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This article is written from the Real World perspective Real World
To Steal An Ant-Man
Series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Release Date April 29, 2012
Writer Brandon Auman
Joshua Fine
Christopher Yost
Director Roy Burdine
49 images

Hank Pym discovers that someone is using his Ant-Man technology to commit robberies all over the city. The ex-Avenger, not wanting to involve his former teammates, employs the Heroes for Hire to help him discover the identity of the mysterious person. But this is not an ordinary thief, and he's gotten himself in over his head with the wrong people.

Story

It's nighttime in New York City. Streetlights illuminate the emptiness surrounding the Federal Hall.

Inside the safe, Camera 3 monitors the piles of cash. Suddenly the piles are engulfed in light and disappear.

Ant-Scott Caught On Camera AEMH

The camera stops and zooms in on a particular area. It sees Ant-Man riding an ant and holding what looks like a gun.

The next day at the Avengers Mansion, Wasp is glad to see that Hank Pym returned. She flies over to him and stops him as he carries a box of stuff. She claims to have known he would come back as this is where they belong.

Hank tries to stop her but she keeps going about getting his lab working again, bringing his bugs back, and doing more "crazy" experiments. She suggests upgrading her stinger powers with a boost.

Ignoring her, Hank grabs a tool off the table and puts it on the incinerator. He turns it on vaporizing it and the box. Wasp flies to him wondering what he is doing.

Hank Not Ant-Man AEMH

Hank explains that he was only cleaning out the lab. He knows she won't accept it, but he is finished with the Avengers, saying it is not for him and turns to leave. She retorts that he is Ant-Man. He replies he is not. As they exit the lab, he claims that he hasn't been Ant-Man since Ultron, maybe even before that.

Outside, he shuts the door locking them out. He activates another button on his controller and shrinks it down to hand-held size. He walks back over and picks it up.

The two return to the main hall. The news is on but they are ignoring a report about Spider-Man saving the world and something regarding The Daily Bugle.

Hank claims that this is for the best and stops Wasp to say he is leaving. She wonders what he is leaving, the team or her. She stops in front of him and enlarges. She tells him they can work this out if would try. She begs him to talk to her.

Hank replies that they simply want different things. When she mentions the Avengers, Hank stops her to say that the team is not fixing the world's problems. He claims someday she will see that what they do cannot last forever.

Just then, Hank notices the news broadcast about the theft of twenty-million dollars. The reporter notes that the money disappeared in a flash of light and claims that bank workers were not available to comment.

Wasp Avengers Need Hank AEMH

Wasp interrupts, ignoring the broadcast, wondering what he means. She understands he doesn't like fighting, but reasons that he could do other things for the team. She points out he is a genius and they need him.

She reasons that if he hates the fighting so much he should help them find a better way and that walking away won't help anyone. She then claims that what he is doing is hurting her.

Hank looks over her to see the footage of the robbery as the money disappears. He looks shocked, but Wasp is only wondering if he is listening. Hank apologizes and turns to leave. She calls out to him as he exits the front door.

Hank Empty Safe AEMH

Later at Grayburn College, Hank opens a locker and is shocked when he sees that all his Ant-Man technology and outfit are missing. He claims that this cannot be happening and backs away to sit against the opposite wall.

He pulls out his Avengers Identification Card and calls Wasp. She is wondering why he is calling her and shocked that he still has the card. She berates him for not having destroyed it before it made him attack someone.

Hank tries to get her to listen to him. She interrupts wondering if he is going to quit again. She accepts that he is not "Avengers material" after all that Hank said, she just didn't want to believe it. She claims she wouldn't pout because of Ultron but would do something about it. She wonders what Hank would do.

Hank Apologizes To Wasp AEMH

Hank claims he just want to say he was sorry and hangs up. He looks in the trash and sees a newspaper. In large, bold letters is an advertisement for those seeking help.

Some time later, Hank is explaining to someone about his technology being stolen. He points out that the thief knew his secret identity, the powers he controlled, and how to get in. Hank claims that the lock was one of the most advanced on the planet.

Scott Steals Helmet AEMH

A flashback shows the thief breaking into Hank's office at the college. The robber used some kind of console to get through Hank's security. Putting the flashlight in his mouth, the robber pulled out the helmet and took off his ski mask to examine it.

Hank continues to say that since the lab was otherwise untouched that the superhero gear was the obvious target. He notes that the helmet, belt, and costume are all dangerous in the wrong hands. But he warns that the greatest danger is to the person himself. He explains that using the belt shrinks someone down, making any normal environment seem otherworldly.

Ant-Scott First Shrink AEMH

At a lousy hotel, the robber put on the costume. The man looked into a mirror as he donned the helmet and belt over his black clothes. He activated the belt and was surrounded by light. When it dissipated he was shocked to look around.

