One of my many highlights of last week’s Comic-Con was meeting director Edgar Wright at the Scott Pilgrim Experience. I took the opportunity to ask him about the “Ant-Man” movie he has been attached to for some time, and though he was gracious in his response, it was clear that his focus was clearly on his current project “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”.
It is not a secret that since 2006, Wright has indicated that his Ant-Man movie would describe the origins of the superhero, first through the eyes of Hank Pym, but with the bulk of the plot focusing on Scott Lang. This would be an interesting development since Pym, the original Ant-Man and founding member of the Avengers, is still a popular character in the Marvel Universe, while Lang, his successor, is little more than a distant memory after his death marked the beginning of Avengers Disassembled.
In my opinion, however, there is nothing surprising about choosing Lang over Pym. Lang has always been the more heroic Ant-Man, and his story rings true to the theme of ‘fatherhood’ these past two weeks, as we shall discover.
Scott Lang was a brilliant electronics engineer who was forced to turn to burglary in an attempt to support his family. When his daughter Cassandra fell seriously ill, Lang stole the Ant-Man costume and Pym particles and broke into a facility in the hope of finding someone who could help cure her. He inadvertantly foiled the kidnapping of the very person he sought help from, and as a result, proved himself a hero despite his criminal acts. Pym, clearly impressed with Lang’s innate goodness, allowed him to maintain the alter ego of Ant-Man and to use his genius to assist the Avengers.
Throughout his tenure as an Avenger (both official and unofficial), Lang’s story was always given depth through the presence of his daughter, Cassie, who loved and adored him. Their relationship is always depicted as being one of great understanding and appreciation for his work as a superhero, and she is never shown as being lacking in attention and love. That is not to say that their life was a bed of roses, however. Like Thunderstrike, Scott Lang also faced opposition from his estranged wife who believed him unsuitable as a father, and soon gains custody over Cassie. Though attempts are made to further seperate father and daughter, it is Cassie who becomes more and more resourceful in arranging to meet Scott.
Scott’s death in Avengers #500 marked a turning point in Cassie’s life, a journey into finally fulfilling her destiny as a superhero and Avenger. It is not surprising to witness the rapid growth (pun not intended) and maturity of Cassie Lang in the years that follow, as she grapples with the same responsibilities and the need to work in a team as once her father did. No doubt due to the positive influence of Scott Lang before her, Cassie has shown great leadership and understanding. She is a tribute to the life of her father, who despite having once resorted to a life of crime, never allowed that fact to define his life.
Scott Lang wore the Ant-Man costume with pride, and as an Avenger, was numbered amongst some of the greatest superheroes. However, it was his unfailing love for his daughter, which superseded almost all else. By being the best father he could be, putting life and reputation on the line, he proved that you don’t need superpowers to be a superdad.