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Work with S.H.I.E.L.D.
In the 1960s, Pym was working for S.H.I.E.L.D. as a research and development consultant. One day, he was approached by Howard Stark, who demanded that Pym must lend the Ant-Man suit over to his team for a covert mission to shut down a Hydra outpost. Pym declined, because he did not trust anyone handling his suit other than himself, in fear that it may end up in the wrong hands. Stark wouldn't let him out on the field, but S.H.I.E.L.D. co-founder Peggy Carter changed his mind.
Pym traveled to Berlin, but was hesitant about being in the field. He'd find the outpost and discover the Hydra agents testing a brainwashing machine. He was disgusted by technology being used for evil. He used the stealth of being miniature to mess with and defeat the Hydra agents and to destroy the machine. Back at headquarters, Stark expressed his disapproval of Pym's decisions to destroy the technology and told Pym that it would be his last mission, but Pym told him that there was more good work the Ant-Man suit could do, and only he himself would be allowed to wear it, so he asked for his next assignment.
Sometime later, Hank Pym realized he could use the help of Ants, he just had to create a device so he could communicate with them, so he successfully invented the E.M.P. Communication Device, which utilized an electromagnetic pulse to mimic ant's pheromones and communicate in a language they would understand.
Every species of Ants were following his lead by passing the test, but when it came to test the Paraponera clavata ("Bullet Ants"), they just ignored him, so Hank shrank himself expecting the result to be a different one. The problem is that, instead of listening to him, the ants began to attack and chase him until a centipede showed up and they were forced to work together to solve the situation.
Back to his normal size, Hank put the centipede in a proper place and the ants start ignoring him again.
As time went on, Pym began to go on more missions for S.H.I.E.L.D., eventually sharing the secret of his suit with his wife Janet so that she could create her own version and accompany him in the field. At some point before or during this time, the couple had a daughter named Hope. The two were called to a mission in 1987 which required them to leave Hope in the care of a nanny. The mission called for them to disable a stolen ICBM. However, the molecules were too tightly woven together for the two to disable it conventionally or by shrinking. Pym moved to sacrifice himself by shrinking between the molecules, but found that his regulator was damaged, preventing him from doing so. Janet sacrificed herself instead, turning off her regulator and going subatomic, resulting in her apparent death as she went past the point where she could be returned to normal size. This experience left Pym stricken with grief. When he returned home, he shipped Hope off to boarding school while he attempted to research the Quantum Realm to find a way to rescue her. Hank told Hope that her mother died in a plane crash, which she easily saw through as a lie. A decade of research into the Quantum Realm alongside multiple other scientists yielded no results and convinced Hank that Janet was lost forever.
In 1989, Pym had a confrontation with Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, and Mitchell Carson when he discovered that Carson had been involved in attempts to duplicate his Pym particles. Although Peggy was shocked at the discovery, when Howard attempted to justify the decision due to the military applications of the particle. Pym punched Carson in the face when he made a snide remark about Janet's apparent death, and left the unfinished Triskelion in disgust.
A New Ant-Man
Pym founded Pym Technologies at some point after ending his affiliation with S.H.I.E.L.D., and buried his research of Pym particles out of fear of what would happen should it fall into the wrong hands. He took on a young protégé Darren Cross, and although he thought of Darren as the son he never had, the two of them never saw eye-to-eye on the potential applications of the Pym particle. Hank never allowed Cross to find out about the Ant-Man suit since he knew Cross would be unable to resist developing more of them.
Cross eventually took over as CEO of Pym Technologies. His relationship with Hank had soured to the point that Cross forced him out of his own company. Hope, who had since taken her mother's maiden name as a sign of her own chilly relationship with her father, remained with the company as Cross's assistant. Cross continued development on the Pym particles in an attempt to weaponize them. He eventually found Hank's research with the Ant-Man suit. With that information, Cross was able to build the Yellowjacket suit, his own version of Hank's suit designed for military use.
Hank and his daughter both realized the danger an army of equipped with Pym particles would pose to the world, and put aside their differences to stop Cross. Hope wanted her father to give her the Ant-Man suit so she could stop him, but Hank adamantly refused to allow his daughter to use the the suit. Instead, he saw Scott Lang, a thief imprisoned for stealing millions from VistaCorp, as the perfect candidate to wear the suit. When Hank and Hope discovered the Yellowjacket suit, however, they had to expedite their plans significantly. They still had some time to prepare since Cross had still not yet found a way to shrink organisms with the Pym particles while maintaining their form.
