Best Ant-Man Stories Cover

The 10 Must Read Ant-Man Stories

Ant-Man is a hero that has a long history in the Marvel Universe. Starting with Hank Pym, one of the original founders of the Avengers, the character has been through every event possible. Over the years Ant-Man has become one of Marvel’s legacy characters as several people have carried on the mantle Hank Pym created. Through all of that, we’ve had a lot of memorable stories featuring Ant-Man over the decades. With Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania right around the corner we’ve broken down a list of the ten Ant-Man stories to read if you have yet to read an Ant-Man comic book.


Hank As Ant-Man For The First Time
Hank Pym gives his Ant-Man costume and helmet a try for the first time in Tales To Astonish #35. Credit: Marvel Comics

Comics: Tales To Astonish #35

Release Year: June 5, 1962

Creative Team

Writer: Larry Lieber and Stan Lee

Artist: Jack Kirby

Inker: Dick Ayers

Colorist: Stan Goldberg

While Hank Pym’s comic book debut took place in Tales To Astonish #27 it was several issues later in that series with Tales To Astonish #35 that we got the full origin story for Ant-Man. With Tales To Astonish having established an anthology structure with several different stories being told Hank’s first adventure as Ant-Man is told in three parts that total thirteen of the twenty-two pages of Tales To Astonish #27.

With such a limited time to work with Larry Lieber and Stan Lee certainly pack the thirteen pages for Hank’s first adventure as Ant-Man with a ton of dialogue and narration boxes. Part of this is because they spend the first few pages tying in Hank’s origin from Tales To Astonish #27 to how that correlates to becoming the superhero known as Ant-Man.

What really ties everything together is Jack Kirby’s phenomenal artwork. Kirby nails the sense of size as Hank tries out his powers for the first time. It all emphasizes what Ant-Man’s powers are and how Hank turned that into becoming a superhero.

This all lead to starting with Tales To Astonish #35 the series becoming the first Ant-Man ongoing as Hank Pym was the lead character for Tales To Astonish. Several issues later Janet Van Dyne as Wasp would join the series as a co-lead though it would be largely a Hank Pym series. Which showed the popularity of Ant-Man from the time he debut that he would take over the long-running Tales To Astonish and make it his own for the next three years of the series’ existence. publishing


Scott Lang Ant-Man Origin
Scott Lang shows off his own superhero style as Ant-Man in Marvel Premiere #47. Credit: Marvel Comics

Comics: Marvel Premiere #47 – #48

Release Year: April 10, 1979 to May 10, 1979

Creative Team

Writer: David Michelinie

Artists: John Byrne and Bob Layton

Colorists: Bob Sharen and Mario Sen

Hank Pym made a big name for himself when he debuted as Ant-Man after going on to be a founding member of the Avengers. After some time Hank left the Ant-Man mantle behind him to take on the superhero identity of Yellowjacket. With the Ant-Man moniker, dormant Scott Lang stepped in to take over the mantle.

Unlike Hank’s condensed origin story in Tales To Astonish, Scott Lang got two issues dedicated to his origin story. David Michelinie, John Byrne, and Bob Layton maximized the time they got in Marvel Premiere #47 and Marvel Premiere #48 to knock it out of the park with Scott’s origin. There is a lot of character development packed in the first few pages of Marvel Premiere #47 alone that gets the reader invested in Scott’s journey. In particular, the relationship between Scott and his daughter, Cassie Lang, makes the reader feel a connection with both characters.

From there the rest of Scott’s origin, titled “The Astonishing Ant-Man,” is about getting over Scott as a superhero as he makes the Ant-Man powers his own. What makes it more effective is the time Michelinie, Byrne, and Layton get over how Scott is more of a thief. Tying that in helps separate Scott even further from being considered a Hank Pym clone even though they look identical when wearing the Ant-Man costume. Having these characteristics of how Scott approaches things compared to Hank highlighted why Scott became a break-out character as soon as he debuted.


Scott Lang Saves Tony Stark Life
Scott Lang goes on an adventure through Iron Man’s armor in order to save Tony Stark’s life in Iron Man #133. Credit: Marvel Comics

Comics: Iron Man #133

Release Year: April 1, 1980

Creative Team

Writers: Bob Layton and David Michelinie

Artists: Jerry Bingham and Bob Layton

Colorist: Glynis Oliver

One of the most memorable Marvel Cinematic Universe scenes is the scene in Captain America: Civil War when Scott Lang as Ant-Man went into Iron Man’s armor and messed with all of Tony Stark’s tech. That iconic scene comes from the memorable Iron Man #133 where Scott must save Tony Stark’s life after Iron Man had a major battle with Hulk.

