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To Steal An Ant-Man

Season Two, Episode 31

 

Director(s) Boyd Kirkland
Writer(s)

Brandon Auman

Summary  Inside a bank vault in the city, piles of money are shrinking, apparently taken by Ant-Man.

Meanwhile, at the Avengers Mansion, the Wasp greets Hank Pym's arrival with joy; she thinks he's come back. Unfortunately for her, Hank has only come back to finish cleaning out his lab, shrinking the component sizes to ant-sized. Wasp keeps trying to talk him into staying, but Pym is distracted by the news report about the bank robbery. Pym refuses to stay, and walks out on the Wasp.

Returning to his civilian lab at Greyburn College, Pym finds that his Ant-Man equipment is gone. Pym calls the Wasp, who unloads on Pym before he can ask for assistance. Pym apologizes to her and breaks the comm connection.

Having seen their ad in the newspaper, Pym hires Luke Cage and Iron Fist, the Heroes for Hire. As Pym explains to them what happened, we see the theif, Scott Lang, suiting up in his stolen Ant-Man gear. We get to experience Lang's first experience as Ant-Man.

Pym also tells us about the Pym Discs, which were in development before Ultron exceeded his programming and tried to destroy the world. They are designed to shrink whatever they're attached to - but they were incomplete in that the Pym Discs haven't been perfected yet; they keep shrinking whatever to which they're attached into the microverse.

Another night, another bank heist for Scott Lang, using his perloined equipment. He's confronted and chased by a guard dog (and guard), and grows to human height. He shrinks again as the guard fires.

Iron Man and Luke Cage are discussing matters opposite the bank, which is apparently owned and run as a front by Hydra.

In his lab, Pym is throwing a temper tantrum, frustrated by his broken experiment, while a yellowjacket insect bristles in the background.

Cage and Iron Fist are in the alley where Lang fought the guard,approaching two would-be toughs; a huge mountain of a fellow and a martial artist. Cage and Iron Fist make quick work of them. They are just in time to confront Lang on flying ant-back. Iron Fist finds it hard to fight an Ant-sized opponent. Cage captures him, but Lang escapes by growing to full size, then shrinking again. Lang escapes, having regained his loot from the alley. Cage and Iron Fist get a call from Pym, who has finished his Pym Particle detector, allowing them to track Lang.

Lang has returned to his hotel room, where Cage, Iron Fist, and Pym confront him. Lang explains that his daughter Cassie has been taken by Crossfire, who is holding her for ransom until Lang can pay her ransom. Lang used to be an engineer before he was recruited by organized crime, unfortunately he was caught, and once he was out of prison could only find a job as a maintence man for the college. Lang takes his cash and escapes, heading to Crossfire to make the payoff.

At the payoff, Lang is escorted into Cross' office by a gang of criminals. Surprised at seeing Lang in his stolen Ant-Man uniform, Crossfire tells Lang that the deal has changed; Lang is working for Crossfire again. Pym, cage, and Iron Fist enter the scene, with Pym firing a Pym Disc at Cassie, who begins to shrink. Panicing, Lang shrinks to follow her, hoping to be able to rescue her.

Cage and Iron Fist fight the super-powered criminals while Lang makes sure Cassie is safe; Pym had perfected the Pym Discs to stop the indefinite shrinking. Pym deals with Crossfire, swarming ants all over him. Pym gives Lang the Ant-Man gear, making him the new Ant-Man, and Iron Fist asks him if he wants to join Heroes For Hire, while Cage yells after Pym "Where do we sent our bill?"

Commentary

  Another excellent episode, although it reminded me of the complaint that some have voiced about the latest issue of BENDIS' New Avengers, which had no Avengers in it... yeah, I know, it had Wasp, even if Pym is no longer an Avenger, technically speaking. Of course, any time they want to give us a break and put in another Heroes for Hire appearance, with a proper Luke Cage and an Iron Fist who isn't a California Surfer Dude self-parody, I'm just as happy.

The Guard outside the bank is named Micheline, in homage to the writer David Micheline presumably.

I don't like Crossfire's look; he's little more than a civilian in this particular episode. I like Crossfire as a super-villain, not as a crime boss.

I like that Hank passed the costume officially to Scott Lang at the end of the episode, making him the new Ant-Man.

Crossfire's little gang of thugs are a cross-section of Luke Cage's old sparring partners. We need more Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Or have I said that already? 

Some of the Luke Cage villains have been tenatively identified:

  •   Mountain Man Marko (The giant in the alley with the "M" scarring)?S
  • Steeplejack (The fellow with the rivit gun)?
  •  Spear (The fellow with the spears and spear-gun)
  • Gideon Mace (The fellow with the mace-hand)
  • Mr. Death (The fellow with the electrical weapons)
  • "Big Ben" Donovan (The big guy in the suit)

"Dad, can we do that again?" - Cassie Lang -- Little does she know...

Notes