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Wednesday, July 18, 2018 

Superficial column about Ant-Man and Wasp's history

Here's another puff piece in the Fort Smith Times-Record talking about the histories of Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne and the Ant-Man and Wasp identities that just posits certain details without offering any criticism or objectivity as to what was done right or wrong in their handlings. For example, when they talk about different codenames:
Multiple Personality Disorder: Henry Pym has had five superhero names in the comics. Five! They include Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket and, weirdly, The Wasp. He might have a sixth, if you count his time with the West Coast Avengers, when he wore a simple white lab coat over a red jumpsuit, changed the sizes of other things (instead of himself) and went by “Dr. Pym.”
Hank's taking up Jan's role(!) was a very recent occurrence from several years ago, and based on how bad writing became after the mid-2000s, it only made what they did all the more insulting, as it happened after Jan was put in death-limbo for a time following Secret Invasion. And if the columnist has no interest in being objective and critical of what was basically shock value, then I don't see the point of this dumb article.

If Hank were put in Jan's role today, would SJWs object? Funny thing is, they probably wouldn't, since a white woman like Jan isn't somebody they'd care about for the sake of their vapid agendas.
The Robot Was an Improvement: The worst of them all is probably Eric O’Grady, the third Ant-Man. A low-level S.H.I.E.L.D. agent with few morals or ethics, O’Grady stole the Ant-Man suit and used it primarily to hide from fights and spy on women in the shower. Fortunately, he was killed and replaced by an android with an artificial intelligence, who goes by the name Black Ant.
Umm, whose fault was it that o'Grady was portrayed as a Peeping Tom? Whoever the assigned writer was, for crying out loud! I don't know if Brian Bendis took that role (though he was the writer who depicted Spider-Woman taken hostage and stripped of her outfit when he was writing Avengers), but whoever penned any stories where that happened was the guilty party, not the fictional o'Grady character, so to pin the blame on him and imply his curtain call was literally a good thing only excuses the writers and assigns no accountability for them. Disgraceful.
Name Drop: In “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” Ava (Ghost) refers to her father, Elihas Starr. In the comics, that was the real name of Egghead, who was the closest thing Ant-Man/Giant-Man had to an arch-enemy back in the 1960s. Egghead is a scientist with an egg-shaped head (naturally) who is insanely jealous of Henry Pym, and has invented all sorts of things over the years to do him in. So, for comics fans, Elihas Starr was an Easter ... egg ... head.

No Relation: Giant-Man’s Egghead had nothing to do with the Egghead on the “Batman” TV show (played by Vincent Price) except the name. And the head. And being lame.

Rogues Gallery: Other early Ant-Man/Giant-Man foes included such painful characters as the Scarlet Beetle, the Living Eraser, the Creature from Cosmos, the Magician and the Porcupine. That’s probably why the movie opted for a couple of Iron Man villains, Sonny Burch and the Ghost.
Oh, so just putting down those early adversaries as all worthless, are we? Talk about putting down creator Stan Lee in turn, after all the hard work he did! Let's be clear: if anybody wanted it to happen, improvements could be made to what powers and weapons the villains used, and most importantly, the journalists could ask that the challenge be taken. And it could all be done without resorting to the kind of shoddy, shock value-laced steps Geoff Johns used when he was writing the Flash in the early 2000s. Some of the villains introduced during the Silver Age may not all have been best written, but in the Bronze Age, there were some who, if it matters, found improvements under successive writers. So to act like it's all an inherently lost cause is just pathetic. I'm sure if the filmmakers wanted, they could use any of the crooks featured in the Ant-Man stories from the Silver/Bronze Ages and take necessary creative liberties to depict them more effectively - like show them using hand-held weapons and combat techniques, if that's what it takes to make them impressive. So why resort to borrowing crooks from IM's tales?
Nom du Combat: Most superheroes have nicknames the writers use so as to avoid saying the character’s name over and over. The Flash is sometimes called the Scarlet Speedster, the Wizard of Whiz or the Crimson Comet. Captain America is sometimes called the Star-Spangled Avenger, the Sentinel of Liberty or the Living Legend of World War II. In the 1960s, Marvel trotted out the “Master of Many Sizes” for Henry Pym. It didn’t stick.

Nom du Combat II: Over at DC Comics, Ant-Man’s size-changing counterpart The Atom was referred to a few times as the Lilliputian Lawman. I think we can all agree that one’s even worse.
No, it's not, and I'm certainly not taking what a shoddy journalist like this one says at face value. We do not all agree, no thank you. Besides, if it matters, even Robin's description as Boy Wonder (and later Teen Wonder) was mostly downplayed by the Bronze Age, and eventually phased out altogether, along with various other nicknames used in-story for narration during the time (Black Canary was sometimes nicknamed the Blonde Bombshell and Hourman the Tick-Tock-Man).
Small Sales: The publication history for Ant-Man and related characters has been spotty at best. Ant-Man debuted in “Tales to Astonish” in 1962, but poor sales prompted quick changes. By the 10th installment, The Wasp was added, and in the 15th, Ant-Man gained the power to grow into Giant-Man. Evidently, those additions didn’t help — by 1964 Giant-Man and Wasp had to split the book to make room for a Hulk series, and in 1965 the duo were pushed out altogether by the Sub-Mariner. After that Pym and Van Dyne were relegated to off-and-on appearances in “Avengers,” with occasional solo series that never lasted. Scott Lang managed a 13-issue run of “Astonishing Ant-Man” (2015-16) and co-starred in 16 issues of a Fantastic Four spin-off (2013-14), and Eric O’Grady headlined the 12 issues of “Irredeemable Ant-Man” (2006-07), but otherwise the characters’ success rate has been, ah, small.
But naturally, these media hacks won't bother to ask why they didn't succeed. IMO, the marketing approach during the Silver Age could explain why these miniature heroes found less success than their taller counterparts; maybe they should've marketed it according to story quality and the adventure theme itself rather than simply the costumed superhero theme. After all, Nick Fury wasn't a superhero per se, but an army officer/government spy, and his Silver/Bronze Age adventures were well regarded in that sense. It's certainly a shame that even the Ant-Man solo adventures published in the Bronze Age in anthologies like Marvel Feature/Premiere didn't lead to any serious solo books for Hank, Jan and Scott, but that's mainly the fault of marketing, and admittedly, differences in opinion on the writing and its quality.
Death Be Not Permanent: Both Scott Lang and his daughter, Cassie, have been killed in the comics, only to come back from the dead. That’s not really all that uncommon among the superhero set, as the same description applies to most of the Avengers, the Justice League and the 80 bajillion X-Men. But it’s rare for resurrection to run in families.
It's also rare for criticism of superfluous shock value character deaths to be brought up in the mainstream media, and this article is no different. The whole concept's been rendered sleazy, rude and disgusting by this point, and they would do well to just cut it out. Similarly, "journalists" who write such superficial pieces about comics history, past and present, would do well to just quit their pseudo-profession altogether. It'd make things a lot more comfy for us all.

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" 'I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way' "!

if you think the O'Grady Ant-Man has complaints about being written as a Peeping Tom, he has to go way back in the line, behind Lex Luthor, Braniac, the Joker, the Riddler, Dr Doom, Magneto, the Green Goblin and Loki, all of whom have often been portrayed in a less-than-illustrious light.

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