Bob Layton and David Michelinie leaned in heavily on how Scott was racing against the clock to save Tony’s life. Tony trying to help guide Scott while in severe pain got over how there wasn’t a moment to waste. Every problem Scott runs into while running around inside the Iron Man armor creates even greater tension as to how Tony’s life will end up being saved.

Jerry Bingham and Bob Layton nail this tension with the artwork. The touch of having a digital version of Tony guiding Scott through the armor helped to establish a unique chemistry between the two. Scott being more willing to wing it and take chances with a theory even as Tony’s life hangs in the balance made the payoff for this story work


Ant-Man Hawkeye Combo Attack
Scott Lang’s Ant-Man and Hawkeye create their iconic combo attack in Avengers #223. Credit: Marvel Comics

Comics: Avengers #223

Release Year: September 1, 1982

Creative Team

Writer: David Michelinie

Artist: Greg LaRocque

Inker: Brett Breeding

Colorist: Christie Scheele

Avengers #223 features an iconic team-up between Scott Lang’s Ant-Man and Hawkeye at a period in Avengers history that could be said to be chaotic. More on that period for the Avengers in a bit. But as a standalone story, Avengers #223 was a chance for Scott to be featured in the Avengers, something he didn’t get a chance to do with Hank previously on the team.

Like with his relationship with Tony Stark, Scott’s personality shines here against Clint Barton as a clash of attitudes. So even though much of Avengers #223 is a Hawkeye solo story the way Scott gets involved makes it the standout.

The cover alone is iconic in itself. The moment shown on the cover comes to life within the pages of the issue as Ant-Man convinces Hawkeye to shoo him at the villain they are fighting. The scene is brought to life in the MCU during Captain America: Civil War further cements this Ant-Man and Hawkeye move iconic team-up attacks in comics.


Hank Pym In Jail
Hank Pym lets out all his feelings to his lawyer Matt Murdock while in jail in Avengers #227. Credit: Marvel Comics

Comics: Avengers #212 – #214, Avengers #217, Avengers #222, Avengers #224, Avengers #227 – #230

Release Year: October 1, 1981 to March 1, 1983

Creative Team

Writers: Jim Shooter, Bob Hall, Steve Grant, Alan Zelenetz, and Roger Stern

Artists: Alan Kupperberg, Bob Hall, Gregory Ben Larocque, Mark Bright, Sal Buscema, and Al Milgrom

Inkers: Dan Green, Brett Breeding, and Joe Sinnott

Colorists: Ben Sean, Dan Warfield, Bob Sharen, and Christie Scheele

For better or worse the most iconic Hank Pym storyline is The Trial Of Yellowjacket saga. In truth, this is actually Hank Pym’s saga is two stories in one, The Court Martial of Yellow Jacket and The Trial Of Yellowjacket. Both these storylines are tied together that you can’t really read one without the other as you won’t get either the full understanding of the start or payoff if you don’t read both. And why you can consider this entire Hank Pym story a saga is that it takes place over the course of two and a half years in the Avengers series with random issues in between The Court Martial of Yellow Jacket and The Trial Of Yellowjacket storylines that help flesh out the greater narrative around Hank.

Hank Pym fans probably wish this saga didn’t take place because of the moment most fans remember this entire saga. That is the moment when Hank is having his full mental breakdown he hits his wife Janet Van Dyne. It’s a moment that has followed Hank for the rest of his career.

That moment is all part of Hank’s narrative at the time as during a time when we got a lot of roster changes and an overall chaotic time for the Avengers Hank wasn’t finding a lot of success. He was on and off as a superhero and he wasn’t having much career success like his fellow peers in Tony Stark and Reed Richards. With Hank at such a low point while Janet was finding even more professional success as a fashion designer on top of being one of the faces of the Avengers as the Wasp there are a lot of layers to Hank’s character arc here.

