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Originally discovered and isolated by Dr. Henry Pym, Pym Particles are a rare group of subatomic particles capable of altering one's size and mass.[2]



Kirbons are primordial subatomic particles that give matter its size, mass and density, originating in the Mystery predating and surrounding the current cosmos. First discovered by Dr. Hank Pym,[2] Pym "tamed" the particles for use within the living body and named the resulting invention after himself;[3] "Pym Particles" that allowed the user to bypass the Square-cube law of conventional physics.[4]

Henry Pym (Earth-616) from Tales to Astonish Vol 1 27 0002

First Time Shrinking

Henry Pym (Earth-616) from Tales to Astonish Vol 1 56 cover

Giant-Man using Pym Particles to grow

Originally, Pym Particles were only used to increase or decrease the size and mass of inanimate objects. With some alterations, Pym was able to deviate the stature of living subjects as well.[5] The Pym Particles work by shunting bodies of matter into the Kosmos Dimension when shrinking a subject or accruing extra mass from that plane of existence when enlarging them. See Conservation of Energy for details.

In their original formula, these Pym Particles existed in a liquid elixir form which would shrink objects or living beings on which it was applied. Later, Pym was able to synthesize Pym Particles into a gaseous form for quick shrinking results by inhalation. He created a special uniform that safely harnessed Pym Particles to allow him to control his size at will.[2]

The Scarlet Beetle, a mutated insect, used Pym Particles to grow to human size, but was defeated and shrunk back down to his normal size.[6]

Janet Van Dyne (Earth-616) and Henry Pym (Earth-616) from Tales to Astonish Vol 1 44 005

Wasp Origin

Pym enhanced Janet van Dyne in a biochemical process involving his Pym Particles that allowed her to shrink to insectoid proportions, in addition to implanting her with Bio-Synthetic Wings. Furthermore, Pym outfitted her with her own suit adorning wrist devices that allowed her to discharge blasts of compressed air that she called her "wasp's stings".[7]

Porcupine battled Pym and grabbed several Pym Particle capsules from his belt, thinking they were growing capsules, and used them all on himself. However, the Porcupine realized he had made a grave error when he shrank in size. Pym could not stop the process and soon lost him when he shrunk to microscopic size.[8]

The Fantastic Four were plagued by a series of incidents where they suddenly shrank to miniature size and suddenly returned to normal, so they called on Pym for help. He gave Reed Richards a sample of his shrinking gas and left to see what he could discover in his lab. Reed used the Particles to shrink down to travel to the Microverse and Pym followed shortly thereafter.[9]

On Planet X, Kurrgo convinced the Fantastic Four to save his race or perish along with them. Reed Richards used the Xanth equipment to manufacture large amounts of Pym Particles in the form of reducing gas. This enabled the entire population to fit inside one ship and escape the destruction of their planet. Reed gave Kurrgo the enlarging gas to be used to allow them to return to normal size when they reached their new destination. However, Kurrgo's hunger for power got the better of him, thinking that once on the new planet he could be the only one to return to normal size, enabling him to become absolute ruler, so Kurrgo attempted to keep the enlarging capsule to himself. But he was not able to carry the capsule to the ship in time, and was left behind as the planet began to undergo massive earthquakes; ironically, Reed Richards later revealed to his teammates that he was not able to create any enlarging gas and that the second capsule had been empty. He figured that since the size was all relative, being tiny on their new planet wouldn't matter.[10]

S.H.I.E.L.D. brought in Hank Pym to use a large batch of Pym Particles against Godzilla. However, the monster grabbed Dum Dum Dugan before they could take effect. The Godzilla Squad then engaged on a wild goose chase to try and capture the now shrinking Godzilla. He was finally caught by Dr. Hawkins who used a net on the beast once it had become the size of a regular lizard.[11]

Baron Zemo, using Pym Particle-charged ions, permanently altered Erik Josten, giving him increased strength and durability and the ability to change sizes.[12]

Dr. Karl Malus helped restore Daddy Longlegs to his normal size using Pym Particles. Working with Erik Josten he restored his powers and enhanced him further with Pym Particles.[13]

Clinton Barton (Earth-616) from Captain America Reborn Vol 1 3 001

Clint Barton as Goliath

For a short time, Hawkeye used Pym Particles and operated under the name Goliath. He still keeps some particles in a Trick Arrow just in case.[14]

Rita DeMara stole the original Yellowjacket's Suit from the Avengers Mansion, and modified it for her use. She clashed with Wasp. The Wasp easily captured the new Yellowjacket when DeMara became hysterical upon using her helmet's cybernetic size-control devices to shrink herself to a tiny size. At that time, DeMara could not adjust psychologically to being so small, although she later learned to do so.[15]