Hank seeded information about a heist with a friend of Scott's in the hope that it would make it to him. Scott took the bait and broke into a vault in Hank's house, only to find the Ant-Man suit instead of the riches Hank had led him to believe were hidden there. Hank watched the break-in from a hidden lab in the house, observing with keen interest as Scott adeptly bypassed every one his security measures. He continued to observe remotely as Scott then stole the suit and eventually tried it on back at his own apartment. It was only then that he finally revealed himself, radioing to the suit's helmet receiver to coach Scott through the alien situation of being the size of an insect.
Hank's plan to see how the thief would cope with the Pym particle technology ultimately failed when Scott decided to break into Hank's house a second time to return the suit. The thief was caught by police in the act of escaping, prompting Hank to intervene later by posing as his lawyer at the police station. He told Scott about his own ruse, and how he needed the younger man's unique skill sets, before leaving the station. This was all just another part of his attempt to draw Scott to him, and shortly after leaving he orchestrated a bold escape whereby he had his ants bring the Ant-Man suit into Scott's holding cell, and cover up the escape while directing Scott to safety.
The next morning, after the ants had taken Scott back to Pym's house, Hank explained everything about Darren Cross. After winning some measure of trust, he and his daughter began training Scott to become the next Ant-Man. Scott's initial failures caused more friction between father and daughter, with Hope insisting that she be the one to wear the suit. Hank found himself accused of lying to her about her mother's death, and weathered even more accusations about how he had treated Hope since. He eventually revealed the truth about how her mother had sacrificed herself to save many, leading to some measure of reconciliation with his daughter, and with the warming of their relationship, the training with Scott improved markedly.
Scott's training progressed to the point that Hank was confident in letting him break into an old Stark warehouse in New York and steal a device that would help them stop Darren Cross. However, Hank was unaware that the warehouse had since been transformed into the Avengers' headquarters. Scott proceeded with the mission anyway despite Hank's objections, and was spotted by one of the Avengers, Falcon. Scott showed off his skill with the suit by fighting and beating Falcon before escaping with the device he was there to retrieve in the first place.
Hank was furious with Scott for risking the Pym particle technology in the robbery at the Avengers' base, and said as much when Scott returned. His fury abated when Scott produced the device however, and talk soon turned back to the imminent heist. Hank stepped into another room to find Darren Cross had discretely entered his home. Cross confronted him over their mutual history, and asked why Hank had kept the Pym particle research hidden. While Hank was trying to deflect Darren's criticisms, he was relieved to see a map of the Pym Technologies site furl up thanks to the intervention of Scott discretely commanding ants from another room. Cross soon ended the discussion with an invitation to Pym Technologies to witness something profound. Understanding how close Cross was to a technological breakthrough, Hank felt the urgency to act and reluctantly agreed to have Scott bring his crew in on the heist.
On the day of the heist, Hank Pym arrived at Pym Technologies, now renamed Cross Technologies, main facility. Before he entered the building, he was stopped by two police officers trying to question him about Scott Lang's escape. Pym tried to tell the officers that the world would be in extreme danger if they prevented him from entering the building. Dave, one of Scott's crew members, foiled the impromptu questioning by stealing their car, giving Hank the freedom to enter the building.
A delighted Darren Cross greeted Hank inside and ushered both Hank and Hope to the Yellowjacket's vault where a sale was to be made. He introduced them to the people buying the suit, and Hank was mildly surprised by the presence of Mitchell Carson leading the group of buyers. Scott Lang also entered the room, playing his part in the heist and shrunken to the size of an insect in the Ant-Man suit, but became trapped in the cylinder normally used to house the Yellowjacket suit instead. Hank was then treated to several revelations including Carson's affiliation with Hydra, and that Darren's earlier visit to his home had been an assassination attempt, foiled by the presence of Hope. Hank punched his former protégé, prompting Cross to demand his execution, but when the Hydra goons moved to gun Hank down, he intervened and announced that he wanted to kill Hank himself. Hope reacted violently, as did Scott who explosively escaped from the chamber and attacked the various assembled gunmen. In the confusion, Darren Cross shot Hank in the shoulder.
Cross and Carson both escaped while Scott and Hope looked after Hank. Hank ordered Scott to go after them while Hope helped get him out of the facility. He handed her his keychain with a token of a tank on it and told her it was more than just a keychain. Hope restored the tank to normal size and drove it out of the building. Once free of the building, Hank could do little more than accept medical attention and be helped to safety. He learned later that Scott had safely entered and re-emerged from the subatomic Quantum Realm in an effort to defeat Darren Cross.
