strength increases in proportion to his size, giving him superhuman physical power.

At 10-15 feet, he’s as strong as Captain America, able to lift close to a ton of weight. At 20-25 feet, Hank is as strong as Spider-Man, able to lift 10 tons. At 50 feet, Hank is close to Iron Man level strength, and at 100 feet tall, Hank is at near Hulk-level strength, which is the “Class 100” level, able to lift 100 tons. Hank can grow even taller and go well into the Class 100 level, but he can’t maintain those sizes for long because of the great amount of strain it puts on his body, as much of his strength is needed just to support his increased mass.

So 100 feet is usually his maximum.

The combination of these abilities makes Hank Pym’s Ant-Man/Giant-Man combination a formidable superhero and one of the most powerful in the Marvel Universe. Hank would later abandon the Ant-Man identity and become known under knew identities such as Goliath and Yellowjacket over time.

And his long-time love interest/eventual wife, Janet Van Dyne, The Wasp, has the same size-changing abilities that Hank has. She also can fly using bio-mechanical wings that Hank created for her that grow from her back, and can project bio-electrical energy blasts, or “bio-stings.”

Both Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne co-founded The Avengers, along with Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and later Captain America. The original first issue’s storyline of the Avengers involved Loki as the villain (What, you thought he was just a coincidence in Avengers 1? Heck no) and after the conclusion, Pym remarked how well the five (Captain America wasn’t involved just yet) worked together and suggested teaming up. Wasp nicknamed the team, the Avengers.

So, the way I and many of my peers who have read these comics for decades, see Hank and Janet is they’re as essential to the Avengers as Batman and Wonder Woman are to the Justice League. It just doesn’t look or feel right seeing a team without them in it.

This is a slap in the face to Marvel fans.

Some might say, “Hey, Scott Lang is a great character. A redeemed thief trying to save his little girl is someone that many of us can identify with.” Let’s assume he’s an ok character, let’s talk about Hank Pym. A man whose genius could easily be the third musketeer to Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. I watched Avengers 2 and when I saw the scenes where Stark and Banner are in the lab or conversing about science, about Ultron, I couldn’t help but feel robbed because Hank Pym wasn’t there. Mainly because…oh yeah! He invented Ultron.

That’s right. Marvel Studios is depriving you and me, the fans of these amazing creations, of the true man behind Ultron. The Ultron in the movie is a twisted debased version that’s formulated on the personality of Tony Stark. More egomaniacal with a sarcastic jab.

Some of you might be wondering how something like this could’ve happened. Well, it’s like this. Hank and Janet were excluded entirely from the Marvel Cinematic Universe because Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige chose instead to use an old 2004 script written by Edgar Wright, which was intended to be a comedic stand-alone heist film back when Artisan Entertainment still held the film rights to Ant-Man.

You have to understand. This thing predates the current Infinity Stone storyline. The green light for an Ant-Man movie was given in 2000, 15 years ago. Wright liked Ant-man and got his hands around the project. His script was never meant to be part of any larger movie universe and had nothing at all to do with the Avengers, The Wasp, Ultron, or any other Marvel storylines.

His script centered on Scott Lang, the second Ant-Man who took over the role after Hank gave up the identity and became Giant-Man/Goliath full time. But Scott Lang does not grow in size, and he’s basically nothing more than a thief who shrinks. And Edgar Wright made Hank Pym an old man in his script, which pretty much makes it impossible for Hank to be in the Avengers or to create Ultron.

And Janet Van Dyne is nowhere in this film.

Marvel Studios let this tragic comedy of errors with Wright continue for a decade. The script was not compatible at all with a shared movie universe and it was never intended to be. Wright eventually had to leave the project entirely because after stalling the film for nearly a decade in development, Kevin Feige himself had to admit that the script wasn’t working and didn’t fit into the MCU, so using it in the first place was a total waste of time.

Wright quit in 2014 over creative difference, but they still are crediting him as a writer on the movie. I can only imagine how butchered and sewn back together that script is if it’s got to have him and his co-writer Joe Cornish then add on Adam McKay and Paul Rudd (Scott Lang in movie) added onto that.

I never understood the infatuation that Marvel Studios or Wright had for Lang when Pym, a man who eventually had to battle schizophrenia in the comics and went down a dark path, was right there. Pym was a deeper character due to his vast intelligence and own insecurity because he was the nerdy professor in the company of a playboy like Tony Stark or the guy every father wants their daughter to marry in Steve Rogers.

Then you add another dimension when you consider that Pym is dating Janet Van Dyne, an accredited scientist in her own right and a genuine superheroine who is quite attractive (one storyline had her dating Tony Stark when she and Hank were not together), so an imaginative person can see the twists and clashes that can happen between men especially when loving a woman is involved.

The amount of what writers can do with that couple is endless.

It also is ridiculous that Lang was the main character since Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne are not only more cinematically compatible with the Avengers storyline in the MCU, they’re also way more cinematically appealing as Hank Pym as Ant-Man/Giant-Man is a far more powerful and versatile character than Scott Lang with more depth and history, and Janet Van Dyne is one of the best female superheroes in Marvel comics and would bring a much-needed female presence to the MCU, which has been mostly male-dominated so far.

Eliminating Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne from the MCU by making Hank Pym an old man and taking Janet Van Dyne away from the story entirely and replacing them with a D-list character like Scott Lang, who is limited not only in powers but in the story is beyond stupid., and Hank and Janet and their fans deserved better.

They deserved to be represented on-screen along with their teammates, and I’m boycotting this film because I refuse to be given a second-rate superhero and denied being able to see the real heroes of this story on-screen.

(Editor’s Note: James Williamson(Stephen Cognator) also contributed to this article.)


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4 thoughts on “Movies: How Marvel Screwed Up Ant-Man Before It Could Even Start”

  1. Not a fan of the comic, nor have ever read it, but to be so biased and compare it to over 30 years of comics is rather unfair and a bit harsh. I can understand your passion and angle on this, but in the creative process, things are changed and edited for the sake of consumership, etc.

    Still interested in seeing the movie though.

  2. Mr. Strickland is completely accurate and justified in his opinion. I have felt this way ever since I heard details about the original script that Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish penned . On the one hand, I am thrilled to see such an obscure character whom I’ve enjoyed reading in Avengers comics for years, finally make it to the big screen. On the other hand, I am completely dejected that the original (and in my opinion, more interesting character) Hank Pym is NOT going to be represented! Over 50 years of incredible Avengers stories that would have added so much of a dynamic to the Marvel cinematic universe and we’ll never see them. Ok, sure, we’ll probably be getting a flashback of Pym in his heyday in the upcoming film, but like the author of the article stated, we are being robbed of all of the contributions that Hank Pym made to the Avengers stories (both good and bad) that made the character so interesting. Unlike the Author, I do plan on paying to see the Ant-Man movie if for no other reason than I love Marvel stories, but I only hope that one day, a reboot will occur that will represent the original Avengers as I knew them. Nothing against Scott Lang, but I’m a Hank Pym fan. There’s no reason why we couldn’t of had both of them, in their prime, in the movies…just like the comics.
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  3. I agree even in the tv shows that they air Hank Pym is an Avenger to be so lazy is a disgrace and I only hope that they somehow metamorph Scott into a similar type character to Hank because Hank is superior in every way shape and form Literally. For the fans sake i hope that they revile that this story is in the future because that would fix the whole storyline.

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