Marvel comics question: The powers of Ant-Man/Giant Man (Henry Pym)

Not clear from this Wikipedia article. As Ant-Man, Henry Pym still had the same strength as he had at normal size, right? That was part of the superpower. So, as Giant-Man, did he still have . . . the strength of a human of normal size? If so, then the only practical advantage of gigantism would be looking over the tops of trees and buildings – assuming his legs could still support him. If not, why not?

Also, what was Yellowjacket’s superpower?

As far as I remember, shrinkage, flight and bio-electric “sting”, pretty much identical to Janet’s powers as the Wasp.

Early on, they’d routinely mention that (a) he got stronger as he got bigger, but add that (b) he needed to devote a bigger and bigger portion of that strength to just supporting his increased weight. So he could actually pull off more impressive strength feats at his twelve-foot size than at fifty.

Now, that hints at the square-cube law, but still defies it pretty spectacularly. The comics later addressed that by saying – well, see, when shrinking, he was effectively storing most of his mass extradimensionally: that’s why he weighed less but still had his full strength at bug-size. Anyway, when growing, he’s gaining extra mass from that extradimensional realm, and, hey, who the heck knows what odd properties are possessed by mass from thereabouts? So, okay, it’s nifty enough to disproportionately bolster his strength: still not enough for him to grow past a certain point without just helplessly flopping around on the ground, but enough for him to do fairly impressive giant stuff.

That’s mostly true but there were some differences. The Wasps bio-sting is an actual super human ability granted to Janet by Hank Pym’s scientific skills. She can generate those stings herself through some feature of her altered biology. Yellowjacket’s sting, while apparently quite similar, were a product of devices with his gauntlets. Anyone could put his gloves on and fire bio-stings.

I also believe that Yellowjacket’s cowl retained the circuitry than enabled Pym (as Ant-Man) to control ants, bees and wasps.

From his days in West Coast Avengers, he gained the ability to make other objects grow or shrink at his touch; I think he retained that after he got rid of the red coveralls. He routinely carried a Rover module in his pocket for personal transportation (as well as a chainsaw and various weapons and tools) at Matchbox size, and once revealed that he carried around a Quinjet as well, but has not apparently done so subsequently. (My guess is that Tony Stark started clamping down on Quinjet privileges around the time the New Warriors stole and lost one.)

His real power these days is pushing the bounds of what constitutes science, with the Infinite Avengers Mansion and the infinite bodies for Jocasta, et al. He believes that Eternity appointed him as the Scientist Supreme, science’s answer to Dr. Strange’s former position. Loki claimed that was actually him, not Eternity, but considering the source, that one could go either way.

Kinda missed all this, but why does Eternity actually need a Scientist Supreme? As the embodiment of all of reality, he is aware of everything, and has no need of scientists. He might as well appoint a bus driver supreme.

Pym, who worries all the other Big Brains with his apparent instability, needed some kind of imprimatur to pursue pure, unfettered research. He used his powers to access the Macroverse (last seen in an FF/Spider Man LS a year or so earlier) and encountered Eternity there, who smacked him around a bit and then proclaimed him “Scientist Supreme.” This was in the last few months of Mighty Avengers last year.

Was it Eternity? Was it Loki in disguise? Was Loki claiming it was him just to mess with Pym’s already shaky grip on reality? I dunno. No one knows for sure. Pym is currently starring in Avengers Academy. They told Pym that he, Quicksilver, Tigra, Justice and Speedball were keeping an eye on some kid heroes to make sure they don’t go bad. Of course, of all the grown-up Avengers in current circulation, I suspect Steve and Tony are a lot more worried about keeping an eye on Pym, Quicksilver, Tigra et al than a bunch of D-list kids. This will certainly become a plot point within 3 months.