The next day, Hank tried to get any information about the Quantum Realm that he could out of Scott, but Scott could not remember much of it. He again thanked Scott for all he had done, and later found him stealing a kiss with Hope. Some time later, Hank showed his daughter something he and Janet had been working on when she died - a new Wasp suit. Hank thought it might be time for the two of them to complete it together.
Around the same time Hank unveiled Hope's new suit to her, he also revealed that he had previously worked on a mechanism as a means of rescuing Janet which would allow the user to shrink down into the quantum realm without an Ant-Man suit. He had shut the project down, however, when he realized the destructive capabilities of the technology out in the real world. He was willing to start the project up again with Hope's help when he realized that there was still a chance of Janet being alive after Scott's successful entry and return from the quantum realm.
Shortly after their experience with Cross, Scott was called upon by Captain America to aid him in his fight against Tony Stark and the Sokovia Accords. Scott stole a second suit from Hank and used it in battle against Tony's team of pro-registration Avengers (Earth-199999), but was eventually arrested after staying behind to provide a distraction so that Captain America and Bucky Barnes could escape. Due to Hank's tech's involvement in the international infraction, he and Hope were subsequently hunted by the FBI and forced to go undercover.
While undercover, they commenced deals with black market arms dealer Sonny Burch in an effort to retrieve the parts they needed to complete the quantum tunnel they were building. As part of Scott's agreement with the FBI in order to come home to America, he was to stay under house arrest for two years and go on probation for the three following. He was also forbidden from contacting Hank or Hope.
Hank and Hope managed to open a working tunnel for a short period of time, but it collapsed because it was still missing a part. Hank then received a voicemail from Scott, despite the conditions the FBI had laid out, about a vision he had had of himself as a woman playing hide-and-seek with a little girl. Realizing the significance of Scott's vision, he sent Hope to drug him and kidnap him, leaving a sized-up ant as a decoy.
Scott woke up with Hope on their way to the lab where the two had been hiding out. When they arrived, Hope explained to Scott that the little girl in the vision was her and that the woman he was portrayed as was actually her mother, Janet van Dyne. Hank realized that Scott's vision was triggered by their opening of an unstable tunnel and that Janet was trying to send them a message through Scott's apparent quantum entanglement with her. He realized she was, in fact, alive, and that the only way to find her and bring her back was to finish the tunnel. Hank and Hope took Scott along for a deal with Sonny Burch for the final part they needed, but the deal went sideways when Burch deduced Hope's identity and Hank's by proxy. Hope took action as the Wasp, forcibly taking the part they had paid for and leaving. But before she could return to Hank and Scott, she was attacked by a quantumly unstable masked figure who attempted to steal the part. Scott donned a new Ant-Man suit which Hank claimed was a "work in progress" and joined the fight, saving Hope but allowing the "ghost" to get away with the shrunken-down lab.
Bill Foster and the Ghost
After finding that Ghost had turned off the tracker on the lab, the trio was left with no other option than to find Hank's former partner Dr. Bill Foster and request his help. Bill had worked with Hank on a project called Goliath where he had managed to grow up to 21 feet tall, but like with the quantum tunnel, Hank had seen the malicious uses for this technology and had cut off the project, discrediting Bill and destroying evidence that the project had ever existed in an effort to make sure it was never recreated. Despite Bill's lingering bitterness about these events, he agreed to help them, advising that they use a regulator from one of Hank's old suits to track the lab.
Hank soon despaired at this, however, realizing that there were only two suits whose regulators he could use: the first Ant-Man suit, whose regulator had been destroyed when Scott went subatomic; and the second suit Scott stole to help Captain America, which he had promised to Hank that he had destroyed. Scott revealed that he did not, in fact, destroy the suit, though, choosing to secretly keep it shrunken down inside his own home in case of an emergency. He then realized that the trophy in which he kept it, one that his daughter had given him, was in her possession at her school's show-and-tell. Scott and Hope snuck into the school and retrieved the suit before using the regulator to track the lab to Ghost's lair, where they found a young woman sleeping in a bizarre chamber. As they tried to steal back the lab, she woke up and knocked the trio out.