Jerry Morgan a member of the Headmen, Jerry tried to replicate Pym's size-changing experiments but only managed to shrink his bones in his head, leaving his face hanging loose.[16]

Scott Lang stole Ant-Man's Suit.[17] Garbed as Ant-Man, Lang broke into Cross and discovered Dr. Sondheim was being held prisoner by Darren Cross, president of C.T.E., who needed Sondheim to correct his heart condition. Rescuing Sondheim and defeating Cross, Lang was relieved when Sondheim was able to save the life of his daughter. Lang intended to return the Ant-Man costume to its owner and turn himself in, but Pym offered to let him keep them, provided Lang put them to heroic use.[18]

Biochemist Dr. Bill Foster worked in the Plans and Research Division for Tony Stark's Baltimore factory. He was hired to be the lab assistant of Dr Pym. Pym was stuck at the height of ten feet for a time and Dr Foster helped him find a cure to change his size back to normal.[19] At some point discovered the formula for Pym Particles, which gave him the ability to grow in size like his former employer, taking the name Black Goliath.[20]

Reed Richards started a rehabilitation program; with Fin Fang Foom, Elektro, Gorgilla, and Googam. He shrunk them with Pym Particles and gave them jobs in the Baxter Building.[21]

Punisher Vol 8 5 Pym Particles

Punisher killing with Pym Particles

Frank Castle has used Pym Particles on few occasions as part of his arsenal by shrinking to escape H.A.M.M.E.R. agents.[22] He later infiltrated a stronghold of The Hood by hiding on a pizza, re-growing inside the head of a henchman.[23]

The Big House was a maximum-security prison. The prison housed superhuman criminals shrunken by Dr. Pym's Pym Particles.[24] Later it was expanded into Lang Memorial Penitentiary, sometimes jokingly referred to as the "Ant Farm."[25]

When the Dark Avengers were trapped in an alternate reality that universe Hank Pym shrunk Ai Apaec with Pym Particles. When they escape Toxic Doxie stepped on a still-shrunken Ai Apaec, possibly killing him.[26]

Pym had Starktech 9 fire a miniature form of Ares on a S.H.I.E.L.D. scooter at Ms. Marvel's mouth. Ultron detected a virus and destroyed the drone.[27]

Beast taught the students their first class of biology. Using Toad as a test subject, Beast and the students shrink down to microscopic size and travel through Toad's body. Beast presented them with the X-Gene, and they traveled across the brain and the stomach. The class ended and they left Toad's body through one of his eyes.[28]

Deadpool Vol 4 57 and Pym Particles

Deadpool unleashing the "Pimp Articles"

Taskmaster and Deadpool traveled to Southern Nevada to try and score some weaponry-shrinking Pym Particles from a S.H.I.E.L.D. installation in the desert. Deadpool misheard Taskmaster and believed they were called "Pimp Articles."[29]

Due to repeated exposure to Pym Particles from her father's suit Cassie Lang was able to alter her size at will. She did not learn of this until an argument erupted about Young Avengers membership, and Cassie began to grow at an alarming rate to everyone's surprise, including Cassie's.[30]

Irredeemable Ant-Man Vol 1 2 Textless

Eric O'Grady and Chris McCarthy were S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents tasked with guarding Dr. Pym's lab. When Pym went to leave the lab, Eric and Chris panicked and attacked Pym, knocking him unconscious. Inside the lab, they found the most recent version of Ant-Man's Suit, which Chris put on and promptly activated, shrinking down.[31] Chris was killed, and Eric took the suit off his body. Agent Mitch Carson was tasked with hunting down the person who had stolen the suit and given a less advanced prototype to aid him in his search.[32]

After the death of his uncle Bill Foster during the first Superhuman Civil War, an embittered Tom Foster promised to crack the Pym Particle formula and avenge him by becoming the new Goliath.[33]

Fixer equipped Man-Killer with size-altering Pym Particles. She was pitted against her former friend Atlas who defeated her due to him having more experience with size alteration.[34]

The Fossilized Amulet of a future Reptil had been augmented by Pym Particles, allowing him to transform into full-sized dinosaurs.[35] Later, the present-day Reptil received the same augmentation.[36]

Wasp's body was transformed into a living Pym Particle explosion. In the infinite void of Underspace, her new form continued to expand the same way the universe expands, while the Infinite Avengers Mansion acted in a way to keep her from stable without dissipating. The ten billion Jocastas Pym created performed similarly to the ten billion neurons in the human body - reinforcing Janet's brain wave pattern.[37]