The man looked around at the suddenly enlarged world with him at the bottom. He could easily see the dust floating around. He look at the humongous carpet and kicked it. It sent up more dust causing him to cough.

Hank claims that the most important thing is that when someone is an inch high they are on a new level of the food chain. He continues to say that ants are territorial.

Ants Surround Scott AEMH

The man heard some heavy breathing and looked to see an ant the relative size of an elephant coming towards him. He backed away but spotted another ant. He ran past a third when the first ant attacked. The man leapt away and tumbled into the carpet as the insects approached.

Hank says that whoever is exposed to Pym Particles keeps the relative strength and speed of their full-sized bodies even at tiny proportions. He points out that Ant-Man can take down normal sized humans. Unfortunately, insects have other advantages over their prey such as poison and secretions.

As the ant approached, the man grabbed it and threw it over him. Another ant came towards him and he tossed it aside. As the third approached, it suddenly stopped and walked away.

The man looked up to see a flying ant approaching him. He fled from it but tripped on a bottle cap. He saw it approaching and screamed out for it to stop.

Hank explains that the Ant-Man helmet communicates with and influences insects, basically allowing the user to control them.

Ant Lands For Scott AEMH

The man looked up and saw that the attacker was just hovering there. He ordered it to land and it did. The realization made him smile.

What worries Hank most are the Pym Discs. In development before Ultron, their purpose was to attach to a target and shrink them. It was meant to be a non-violent way to deal with supervillains.

Ant-Scott Misses Money AEMH

In the bank vault, the man rode an ant and was dressed as Ant-Man. He fired discs at the piles of money. He activated the gun and the piles shrunk down. He ran over to them but the piles were gone completely.

Hank explains that the discs were not stable and the subject did not stop shrinking. He says that the subjects kept on shrinking, eventually going subatomic and essentially disappearing from existence.

Hank Hires Heroes AEMH

Back in the office, Hank examines the empty locker explaining that the thief needs to be found before he can do serious damage to himself, someone else, or some thing. He looks over at his guests and asks if they will take his case.

Luke Cage stands next to Iron Fist and says they will, but will need half the fee up front.

Later that night, the new Ant-Man is at another bank. This time he is stuffing money into a duffel bag. After filling it, he slings it over his shoulder and shrinks down.

In the alley outside, Ant-Man rides an ant out of a sewer grate. He has trouble controlling it and orders it down. However, the bug crashes knocking him away.

Dog Finds Ant-Scott AEMH

Ant-Man gathers his spilled money when a security guard and his dog approach. The canine sniffs around then begins to growl. Ant-Man backs away when the dog begins sniffing in his direction.

Unfortunately for him, the dog spots him and bites at him. Ant-Man flees and the dog pursues, escaping the grip of its handler.

The thief makes his way down the alley as the dog's monstrous steps sound behind him. He returns to normal size and the dog stops in its tracks.

However, this catches the attention of the guard who pulls out his gun to stop him. The guard, named Michelinie, radios it in saying a superhero is where he shouldn't be.

Ant-Man looks around but cannot find the bag of money. The guard orders him to stop and drop to the ground or he will fire. Ant-Man begs him to stop.

Michelinie Misses Ant-Scott AEMH

Michelinie fires and Ant-Man quickly shrinks down. The cop looks around and sees no one. Unnoticed, Ant-Man flies away on his ant.

Later, the NYPD have roped off the area around the bank. Squad cars fill the streets.

Luke Cage and Iron Fist stand in a nearby alley watching. Iron Fist wonders why Hank would come to him when he could go to his teammates on the Avengers. Luke theorizes that Hank's pride probably meant he didn't want to reveal his mistake to his teammates. Iron Fist agrees, saying he wouldn't want to tell Captain America about that.

Luke goes on to say that without the Ant-Man gear, Hank needed some superpowered muscle to stop the thief. Realizing his partner knows something more, Iron Fist questions him.

Luke tells him that the bank is a front for criminal activity. At some point, someone told Luke that it was run by HYDRA. He looks and sees a vague HYDRA symbol in the decoration. He claims the thief is not too smart if he's robbing that group.

Iron Fist reminds him that the robber did not get the money, as Hank explained the money was sucked into something called the Microverse. Luke claims that is not right.

Iron Fist Teases Power Man AEMH

The hooded hero asks his partner why he is so happy. Iron Fist points out that they are working with the Avengers. Power Man and Iron Fist working with the Avengers. Luke takes off his hood telling him to cut that out. He goes on to tell Danny never to call him Power Man.

Luke then theorizes that if the robber is stealing from crooked banks then he could try again at another bank. Luke decides to go get information from an informant and the two leave.