When Hank came to, he found that he, Hope, and Scott had been bound to chairs. The young woman revealed herself to be Ava Starr, daughter of another of Hank's former partners, Dr. Elihas Starr. Ava explained that her father, after being fired and discredited from Hank's quantum tunnel project, was desperate to prove that he had been apart of the experiment and tried to recreate the tunnel in Argentina with disastrous consequences: everyone in the facility was killed by an explosion from the malfunctioning tunnel, including Ava's mother and father. Ava, however, was left quantumly unstable. She explained that this meant that she could pass through walls and turn invisible, and even exist in multiple realities at once, but it hurt her immensely and she had trouble controlling it. Additionally, it would soon kill her if not cured.
Bill then revealed that he was working with Ava to find said cure and had been since she was a little girl. They both had settled on the realization that a great quantity of quantum energy was the only thing that could even temporarily cure her, and that such a sum of energy could only come from Janet herself, who had been absorbing quantum energy for several decades. Believing that taking this energy from Janet would kill her, Hank refused to help and faked a heart attack as a means of distracting Bill and Ava long enough that the trio could escape with the lab.
The three set the lab up in the Redwood Forest and continued their work, using the newly acquired part to complete the mechanism and open a stable tunnel. This allowed Janet to temporarily possess Scott's body, sharing a tender moment with Hank and Hope as she gave them her exact coordinates but warned them that they had a matter of hours before the instability of the quantum realm would make it impossible to find her again for centuries. The trio was given notice that a resentful Burch had tipped off an inside man in the FBI as to Scott's breaking of house arrest and Hank and Hope's location.
Scott fled to get back home before the FBI could find that he was missing, leaving Hank and Hope to try and escape, but unsuccessfully; by the time their lab was shrunken, a large team of SWAT and FBI agents had surrounded them and forced them to surrender. The two were taken into custody at the FBI agency while Burch stole the lab. While in custody, however, Scott managed to sneak in Hope's suit and a disguise for Hank which allowed them to escape.
Bringing Janet Back
The trio tracked the lab to San Francisco Bay where Burch boarded a ferry. Scott's regulator malfunctioned, causing him to grow 65 feet tall. He swam across the bay and easily retrieved the lab, but was barely able to get it to safety on land before passing out from the effort of staying in his giant form. Realizing he would run out of oxygen soon, Hope swam down after him and fixed his regulator, saving his life.
Meanwhile, Hank readied the quantum tunnel and donned a Pym particle suit. He shrank down into the quantum realm, having a brief run-in with dust mites before continuing through the quantum void and into the quantum realm. As he began his journey, the exposure to Pym particles caused him to begin losing his mind, which was the reason he had given up being Ant-Man originally. As he was about to sink into insanity, a figure emerged and imbued him with quantum energy, saving him. The figure then revealed herself as Janet.
The two began their journey back to the surface, during which Ava began to siphon Janet's quantum energy, causing her extreme discomfort. This was halted by the arrival of Scott and Hope, who fought her off until Hank and Janet returned. Sensing Ava's brokenness and life-threatening condition, Janet willingly imbued Ava with quantum energy to temporarily heal her.
Happily Ever After?
Hank and Janet soon retired happily to the coast together, choosing to keep a low profile since Hank was a wanted fugitive and Janet had been "dead" for 31 years. They continued to help with the harvesting of quantum energy from the quantum realm to help cure Ava, though. On one such occasion, Hank, Janet, and Hope were monitoring as Scott shrank down into the quantum realm. Just as they were getting prepared to bring him back out, however, the three were turned to ash with one half of the universe's life due to Thanos's snap.
Physicist: Dr. Henry Pym is a gifted scientist with a particular expertise in particle physics.
Brawling: Hank has had many years of practice with unarmed combat, marrying conventional punching with the acrobatic capabilities afforded him by Ant-Man's Suit when shrunken to insect size. Even in his advancing years, he still demonstrated a forceful and effective punch.
Prolonged exposure to and use of his Pym particles has left Hank unable to use the particles or Ant-Man's Suit any further without risking his sanity.
- Michael Douglas portrays Hank Pym in the films Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Dax Griffin portrays a younger Hank Pym during his days as Ant-Man in flashbacks in both films.
- In a deleted scene for the film Thor, Erik Selvig mentions Hank Pym as a colleague of his that he would email who had some dealings with S.H.I.E.L.D..
- 5 Appearances of Henry Pym (Earth-199999)
- 5 Minor Appearances of Henry Pym (Earth-199999)
- Media Henry Pym (Earth-199999) was Mentioned in
- 16 Images featuring Henry Pym (Earth-199999)
- 2 Quotations by or about Henry Pym (Earth-199999)
- Character Gallery: Henry Pym (Earth-199999)
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