Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Dr. Henry "Hank" Pym is a fictional character in the Marvel Universe, a founding member of the superhero group The Avengers. Over the years, Pym has had a number of different costumed identities, such as Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Yellowjacket and Goliath; he is currently going by the alias of "Yellowjacket".
Henry Pym was married to a Hungarian called Maria Trovaya. Sadly, their marriage was cut short when Maria was killed by Hungarian Secret Police. Shortly after that, he discovered what he called Pym Particles. One had the power to make things shrink and the other would return it to its natural size. He tested them on himself and he shrunk down to the size of an insect. He then restored himself. He then constructed a "cyber-helmet" that would let him communicate with and control insects. He designed a costume and gave himself the superhero name Ant-Man. On his first outing as Ant-Man, he defeated some KGB agents that were trying to steal some anti-radiation gas that Pym had made. He started a career as Ant-Man and fought many supervillains and monsters.
Later, Pym was contacted by Dr. Vernon Van Dyne, who asked for Pym's help in contacting aliens. He refused, but became attracted to Vernon's daughter, Janet Van Dyne. Vernon Van Dyne was later slain by an alien outlaw. Janet asked for Hank's help to avenge his death. Pym then revealed his secret identity to her. Hank used some Pym particles on her and grafted wasp wings beneath her shoulders (but they disappeared when she was normal size and came back again when using Pym particles). Janet assumed the name of The Wasp. They tracked down and defeated Vernon's killer. They then formed a permanent partnership and started a relationship, and became founding members of the Avengers. Shortly afterward, he developed a variant Pym Particle that could increase his size; using these, he became Giant-Man and later Goliath.
However, Pym suffered a series of mental problems. Shortly before his wedding, he had a breakdown during which he became amnesiac and developed the cocky "Yellowjacket" persona; he only fully recovered after his wedding to Janet. Later, he created an android called Ultron, which, to his horror, became self-aware and evil, and plotted to kill and replace him and the rest of humanity with robots. The extent of his guilt involved in Ultron's creation was not revealed until years later, when he admitted that Ultron's brain patterns were in fact based on his own.
Several years later, Pym had a complete breakdown, and became completely paranoid. During the course of this breakdown, he became overbearing and verbally abusive towards Janet. At the nadir of this degeneration, he struck her, and then proceeded to concoct a plan to make himself look good in front of his teammates by staging an attack upon them which only he could win. This plan backfired and Pym was exposed, disgraced, and expelled from the Avengers, and the couple divorced. After Pym's mental state returned to normal he rejoined the Avengers, first in an advisory role and later as Giant-Man. After a time, he and the Wasp became friends again and, some years later, resumed a romantic relationship.
Dr. Bill Foster was Pym's lab assistant, an African American who used the Giant-Man identity briefly. He had an equally brief career as the Black Goliath before retiring from superheroics.
Scott Lang was a thief who was reformed with the aid of Pym and Iron Man. After a fairly lengthy, if not especially noteworthy, career as the second Ant-Man, he became an affiliate of the Fantastic Four and most recently became a full-time member of the Avengers. He was killed in Avengers #500, when the reanimated corpse of his teammate Jack of Hearts (or a duplicate thereof), manipulated by the insane Scarlet Witch, blew himself up and killed Scott in the process.
Erik Josten was originally known as the supervillain Power Man; after an encounter with Luke Cage, who was also calling himself Power Man at the time, he changed his codename to The Smuggler, and later to Goliath. He adopted the superheroic identity of Atlas upon joining the Thunderbolts.
Rita DeMara was a reluctant supervillainess who was most notable for her brief affiliation with two incarnations of the Masters of Evil. She was awarded temporary reserve member status in the Avengers when she assisted Captain America during a crisis. When her second affiliation with the Masters of Evil ended, she went to the future with the time travelling Guardians of the Galaxy , and joined that group for a time. When she returned to the present, she was killed by Iron Man, who was being mind controlled by Immortus in the guise of Kang the Conqueror.
- Tales to Astonish (as Henry Pym) #27 (Marvel Comics, January 1962)
- Tales to Astonish (as Ant-Man) #35-49 (Marvel Comics, September 1962 - November 1963)
- Tales to Astonish (as Giant-Man) #49-69 (Marvel Comics, November 1963 - July 1965)
- Ant-Man's Big Christmas #1 (2001)
- Essential Ant-Man (black and white trade paperback) (2002)
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