When the first Ant-Man movie hit theaters in June 2015 it was a pleasant surprise to viewers across the nation. What seemed to be nonsensical character turned out to be a funny and interesting take on a seemingly ridiculous character. The sequel has been much anticipated, especially considering the events of Infinity War and where this film will lie in the current timeline (before Infinity War or after?). Either way, with the impending release of Ant-Man and the Wasp coming on July 6th, rather than speculate about the movie, lets go over the core characters and villains as seen in the comics so that we may gain a better understanding of the characters that will be seen in the movie.
Played by Michael Douglas in the movies; Henry Jonathan Pym was born to a normal family in very normal circumstances. He was however a genius. At the age of 3 he was tested and found to be smarter than both of his parents. He graduated high school at a young age and after graduating college met a Hungarian woman named Maria. He then married her, and after some difficulty with Hank’s career they moved to Hungary where she was shot by a political enemy and killed. In a rampage Hank tried to hunt the man who shot her but was arrested and deported back to the U.S. It was at this time the he began to rethink his life and worked tirelessly to become the worlds leading biologist. He invented Pym Particles allowing a human being to shrink or to grow at will. After meeting his second wife Janet Van Dyne, they both harnessed the power of the Pym Particles to become the original Ant-Man and the Wasp. Hank would go on to help form the Avengers, and to create Ultron (which turned out bad for everyone). During an encounter with Ultron, Hank was overtaken by the robot A.I. who now possesses the personality and intelligence of Hank making him even more dangerous than before. So most recently Hank is a cyborg-Ultron entity that is pure evil (I know we said we weren’t going to speculate but I doubt we’ll see that in these upcoming movies).
Janet Van Dyne
Janet Van Dyne, (portrayed by Michelle Pfieffer in the upcoming movie), grew up as the daughter of a very wealthy scientist. She lived her life largely as a flighty young woman who loved spending the money that she had. She was an avid fashion designer (she would later design many Wasp costumes to be worn for every mission). When aliens invaded earth and killed her father, she contacted his colleague Hank Pym and conspired with him to bring her father’s murderer to justice. Using the suit and Pym particles given to her, and some synthetic wings she too could shrink to the size of a bug. With the ability to fly and shoot compressed air out of wrist rockets, (called the “Wasp Sting” by Hank), she proved a formidable partner for Hank and they had many adventures. They were soon married, but after many mental breakdowns from Hank Pym (one of which involving him lashing out and striking her), they were later divorced. She still continued to adventure with the Avengers and she now sits as a chairman of the team; having matured much from her days of wanton living. She is a well loved character by many and well respected in the community of superheroes.
Paul Rudd plays the lovable rogue known as Scott Lang. His comic book origins are more or less the same as in the movie. He was an electric engineer who couldn’t support his family, so he resorted to burglary. After a short stint in prison, he was hired by Stark Industries to work in the design department. While in prison his wife had divorced him (as seen in the first movie), but his daughter was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition. He sought the help of Dr. Erica Sondheim who was being held prisoner by Darren Cross (the guy from the first movie who had the Yellowjacket suit). So, Scott once again resorted to thievery and broke into scientist Hank Pym’s house to steal the Ant-Man suit so that he could save Dr. Sondheim. After saving Dr. Sondheim, she was able to save his daughters life. Scott returned the Ant-Man suit and went to turn himself in, but Hank Pym saw promise in Scott’s skills and rather than having him arrested, trained him to be the new Ant-Man.
Hope Van Dyne
Hope Van Dyne (played by Evangeline Lilly) is completely different in the comics than she is in the movie. The continuity of the character is not set in the current Marvel universe but Hope was the daughter of Hank and Janet, and twin sister of Hank Jr. Hope believed the new Avengers to be a disgrace to the original Avengers her father was a part of. Hope created Ion Man to kill Cassandra Lang (who had become the heroine known as Stinger). Hope believed she should be the one to carry on the legacy of her father rather than Scott and his family. She became known as the Red Queen, and started the Revengers; an anti Avengers team devoted to destroying the new Avengers. It’s a sad story, and one they will probably not explore in the movies. The movie version of Hope mirrors the comic book version of Nadia Pym more (which is actually set in the current comic continuity). Regardless, it’s an interesting comic book origin.
New addition to the upcoming movie is William Foster, portrayed by Laurence Fishbourn. William “Bill” Foster was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the California Institute of Technology where he met and married Claire Temple (the Night Nurse). Shortly after they were separated (later Bill would want her back and jim and Luke Cage would compete for her affection). After they separated, Bill went to work at Stark Industries and was the lab assistant of Hank Pym. It was here that he learned of Pym Particles and helped Hank experiment with them. At one point Hank grew to a ten foot giant and couldn’t shrink back to normal, it was Bill who synthesized a way to shrink Hank back to normal and it was here that he started to experiment with the Pym particles growing ability. He memorized the formula for Pym Particles and went back to L.A. and began moonlighting as the Black Goliath. He joined the Defenders for a short while but quit in order to do his own thing as The Goliath. He was later killed by a clone of Thor during the events of Civil War (I would hazard a guess that we won’t see that in this movie). He’s a great character and will be fun to see on screen.
The origins of The Ghost in the comics are largely unknown. Hannah John-Kamen is playing the antagonist of this movie, giving a drastic change to the character (considering the comic book Ghost was a man). The comic book origins of the Ghost is foggy at best. What we know is that he was a genius computer technician who was the brain child behind GhostTech, a company that developed a series of computer chips that could phase through solid objects. When the GhostTech project was complete the company that Ghost worked for tried to have him killed (killing his lover instead). So he infused his body with the GhostTech allowing himself to phase through objects. Now he has devoted his life to taking down powerful corporations. We’ll see how this all connects in the movie, but the character design looks great.