How & When Did Ant-Man Get His Powers?


There are plenty of superheroes in Marvel Comics that don’t necessarily have access to superpowers but do well on their own with the use of awesome tech. Ant-Man, a legacy superhero title that has belonged to three individuals so far, is one of those superheroes, as Ant-Man’s never had conventional superpowers but did have access to physics! Today, we decided to explore how each Ant-Man got access to superpowers, starting with Hank Pym until we eventually clear up Scott Lang’s origin story. 

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Hank Pym, the first Ant-Man, got superpowers via his suit as he discovered a rare group of subatomic particles that allowed him to change his size with every use. He also developed a helmet that would allow him to communicate with ants. 
  • Eric O’Grady discovered the Ant-Man suit by accident but continued to act as Ant-Man while he was active as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. 
  • Scott Lang got his hands on Ant-Man’s suit and, consequently, Ant-Man’s powers when he attempted to rob Henry Pym.

Doctor Henry Pym invented the Ant-Man suit and gave himself superpowers 

The first and most notable Ant-Man in history was Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym, who became a superhero due to sheer willpower and determination, and in large part due to his brilliance. 

Even as a child, Pym was extremely intelligent and had a tendency to create things and invent fun things, something he abandoned as he grew up and was discouraged by his college professors. Pym would, later on, pursue a serious career in science, but his mind would be changed once again when his first wife Maria Trovaya was killed right in front of him, and this is the moment when he decided to utilize his brilliance to change the world, although he wasn’t aware of it right away. 

Soon after the incident and the great tragedy with his wife, Pym discovered a rare group of subatomic particles, something he dubbed “Pym Particles.” Those Pym Particles allowed him to shrink himself to the size of an insect and restore himself back to his original human size at will. This happened in ‘Tales to Astonish’ #27.


Hank Pym vs. Scott Lang: Who Is the Stronger Ant-Man?

Pym created two separate serums, and while he was testing the serum, he got stuck in an ant-hill. Ants almost killed him in that ant-hill, but luckily, Pym was able to restore himself to his normal size once again. But traumatized by the ordeal, he destroyed the serum, only to re-create it after several weeks because he was too fascinated by what happened in the ant-hill to just ignore the experience. 

When he returned back to the anthill by shrinking himself to insect size, he noticed what extraordinary creatures they were, and he noticed that ants communicated via electrical waves that were transmitted through their antennae. This is how Pym got the idea to create his first cybernetic helmet. And sure enough, Pym not only got better at using Pym particles, he also got better at controlling ants as well. He eventually created a protective suit out of unstable molecules and steel mesh, which served as his first Ant-Suit.

Pym got the opportunity to act as a real Ant-Man soon enough. When K.G.B. agents planned to murder him and his assistants in his laboratory to steal his latest military-related invention, Pym donned his protective suit. He shrank himself and utilized an army of ants to defeat them. The rest was history. 

Pym, as the first Ant-Man, eventually figured out how to make himself into Giant-Man as well, with the help of Janet van Dyne, but this superpower came later when he was already fighting various villains for quite some time. 

Eric O’Grady stumbled upon Ant-Suit, and superpowers, by accident 

Eric O’Grady was the second Ant-Man and probably the least famous among the three of them, and for a good reason, due to his disturbing personality. 

Eric and his friend Chris were assigned to guard Dr. Henry Pym’s lab but accidentally caused chaos when Chris, in the Ant-Man suit, shrank and got lost. Eric took advantage of the situation to make a move on Chris’ girlfriend. Later, Chris was killed during a Hydra attack, and Eric took the Ant-Man suit. He discovered its abilities and briefly used it for good. He also fought Agent Carson, who was also after the suit. Eric O’Grady officially got the suit and superpowers in ‘Irredeemable Ant-Man’ #4.

Eric’s actions took a dark turn as he used the suit for voyeuristic activities, leading to consequences like Veronica King’s pregnancy and his abandonment of her.

Scott Lang stole the Ant-Man suit by accident

The last Ant-Man to land his hands on the suit is currently the most popular, largely due to his inclusion in the MCU – Scott Lang.

Scott Lang, an electronic engineer from Florida, turned to burglary to support his family but was caught and served time in prison. After his release, he continued his studies and got a job at Stark International. When his daughter Cassie fell ill with serious heart disease, Lang, desperate to help her, stole Ant-Man’s Suit from Dr. Henry Pym’s home.

Unaware that Pym saw the theft, Lang used the suit to rescue a surgeon, Dr. Erica Sondheim, who could help his daughter. Lang defeated Darren Cross (more famous under the title MODOK) and saved his daughter’s life with Sondheim’s assistance. Despite intending to return the suit and face consequences, Pym allowed Lang to keep it under the condition that he used it for lawful purposes.

Does Ant-Man have powers without the suit?

As you can see, every Ant-Man in history has superpowers via his suit. In that regard, Ant-Men is similar to Iron Man; without suit, they are just regular humans, smart humans, but humans nonetheless. Ant-Man’s biggest weakness is the fact that he has to use technology to fight villains and crime and doesn’t have readily available access to superpowers like the majority of superheroes in the comics. 

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!

Liked this article? Follow us on Facebook, Threads, and X to stay updated with the latest news.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments