Warning: SPOILERS for Ant-Man #4Marvel’s Ant-Man is a legacy superhero and one of the main characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – so why does he remain unpopular, and why do Marvel fans only care about one of them? Ant-Man has over 60 years of comic book history, and as a founding member of the Avengers, he ought to be more popular and influential than he actually is. But Ant-Man #4 reveals why fans only care about Scott Lang, and why every other Ant-Man is forgotten or hated.
Ant-Man has many characteristics that work against him (no matter who wears the suit). His name is quite laughable compared to the likes of Iron Man or Thor, he has no innate abilities and must rely on his suit, and while his powers allow him to shrink to miniscule size, it frequently takes him out of the fight; he cannot exactly fight alongside the Avengers (he fights under them instead). Nevertheless, Ant-Man is invaluable to the team – but despite possessing the same powers, each Ant-Man is different (and so are their flaws, of which there are many).
In Ant-Man’s new 2022 series Ant-Man, written by Al Ewing with art by Tom Reilly, the three main Ant-Men – Hank Pym, Scott Lang and Eric O’Grady – are transported from their individual timelines to fight alongside a fourth future Ant-Man. The Allfather Ultron threatens the world and Ant-Man is the perfect superhero to counter him (seeing as Hank Pym created Ultron in the comics, not Tony Stark as he did in the MCU). “There’s a lot of tragedy in an Ant-Man” says Scott Lang after the threat is defeated, and he’s more right than he ever knows. Scott is the only Ant-Man that audiences seem to care about…primarily because he began from a low place.
Fans Only Care About Scott Lang
Hank Pym may have started from a heroic place, but after the infamous moment in which he hit his wife Janet, public perception of him plummeted (even though he was under the influence of an alien compound at the time, he is blamed by fans and fellow heroes alike). Meanwhile, Eric O’Grady was never a classic “hero” to begin with; he used the suit almost exclusively for personal gain and even charged for his services (asking for money and even a date at one point). Scott, by contrast, began his life as a criminal but worked to change his life for the better. His story as Ant-Man is a tale of a man working his way up, while the other Ant-Men continue to fall.
Ant-Man has never been the most popular hero; his adventures almost necessitate the exclusion of other characters who cannot shrink. Scott Lang’s story is all about hope and redemption from the beginning, while Hank has never been able to hold on to his fans like Scott. Eric had very few fans to begin with, outside of those who simply wanted to see how many times he could mess up; this makes Scott Lang the most human Ant-Man, and it also explains why fans prefer him over the others.