Back in his office, Hank is working on some device with a laser. Unfortunately, it breaks on him. He knocks the device and tool to the ground in anger.

Yellowjacket Insect AEMH

Nearby, a yellowjacket wasp sits in a terrarium watching him. It buzzes its wings.

Hank looks frustrated, but crouches down to pick up the mess.

Elsewhere, the two heroes walk past a dumpster down an alley and find two thugs, Scythe and Mangler leaning. Iron Fist admits that Luke's informant was right, but that he didn't have to "bend" the man.

The two thugs stand and confront the two superheros. Luke claims they are not superheroes, and that they wouldn't end up in jail but in the hospital. Mangler and Scythe attack and the heroes ready themselves.

Luke vs Mangler AEMH

Mangler hits Luke in the stomach but accomplishes nothing. He looks shocked. Mangler throws several more punches in the chest, stomach, and even head. Luke just stands there watching him. Mangler then backs up rubbing his sore hand.

Luke points out that he has unbreakable skin, then punches Mangler back down the alley.

Iron Fist Dodges Mace AEMH

Scythe swings his blade at Iron Fist, but the hero leaps over his head. Scythe turns and swings his blade and mace again. Iron Fist ducks under it then kicks him back into the dumpster next to Mangler.

The two heroes approach the thugs as Luke laughs at the "tough guys." Iron Fist reasons that if they were looking for superheroes, they may have run into the other Ant-Man.

He crouches to the ground in the lotus position. Luke claims he should be using his magic powers to beat people up, not channel Feng Shui. Iron Fist corrects him that he if focusing his chi. He claims that if Luke tried it he would not be angry all the time, which isn't healthy.

Iron Fist Finds Money AEMH

The two quiet themselves and Iron Fist focuses. Suddenly his hands blaze with energy as he hears a heartbeat. He holds his hand up then suddenly slams it to the ground. He picks up a very tiny bag of money.

Just then he hears the sound of tiny ant wings beating. He stands and tells his partner to get ready. They look down the alley and see the miniaturized Ant-Man and his mount hovering near the street. Ant-Man apologizes for choosing the wrong street.

Iron Fist then throws a punch. Ant-Man dodges but as he regains control of the insect he has to dodge Iron Fist's kick. Luke stands there watching as it appears his partner is attacking empty space.

Luke Watches Iron Fist Fight Air AEMH

Luke complains that he can't even see his enemy. Iron Fist throws another punch then warns that Ant-Man is heading towards him. Luke looks around then claps his hand claiming to have gotten him and that it was easy.

Just then his hands glow and Ant-Man returns to normal size. He kicks Luke back to the ground. However, Iron Fist kicks him in the back.

Ant-Man stands and pleads that he doesn't want to fight. Luke says that is too bad and throws another punch. Ant-Man shrinks as Luke hits the wall behind him. The heroes look around seeing nothing.

Just then, Ant-Man throws a kick that knocks Luke forward. Ant-Man lands and sees Iron Fist's fist just in time to dodge.

Ant-Man turns to see the bag of money in the opening of the alley. He runs down and mounts the ant. He grabs the money and flies out.

Heroes for Hire Defeated AEMH

Iron Fist claims to have lost the robber. Luke points out that they will never reveal what happened there to anyone, to which Iron Fist agrees. Luke claims he was caught off-guard, and Iron Fist sarcastically believes him.

Just then Luke's cell phone rings. He answers and Hank is on the line. He says he finished his Pym Particle Detector and they can now track the thief wherever he goes. Luke says that is great and Iron Fist turns to see.

The moon shines over the hotel. In his room, Ant-Man enlarges and drops the bag by the bed. He takes off the helmet and relaxes in a nearby chair.

Luke Kicks Door AEMH

Just then, Luke kicks the door in. The man stands as the two heroes stroll in followed by Hank. Luke points out the man and Hank offers one chance to end this peacefully.

He walks over then stops when he recognizes the man. Luke wonders who he is. Hank explains that he is Scott Lang, the maintenance man from Grayburn.

Hank Threatens Scott AEMH

Scott speaks to Hank, but he is grabbed by the doctor and slammed into the wall. Hank demands to know why he did it. He points out that others could have been hurt. Scott claims he didn't want anyone hurt.

Just then, Scott's phone rings. He pushes Hank away and answers it. He claims, to whoever it is, that he has the money. He pleads for the person not to hurt someone, but is cut off.

He sits on the bed looking defeated. Iron Fist asks him what is going on. Scott admits that he used to be a highly skilled electrical engineer. But then his daughter got sick.

