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Secret Origins: Ant-Man

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Ant-Man (2)

Comic book movies are big business these days. After all, if a cosmic space opera starring a space raccoon and a semi-literate tree can rake in over $772 million worldwide, then just about any comic book property can be successful if a studio takes a chance on it. The next film to get that spotlight? Ant-Man, starring Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas. On the surface, Ant-Man sounds like a terrible superhero. But he’s actually more awesome than you’d realise.

There have actually been three Ant-Men over the years, but one of them was a massive jerkass and isn’t getting a spotlight in the film. So let’s focus on the two characters who are headlining the movie. First, you’ve got Michael Douglas, the original Ant-Man. He’ll be playing the original diminutive hero, better known as…

Hank Pym

Ant-Man (1)

Debuting in 1962 in Tales To Astonish #27, bio-physicist Henry Pym tested newly-discovered particles on himself that allowed him to shrink down to the size of an insect. Creating a formula to control the size-altering, Pym names them Pym Particles and keeps them secret from the world and uses them as a method to study ants after becoming fascinated with the insects in the initial experiment. Designing a helmet and costume to help protect him from the ants, as well as control them, Pym eventually becomes a superhero and a founding member of the Avengers.

Scott Lang

Ant-Man (4)

Unlike Pym, Scott Lang isn’t a scientist or initially a hero. He is in fact, a thief. But for all the right reasons. Unable to secure a decent job that would allow for him to provide adequate care for his ailing daughter Cassie, Lang turned to crime and was subsequently caught and jailed.

Three years later, Lang was paroled and left prison having furthered his study of electronics. When his daughter once again became deathly ill from a heart condition, Lang stole the Ant-Man costume and gear from Hank Pym in order to save the life of his daughter. Eventually succeeding in his quest to save his child, Lang attempted to give the Ant-Man gear back to Pym, but was told to keep it and use it to help the less fortunate and uphold the law.

Powers

Ant-Man (3)

Pym Particles –  Able to shrink down to the size of an ant through the use of the sub-atomic Pym Particles which are contained in magnetic-field canisters. The particles also operate on a mental wave-length, that when attuned to properly, allow the user to will himself to be bigger or smaller. Ant-Man still has most of the mass of the nucleus of each affected atom converted into energetic particles which take up orbit around the nucleus – thus allowing gravitons to be unaffected by these particles and retain their original mass.

Antman

In other words, Ant-Man may be tiny, but he still packs his original strength and kinetic energy. So imagine having your lights punched out by an ant. Pym Particles also have no time limit, and remain in action for indefinite periods of time.

Besides the Pym Particles, Ant-Man also wears a helmet that allows him to broadcast a control signal that can slave insects to his will. He has around 1.6km worth of range, depending on the environment. The helmet also has its own oxygen supply, while allowing the wearer to communicate with regular-sized people by adjusting the frequency of their voice.

Ant-Man (1)

And that’s a quick primer on the characters! There’s a lot more to Ant-Man of course. The film arrives later this year.

Last Updated: January 8, 2015

20 Comments

  1. “Ant-Man still has most of the mass of the nucleus of each affected atom converted into energetic particles which take up orbit around the nucleus – thus allowing gravitons to be unaffected by these particles and retain their original mass.”

    If he has his original mass, how can he ride insects without crushing them… So he can punch people etc while small, and have the same impact, but ants and insects don’t get crushed? Hmm…

    Reply

    • The D

      January 8, 2015 at 13:45

      Duh, because comic book logic, that’s how. SHEESH.

      Reply

      • Koos

        January 8, 2015 at 13:51

        But they want me to buy into it seriously, it’s not “comic book logic” per se because it takes place on present day earth, clearly, and is shot in live action, it’s not a cartoon… and not stylized like 300 or something… I have no problem with pseudo science, to shrink him etc, but at least they should have put some thought into internal consistency… I get that they forego this because they think the image of him riding an ant is “cool”…

        Reply

        • Uberutang

          January 8, 2015 at 14:07

          Maybe it is like superman where his ‘aura’ surrounds him and thus strengthens the bug he rides on etc etc. Else Supes cape and hair gel will burn of fairly fast!

