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

First Time Shrinking

Giant-Man growing

Giant-Man using Pym Particles to grow

Dr. Henry Pym originally discovered and isolated a rare group of subatomic particles, which have become known as the "Pym Particles", which could alter the size and mass of objects or living beings.[2] The Pym Particles allow the user to bypass the Square-cube law of physics.[3]

Originally, Pym Particles were only used to decrease the size and mass of organic and inorganic materials. With some alterations, Pym was able to increase the size and mass of subjects as well.[4] The Pym Particles work by shunting matter into the Kosmos Dimension when shrinking a subject or accruing extra matter from that dimension when enlarging. 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 being to which it was applied. Later, Pym was able to synthesize Pym Particles into a gaseous form for quick shrinking results with inhalation. He created Ant-Man's Suit to allow him to control his size.[2]

Pym Particles can be used to reach the Microverse along with the Overspace and Underspace.[5]

Repeated Exposure

Repeated, long-term exposure to Pym Particles can result in the subject's body naturally producing its own Pym Particles. Pym, Janet van Dyne, Cassie Lang and Nadia van Dyne's bodies all biologically produce Pym Particles because of this phenomenon.


Pym Particles do 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]

History of Uses

The Scarlet Beetle a mutated insect used the Pym Particles to grow to human size. But was defeated and shrank back down to normal size.[6]

Janet Van Dyne (Earth-616) from Tales to Astonish Vol 1 44 012

Wasp Origin

Pym enhanced Janet van Dyne in a biochemical process involving his Pym Particles that allowed her to shrink to insectoid proportions and implanted Bio-Synthetic Wings. Furthermore, Pym outfitted her with Wasp's Suit which had 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's capsules from his belt, thinking it's they are growing capsules, the Porcupine took them all. However, the Porcupine realized he's made a grave error when he began to shrink in size. Pym could stop the process and soon loses him when he shrunk to microscopic size.[8]

The Fantastic Four were plagued by a series of incidents where they suddenly shrink to miniature size and suddenly return to normal, they called on Pym for help. He gave Reed Richards a sample of his shrinking gas and leaves to see what he can figure out in his lab. Reed uses the Particles to shrink down to travel to the Microverse and Pym follows 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 Particle 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, Kurrgo attempted to keep the giant 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 grabs Dum Dum Dugan before they can take effect. The Godzilla Squad then engaged on a wild goose chase to try and capture the now shrinking Godzilla. He is finally caught by Dr. Hawkins who uses a net on the beast once it has become the size of a regular reptile.[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. Karlin Malus helped restore Daddy Longlegs to his normal size using Pym Particles. Working with Erik Josten he restored his powers and enhancing 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 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 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 lawful 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 acquired the formula to "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, regrowing inside the head of a henchman.[23]

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

When the Dark Avengers were trapped in an alternate realty 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.[25]

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.[26]

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.[27]

Deadpool Vol 2 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."[1]

Due to repeated exposure to Pym Particles from her father's suit Cassie Lang was able to alter the size. 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.[28]

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 hey 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.[29] Chris was killed, and Eric took Ant-Man's 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.[30]

After the death of his uncle Bill Foster during the Superhuman Civil War, an embittered Tom Foster promised to crack the Pym Particles formula and avenge him by becoming the new Goliath.[31]

Katerina van Horn (Earth-616) from New Thunderbolts Vol 1 18

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.[32]

Reptil of the future, Fossilized Amulet is augmented by Pym Particles allowing him to transform into full-sized dinosaurs.[33] Later, the present-day Reptil received the same augmentation.[34]

Wasp's body was transformed into a living Pym Particle explosion. In the infinite void of Underspace, her new form can continue 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 Jocasta's Pym created performed similarly to the ten billion neurons in the human body - reinforcing Janet's brain wave pattern.[35]

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 the dragon in combat, but before that, he tore off Gorgon's base from Madripoor and threw it several miles away.[36]

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.[37]

Franklin Nelson was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma,[38] 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 tumour more directly.[39]

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.[40]

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."[41]


  • 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 up. This can put enormous strain on the person's body.[citation needed]
  • Size Reduction: Through mass extensions into an extradimensional 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]
    • Self Sustenance: According to the Beast, Pym Particles can sustain their users while small, eliminating the need for air and food.[42]
  • 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.[5]

Alternate Realities

Pym Particles are color coordinated so blue makes anything grow while red makes anything shrink.
Image Description Source
Pym Particles (Earth-199999) 001 On 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. Ant-Man (film)
Pym Particles (Earth-12041) On Earth-12041, Pym Particles are color coordinated so blue makes anything shrink while red makes anything grow. Marvel's Avengers Assemble Season 1 23
Needed On 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.[43] 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.[44] Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (Animated Series)
Needed On 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
Needed On 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 Season 1 6

Pym Particles 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. 1.0 1.1 Deadpool Vol 2 #57
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Tales to Astonish #27
  3. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 2 #14
  4. Tales to Astonish #49
  5. 5.0 5.1 Mighty Avengers #30
  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. Dark Avengers #190
  26. 26.0 26.1 Mighty Avengers #5
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Wolverine and the X-Men #5
  28. Young Avengers #2
  29. 29.0 29.1 Irredeemable Ant-Man #1
  30. 30.0 30.1 Irredeemable Ant-Man #2
  31. Black Panther Vol 4 #23
  32. 32.0 32.1 New Thunderbolts #18
  33. Avengers Academy #11
  34. 34.0 34.1 Avengers Academy #14
  35. Mighty Avengers #35
  36. Avengers World #14
  37. Ant-Man #1-5
  38. Daredevil Vol 3 #22
  39. Daredevil Vol 4 #5
  40. Unstoppable Wasp Vol 2 #5
  41. New Avengers Vol 4 #9
  42. Avengers #683
  43. Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (Animated Series) Season 1 1
  44. Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (Animated Series) Season 2 5
  45. Power Man #24
  46. Young Avengers #3
  47. Black Panther Vol 3 #23
  48. Ant-Man #5
  49. Free Comic Book Day Vol 2016 #Civil War II
  50. All-New, All-Different Avengers #9
  51. Marvel Feature #10
  52. Irredeemable Ant-Man #5
  53. Ant-Man Annual #1
  54. Mighty Avengers #25
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