Cassie Hospital AEMH

He picks up a picture of Cassie Lang by his bed and hands it to Hank. He explains that she had a rare disease that a doctor could cure, but needed money. He flashes back to his little girl in the hospital while he held her hand.

Scott explains that he got involved with some bad people who thought they could put his skills to work opening bank vaults, and they were right. He flashes back to being part of a crew breaking into a vault.

Luke wonders if that's when he gave it up to mop floors. Scott goes on to say that he was caught. After he did his time he couldn't get work as an engineer so he became a janitor. It wasn't the job that mattered, just that his daughter was fine. Hank stares out the window holding the picture of Cassie.

Unfortunately, his former boss, William Cross, did not know that Scott used the money to pay the medical bills. He thought Scott hid the money before going to jail. Hank turns towards him. Scott says that Cross wanted his cut and threatened to do something, but Scott breaks down to tears before finishing.

Hank Hears Scott Story AEMH

Hank walks over and hands him the picture. Scott says he didn't have the time to research a bank job, but he knew who Hank was. He praises Hank for the work he did and knew it could get what he needed quickly. Hank wonders why Scott didn't just come to him.

Luke interrupts saying he should have just attacked the men who did this and save his daughter. Scott calls Luke crazy saying he is no superhero. He warns that it would have just put Cassie in more danger.

He doesn't want any police or heroes involved as he wants to protect his daughter. Hank claims they can help him. Scott retorts that no one can.

Ant-Scott Escape AEMH

He shoves Hank back and quickly grabs the helmet and bag before shrinking down. Hank tries to grab him but Scott disappears. Luke asks if Iron Fist has him, but then the window breaks and Iron Fist points out where he went.

Later, some warehouse by the Hudson River sits in darkness.

Crossfire Teases Cassie AEMH

In the office, Cross spins a pistol then stops it to point it at Cassie, who is sitting strapped to a chair. He tells her it won't be long. He then claims to have known her father a long time. She whimpers as she is surrounded by Cross's thugs Gideon Mace and Big Ben.

Just then, Scott calls out to Cross. The mobster tells her he was right. Scott walks into the room followed by thugs Senor Muerte, Spear, Piranha Jones, and Cockroach Hamilton. He claims Scott has always been reliable.

Cross stands wondering what Scott is wearing. He wonders if Scott was always Ant-Man. Scott begs him to let his daughter go. Cross leans against the desk saying that he should have told him he was Ant-Man.

Muerte Spear Hold Scott AEMH

He claims that there is nothing they can't do now, no bank vault they can't enter, and no secret they can't steal. He says they are going to be very rich. Scott replies that the deal was just the money for the girl. Cross kneels next to the whimpering Cassie saying that the deal has changed since he has his very own superhero now.

Just then a thug flies through the window. Everyone in the office looks up to see Hank, Luke, and Iron Fist approaching. Hank says that won't happen.

Luke Is Captain America AEMH

Scott pleads with them to leave. Cross wonders if they are the Avengers. Luke agrees and claims he is Captain America while Iron Fist is Thor. He then orders Cross to back off before they "avenge" him "upside the head."

Scott, with Muerte and Spear holding him back, pleads with Pym. The doctor reassures him that everything is under control.

Cross readies his gun and crouches by Cassie. He points out that he has the girl and holds all the cards. Hank disagrees. He then pulls out a gun-like device and shoots Cassie.

Ant-Scott Escapes Spear AEMH

An object attaches to her and she shrinks down. Scott calls out thinking his daughter is gone forever. He breaks free of the thugs and shrinks down, with Spear reaching out for him.

Piranha runs forward towards Iron Fist who leaps back. Meanwhile, Luke throws Cockroach back then punches Mace.

Iron Fist Blocks Muerte AEMH

Iron Fist kicks back Piranha but Muerte punches him in the back withe electrified gloves. Iron Fist recovers and blocks more punches by Muerte. He grabs the thug's harness and flips him over.

Luke Breaks Trident AEMH

Spear fires two spears from his spear gun but Luke deflects one and allows another to be destroyed off his chest. Spear grabs his trident, spins it around, and jabs but Luke blocks it. Spear continues his jabbing until Luke breaks the weapon in half. He grabs Spear and throws him.

Mace tries to attack Iron Fist but only hits an empty crate. Iron Fist leaps over him as he attacks again. Mace watches Iron Fist land atop a stack then slams the bottom one. As it begins to topple, Iron Fist leaps off and the stack falls on Mace.

Iron Fist lands and smiles.

Cockroach Shoots Luke AEMH

Luke runs up and sees Cockroach holding a shotgun then fires it. The blasts hit Luke and push him back. He continues firing as Luke's shirt is destroyed. The hero then grabs a crate and throws it into the man, knocking him against the back wall.