Zheng Shang-Chi (Earth-616) and Pym Particles from Avengers World Vol 1 14 0001

Using Pym Particles, Shang Chi was turned into a giant, and defeated a recently resurrected dragon in combat, but before that, he tore off Gorgon's base from Madripoor and threw it several miles away.[38]

When Augustine Cross forced Dr. Sondheim to revive his father via a heart transplant from Cassie Lang, the surgery had the unexpected side-effect of granting Darren Cross the size altering abilities associated with the Pym Particles. However, Darren was unfamiliar with their use resulting in the powers being an obstacle rather than a boon.[39]

Franklin Nelson was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma,[40] a type of cancer which formed in his hip. As chemotherapy was extremely expensive and painful, with the help of Hank Pym and his Pym Particles, Foggy began treating his tumor more directly.[41]

Priya Aggarwal, concerned for Nadia's well-being following a violent altercation with the other members of G.I.R.L., donned Janet's original Wasp costume and chased after her friend into her Microverse lab. However, after talking Nadia down, she accidentally damaged the particle generator on the belt due to the costume being too small for her, forcing Nadia to fly her out before she'd return to normal size and accidentally kill herself.[42]

American Kaiju[]

Todd Ziller was a volunteer in the new Super-Soldier process. They could not recreate the serum so used existing transformative substances. The final result included Gamma enhancements, Mutant Growth Hormone, Pym Particles and the Connors Formula. The resulting application of the serum in Ziller's body turned him into a giant reptile similar to Godzilla, for which he was given the alias of "American Kaiju."[43]


  • Size Addition: Through the acquisition of mass from the Kosmos Dimension, Pym Particles allow their users to grow to massive sizes, including hundreds of feet in height. This leads to a great increase in strength and durability. However, the larger someone grows, the more strength that is required to hold up the person's heavy body. This can put enormous strain on the person's body.[citation needed]
  • Size Reduction: Through mass extensions into an extra-dimensional space, Pym Particles users can shrink down to very small sizes. Because they don't lose any mass, users retain their level of strength while at normal height.[citation needed] The Pym Particles allowed the user to bypass the Square-cube law of physics.[4]
    • Self Sustenance: According to the Beast, Pym Particles can sustain their users while small, eliminating the need for air and food.[44]
    • Enter Other Planes of Existence: Pym Particles allow users to shrink to sub-microscopic stature. When 99.99+% of a user's mass is extra-dimensionally shunted, he or she will be sent into a "subatomic universe" or "microverse," one of the countless alternate universes accessible to Earth only by the mass-shunting process. The reverse can also be done and the Overspace can be entered if a user grows large enough.[45]
  • Physical Augmentation: During his time as an instructor at the Future Foundation, Scott Lang determined that the particle is capable of effecting not only a user's size, but also their strength and durability. This functionality is what allows The Vision to alter his density, and is the origin of The Vision's, Wonder Man's, and Atlas's strength and resilience. It was revealed that the Lang family tree possesses an inordinate ability to acclimate the power of the Pym Particles in ways that others cannot. Scott Lang figured out the means of using them to alternate his physiological capabilities without the need of magnifying his size.[46]
  • Adverse Effects: Pym Particles exert a large amount of physical and mental strain on the subject's body. Pym personally has had many mental breakdowns because of Pym Particles usage.[citation needed]

Repeated Exposure[]

Repeated, long-term exposure to Pym Particles can result in the subject's body naturally producing its own Pym Particles. Such is the case for Pym, Janet van Dyne, Cassie Lang,[30] and Nadia van Dyne, among others.

Alternate Reality Versions

Pym Particles are color coordinated so blue makes anything grow while red makes anything shrink.
Image Description Source

The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (Earth-8096)[]

Like on Earth-616, Dr. Hank Pym discovered the Pym Particle. He used Ant-Man's Suit to harness the special particles to grow like a giant or shrink like an ant. He also injected Janet van Dyne with the particles that shrunk her to the size of a wasp and gave her stingers naming herself The Wasp. The Big House, Ultron guards and the supervillain prisoners are the examples of the effects of Pym Particles which they were shrunk into a size of an ant while the building is shrunk into a size of a dollhouse.[47] When Ant-Man's Suit was stolen by Scott Lang he used Pym Particles to steal money with Pym Discs but they were unsuccessful. After settling the issue and getting his daughter back Hank allowed him to continue being Ant-Man.[48]
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes S1E01
Pym Particles (Earth-12041)

2010s Marvel Animated Universe (Earth-12041)[]

Pym Particles are color coordinated so blue makes anything shrink while red makes anything grow.
Marvel's Avengers Assemble S1E23

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe (Earth-12101)[]

