When Marvel announced it was going to do an Ant-Man movie my reaction was…meh. Ant-Man has never been my favorite character (and to my knowledge has never been anyone’s favorite character) so the prospect of a film based on him do not really appeal to me. Then director Edgar Wright publicly left the project making it seem as if there was confusion and dissent in the ranks; this did not inspire confidence in what the outcome would be. Would this, I wondered out loud to myself while sitting in my basement one day, be the first real failure of the Marvel MCU? I then went on to not care because believe it or not I do, in fact, have a life.

But now the release date is looming and I of course will go and see it. Because regardless of the life I believe I have I will, in fact, go and see every comic book movie released. And to be fair the promotional material/trailers actually look pretty good. And Marvel’s track record has been great, some would say stellar (and by “some” I mean me) at making really entertaining movies. So I have decided to put aside any preconceived notions I may have about the film or the character and just watch it with an open mind. That is very un-nerdlike of me but I figure I will give it a shot.

And in ant-icipation I did a little research into the character.

Who Is Ant-Man?

Ant-Man created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby in 1962 first appearing in Tales to Astonish #35. He is a superhero with the ability to shrink in size to that of an ant and can communicate with ants via a funky helmet. Ant-Man is a legacy character meaning several people have taken on the mantle (or should I say ant-mantle) over the years.

Uncool dude.

Uncool dude.

The first of these was Hank Pym. Pym was a biophysicist who discovered Pym Particles (which is convenient to find something named after yourself) that can shrink someone in size. He then creates a fancy suit and an insect conversing helmet and becomes a superhero.  He then shares this technology with his girlfriend and eventual wife Janey Van Dyne who herself becomes the superhero the Wasp. Hank Pym knew, if you want to impress the ladies you give them superpowers. Together they fought b-list villains until finally going on to become founding members of the Avengers.

Pym would have a long an complicated career as a superhero. Eventually he would reverse the Pym Particle process (alliteration, Stan Lee would be proud) and grow in size making him Giant Man. He then goes insane, changes his name to Yellow Jacket and hits his wife. Hard to be a Pym fan after that.

Second was Scott Lang. Land was a petty thief who steals the Ant-man suit in order to rob a bank to get money to save his dying daughter. As far a motivations go that one is decent. He later reformed and quit his life of crime and was given the Ant-man title by Hank Pym.

The third major person to take on the role is Eric O’Grady a low-level S.H.E.I.L.D. agent who basically uses his ability to look at boobs.

The Movie Versions

The movie looks as if it will focus on Scott Lang’s version with Hank Pym as his mentor. There is a character, Hope Van Dyne, who is the daughter of Hank Pym and many speculate (and by “many” I mean me) that she will eventually become the MCU version of the Wasp. Also the villain of the movie is Yellow Jacket, a completely separate person and not wife beating Hank. So, that’s cool.

Also, there is much speculation that the film version will eventually use the Giant Man persona, if not in this movie then in Captain America: Civil War coming out next year. And of course by “much speculation” I mean I just thought of it while typing this out.

Just Enjoy It

All in all what I’ve seen so far looks pretty good. Marvel seems to be taking a lighthearted position and the effects, at least in the trailers, are pretty convincing and not simply a version of Honey I Shrunk the Superhero. And honestly if the MCU can make an Ant-Man film that is fun and entertaining that is all it needs to do. Yes, my expectations are low – basically if its not terrible it will be great. Hell Marvel made Guardians of the Galaxy one of the most fun movies of the year, why not this?

So for now I will shut-up and trust in Marvel.