The Ninjabot

Hello, My Name Is: Ant-Man (Scott Lang Edition)

Posted on November 14, 2014 at 10:00 am by Tyler Waterman

As the popularity of superhero films continues to skyrocket, we’re beginning to see more and more characters who aren’t household names getting the Hollywood spotlight. To ensure that no fan is left behind, Geek Legacy’s Managing Editor of Comics breaks down the essential info into a brief and easy-to-digest primer for these characters, in a feature we call “Hello, My Name Is.” 

Not all superheroes have an auspicious start. Sure, some find themselves empowered and decide to do what’s right, or are capable of great genius and use it to serve the greater good. But sometimes, you get your start by breaking into another hero’s home, taking his stuff and using it yourself. Different strokes for different folks, right?

Now THIS Ant-Man has it all figured out...

Now THIS Ant-Man has it all figured out…

Who Is This Guy?

I know what you’re thinking: isn’t Ant-Man named Hank Pym? And the answer to your question is “yes, one of them is.” Like Batman, Spider-Man or Captain America, the Ant-Man moniker is one that’s been worn by more than one person, although unlike those examples, the two Ant-Men have often overlapped. We’ll get into Hank in another “Hello, My Name Is” feature, but today is all about Scott Lang, the “newer” of the two. (Lang is also the version we’ll be getting in the upcoming Ant-Man film, played by Paul Rudd, though Michael Douglas will also be featured as an older Hank Pym.)

When I say that Lang got his start by ripping off the parts he’d need to accomplish it, I wasn’t kidding, and it wasn’t the first thing he’d stolen, either. Lang was an electronics expert, who inexplicably couldn’t find a way to support his family with his superior technological skills, so he turned to burglary instead. However, he turned out to be pretty terrible at that, got caught, and was convicted. He served his time and was out early with good behavior, but the damage was done, and his wife divorced him while he was up the river. However, those electronics skills did land him a job working for Tony Stark, which makes you wonder why he didn’t just apply there before the whole burglary thing in the first place.

Lang was back on his feet, things things took a turn for the worse when Lang’s daughter was diagnosed with a serious heart condition, one that could only be cured by long-time Marvel “npc” Dr. Erica Sondheim. Unfortunately, she was currently in the clutches of the man who would go on to become the villain Crossfire. Unable to save her on his own, Lang reverted back to his “when in doubt, burglarize” mentality, breaking into the home of one Hank Pym and stealing the Ant-Man costume and size-changing Pym Particles he found there. Dressed as Ant-Man, Lang was able to save Sondheim, who in turn was able to save his daughter.

He was still terrible at being a burglar, however, and this entire robbery was witnessed by Pym, who was currently rocking his Yellowjacket persona instead. Instead of stopping him, however, Pym was curious as to his motivations, and saw him save Sondheim. When Lang tried to return what he’d stolen, Pym, impressed with what he’d seen, told him to keep it and use it for the greater good, and the newest Ant-Man was born.

antman2

You know Lang’s a legit superhero because he’s gotten the “back from the dead” treatment. You ain’t cool until you’ve been dead.

What’d He Do?

Ok, I’ll be honest: Lang doesn’t exactly have that huge moment that separates him from the pack. He’s never punched out Galactus and saved the planet, or stopped one of the thousands of Skrull invasions single-handedly. That being said, not everyone is Spider-Man, and Lang isn’t without his triumphs. His career started strong, pairing with Wasp to stop the Absorbing Man and Titania, which I promise was a much bigger deal then than it is now. When Onslaught attacked and seemingly wiped out all of the “big-name” superheroes, Lang was one of the first to attempt to fill their shoes, joining the Heroes for Hire. Probably his biggest claim to fame was helping the Avengers stop the time-traveling despot known as Kang the Conqueror. Kang is absolutely a big deal, and Lang’s help got him the ultimate nod: an invite to join the Avengers himself.

During his time on the Avengers, Lang found himself butting heads with another new member, Jack of Hearts. However, Jack ended up sacrificing himself to save Lang’s daughter, and Lang struggled to come to terms with the fact that he’d never truly reconciled with Jack. When Jack mysteriously appeared on the front lawn of the Avengers Mansion, Lang ignored the warnings of the others and ran to see him, walking directly into a trap set by the then-unstable Scarlet Witch. Jack exploded, killing Lang and kicking off the Avengers Disassembled event.

Of course, you can’t keep a good hero down, and Lang was no exception. During the extremely-important Avengers: Childrens’ Crusade event, Lang’s daughter Cassie (now the Young Avenger known as Stature) went back in time with her team to the point where Jack detonated himself. Despite promises not to interfere, Cassie couldn’t stop herself, and saved her father from the blast. The Young Avengers then brought him back to our time, where he joined the incredibly crowded “not actually dead” club. That reunion was short-lived, however, as Cassie then died at the hands of Doctor Doom. As of this time, she has not yet joined that aforementioned club, and remains thoroughly dead.

Ant-Man-Scott-and-Cassie-Lang-Marvel-Comics

“It is now,” she says, all but guaranteeing she’ll be dead within moments. (And she was.)

So Why Should I Care?

Like I said, Scott Lang hasn’t had a particularly massive storyline impact anywhere in the Marvel U, so this question is appropriate. However, Lang is important because he represents one of the best (and it seems most rare) kinds of heroes: the kind that just wants to do good. Sure, Lang can be a little rough around the edges; he’s sassy, he’s often inappropriate, and he shares that Spidey-like ability to say the worst things at the worst times.  However, when the “big” heroes are in a pinch, it can’t be denied that Scott Lang is always at the top of the list. While “Lang” may not have the same weight as names like “Stark,” “Banner,” or “Richards,” Lang absolutely belongs in the super-hero big-brains club. He’s also a natural leader. He may deny that, but on more than one occasion he’s been brought in to fill Reed Richards’ place on the Fantastic Four, not just as a scientist, but also as leader of one of Marvel’s most premier teams.

Lang may not have a massive resume, but he’s got a massive heart, and sometimes that’s all that matters. Also, with Lang being the main face of the upcoming film, it seems safe to assume the comic version of Lang will start to have a much larger role in storylines, making him a major person of interest going forward.

Got more questions? Want more details? Ask them in the comments, and I’ll be happy to clarify. And be sure to keep checking Geek Legacy for more “Hello, My Name Is” features to continue your comic character education and ensure maximum comic movie enjoyment!

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