Just then, Piranha leaps down and grabs Luke's arm. He bites the hero with his metal jaw but his teeth break. Luke smiles then grabs Piranha and tosses him across the room smashing a crate.

Iron Fist Hits Big Ben AEMH

As the thug lands, Big Ben breaks through a crate and charges towards Iron Fist. Iron Fist charges his hand and readies as the man approaches. When Ben nears he punches him knocking him across the room through crates.

Meanwhile, Hank punches Piranha when suddenly he is shot at. He takes cover behind a crate.

Ant-Scott Becomes Hero AEMH

Somewhere, Scott enlarges with his daughter. She wonders if they can do that again. Scott looks over and sees Cross firing at Hank. He tells her to stay there as he has to do something. He puts on the helmet and shrinks down.

Cross tells Hank that they should have stayed out of this since they don't know who he is. Ant-Man says that while they don't, he does. Suddenly Cross is punched back into a wall.

Ant-Scott Threatens Crossfire AEMH

Ant-Man stands atop his nose ordering him never to bother his daughter again. Cross wonders what will stop him. Ant-Man then sends out a signal.

Throughout the warehouse, ants begin crawling in mass through every crack and over everything. They swarm over Cross who stands disgusted by this. He tries to push them off but they keep coming.

Ant-Scott Hits Crossfire AEMH

Cross bumps into Hank, who tells him he is not leaving. Getting afraid, Cross walks back into the full-sized Ant-Man. He turns and the costumed robber punches him.

Cassie runs over to Ant-Man and leaps into his arms. He tells his daughter she is alright. He tells Hank that he was worried he had lost her forever like the money.

Hank pulls out the gun and explains that the discs Scott used were prototypes while this is a finished version. Ant-Man thanks him and says he will return the equipment, then turn himself in.

Hank Passes Ant-Man Mantle AEMH

Hank explains that "Ant-Man" was undercover for the Avengers and that the team will explain the robberies. Ant-Man doesn't understand as he isn't the famous hero. Hank walks out saying he is now.

Iron Fist Offers Scott Job AEMH

Iron Fist and Luke Cage walk up to Ant-Man. Iron Fist claims that for someone who isn't a superhero he is good at it. He then offers Ant-Man a job. Ant-Man and his daughter hug.

Luke then calls out to Hank wondering where to send the bill.

Quotes

"Hank, um, what are you doing?"
"I only came back to clean out this lab, Jan. I know you can't accept this, but I'm done. I'm done with the Avengers. This isn't me anymore."
"No. You're Ant-Man."
"I'm not, Jan. I haven't been since Ultron. And honestly, probably even before that."

-Wasp and Hank Pym

"This is for the best."
"Okay, but..."
"I'm leaving."
"You're leaving what? You're leaving the Avengers? You're leaving me? We can talk about this. We can make it work if you just try. Please, talk to me."
"Jan, you and I we're just...We want different things."
"The Avengers..."
"Are not a solution to the world's problems. One day you'll see. this is all a house of cards. It can't hold forever."

-Hank Pym and Wasp

"Twenty-million dollars disappeared in what we can only describe as a flash of light."

-Reporter

"Are you even listening to what I'm saying?"
"I'm sorry. I have to go."
"Are you kidding me? Hank. Hank!"

-Wasp and Hank Pym

"No! No, no no. This can't be happening."

-Hank Pym

"Jan."
"Hank? Are you seriously calling me? I'm shocked you still have your ID card. I figured you'd already have burned it before it made you beat someone up."
"Jan, listen."
"I get it, Hank. You're not Avengers material. You made it perfectly clear. I just didn't wanna believe it. Well I'd never sit around and cry about things like Ultron. I'd do something about it. So the question is, Hank, what do you want?"
"I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry."

-Hank Pym and Wasp

"IN TROUBLE? NEED HELP? CALL NOW!"

-Heroes for Hire advertisement

"Someone has stolen Ant-Man. Whoever the thief was, they knew who I was, what I had, and where to find it. Not to mention they were able to circumvent one of the most advanced electronic locks on the planet. All of my systems and alarms were disabled without me ever knowing it. I'm not dealing with some common thief, but someone of incredible intelligence. The rest of the lab appears untouched. It's obvious the Ant-Man gear was the target. The helmet, the costume, belt, all of which are dangerous in the wrong hands. But the biggest danger is to whomever stole it. If the thief were to activate the Pym particles in the belt, they would find themselves in what would look like another world. Trust me, things look different when you're an inch high. But more importantly, at that size you enter a whole new level of the food chain. And ants are nothing if not territorial. But even at ant size, subjects exposed to Pym Particles will maintain strength and speed levels relative to being full-sized. Ant-Man is strong enough to take down full-sized humans and fast enough to keep up with them. All that being said, the insect population has distinct advantages over an intruder. This makes communication key. The Ant-Man helmet allows for communication and influence of insects, essentially allowing the wearer to control them. What worries me most, however, are the Pym Discs. They were in development before Ultron. Before... They were designed to be applied to a target and activated, theoretically shrinking them. I thought...I thought that they'd be a non-violent way to subdue supervillains. The discs weren't stabilized yet. When used, the affected targets don't stop shrinking. They go subatomic. For all intents and purposes, they shrink right out of existence."

