Ant-Man is an overwhelmingly beloved character with a keen sense of humor, especially after Paul Rudd’s awesome performance in the MCU as Scott Lang. However, the very concept of a bug-based superhero means that he’ll likely have a ton of similar villains on his resume. For someone who isn’t really keen on bugs, like me, that can be a real nightmare.
Not just that, though. Our beloved Ant-Man fought against some of Marvel’s toughest, scariest supervillains. Like, human size cockroaches with human-level intelligence or a person made entirely out of hornets sharing a hive mind. Yeah, it gets hardcore.
So, I’m bringing you the ultimate list of Ant-Man’s 15 most terrifying villains without further ado. Bear in mind they don’t have to be the most powerful to be downright horrifying, although power is one of the criteria used to rank the list. Enjoy!
The first appearance of this spinning supervillain came in ‘Tales to Astonish’ #50 in 1963. David Cannon, aka the Whirlwind, was a member of the Masters of Evil and a frequent enemy to both Hank Pym and Scott Lang. His mutation allowed Cannon to spin as fast as a tornado, allowing him to manipulate the airflow around himself.
He also had a very solid suit surrounded by blades, making him quite a lethal opponent when attacking with his spinning moves. He’s a B-list villain, though, and usually gets dismantled rather easily. Still, this guy is scary if you’re afraid of the wind or rotating blades.
What’s even scarier about him is that the guy is an all-out stalker. He developed a fixation on Janet van Dyne and posed as her chauffeur for years to try and get her to fall in love with him. He might not be terrifying, but the dude is a certified creep.
I sometimes felt like Equinox was wasted potential when it comes to Ant-Man villains because he had rather cool powers. Terrance Sorenson first appeared in ‘Marvel Team-Up’ #23 in 1974; a guy who gained thermodynamic powers after an experiment caused a severe mutation. He could control and produce both ice and fire from his body.
His powers are quite cool, but his immature personality always got the best of Equinox. He could potentially be a dangerous foe, but instead, the guy was just lame. Still, with his skill set, you must consider him an imposing threat. Equinox was shortly a hero, too, but it didn’t take him long to go back to the ‘dark side.’
In ‘Tales to Astonish’ #38 in 1962, we meet Egghead, a brilliant yet villainous scientist who studied numerous scientific branches, including robotics, biology, nuclear physics, etc. His real name is Elihas Starr, but he got the nickname Egghead because his head looks like a big egg.
Egghead doesn’t have superpowers but is highly intelligent. He was a thorn in Ant-Man’s backside numerous times, sometimes looking to outsmart the hero himself, but most often, he’d just be hired by other supervillains to help them outsmart their foes.
Some find Egghead funny, but I find that egg-shaped head downright terrifying. He looks like an experiment gone wrong.
12. Power Broker
Power sometimes doesn’t have to be superhuman. Sometimes, power comes from other sources – like resources, connections, money, and influence. That’s exactly who the Power Broker is. While he doesn’t have superpowers, per se, he does have all of the other things we mentioned above.
That’s what makes the Power Broker terrifying – it’s realistic, and by using his power and influence, he’s done some downright terrifying things, making this spot on the list pretty much justified. The first version of the Power Broker first appeared in ‘Machine Man’ #6 in 1978, but there have been multiple other versions of the character, including the one in the MCU.
11. Darren Cross (Yellowjacket)
Darren Cross is one of the main Ant-Man supervillains – one might say, his arch-nemesis. Cross fought Hank Pym and Scott Lang as Yellowjacket, the black-and-yellow villain with superpowers like the Ant-Man. The difference is his suit had the guns, and could fly on his own.
Despite first appearing in ‘Marvel Premiere’ #47 in 1979, the most popular version of Darren Cross is the one from the MCU. His determination to win and total lack of empathy – at least while he was Yellowjacket – is something that makes Darren Cross a scary foe.
Still, the other version of Cross might be all the more terrifying. In fact, I know it is.
Much like many other supervillains, M.O.D.O.K. resulted from grotesque, inhumane experiments to try and create the ultimate weapon. First appearing in ‘Tales of Suspense’ #94 in 1967, the Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing was created by A.I.M. experimenting on a human to try and create the ultimate computing machine.
As such, M.O.D.O.K. is super-intelligent and capable of computing probabilities at a pace and level that borderline precognition. However, he is incapable of creative thinking, which hinders his performance, usually leading to defeat because of it. The experiments also enlarged his head to gigantic proportions, making M.O.D.O.K. use a hoverchair for movement.
The Ant-Man enemy we’re looking for here is the MCU version of MO.D.O.K., aka the Quantum Realm Darren Cross. Experiments performed upon him made Cross a disgusting, terrifying version of himself, but he eventually helped Ant-Man defeat Kang the Conqueror.
9. Black Ant
Eric O’Grady was the third Ant-Man, although not nearly as popular as the first two; however, his Life Model Decoy – the Black Ant – caused our beloved hero trouble. It was terrifying that nobody knew that Black Ant was a decoy for a long time.
He shared all of Ant-Man’s powers and posed as the hero in the Avengers while the real Eric O’Grady was dead – killed by the Descendants. The idea of somebody replacing you and posing as yourself is scary, to begin with, but what made Black Ant so scary was that he was ruthless, free of human emotions as such.
