Compared to the preceding Age of Ultron it is fair to say Ant-Man is a movie with small stakes. It’s the difference between saving the world and saving intellectual property. It’s an origin story and all origin stories start small with growing stakes as the series build. (The size-related puns are not lost on me.) The thing with Ant-Man is that the implications of this origin should color every event that comes after and paint cinematic Hank Pym as the biggest jerk of the MCU this side of the villains. Let me explain.


In Ant-Man we are introduced to a suit that allows the wearer to shrink and grow. That’s relatively no big deal. We are introduced to a means to mass produce these suits thanks to Pym Particles. That’s worrisome, but the point of the plot is to keep this tech out of the hands of people who would do such a thing. What gets me is that we are introduced to guns and throwing stars that can either shrink or grow a target to varying sizes and that, when adjusted incorrectly, reduces anything to a little pile of goo. That’s kinda a big deal.

So why is Hank Pym a jerk? Because he’s been sitting on this tech for decades through bigger disasters than he could have imagined when he first put on that suit. Hulk attacking a city? Send him to the quantum universe, disaster adverted. Giant alien ship terrorizing New York? Shrink it to the size of your tank key chain,* disaster adverted. City being lifted by a malevolent A.I. with the intent of dropping it and triggering an extinction event? Shrink the city, lower it slowly to the ground and enlarge it again. Hell, enlarge yourself and lower the city at full size–you can already embiggen crap, go Giant-Man already! Pym’s only motivation for letting millions needlessly die is not wanting to work with a Stark.

That makes you a sociopath, Hank.

Pym Particles are only one step away from regularly accessible time travel in their ability to solve anything. Marvel needs to come up with an explanation as to why a malfunctioning Pym gun can’t just turn Thanos into goo or I’ll be wondering why Thor is bothering to hit him with a hammer. Maybe Marvel will, but so far, they haven’t done a great job being consistent with even comic book physics.

*Speaking of which, that tank. When Ant-Man shrinks he (supposedly) maintains his density which allows him to punch like a bullet. If that tank maintained it’s density, Hank wouldn’t be able to lift it despite it’s small size. If Thomas the Train maintained it’s density while growing to house-size, it would probably shatter before busting through the dry wall. I hate to go all Neil Degrasse Tyson here, but…which is it?

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