-Hank Pym

"Whoa."

-Ant-Man, first line

"No. No! Stop!"

-Ant-Man

"It's vital the thief be found and subdued, before he or someone else is hurt. The damage that could be done staggers the imagination. So please, will you take the case?"
"Sure. But we'll need half our fee up front."

-Hank Pym and Luke Cage, first line

"Yeah, this is Michelinie. I need back up. I got a superhero snooping around here."

-Michelinie

"The money..."
"Freeze! Lie down on the ground or I will fire."
"Please, just wait."

-Ant-Man and Michelinie

"Why us? I mean, why would Hank Pym come to us? Why not go to his own team? He's an Avenger. I don't get it."
"I do. Man's got pride. Some dude stole his superpowers. Started robbing banks with 'em. He probably didn't want to have to tell his Avengers buddies how bad he messed up."
"That's a good point. I wouldn't want to tell Captain America that."
"But without his gear, he needs some muscle to take this guy down."

Iron Fist, first lines, and Luke Cage

"What are you thinking?"
"This bank. It's a front. I remember some punks telling me it's run by HYDRA. This guy is not too bright if he's ripping them off."
"Pym said that whoever this is, they didn't even get the money. He said it got sucked into something called the Microverse."
"That sounds messed up."

-Iron Fist and Luke Cage

"What are you so happy about?"
"We're working with the Avengers. Power Man and Iron Fist, working with the Avengers. Kind of exciting."
"Man, knock that off. And I told you never to call me Power Man, Danny."

-Luke Cage and Iron Fist

"Time to shake down some informants."

-Luke Cage

"Alright. Your informant was right. You still didn't have to bend him like that."

-Iron Fist

"Check it out. Looks like we got some more superheroes here."
"Do we look like superheroes to you? You mess with us, you not going to jail. You going to the hospital."

-Mangler, first line, and Luke Cage

"It's called unbreakable skin, fool."

-Luke Cage

"You should be using that magic fist of yours to crack heads, not to focus your feng shui."
"Focusing my chi. Maybe if you were open to focusing your own energy you wouldn't be so angry all the time. It's not healthy, Luke."

-Luke Cage and Iron Fist

"Sweet Christmas."
"Sorry, wrong turn."

-Luke Cage and Ant-Man

"I don't want to fight you."
"Too bad."

-Ant-Man and Luke Cage

"And he's gone."
"All right, for real, we're never telling anyone about that. Ever."
"Agreed."
"He caught me off guard. I'm just saying."
"Sure he did, Luke."

-Iron Fist and Luke Cage

"Scott Lang. He's the maintenance man from my lab at Grayburn."
"Doctor Pym..."
"WHY!? Why have you done this!? People could have been hurt by my work."
"I'm sorry. I don't want to hurt anyone. I..."

-Hank Pym and Scott Lang

"Hello? I've got it. I've got the money. Please don't hurt..."
"Mr. Lang. Scott? What's going on here?"
"You wouldn't know this I used to be an electrical engineer. A pretty good one, but then my daughter got sick. She had a rare disease and there was a doctor...She needed money to finish the cure. A lot of money. I got involved with some bad people. People who thought I could put my engineering skills to use opening bank vaults."
"And you gave it all up to mop floors?"
"Not exactly. I got caught. But I did my time and Cassie got better. But when I got out there weren't a lot of engineering jobs for ex-cons. So, I took the janitor position at the college. I didn't care. All that mattered was that Cassie was alive. But then...My old partner from the bank jobs found me. Cross. I never told him that I used all the money for Cassie's treatments. He thought I hid it away before I got caught. He thought I still had it and he wanted his cut. If I didn't give him what he wanted he said he'd...He'd..."

-Scott Lang, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage

"I didn't have time to research and pull off a bank job. But I knew who you were, Doctor Pym. The work you did in that lab, it was amazing. And I knew I could use your equipment to get what I needed fast."

-Scott Lang

"It won't be long now. I've known your dad a long time, little Cassie."
"Cross."
"See, I told you. Scott Lang is nothing if not reliable."