The Court Martial of Yellowjacket also shows how mental health was not necessarily a term is known or people, even heroes like Captain America, knew how to handle it. Hank certainly did not help himself with his actions because on top of his questionable actions in recent Avengers adventures and his horrible act of hitting Janet he tried to use one of his robots to fake a superhero moment that almost got himself and the rest of the Avengers killed, a reminder of his creation of Ultron.

After that, we get a lot of random Avengers issues over the course of two years that further spotlight Hank’s mental breakdown after he alienated himself. It all leads to The Trial Of Yellowjacket where he ends up being manipulated by the Masters of Evil as Eggman tries to complete Hank’s villainous turn. While Hank is able to avoid fully falling down the path of the villain he does go on for several decades not being able to find full redemption, and to some fans never does. While that could point to why you shouldn’t read this story The Trial Of The Yellowjacket is one of Marvel’s most important stories as it tells a full story of the downfall of one of their most well-known heroes at the time.


Hank Pym Third Mental Breakdown
Janet Van Dyne talks to Wanda Maximoff about Hank Pym’s history of mental breakdowns in Avengers #20. Credit: Marvel Comics

Comics: Avengers #0, Avengers #18 – #22

Release Year: July 1, 1999 to November 1, 1999

Creative Team

Writer: Kurt Busiek

Artist: George Perez

Inker: Al Vey

Colorist: Tom smith

Arguably the biggest Avengers villain is also Hank Pym’s creation: Ultron. Since being created Ultron has been having taken the Avengers beyond their limits which includes actions such as creating his own bride by kidnapping and using Wasp’s brainwaves. With Ultron Unlimited Hank Pym’s creation took things to another level as Ultron set out to create his own nation in the ruins of a country he destroyed with an army of other Ultron units.

In terms of physical presence, Hank could be considered more of a supporting character for the majority of the Ultron Unlimited event. That is because in a prelude to Ultron Unlimited at the very end of Avengers #18 Ultron kidnaps Hank Pym to kick off the event. It’s not until the second half of the story we see more of Hank and his reaction to everything that Ultron is doing.

But while that is his physical role Hank’s impact is felt throughout the story by the actions Ultron commits. Janet Van Dyne’s conversation with Wanda Maximoff in Avengers #20 about how Ultron’s actions will likely impact Hank mentally. Mental health has been a major part of Hank’s character and Ultron Unlimited further spotlighted how haunted by his professional and personal past he is. This concern Janet shows becomes reality with how Hank reacts to everything in Avengers #21.

All of this made the final moments of Ultron Unlimited with Hank finally getting his chance to let everything out on Ultron as a payoff that needed to happen. So while Ultron Unlimited is an Avengers event it is all based around what Hank’s character has been leading toward since he first became Ant-Man.


Ant-Man Escapes Hulk
Eric O’Grady as Ant-Man finds a creative way to get out of Hulk’s body during the events of World War Hulk In Irredeemable Ant-Man #10. Credit: Marvel Comics

Comics: Irredeemable Ant-Man #1 – #12

Release Year: October 6, 2006 – March 14, 2007

Creative Team

Writer: Robert Kirkman

Artist: Phil Hester

Inkers: Ande Parks and Val Staples

Colorist: Bill Crabtree

While considered the third Ant-Man Eric O’Grady is technically the fourth. That is because as part of Eric O’Grady’s origin story his friend, and fellow SHIELD Agent at the time, wore Scott Lang’s Ant-Man costume before his surprise death in the first issue of The Irredeemable Ant-Man.

With such a personal death that he witnesses happening right in front of him, you would think Eric would be set up to have a Peter Parker superhero turn. Instead what we get is the complete opposite as Eric O’Grady truly lives up to the name of The Irredeemable Ant-Man. Never taking himself too seriously Eric uses the powers of the Ant-Man costume completely for his own benefit. That includes using the Ant-Man suit to spy on women in the shower.

What makes The Irredeemable Ant-Man work so well is how Robert Kirkman and Phil Hester lean into Eric O’Grady being an unlikable protagonist. This is a series that could be considered the It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia of Marvel Comics history. To Kirkman and Hester’s credit over the course of the twelve-issue run we do take steps into becoming a superhero though his questionable moral compass is alive and well even as the series comes to a close.


