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You Decide ’09 – What is Your Favorite Hank Pym Identity?

You know the bit – each day in October I’ll give you folks a poll question. Each poll will last four days. The results will be posted every Tuesday leading up to (and ending with) Election Day on the first Tuesday in November. Here is the master list of all questions asked so far!

Enjoy!

82 Comments

Probably the only vote for Dr. Pym.

Yeah, it wasn’t really any better or worse than his other identities, but it did make him stand out a little from the other characters in West Coast Avengers.

This is one of those votes where you go with whatever version you grew up with. Hank Pym will always be Yellowjacket to me as that’s how I first encountered him in 1981. Plus, I always loved the costume more than those he wore in his other identities.

Along these lines, Bill Foster was the definitive Giant-Man. Goliath? Clint Barton’s late 60’s persona. And Janet Van Dyne can ONLY be the one, true Wasp.

I, too, voted for Doctor Pym. Basically, after years of being other people, he’s finally comfortable being himself for the first time.
As far as the others go, I’ve always though the only really decent one was Ant-Man.

Still think that he should hange his name to Wasp-Man – in tribute to the late, great, Keith Moon.

Dr. Pym, science-adventurer. Totally better than any of the other choices.

And is it just me, or is Hank’s Wasp outfit totally fugly?

I’m partial to Dr. Pym. He kicked arse on the recent Beyond limited series (which I think I was the only one who read it…).

I love Dan Slott, but don’t think that making Pym the Wasp was his best idea. He has got an ugly costume (OK, it can be changed) and a name and looks that make him seem like a champion of the white supremacists…

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Dr. Pym

As Pedro said, he kicked ass in Beyond! plus some reall nice appearences in the later part of Busiek’s Avengers.

antmans gonna run away with this

Giantman is my favorite. I don’t like the modified Antman version of the costume, but I’m a big fan of the Heroes Return Avengers costume. I like him best when changes between Giantman and Antman.

I hate the Yellowjacket costume. I get that Thomas was trying to make him more “cool” but its actually pretty ugly and unbalanced. Also the logo is a mess.

Also (because I feel like hearing myself talk today) the new Wasp costume is a bad costume. The reason is because it isn’t a costume. Its a high school band outfit with no real flair or symbolism. He looks out of place next to Vision and USAgent in Might Avengers.

I should mention that Henry Pym’s very first appearance on “The man on the ant-hill” was as Dr. Pym. Ant-Man came much later, I think on his third appearance.

So Dr. Pym isn’t just his best identity, it’s also the original!

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Yellowjacket, because I like the costume.

Dr. Pym, science-adventurer.

I so want to read a comic by Warren Ellis with this title.

Totally better than any of the other choices.

Word.

I would go as far as to say that Yellowjacket’s stupid ‘shoulder fins’ spoilt the Avengers for me for years. They must seriously reduce his peripheral vision and I could never understand why the rest of the Avengers had never pointed this out to him unless they were also equally stupid. Ant man/Giant man are both pretty cool identities: they have a 50s sci-fi feel.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

October 14, 2009 at 6:20 am

Dr. Pym, for all the reasons stated above.

given that the character one claim to fame is as a wife beater this topic proably will not get the real high numbers as the rest of the topics so far up high but not much since hank is really down in the b list range

I tried to pick a period of Hank’s life when he wasn’t miserable or unstable…so I have to go all the way back to Giant-Man.

Dr. Pym, for all the reasons stated above.

Yup! Me too!

Agreed on Dr. Pym

I voted for Dr. Pym too. Why? Because growing and shrinking heroes are a dime a dozen. They’re never very interesting, which is why their comics haven’t done well.

In contrast, Pym was somewhat original as an unmasked adventurer who used his Pym particles to shrink other things. And he looked decent in his red jumpsuit.

I think the Giant-Man/Goliath/Ant-Man/Yellowjacket identities work okay when minor supporting characters use them. But wearing a mask seems beneath an eminent scientist like Pym.

