Last month I wrote about five heroes who should have movies instead of Ant-Man. (To try this at home, just choose five random heroes and make sure none of them are Ant-Man.) Legions of inexplicable Ant-fans descended to explain how I was “no true comics fan”. Even though I’ve read more material on metahumans than Nick Fury, and am also paid to analyze them for weaknesses. With the advantage that my house doesn’t blow up, fall out of the sky, and sink every week.
Superhero battles are simply fun, even when they’re just between fans, so I’m responding to these Ant-agonists.
“Ant-Man was a founding member of the Avengers!”
So was Wasp. Where’s her movie? And there’s nothing less sacred than a Marvel origin. It’s been retold more often than stories of Canadian girlfriends, and less faithfully, probably because the original story also included the Hulk pretending to be a clown robot.
Besides, the Avengers were first assembled by the strict criteria of “whoever was in radio range the Nth time Hulk lost his shit”, and even then Hulk got to be on the team despite being the entire crisis. It’s just a shame the signal didn’t call in U.S.1. Then we’d have a much better movie.
“Getting small is really useful!”
Getting small is really useful if you’re the Atom, who can shrink to the atomic level and has the physics and chemistry knowledge to do things down there. Hank hits insect size — small enough to lose a fight, big enough to still be noticed by people in that fight — and his specialty is biochemical research. Meaning knows the names of all the species which can’t normally defeat humans, and can describe exactly how he’s dying of the wounds they inflicted.
“Ant-Man has other benefits beyond shrinking – he’s also a genius!”
A genius on a team which already had Tony Stark (genius, constantly building new inventions and armored suits) and Bruce Banner (genius, indestructible gamma monster). Between them they cover the entire scientific spectrum of hubris, ethics, accidents and ideals of nobility. Hank Pym (genius, much better at hiding) isn’t an essential character, he’s poor writing and ability replication. Besides, his entire plan as a founding Avenger was becoming the size of an ant and moving towards a rampaging Hulk. That’s the exact opposite of genius.
“He’s more than just Ant-Man!”
Yes, he’s also been Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, and Wasp, because nothing says “popular character” like “constantly changing between synonyms in the hope you can trick people into liking you.” Yellowjacket! You’ve got to be fairly crap when you try changing your name to a predatory wasp golfer.
“It’s not just Hank Pym!”
No, it’s not, and no, the others aren’t better.
“All the heroes written back then were white males, so we just have to keep going with them now.”
When I think of the wonder of heroic fiction, I don’t think “inductive racism”.
“The movie will be great!”
Yep! That’s why I didn’t say a single thing about it, just the choice of character. Edgar Wright could direct my execution and my only regret would be not being able to watch.
“You need Ant-Man to justify the existence of Ultron.”
If we had to introduce a new hero every time the Avengers were attacked by an evil killer robot there wouldn’t be anybody left to defend. Earth would be seven billion superheroes and surrounded by giant black and yellow warning signs on every evil conquerer’s map of the galaxy.
Ant-Man can be good. He was great in Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, because everyone was great in Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. A good writer can save anyone. I’d just like to see cooler characters.
Any other heroes you’d like to see? Or an ant-ithesis to any of my points? Post below and I’ll keep having fun by replying!
More superheroic overanalysis with