Hank Pym Reed Richards Science Nerds
Hank Pym and Reed Richards show their difference in mentality when talking about science problems in Mighty Avengers #26. Credit: Marvel Comics

Comics: Mighty Avengers #21 – #26

Release Year: February 4, 2009 – July 17, 2009

Creative Team

Writer: Dan Slott

Artists: Khoi Pham, Rafa Sandoval, and Stephen Segovia

Inkers: Allen Martinez, Danny Miki, Roger Bonet Martinez, Noah Salonga, and Paco Diaz

Colorists: Jason Keith, Guru eFX, Matt Milla, John Rauch, Jean-Francois Beaulieu, and Paco Diaz

As mentioned earlier, it is a long time before Hank is able to go on the path of redemption. There were attempts with Hank being part of other teams like the West Coast Avengers. But it’s not until the Mighty Avengers that we really see Hank truly growing beyond his past as the new leader of the team during the Dark Reign era of the Marvel Universe. Interestingly enough Hank takes the role of Mighty Avengers leader while honoring his ex-wife Janet by taking up the Wasp name after her death in Secret Invasion.

Throughout the first Dark Reign arc of Mighty Avengers, we finally get to see Hank step up as a leader. It’s not an easy path for Hank as it is a new role for him. And you see that with how he interacts with other members of the new Mighty Avengers. The closer we get to the end of the first arc the more Hank’s confidence grows. Which is something you see with how Hank handles the discussion he has with Reed Richards at the end of the arc that solidifies this new path he finds himself on as the new Wasp and leader of the Avengers.


Avengers Academy Foundation
Hank Pym explains the legacy of the Avengers in Avengers Academy #1. Credit: Marvel Comics

Comics: Avengers Academy #1 – #6

Release Year: June 9, 2010 – November 3, 2010

Creative Team

Writer: Christos Gage

Artists: Mike McKone and Jorge Molina

Inkers: Andrew Hennessy, Rick Ketchum, Cam Smith, Dave Meikis, and Rebecca Buchman

Colorist: Jeromy Cox

While Mighty Avengers was Hank moving forward it was with creating Avengers Academy that his full evolution take place. Not just being a leader but now we get to see Hank being a mentor to the next generation of heroes. Understanding he can’t do it himself we do see Hank recruit Tigra, Justice, Speedball, and Quicksilver to help him with Avengers Academy and mentor all the young potential heroes.

Which made the early discovery that Avengers Academy was not just to train the next generation of superheroes but to ensure those most tortured by Norman Osborn’s experiments during Dark Reign didn’t become villains. This hook was a major selling point for Avengers Academy.

It also spoke to Hank’s own character arc. Because throughout his history we’ve seen Hank commit many questionable acts that could’ve seen him become one of Marvel’s greatest villains at any point. Understanding what that pull of the dark side means made Hank the best Avenger to help these kids who were being positioned to go down the path of becoming villains.

Including Tigra, Justice, Speedball, and Quicksilver as part of the staff further showed how Hank identified people who can help the Avengers Academy students find their own hero path. Hank’s decision makes as the head of Avengers Academy showed that he has come a long way from his own dark path.


Reed Richards Scott Lang Future Foundation
Reed Richards asks Scott Lang to be part of the Future Foundation in FF #1. Credit: Marvel Comics

Comics: FF #1 – #8

Release Year: November 28, 2012 – June 26, 2013

Creative Team

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artist: Mike Allred

Colorist: Laura Allred

When it comes to being on superhero teams Scott Lang has been part of almost all of Marvel’s big teams. But his greatest run as part of a team comes from his time as part of the Future Foundation. Recruited by Reed Richards to take his place in the Future Foundation while the Fantastic Four were off on their own mission is a major compliment and achievement for Scott to get.

You can see how throughout Matt Fraction’s FF run that this meant a lot to Scott as he stepped up to be more of a leader during his time on the team. Being a leader isn’t something that you consider from Scott given his history but he certainly took the chance to step up when he does get the opportunity. There is no bigger indication of this than the mission statement Scott establishes for the new Future Foundation core team to go after Doctor Doom. With the background to this decision being Doctor Doom’s role in Cassie Lang’s death, it did make FF feel like an Ant-Man series right away.

While Doctor Doom was the bigger story of the early FF run being part of the Future Foundation gave an opportunity for Scott to become a mentor. Similar to Hank’s role with the Avengers Academy, we got to see how Scott steps up to this challenge of teaching and being a caretaker for the next generation of kids in the Marvel Universe. It made Scott step out of his comfort zone and he was able to do that along with his own personal mission.