May The Bigger Man Win: Ant-Man Hits Comic-Con
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May The Bigger Man Win: Ant-Man Hits Comic-Con

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trade News | July 16, 2012 | Comments ()


Ant-Man has always been the Aquaman of Marvel Comics; the super hero that is almost in the big leagues, but just can't quite be made to be taken seriously regardless of the level of effort employed. Superman! Batman! This dude who can talk to fish! It's cool Aquaman, we'll give you a call if we need some sushi.

Ant-Man was a genius scientist, he first invented a mechanism for shrinking down to miniscule size, and then realized that the only thing that could make this ability better was inventing a helmet which allowed him to speak to ants. That reminds me of the time I woke up in Mexico and invented a helmet to speak Spanish. It's certainly the only reasonable thing to do.

The fact that Ant-Man is getting his own movie is perhaps a measure of just how rabidly Marvel has pursued the film route for its properties. Can't you just see poor Dr. Hank Pym trying to stand up to Downey's Tony Stark? "I'm a billionaire playboy philanthropist, and you have the ability to do a full body immersion exam of my prostate. Must be genetic, because your mom also had abilities in that area."

The saving grace of this adaptation is that Marvel seems to have realized the inherent silliness of the character and instead of pushing their luck on taking it seriously, have brought in Edgar Wright of Pegg & Frost fame to make it happen. And despite the fact that the possible release is at least 2014 at this point, Wright brought test footage to Comic-Con in order to demonstrate the feasibility of the character, and emphasize that he's bringing the comedy half of action-comedy to the feature.

Here's a description of the footage, cut and pasted shamelessly from Don Kaye of Blastr since he was there and I was not, and the Internet has not seen fit to give use a shaky cell phone recording of the footage just yet:

He starts out tiny, staring through an air-conditioning vent at two guards down a long hall, then slips through the vent and runs at them in full attack mode. Rapidly expanding to full size to lay punches on them, then zooming to insect size as their counterpunches flail helplessly at the air, our hero makes short work of the guards and vanishes through the door. In one memorable moment, he shrinks and scrambles along the top of a gun barrel to give one of the guards a teeth-shattering knock in the mouth.

(source: Blastr

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Bernie

    bleech Ant man sucks, Bruce and Tony can be science boyfriends and Ant man can stay far far away. I'm not surprised Brits like him, he fits in well with Sci-Fi in the "journey to the centre of the universe / mars" sort of stuff that was popular but oh god he's so tedious. If I want stuck in the mud now it all bad husbands I will pay attention to the actual men in my life.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Sorry, but I can't get over the silly helmet. And...

    Oh, fuck it. The whole character concept is silly. How stoned do you have to be to actually come up with something like that, not to mention to approve of publishing it?

  • Now hold it on the Hank Pym hate here... Mr.Pym is a fantastically tragic character, and quite important to the tapestry of the Marvel Universe.

    He was an original, founding member of The Avengers. His on again, off again relationship with Janet Van Dyne is tumultuous, soapy, and... let's just say a bit kinky. He created Ultron, a destructive, unstoppable AI, which would be a perfect foil for future Avengers films. He also has the ability to grow to the size of a sky-scraper, and for sometime holds the mantle of "Giant Man".

    He's mentally unsound, and is one of the few super-heroes who constantly fail, despite best intentions, but somehow tries, and tries, and tries to do right. He's a fantastically well rounded character (unlike most of the pantheon of DC heroes) and is ripe for cinematic potential.

  • NateMan

    I've got nothing against failing characters - and he is, after all, a character. But real or fictional, once you punch your wife, you tend to stop holding my interest.

  • I can understand dislike the character after such a thing, but stops holding your interest I don't understand... Perhaps if it was a glorified action, maybe... But it's a driving point of his failings, and part of his burden of guilt. It'll always be with him. Could you elaborate why this is your litmus for holding your interest?

  • NateMan

    For the same reason I don't want to read\watch about anyone who beats their wife, their kid, etc. Some things are beyond the pale for me. I'm good with watching Dexter carve bad people up into little pieces. I can even cheer for it. I can enjoy Red Arrow's character in the DC universe while he deals with alcoholism and drug abuse. I'm okay with lots of things. Spousal or child abuse aren't among them. I think I've known too many people it happened to in real life, for one. And when it's been treated, as much as it has, as part of his personality, I find it distasteful.

    If other people find him interesting, that's okay. I know it's not a big deal for some people. And I can tolerate his character where it isn't part of his background; for instance, in the Avengers cartoon I'm okay with him being included. But if we're talking about a movie about Hank Pym, or his inclusion in the Avenger's movies, I'd rather not watch them. I'm not going to protest them, or try to convince other people not to see them. I'll just pass them by.

  • Again, I can understand how it might not sit well with you, and might resonate in a way that you don't enjoy. That's fine. No point of contention there.

    But I don't understand calling it distasteful, especially after citing Roy Harper, who's child's death, and return to drugs was the one most contrived, gratuitous, and exploitative in the past 5 years of comics.

  • twig

    who's child's death, and return to drugs was the one most contrived,
    gratuitous, and exploitative in the past 5 years of comics.

    And horribly written. Dear god, horribly written.

  • space_oddity

    Is this Hank Pym as Ant-Man or the other guy? Cause the other guy (and I don't remember his name) had a comic series that sounds more like this movie - emphasis on the funny.

  • NateMan

    I wonder if they'll leave in the alcoholism and spousal abuse?

  • TK

    Wasn't that just in the Ultimate universe? Or am I forgetting, and it was in the regular canon as well?

  • twig

    It's regular canon, but also takes place amidst the wreckage of a massive Hank Pym mental episode. Actually, regular 616 continuity is kinder to his character than Ultimate-verse, IMO.

    He really is a hero with serious mental health issues who would do better not putting on a cape, but circumstances never pan out that way.

  • NateMan

    He slapped Wasp around in the original canon at least once. It wasn't anything as bad as the Ultimates storyline, but how many times do you get to hit your wife before you get labeled a dick, ya know?

  • mswas

    Gabriel Hardman tweeted this link to an Ant Man sketch that he did at SDCC on Friday:

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