I was doing my annual reading of Mark Millar’s Ultimates on the bus home a few nights ago. Having re-watched The Avengers a few times, I ended up involuntarily associating a lot of the characters with their movie incarnations, hearing their dialogue read in the actor’s voices and so on. Until I reached Hank Pym and Jan van Dyne. It got me wondering what Marvel’s plans for Ant-Man would be.
We all know Geek Mogul Edgar Wright is behind it, which is brilliant. At Comic Con this year he unveiled some test footage and spoke about it briefly, much to the fans delight. All well and good, but that’s about all anybody knows about a film that’s been in the works for almost as long as the mythical Justice League movie. So I want to know a few things about Ant-Man such as…
Where He Fits Into The MARVEL
In the comics and in the recent kick ass animated series, Ant-Man and Wasp are founding Avengers. They’re in it from the start, Wasp comes up with the name “Avengers” and next to the Big Four, they’re among the first characters that spring to most fanboy’s minds, when the word “avengers” is thrown out.
Or at least that was the case, until they got replaced by Hawkeye and Black Widow.
I’m not going to discredit Marvel’s decision or Joss the Boss’ treatment of those characters because given that “The Avengers” was very S.H.I.E.L.D orientated, those two work the most in that context. It just leaves a lot of us wondering what that leaves for Hank. In Wright’s earliest interviews on the subject, the film was set to be a half period piece, half modern day scenario, with Hank Pym as Ant-Man in the 1960s and Scott Lang as his successor in the here and now. That’s pretty cool, but the script has been tweaked and rewritten so many times, I’m not sure if that’s still the premise.(though I hope so as First Class showed us how classy superhero antics in the 60′s can be).
Ant-Man is a slightly quirkier hero, in terms of his powers (shrinking, growing, talking to ants) and his position among other heroes. He’s often given a wide berth because of some of his neuroses (at one stage, he has a robot girlfriend). He’s the happy, well-meaning but slightly mad scientist medium between Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. Speaking of which, it’ll be even more interesting to see how Marvel and Wright work him into the inner workings of SHIELD and the Avengers when they’ve already done the same thing for two eccentric scientists already.
Mantally Unbal(Ant)ced Man
Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal as the introvert and unassuming but ultimately likeable Bruce Banner is the perfect template for how superhero scientists ought to be on screen (Are you reading this Fantastic Four reboot team? ARE YOU???). I really want Dr Henry Pym to be in the same vein as him, without coming off as a total rip-off. A likeable mad scientist. On the one hand you’ve got this guy who made a remarkable scientific discovery and decides to use it himself putting him on a path to being a great superhero.
But on the other hand, you’ve got a man who has episodes of manic depression, a changeable temper and an inferiority complex. Even among the spandex crowd, his psyche isn’t the best. I think he’s had at least two nervous breakdowns. He can be obsessive about his work, and come up with the most fucked up unorthodox ideas that often alienate him from his teammates. For example, on one occasion, after torturing Loki, he decided to ask him if he wanted to join his team of Avengers. He quickly found himself without a team of Avengers.