          Reply

          • Koos

            January 8, 2015 at 14:09

            Sounds like magic “selective impact of his kept mass” to me :p Kind of like cap’s shield can absurd Thor’s hammer just fine, but a blocking a grenade explosion sends him flying off a bridge lol…

            Ah but ant-man is no superman, supes is an alien, his suit is Kryptonian (as per Man of Steel)… How does supes shave his manly jaw though, I’m guessing with his eye beams and a mirror? :p

          • Koos

            January 8, 2015 at 14:11

            *absorb not absurd… Even though that’s what all this is :p

          • Uberutang

            January 8, 2015 at 14:13

            Aura around his razer blade 😉

            Same way he can have sex with Lois…

          • Koos

            January 8, 2015 at 14:15

            “Man of Steel, woman of tissue paper” yep…. Or he just has very good “self control” lol

            But that’s nothing, that comic book logic is fine, it’s way less dumb than a shrinking man who keeps his mass but can ride ants. Derp.

      • Blood Emperor Trevor

        January 8, 2015 at 14:10

        And when he’s giant-sized won’t his punches be about as effective as those from giant foam hands?

        Reply

      • RinceThis

        January 8, 2015 at 15:55

        I know, hey! Let’s tear into Thor’s hammer next 😛

        Reply

    • RinceThis

      January 8, 2015 at 15:54

      I am sure that you can have the same mass, but different weight?

      Reply

      • Koos

        January 8, 2015 at 16:49

        He would have to have the same /similar weight in order to punch someone and have impact…. Hence, those ants would be paste… Or does weight only matter when he punches, and how does that work?

        Is it a crime to just want some logic with the pseudo science and a bit more thought put into this stuff? Movies are getting dumbed down A LOT these days…

        Reply

    • Schalk Engelbrecht

      January 8, 2015 at 16:54

      Isn’t that nuclear fission? That would rip him apart wouldn’t it?
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fission
      On another note, reducing mass would reduce impact mathematically so the suit would have to increase energy in addition to preserving it. Don’t believe me? Drop a marble on your head then a brick.
      Also, gravitons are thought to have no mass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graviton) and have not yet been discovered as far as i know. What theoretical particles other than electrons would “orbit” the nuclei and how would they stay within the valance shells? No antman, FU and your lazy writing.

      It’s just like The Hulk who should realistically be “the incredible cancer tumor” from all that gamma ray exposure.

      Reply

      • Koos

        January 8, 2015 at 17:20

        I can buy into the concept of the Hulk way more than our ant-friend though, regenerating pants aside…

        People will say, turn your brain off, and just enjoy it, but come on, let’s all just ignore bad writing and logic flaws, which are part of the movie, in order to enjoy said movie… Makes sense…

        However, might be fine to watch when super hungover, or something, when questioning the film’s logic probably won’t occur…

        Reply

        • Schalk Engelbrecht

          January 8, 2015 at 19:01

          Rather than bugger up the science why not just leave it out? Nerds would still argue about it anyway. It worked for The Flash.

          Reply

    • WhiteRock

      January 9, 2015 at 08:12

      Well, and I know arguing comic book logic on it’s own is going down the rabbit hole, it might be possible if he could somehow alter the effect that earth’s gravity has on him, which would in turn alter the Force or impact he has on items/insects/people around him.

      In this case I am looking at F(orce) = M(ass) x a(cceleration), so if m would stay constant, he would need to alter ‘a’ which in this case is g = 9.8 m/s-2. But this would then have to be a continuous change in multiple vectors, so therefore he wouldn’t be able to hit someone with full force while flying on a bee, because then Netwon one(equal and opposite reaction) would basically f-up the bee(which is why you always hit from your feet, through your core and onward…). The other alternative would be if somehow he could modify the energy conservation equation, but that is a different rabbit hole…

      Reply

  2. Hammersteyn

    January 8, 2015 at 13:50

    He’s one of the few that can really “bug” Thanos.

    Reply

    • Pantz

      January 8, 2015 at 13:56

      It will only be a ‘tiny’ problem

      Reply

  3. Christmas Lightbulb

    January 8, 2015 at 14:48

    VR would be good to watch movies, so when Ant man shrinks, feel your in a room like Honey I Shrunk the Kids.

    Reply

  4. Sir GIF Sexy

    January 8, 2015 at 18:28

    That teaser was so shit and I’m calling it now: the next Iron Man 2 for the MCU. Also, the recently relaunched series was pretty shitty too, so no hope for this. No hope.

    Reply

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