-Crossfire, first lines, and Scott Lang

"I've got the money, Cross. Let her go. Please."
"Lang, what are you? Is this a joke? Are you Ant-Man?"
"Cross...William...Please."
"Ant-Man. You should've told me. Can you imagine what we could've been doing all this time? There's no vault we couldn't get into. No secret we couldn't steal. Scotty, my boy, we're going to be very rich men."
"No. You got the money, that was the deal. Let Cassie go."
"Guess what, Ant-Man. The deal just changed. I got my very own superhero now."
"I'm afraid I can't let that happen."

-Scott Lang, Crossfire, and Hank Pym

"And who are you three supposed to be? The Avengers?"
"Yeah, we're the Avengers. I'm Captain America. My friend in the pajamas is Thor. Now how about you back off the girl before we avenge you upside the head?"

-Crossfire and Luke Cage

"Dad, can we do that again?"

-Cassie Lang, first line

"Daddy's got something he has to do."

-Scott Lang

"You should've stayed out of this, heroes. You have no idea who I am."
"They don't. But I do. You will never threaten my daughter again. Do you hear me?"
"Or what?"

-Crossfire, last line, and Ant-Man

"You're not going anywhere."

-Hank Pym

"Dad!"
"It's okay. It's okay. I'm here."

-Cassie Lang, last line, and Ant-Man

"I thought I'd lost her. When you shrunk her I thought she was gone forever, like the money."
"The discs you used were prototypes. The one I used on Cassie wasn't."
"Thank you."

-Ant-Man and Hank Pym

"I'll hand over all your equipment and then turn myself in."
"Ant-Man was on an undercover mission for the Avengers. They'll explain the bank robberies to the police."
"I don't...I'm not Ant-Man."
"You are now."

-Ant-Man and Hank Pym

"For someone claiming not to be a superhero, you're pretty good at it. Want a job?"

-Iron Fist to Ant-Man

"Yo, Pym? Where should I send our bill?"

-Luke Cage

Trivia

  • Scott tries to steal the money at the beginning at ten after midnight.
  • Grayburn College was established in 1800.
  • Luke Cage jokes that they are the Avengers. He and Iron Fist would eventually join the New Avengers.
  • Luke Cage jokes that he is Captain America. He does bear a resemblance to Isaiah Bradley, a black man who underwent Project: Rebirth before Steve Rogers and became another Captain America.
  • William Cross is only called Crossfire in the credits.
Heroes for Hire AEMH
  • The name Heroes for Hire is not used in this episode.
  • In the comics, Cassie's health problem is specified to be a congenital heart condition.

Goofs

  • Besides pure luck, there is no reason for the camera in the safe to zoom in on that particular area.
  • The Pym Discs somehow know to shrink all the money and only the money, including money that is nearby but not part of the pile, while leaving the table.
Hank Shrinks Lab AEMH
  • The shrinking lab emits a bright light, but the lighting of the room never changes and there is no shadow behind Hank.
  • The Heroes for Hire ad has no contact information or even a description of who they are or what they do.
  • During the flashback, there is no disc shooting gun in the safe. The slot is empty.
  • While it's understandable to not want to use the unstable discs on living people, why not against other inanimate dangers like Ultron?
  • Iron Fist's chest tattoo does not contour to his muscles.
  • Unbreakable skin would not stop Luke Cage from obeying the laws of physics. Mangler's punches should still have pushed him back simply due to momentum as he was not bracing himself, even if they didn't hurt him.
Ant-Scott Kicks Luke AEMH
  • When explaining the powers, Hank says that in the small size any human maintains their normal-sized strength. Yet Scott is able to kick Luke forward after Mangler, who is usually depicted as having increased human strength, did nothing. It also presents numerous problems throughout the series where Ant-Man has enhanced strength contradicting the explanation here.
  • Despite knocking him to the ground, Iron Fist does nothing to subdue Ant-Man in the alley.
  • After Hank and the Heroes for Hire confront Crossfire and his gang, the two thugs who were thrown through the glass disappear.
  • Similar to the problem with the money at the beginning, the Pym Disc does not affect Cassie's tight binds.

Continuity

  • First appearance of Scott Lang, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.
  • Wasp is the only active member of the Avengers to appear in the episode.
  • First mention of Spider-Man and The Daily Bugle who first appear in "Along Came a Spider...".
Crossfire AEMH
  • Only appearance of Mangler, Scythe, Cassie Lang, Crossfire, Gideon Mace, Piranha Jones, Big Ben, Spear, Cockroach Hamilton, and Senor Muerte.
  • Hank Pym gives up the title of Ant-Man having used it since "The Man in the Ant Hill".
  • Hank Pym next appears in "Yellowjacket".
  • Luke Cage and Iron Fist next appear in photographs in "Infiltration". They make cameo appearances in "Yellowjacket". Their next voiced appearances are in "New Avengers".
  • Scott Lang would next appear in a photograph in "Infiltration". His next speaking appearance would be in the finale "Avengers Assemble!".

