Quick, can you name the founding members of the Avengers? Of course you can. Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man, and the Wasp.

Wait what – Ant-Man and the Wasp?

Classic Ant-Man. Credit: Writeups

Classic Ant-Man. Credit: Writeups

That’s right. In the comics, the five original members of the Avengers included Ant-Man and the Wasp – and the original team came together to thwart the dastardly schemes of Loki (just like in the movie). Like all the other members, Ant-Man has joined and left the Avengers repeatedly – under different guises as well. That’s because for a large part of his career, Ant-Man suffered from some personality disorder (which accounts for his numerous different identities) – which was eventually revealed to be the side effect of some chemicals that he inhaled in a failed experiment.

So what names has Ant-Man gone by in the comics?


1. Giant-Man

Giant-Man - technically a giant Ant-Man. Credit: Wikipedia

Giant-Man – technically a giant Ant-Man. Credit: Wikipedia

Remember the original line-up for the Avengers? They included heavy hitters like Iron Man, Thor, and Hulk, and they’re literally some of the strongest heroes in the Marvel Universe. Compare that to Ant-Man, who can… shrink and talk to insects. Doesn’t sound so impressive when put alongside his teammates, right?

As revealed years later, Ant-Man felt inadequate next to the other far more powerful Avengers – so he took on the moniker Giant-Man and the ability to grow to enormous sizes as well. It sounded much cooler than Ant-Man too, since he could take on a more physically imposing form. And he held on to the Giant-Man name for a while, until he took a break from the Avengers and returned as…


2. Goliath

Goliath has different fashion choices from Giant-Man, but still wears his underpants on the outside. Credit: Marvel Masterworks Resource Page

Goliath has different fashion choices from Giant-Man, but still wears his underpants on the outside. Credit: Marvel Masterworks Resource Page

Goliath had pretty much the same powers as Giant-Man, since both names imply that he becomes gigantic. It’s just that Goliath had a blue costume, while Giant-Man had a red one. However, shortly after his return, Goliath found out that he couldn’t change back to a normal human size – he was stuck as a giant!

Fortunately Goliath found a way to turn himself back into Normal-Sized-Man and stopped taking on size-related codenames after that. Unfortunately, he happened to create a murder-bot in the form of Ultron (in the comics, Ant-Man created Ultron; while in the movies, Iron Man created Ultron) when he was Goliath.

At least Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Goliath was humble and co-operative, until he took on the superhero name of…


3. Yellowjacket

Yellowjacket, in a quintessentially 70's costume. Credit: The Fwoosh

Yellowjacket, in a quintessentially 70’s costume. Credit: The Fwoosh

If you remember, Yellowjacket was the villain of the first Ant-Man movie. But in the comics, Yellowjacket was one of Ant-Man’s aliases. Remember how we talked about him having a personality disorder as a result of inhaling some chemicals? It really started to become a problem when he became Yellowjacket.

As Yellowjacket, he was a cocky, arrogant hero (kind of like the MCU version of Iron Man) who still had his size-changing powers, sort of like the black costume Spider-Man version of Ant-Man.

He would later bounce between all three identities until a tragedy occured, which made him take on the name of…


4. Wasp

A male Wasp. Credit: Marvel

Ant-Man and Wasp are one of the classic (but lower key) couples in the Marvel Universe, and they were even married at some point.

But when the Wasp died (spoiler: she gets better, and it turns out she didn’t really die but was lost in another universe), Ant-Man was devastated, as were many readers. This was the love of his life – and she had died in an alien invasion. To cope with his grief and keep her memory alive, he took on the codename of Wasp.

That must have been confusing for superheroes who knew the previous, female Wasp, but we guess Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Goliath/Yellowjacket must have been pretty distraught when he did this. It was a rather romantic gesture, though.

Then they found out that the original female Wasp was alive, went to rescue her, and things went back to status quo (sort of, he’s still toggling between those superhero names).


5. Scientist Supreme

The Scientist Supreme is not a type of pizza. Credit: Comic Vine

The Scientist Supreme is not a type of pizza. Credit: Comic Vine

You know how Doctor Strange is heralded as Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, because… he’s the greatest wizard on the planet? It turns out that there’s a Scientist Supreme too – in this case, it means the person who is the greatest science whiz on the planet.

(If you’re a comics fan, you’ll also recognise the “Scientist Supreme” as the leader of the villainous organisation known as AIM, but we’re talking about a different Scientist Supreme here, and we’re sure Eternity was, too.)

When Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Goliath/Yellowjacket/Wasp faced the personification of the universe, known as Eternity, he was dubbed Earth’s Scientist Supreme. This was slightly strange given that Mr Fantastic and Doctor Doom were generally considered to be the smartest beings on the planet… but then, Eternity’s claim was later cast into doubt (it’s a long and complicated story involving Loki).

But in any case, having the personification of the universe call you the smartest person on Earth is a pretty big ego boost, isn’t it?


6. Ultron

Ant-Man as Ultron. Does this mean he can still shrink? Credit: io9

Ant-Man as Ultron. Does this mean he can still shrink? Credit: io9

So Ultron, the psychotic machine that periodically pops up to menace the Avengers, has some sort of… father issues with his creator, Ant-Man.

Those issues only got worse after an accident fused Ultron and Ant-Man together (Ant-Man does seem to keep getting into these sorts of accidents, doesn’t he?) and turned them into… we’d call it/them a cyborg, really. Don’t we already have many of those around (like Cable)?

So yeah, he’d be Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Yellowjacket/Goliath/Wasp/Scientist Supreme/Ultron.

Ant-Man and the Wasp. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Ant-Man and the Wasp. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Fortunately, Ant-Man stays as Ant-Man in Ant-Man and the Wasp (try saying that three times fast), without any wacky name-changing shenanigans! Remember how Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) was blatantly absent in Avengers: Infinity War, with only a throwaway line explaining his fate? In Ant-Man and the Wasp, we get to see exactly what happened to Ant-Man after Captain America: Civil War and the sort of adventures he got up to.

He’s also got a partner this time around – Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), who also has the same size-changing powers as him, plus wings and blasters. Together, they have to unravel a decades-long mystery, stop some stereotypical villains, and do the unthinkable – travel to the Quantum Realm!

Will Ant-Man and the Wasp survive their first movie together? Uh, the answer may not be quite what you expect…


Credits: Comic Vine, Writeups, Wikipedia, Marvel Masterworks Resource Page, The Fwoosh, Marvel, io9, Golden Village Cinemas

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