8. Scarlet Beetle
For most, the Scarlet Beetle is a silly, even funny Ant-Man supervillain. To me, however, it’s one of the most horrific things that ever grazed the pages of a comic book. In ‘Tales to Astonish’ #39 in 1963, a regular beetle gained a sentient, highly intelligent mind after atomic experiments were done upon it.
After becoming intelligent, the beetle found Pym Particles and made itself a giant version of a beetle about the size of a human. The bug called itself the Scarlet Beetle, which had incredible durability, improved strength, and the ability to control insects with its mind.
It went after Ant-Man with its army of bugs, and it was downright horrifying to a kid-me who really hated bugs of all kinds. The villain was made as a comic relief and not really a threat, but still, having an army of human-size bugs is just insanely creepy.
7. Grottu, the King of All Insects
This disgusting creature first appeared in ‘Strange Tales’ #73 in 1959 and has reappeared numerous times since. Coming to life as a result of nuclear tests and experiments in a desert, Grottu was a regular ant mutated from the radiation that made him bigger than a human being while keeping its strength and durability proportional to his size.
Keep in mind ants are exceptionally powerful, capable of lifting ten times their body weight. Yup, this was one big, strong ant. Not to mention, Grottu gained human-level intelligence, and his body became extremely durable and damage-resistant.
As you probably figured out, anything revolving around giant bugs is terrifying to me, but Grottu had more to him – not only does he always find a way to come back after being seemingly killed – his consciousness once infiltrated Ant-Man’s helmet, controlling the hero to do his bidding.
If the scare factor were the only factor we’re considering today, I’d put Vespa right on top of the list. One hornet is awful. A huge swarm of hornets is terrifying. But a huge swarm of mutated hornets sharing a hive mind and creating a humanoid-like creature? Well, that’s Vespa.
First appearing in ‘Ant-Man Vol. 2’ #1 in 2020, Vespa was created by a supervillain named Swarm, alongside two other creatures known as Thread and Tusk. Swarm is terrifying – made out of bees, but with a human mind. Well, Vespa is even worse because this abomination doesn’t have anything human to it – not its mind or emotions.
Sandman is usually a Spider-Man supervillain, but I had to include him for two reasons. Firstly, he’s an incredibly powerful foe, as he is incredibly durable, and his powers allow him to accomplish features only a few villains could.
Secondly, the way that Ant-Man defeated him was really weird and kind of terrifying. Ant-Man used his powers to control ants and instruct them to use Sandman’s body as an ant colony. The feat happened in ‘Marvel Adventures: Superheroes’ #10 and was both creepy and totally absurd at the same moment.
Taskmaster isn’t strictly Ant-Man’s villain. If anything, he’s a Marvel character that fought almost every hero at one point or another, making him much more dangerous. Why? Well, because of his unique ability, known as ‘photographic reflexes.’ It allows Taskmaster to watch one’s moves, abilities, and stunts only once and copy them to perfection.
That means he has Hawkeye’s archery skills after seeing him shoot, Captain America’s shield fighting technique, Black Widow’s agility, and acrobatics… he even managed to replicate Ant-Man’s infamous shrinking ability at one point.
That makes Taskmaster one of the greatest combatants on the planet, but his appearance is what makes him truly terrifying.
3. The Skrulls
Having a shapeshifting race of aliens secretly invading Earth, replacing humans, and posing as them is a scary scenario. That’s exactly who and what the Skrulls are in Marvel comics. During an event called the Secret Invasion (yes, the same name as the MCU show), the Skrulls took over Earth by posing as its heroes.
What they did to Hank Pym, though, is truly horrible. They held Ant-Man captive for years while a series of doppelgangers took his place and destroyed his life – starting with his name, reputation, and more. The Skrulls wore Pym’s face to use his influence and ease the concerns of the unsuspecting folk.
I always found the concept of being replaced by an impostor and being able to do nothing about it quite scary. I’d be interested to see if something similar happens in the MCU.
2. Kang the Conqueror
Although he was recently introduced to MCU fans, Kang the Conqueror is one of the Avengers’ most important – and most frequently-recurring – villains. He fought the group – as well as its individual members – numerous times. With his advanced technology and temporal control, Kang is insanely powerful.
And, although Ant-Man helped defeat Kang in the comics many times (like in Kang’s first appearance in ‘Avengers’ #8), their most prominent fight between one another came recently in MCU’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The two squared off in the Quantum Realm, and Ant-Man seemingly won – but it might just prove to be a Pyrrhic victory in the end…
Lastly, the number one most terrifying supervillain that Ant-Man ever had to face is the child of his own brilliant mind. You see, in the MCU, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner created Ultron – but in the comics, Ultron was originally created by none other than Hank Pym.
The physical prowess of the android robot is impressive, but what is unmatched is his unfathomably advanced artificial intelligence. Ultron could compute and scour information at an incredible pace, so it only took him a few seconds to learn enough about humankind to decide to destroy it.
Ultimately, the battle against Ultron was a recurring one that saw many sacrifices having to be made to stop the android. The personal note that this fight had for Ant-Man is just another layer of horror for Hank Pym, so you have to rank Ultron as his most terrifying villain.
Who is your favorite Ant-Man villain? Let us know in the comments!