Deadpool stole Pym Particles from Henry Pym's lab before killing him, and used them to destroy the Avengers' headquarters and kill all the Avengers present, who were having a meeting on how to deal with him. Luke Cage and Thor survived, however, but Deadpool revealed that he had planted miniaturized bombs in Cage's coffee to bypass his unbreakable skin, which he then detonated. When fighting Thor, he used Pym's technology to enlarge Mjolnir, which was in the process of returning to Thor, causing the now-massive Asgardian hammer to crush its owner.
Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #2
Pym Particles from Ant-Man (film) 001

Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth-199999)[]

Dr. Hank Pym discovered and isolated a rare group of subatomic particles which he dubbed "Pym Particles". These particles allow for subjects to reduce the distance between their atoms thereby decreasing their size and increasing their density. He created Ant-Man's Suit that allowed him to regulate the particles use allowing him to shrink in size. Along with Janet van Dyne, his wife, in Wasp's Suit, Pym executed several covert missions for S.H.I.E.L.D. During one mission, Janet sacrificed herself to prevent a missile aimed for the United States from reaching its target resulting in her being trapped inside the subatomic void called the Quantum Realm. After this Pym abandoned the project and hid Ant-Man's Suit. However, after several years, Pym's former protégé Dr. Darren Cross was finally able to recreate the formula for Pym Particles and used them to create a weaponized suit called the Yellowjacket. This discovery forced Pym to come out of retirement and recruit a new Ant-Man Scott Lang in a mission to steal back his technology from Cross.

Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes (Earth-135263)[]

One of Reed's Microverse experiments with Pym Particles caused the Fantastic Four to shrink, putting them at risk when H.E.R.B.I.E. mistook them for vermin and tried to exterminate them. The Fantastic Four were restored to normal size with Ant-Man's help.
Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes S1E06

Known Users[]

Pym Particle Mutates[]

List of characters whose body naturally produces Pym Particles due to repeated exposure:

Limited/Short-Term Users[]

List of characters who have previously used Pym Particles during isolated incidents or over short periods of time:


Most uniforms for users of Pym Particles are treated with the particles so that they grow and shrink as the users do. These suits include:


Pym Particles debate from Mighty Avengers Vol 1 25

Reed Richards claiming he knows more about Pym Particles than Hank Pym in front of the Mighty Avengers

See Also

Links and References


  1. Ant-Man
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Tales to Astonish #27
  3. Wasp #4
  4. 4.0 4.1 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (Vol. 2) #14
  5. Tales to Astonish #49
  6. Tales to Astonish #40
  7. 7.0 7.1 Tales to Astonish #44
  8. 8.0 8.1 Tales to Astonish #53
  9. Fantastic Four #16
  10. Fantastic Four #7
  11. Godzilla #17
  12. Avengers #21
  13. 13.0 13.1 Iron Man Annual #7
  14. 14.0 14.1 Avengers #63
  15. 15.0 15.1 Avengers #264
  16. Defenders #21
  17. 17.0 17.1 Marvel Premiere #47
  18. Marvel Premiere #48
  19. Avengers #32
  20. Black Goliath #1
  21. Giant-Size Avengers (Vol. 2) #1
  22. 22.0 22.1 Dark Reign: The List - Punisher #1
  23. Punisher (Vol. 8) #5
  24. 24.0 24.1 She-Hulk #5
  25. She-Hulk #12
  26. Dark Avengers #190
  27. 27.0 27.1 Mighty Avengers #5
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Wolverine & the X-Men #5
  29. Deadpool (Vol. 4) #57
  30. 30.0 30.1 Young Avengers #2
  31. 31.0 31.1 Irredeemable Ant-Man #1
  32. 32.0 32.1 Irredeemable Ant-Man #2
  33. Black Panther (Vol. 4) #23
  34. 34.0 34.1 New Thunderbolts #18
  35. Avengers Academy #11
  36. 36.0 36.1 Avengers Academy #14
  37. Mighty Avengers #35
  38. Avengers World #14
  39. Ant-Man #15
  40. Daredevil (Vol. 3) #22
  41. Daredevil (Vol. 4) #5
  42. Unstoppable Wasp (Vol. 2) #5
  43. New Avengers (Vol. 4) #9
  44. Avengers #683
  45. Mighty Avengers #30
  46. FF (Vol. 2) #16
  47. Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes S1E01
  48. Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes S2E05
  49. Power Man #24
  50. Young Avengers #3
  51. Black Panther (Vol. 3) #23
  52. Ant-Man #5
  53. Free Comic Book Day 2016 (Civil War II) #1
  54. All-New, All-Different Avengers #9
  55. Marvel Feature #10
  56. Irredeemable Ant-Man #5
  57. Ant-Man Annual #1
  58. Mighty Avengers #25