From Hank Pym to Scott Lang, Goliath to Yellowjacket, Marvel’s size-shifting superhero has undergone a lot of changes over the years. But no matter who’s wearing the helmet, or what they call themselves, the astonishing Ant-Man and his successors have become a mainstay of the Marvel Universe. I’m Andrew, and on this episode of ‘Yellow Spandex,’ we’re looking at The Evolution of Ant-Man’s Costume We start, as always, with the comics, where Dr. Hank Pym first appeared, not as a superhero, but simply as The Man in the Ant Hill Before Marvel went all-in on capes and costumes, they published a ton of sci-fi and horror anthology series, like ‘Strange Tales,’ ‘Tales of Suspense,’ ‘Tales to Astonish.’ and other books that didn’t involve the word ‘Tales.’ ‘Tales to Astonish’ is where Dr. Henry Pym made his debut in 1962, in a standalone story called ‘The Man in the Ant Hill!’ It’s sort of like a mini ‘Twilight Zone’ episode, where a scientist tests his world-changing new discovery on himself, only to face horrific consequences for his hubris. Hubris! It will get you every time. Pym regains his size without any fancy armor or helmets, although he does kick an ant’s ass using Judo. But right around this time, something fantastic happened. After debuting two months earlier, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s other creation had ushered in a new age of superheroes, The Fantastic Four,
to be precise. so they decided to retool their incredible shrinking man to make him a little more marketable. Hank had second thoughts about the whole ‘my discovery is too dangerous for humanity’ thing, and recreated his Pym Particles just a few issues later. After his experience in the anthill, Pym also developed a fascination with the insects, and devised a cool chrome helmet that could communicate with them using electricity. It was still in the testing phase, though, so he whipped up a colorful armored suit to protect him from bites, stings and scratches. That was a lot scarier a second ago. The red-and-blue Ant-Man costume was what he wore when he met the love of his life, when he formed the Avengers, and when Garret Morris played him on a mad early episode of SNL. What the hell? But, like any good scientist, Dr. Pym wasn’t satisfied simply by shrinking. He wanted to push the limits of what his particles could achieve, and that means Grow Big or Go Home Stan Lee was never a fan of Ant-Man, because visually, unless you constantly drew him
standing next to a matchbook or something for scale, he just looked like any other superhero. So, Stan gave him a more spectacular power upgrade, a brand-new identity, and a costume to match. Hank Pym has always had a chip on his shoulder, and his deep-seated feelings of inadequacy led him to
further experiment with his size-changing particles. After he unlocked the ability to grow to massive size, …If you two are finished comparing sizes… Sixty five. Sixty five… he gave himself a makeover and re-emerged as Giant Man. Keeping the color scheme from his Ant-Man costume, Pym ditched the bulky helmet for two wispy antenna sewn into his massive mask, just in case he felt like shooting the breeze with his old ant buddies. He eventually added a blue helmet and slick shoulderpads, but they didn’t last long, because as Hank continued to unlock the potential of Pym particles, he took on yet another identity. As Goliath, he achieved all new heights, but this phase marked the beginning of the end for Pym’s mental health. He found himself unable to return to normal size, and the experience led him to making some extremely poor decisions, namely, this ugly blue and yellow costume. Oh, and creating the genocidal AI known as Ultron, who’s responsible for the deaths of millions of people. Others would take up the Goliath mantle in the future, like Bill Foster, played by Laurence Fishburne in the movie, I was partners with Hank on a project called Goliath. though no word on if he’ll be rocking an ab window. I don’t have abs, but I can’t rock an ab window What would you call your window? I call mine the breadbox. Uh… Cause this just looks like a sweet potato roll. There was also an evil version who’d eventually be known as Atlas, and even Hawkeye became Goliath for a hot minute. But Hank had already moved on to the next and most controversial phase of his career: Yellowjacket. After inhaling chemicals that induced symptoms of schizophrenia, Pym adopted an all-new persona, one that incorporated both aspects of his powers, but at the cost of his sanity. Yellowjacket was cocky, arrogant and unstable, and while his new costume was cool to look at, it wasn’t the most practical. Seriously, I dig the whole ‘wing’ vibe you’re going for, but they can’t be doing your peripheral vision any favors. You can’t look left or right, it doesn’t make any sense, you’re like a horse in Central Park! As Yellowjacket, Pym’s mental state continued to crumble, until one day he hit his wife Janet and was rightfully expelled from the Avengers. After a lot of soul-searching, Hank set up shop with the team’s West Coast affiliate, and traded in his costume for a gnarly red jumpsuit. It’s not the most heroic look, but all those pockets were perfect for storing shrunken-down weapons