Eternity spelled out that, as the embodiment of reality, scientists like Reed and Hank are among his aspects. With regard to Reed, he says that “science is about pure discovery. More than any of my other aspects, he has the capacity to learn, comprehend, and apply all there is to know” Hank, on the other hand, is someone who pointedly doesn’t just do the best he can with what he’s got, but instead takes science to the very point of magic: it’s not about exploration or engineering, it’s not about looking for what’s already out there and using it like a tool – it’s about making the impossible possible.

The whole “Scientist Supreme” notion was incredibly stupid, and was the most retarded appearance I have ever seen by Eternity. It would be preferable to believe that was Loki.

Still not getting it. Its true that, as part of reality, science is an aspect of Eternity, but just not one that you would think he is concerned with in any way. All of science is an open book to him, so, no matter how good a scientist Pym is, it is utterly insignificant compared with the knowledge that Eternity has.

He always seemed very aloof when it came to matters of us mere mortals anyway, unless those events affected him in some way (like when Thanos tried to usurp him, and even then, he only got involved when all the other ‘cosmics’ had been put out of commission). We are just too far below eternity for him to even care. This would be like me appointing a white blood cell supreme.

I can see it being Loki though, just to mess with Pyms’ head.

I think that the word “appoint” is perhaps not the most apt word, here. Eternity (if that’s who it really is) certainly tells Pym that he is the “Scientist Supreme”, but it can be read as him revealing to Hank that that is what he is already, by his nature, rather than singling him out for a promotion.

In which case it might be more like clueing your pituitary gland in on how useful it is.

Weren’t here stings originally done that same way, too, before the whole altered biology thing? Kinda like how they used to have to take pills or gas themselves to change size, but later it became a power they had internally.

I don’t think so but I can’t prove it one way or another. If she ever did use devices to generate her stings then it would have been VERY early in her career.

From Wikipedia:

If you can find a cite indicating the Wasp ever used such a device to fire her stings then I would love to know about it.

Hank Pym also has the Power of spousal Abuse, IIRC.

Many moons ago when MArvel was doing two heros in one of it’s old titles like Tales to Astonish of something I remember reading one where Pym as Giant Man, with the red and blue costume with a blue metal looking helmet. {top o the link} was outside the city experimenting with size. If I recall he could grow as much as he wanted to but at some point the size and increased strength wasn’t practical or helpful. At the time he chose a size of around 35 feet as the right compromise. I think later as Goliath in the blue and yellow costume, the story became that his years of changing size had a negative impact on his overall health and he had to stay at the 10 to 12 foot size. Didn’t he get stuck as a giant for a while?
as a bonus , here’s the ballad of Henry Pym

Hell, before she got the stinging power at all, she just carried around a big nail and poked people with it. As I recall, she then got devices on her wrists that shot out blasts of compressed air or something, and later got the inherent stinging power. When she was X-Treme 90’s Mutated Wasp, her wasp stings were huge energy blasts.

At one point Giant-Man could shrink other objects from a distance using his helmet, but they abandoned that pretty quickly. Probably because it would have made a lot of Avengers fights way too easy. Scott Lang once used the Ant-Man gas to shrink an evil Watcher, though; that was pretty cool.

Cite please?

It always seemed to me that the strength & durability various volitional giant types stronger increases faster than their size does. When Hank goes from 6 to 12 feet tall, his mass goes up by a factor of eight, but his strength increases twenty or thirty times.

I can’t see how it would be any other way. There’s no reason to assume the extradimensional mass they’re drawing on has the same qualities as normal flesh, and plenty of reason to assume it doesn’t, as if it does, the twelve-foot-tall-but-identically proportioned Hank is going to be shattered under his weight.

http://marvel.wikia.com/Janet_van_Dyne_(Earth-616)#Powers_and_Abilities

Also, something’s gone wonky on some of the quote tags in this thread. I’ve been misquoted as saying something I didn’t say. I’m not mad about it or anything, I’m sure it was an honest coding issue, I just wanted to point it out before anyone wonders why I’m not responding to that particular post’s “cite please”.