Background

Cassie Lang AEMH

The episode is based on Marvel Premiere #47, also titled To Steal an Ant-Man!, which was released in April 1979. It was the first appearance of Lang as Ant-Man, having made his debut a month before, as well as the debut of Cassie Lang and Crossfire.

Cast

Main Actor Role(s)
Christopher B. Duncan Power Man/Luke Cage
Loren Lester Iron Fist/Danny Rand
Newscaster
Colleen O'Shaughnessey Wasp/Janet van Dyne
Cassie Lang (Uncredited)
Crispin Freeman Scott Lang/Ant-Man
Scythe
Neil Ross Crossfire/William Cross
Michelinie
Mangler
Wally Wingert Hank Pym

This is currently the last Marvel-based work for Neil Ross, who previously worked on Spider-Man, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, "Pryde of the X-Men", Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and most notably as Green Goblin/Norman Osborn on Spider-Man.

Cassie Lang's voice actress is uncredited. She was voiced by Colleen O'Shaughnessey.

Reception

Luke Cage AEMH

"RoyalRubble" of Marvel Animation Age liked that the episode featured a smaller threat finding it a refreshing change of pace. He enjoyed seeing Hank once again as well as furthering the relationship between him and Janet. He felt the highlight was the Heroes of Hire, feeling this was their best animated adaptation over their appearances in The Super Hero Squad Show and Ultimate Spider-Man. He enjoyed all the scenes with the two, especially their banter, and hoped this would have been a backdoor pilot for them. He liked that the episode used more obscure characters like the second Ant-Man and Crossfire, introducing the characters to him. He appreciated the yellowjacket wasp at the end foreshadowing Hank's next costume change. He also liked that Ms. Marvel was included in the main credits, since the credits added and removed characters according to the story. "I'm still amazed at how much this show manages to fit into a single episode, even this one which at first sight seems a 'small' episode (and not only because of Ant-Man). I love the stories they set up nicely so far and I look forward to their conclusions, but once in a while a shorter story focusing on a single character is great. We had a similar approach a couple of episodes ago with Iron Man ("Alone Against A.I.M.") and now this episode focusing on Ant-Man. It is a great way to develop the characters and are really fun to watch."

Iron Fist AEMH

Kumori Myu-Jishan of Marvel Animation Age felt that Hank's return was a beautiful moment and his relationship with Janet was made more meaningful. She loved Scott's introduction feeling it was one of the best in the series after Hawkeye's. She enjoyed Crispin Freeman's performance appreciating the way he did the heavy dramatic moments. She felt that Iron Fist and Luke Cage were perfectly handled. She claimed that they were "pure Marvel" and showed that this series was more than just a mere kids' series. She felt their one appearance here was much better than anything they have done on Ultimate Spider-Man. In comparing them to the other series she claimed that Luke had more edge while Danny used his abilities like a surgeon's scalpel, and that they commanded their screentime rather than compete for it on the other series. "Overall? This episode is the best thus far. With its tense moments, its simplicity, its adult approach and humor without match, this episode, in this author’s opinion, outshines any other episode from both seasons. Up to this point, of course."

The episode has an 8.8 on TV.com and 8.0 on the Internet Movie Database.

Influence

Ant-Man Film Research AEMH

On January 5, 2014, director Edgar Wright posted a blog using a screenshot from this episode (see right) while working on the live action Ant-Man film, though he since left the project. The only word along with the image was "Homework." The actual screenshot was featured Scott Lang as Ant-Man leading to speculation that confirmed actor Paul Rudd was playing Lang rather than more well-known Pym, both characters confirmed to be in the film while at the time the actor's role was unspecified. It was later confirmed that Rudd would be Lang having the mantle passed to him from Pym, much like the episode.[1][2][3]

Other similarities between the episode and film are:

  • Hank Pym hiring someone to get his technology back. In this case it's the Heroes for Hire to get it back from Scott Lang. In the film's, it is Scott to get it back from Hank's partner.
  • Luke Cage in the episode and Falcon in the film both have similar lines about not wanting to admit they were defeated by Ant-Man.
  • The villain of the episode is William Cross while the villain of the film is William's cousin Darren Cross.
  • The concept of something continually shrinking out of existence is used in the film to explain the disappearance of the original Wasp and occurs to Scott in the finale.

References

  1. January 5th, 2014 at Edgar Wright Here
  2. Come See Edgar Wright's ANT-MAN "Homework" at Comic Book Movie
  3. Exclusive: Edgar Wright Talks Ant-Man at Super Hero Hype

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