Mike Gold: One Pill Makes You Larger, One Pill Makes You Ant-Man
The cool part about that first Ant-Man movie trailer is when Scott Lang asks Hank Pym if it is too late to change his code name.
The costume was nice and the scenes with Paul Rudd riding an ant were fun, and I’ll go see it and all that – but for me, the big “sell” is that Haley Atwell (Agent Carter) and John Slattery, the “older” Howard Stark, are in it. No knock on the character and certainly none on Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, and both seem like great casting choices.
The fact is, Ant-Man is Marvel’s Aquaman. No, I don’t mean Ant-Man is another really lame rip-off of the Sub-Mariner, I mean… well, about a thousand years ago Saturday Night Live did a superhero party skit and all the other heroes mocked the poor bastard because all he could do was get real small. At the Superhero Cafeteria, Ant-Man and Aquaman sit together but have nothing to say to each other.
I read “The Man In The Ant-Hill” as a kid. Tales To Astonish #27, January 1962. I was 11 years old and I loved it. I was thrilled to see Marvel bring Pym back as a superhero after the success of Fantastic Four. And within a few months… I was bored. They introduced The Wasp and I liked her, but I guess that didn’t help sales. They made Ant-Man into Giant-Man and that didn’t help. He later became Yellowjacket. Then other people became Ant-Man. Then Pym turned into a real asshole. When you think about it, the little critter’s been a D-Lister for 53 years.
But I think the movie is a good idea. They’ve got their own continuity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and maybe they can put this one over the plate. The li’l guy’s been trying so long he deserves it.
The current comic book incarnation, launched to take advantage of the movie publicity, focuses on the fact that Scott Lang is a well-meaning loser and that Ant-Man… well, he is one as well. Not bad, but these days comic book series come and go with alarming frequency. Confounding frequency, in fact, but I thank the publishers for giving us so many convenient jumping-off points. I wouldn’t be surprised if this latest Ant-Man series lasts no longer than the others.
That SNL sketch had Garrett Morris playing Ant-Man. He’s quite an accomplished actor, one who had been in movies before SNL and hasn’t lived off of his teevee rep for the past 35 years. I really wish he had a small part in the movie.
Small part. Get it?(As noted yesterday, Denny O’Neil will be back in this space next week, thereby returning Mike Gold to Wednesday mornings where he belongs.)