and vehicles. Pym eventually returned to his Giant Man garb, incorporating aspects from all his prior costumes. More recently, he took up the mantle of the Wasp in honor of his wife, who (of course) wasn’t really dead. After she returned, Hank found himself merged with his worst creation, Ultron, and the last time we saw him, Pym’s essence was trapped forever in the Soul Gem. I’m sure he’ll escape eventually, but in the meantime, there have been plenty of Other Ant-Men to keep us safe. Now, we’ve talked a lot about Hank Pym in this video, but unless you’ve been living under a rock, like an ant, You know that the MCU Ant-Man is a completely different person, an engineer-turned-thief named Scott Lang. He first appeared in 1979, where he stole Hank’s original Ant-Man suit in order to rescue the only doctor who could cure his daughter’s illness. Aww! Pym was impressed by the thief’s heroism, and gave him his blessing to carry on the Ant-Man legacy. Lang wore Pym’s classic costume for decades, until a 2004 redesign introduced a new helmet that covered his face entirely. It didn’t go over well with ant-fans, so when he joined the new Fantastic Four a few years later, he was back in a more traditional dark blue uniform. Finally, in 2015, Scott received one last makeover to bring his costume closer in line with the black-and-red look from the MCU. We’ll get there in a second, but there’s still one more man who wore the mantle: Eric O’Grady. This short-lived character was a sharp contrast to his heroic counterparts, irrational, amoral, and irredeemable. O’Grady, and his cool, robotic ant-like suit, didn’t survive too long, but even after his death, his life-model-decoy continues to stalk Earth-616 as the Black Ant. Time will tell if he’ll ever appear in the MCU, but O’Grady would actually fit in quite well with Paul Rudd at The Movies Ant-Man’s first appearance outside of comics was in 1966, as part of a series of cheap cartoons that used barely-moving comic panels in lieu of animation. He’s a mainstay in pretty much any Avengers series, from the short-lived ‘90s show where everyone dressed like a Power Ranger, to the amazing ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.’ Come on, bug! He almost received his own show in the ‘80s, but it would take something as game-changing as the MCU to truly shine a spotlight on Marvel’s smallest hero. Since Tony Stark took on the whole ‘unleashing Ultron’ aspect of his character, Hank Pym was relegated to the role of old mentor and Scott Lang became the star. From the very first test footage, back when Edgar Wright was still directing, all the way through ‘Civil War’ and ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp,’ the MCU Ant-Man costume has been surprisingly consistent. Inspired by the suit worn by his deranged Ultimate counterpart, The red lenses and fully-enclosed helmet add a dose of practicality, The process is highly volitaile. If one isn’t protected by a specialized helmet, it can affect the brain’s chemistry. while the muted color scheme makes more sense for a scientist than the bright blues of the comics version, even if it leads Scott to mistaking it for biker gear. It’s an old… motorcycle suit. Of course, it’s a far cry from the war machine that is the MCU version of Yellowjacket. Practical applications include surveillance, industrial sabotage,
and the eliminations of obstructions on the road to peace. So it’s a suit. Don’t be crude! Pym designed his Ant-Man suit as a scientific means to explore the Quantum Realm, but Darren Cross stole his tech to turn it into a weapon. The black and yellow mech suit looks like something out of Tony Stark’s wet dreams, but Lang was able to shrink it into oblivion, crushing Cross in the process. Ant-Man got an upgraded new suit in ‘Civil War,’ which added a streamlined helmet, some grey accents in the material, and gave him the ability to increase in size. Holy crap! Woah-ho-ho-ho-ho! Okay, tiny dude is big now! So far, he’s shown no signs of changing his name
or costume to match the Giant Man from the comics, but ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ promises to pursue the potential of Pym Particles even further. Lang’s new suit isn’t the story here, though. It’s his new partner. So strap on your wings, because next time on ‘Yellow Spandex,’ we’re going to be talking all about the Wondrous Wasp. It’s about damn time. When it comes to Ant-Man, Marvel’s size-shifting superhero has undergone a lot of changes over the years. But no matter who’s wearing the helmet, or what they call themselves, the Astonishing Ant-Man and his successors have become a mainstay of the Marvel Universe. In this episode of Yellow Spandex, We’ll go through all the incarnations of Ant-Man, From Hank Pym to Scott Lang, Goliath to Yellowjacket, and see how he’s evolved in the comics and on the big screen. And you can only find it at the home of Yellow Spandex, NowThis Nerd CTA Thanks for watching everyone, I know I’m hype for the new Ant-Man movie, and I can’t wait for you to see our next episode about the Wasp. Until then, leave a comment and let me know what your favorite Ant-Man incarnation is. Make sure you follow us on twitter @NowNerdOfficial and please subscribe to NTN.