Beard: Miniature superhero to star in new Marvel Comics filmWritten by Jim Beard | | email@example.com
Marvel Comics has announced that the diminutive hero Ant-Man will join the parade of their characters being translated into major motion pictures. While familiar to comics fans, few outsiders may recognize the hero’s name or the small dynasty of characters to follow him.
The new film features Hank Pym, the originator of the Ant-Man persona. Pym debuted in 1962 and the following year became a founding member of the Avengers, a fact omitted from the 2012 blockbuster movie. A scientist, he discovered a way to shrink himself to ant-size and even control the gregarious insects, but never enjoyed the level of success as a superhero as did his teammates Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America. As comics grew more serious and relevant, Pym became an increasingly mentally unstable character, experiencing split personality, paranoia, and a brief bout of wife-beating. He also experimented with other superhero identities and accidentally created one of the Avengers’ most diehard foes, the Ultron – the focus of the next Avengers film.
At a point in time when he’d abandoned his Ant-Man name and equipment, Pym gifted them to a reformed criminal named Scott Lang, who made his first comic appearance in 1979. Lang, as the new Ant-Man, worked his way up to an Avengers membership, but lost his life to the Scarlet Witch, a hero-gone-rogue who also figures into the second Avengers film. As these things go, Lang was resurrected in 2011 and continued carrying the mantle of Ant-Man. A third character to operate as the micro-hero debuted a few years back, but in a more comedic vein and largely written off by some comics fans.
It will be interesting to see if actors Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd – Hank Pym and Scott Lang, respectively – will bring any of the troubled history of Ant-Man to the big screen. In all, they’ll be presented with the challenge of maintaining the Marvel movie success rate and hold its story above the obvious devolution into humor that a miniature superhero might suffer.