Personally I think his Wasp costume is the best one he’s ever had. It looks more like something a scientist would wear then say the Yellowjacket or Goliath costumes.

I voted for the Wasp identity, though the more I think about it I think the Dr. Pym identity was his best. I like the direction the Wasp identity is taking Pym, and highlighting him both as a scientist and mourning husband as well highlighting that no matter how great he is, he’s also a flawed individual. But it’s not hard to deny that the Pym as just Dr. Pym has some great appeal as well, as he was able to finally put some of his demons to res.

Chad, Pym also has another claim to fame — he founded the Avengers. That’s a pretty good one. The fact that the current generation of writers grew up during the Fall of Yellowjacket story and have therefore decided to ignore every bit of character work done with him since doesn’t negate everything else the character has done.

I also voted for Dr. Pym and like everyone else, I assumed when I did that I would be the only vote. I don’t know if Dr. Pym supporters are just being more vocal with their replies or what, but it’s good to see support for the science adventurer.

Hooray, I’m the only person who seems to like the Wasp costume! I dunno, I just think the goggles are neat. Science heroes should have neat goggles.

I would have voted for just straight-up Dr. Pym (if only because in every other iteration, he seems to be whiny, ineffectual, or just a huge asshole – looking at you, Yellowjacket!), but…the dude wore a maroon speed-suit. I get that it’s functional, but, c’mon, guy.

Dr. Pym. I have good memories of him in his red jump suit, pulling quinjets out of his pockets with pym particles. I actually just re-read the infamous wife beater issue (#213 I think), and I can never like Yellow Jacket again, even though that is the best costume

That’s the other problem I have with Yellowjacket – to the extent that I find it baffling he’d ever wear it again.

I don’t care if you’re feeling more confident, HANK, it has some BAD CONNOTATIONS.

One of my favorite ALL TIME 12 month runs of any comic ever is Avengers v1 #50-#62. ALL TIME. Roy Thomas, John Buscema, George Klein, retelling of Cap’s origin with Cap there to witness it, Masters of Evil with Ultron As the Crimson Cowl, original X-men, introducing the Vision, “Even an Android Can Cry”, Black Panther, Grim Reeper, Ymir And Surtur, masked Dr. Strange, Black Knight, all highlighted the introduction of the man who killed Goliath….. His name is Yellowjacket! (an his subsequent marriage “to Miss Janet Van Dyne on Tuesday, the twenty-first of November at four o’clock in the afternoon, at the Avengers Mansion,….”Till Death Do us Part!”) Yellowjacket gets my vote.

Five-year-old me voted for Giant-Man, with the blue pointy helmet. 5YO me really liked Giant-Man back then.

I knew this would be one of the You Decide choices. Pretty much the only one I could think of ahead of time.

I voted Dr Pym. He was just by far the most interesting and original identity. Yellowjacket is a close 2nd for me.

Dr. Pym, Medicine Woman, gets my vote.

I knew him first as Dr. Pym, and none of the other identities has really trumped it for me, so Dr. Pym it is.

You’ve been Pymp-slapped.

I prefer “porn-star Pym”. Why didn’t you include that choice?

It was down to Ant-Man or Giant-Man, and I went with the latter. Scott Lang was a cooler Ant-Man.

I voted for Dr. Pym as well, actually. In some weird way, with writers like Ellis, Fraction and Morrison playing up the whole “science hero/adventurer” thing, he was kind of ahead of his time.

I grew up with Yellowjacket, and I always liked the costume, especially when his wings fueled his stingers with Kirby dots (as in the first Taskmaster story). So I voted for him (I’m generally voting for these with gut responses quick off the draw…)

But I really quite like all his identities except Wasp, which I’ve never read. Even his Ant-Man was very cool when he’d return to that identity (as when he went into the Vision’s body, or when Ultron controlled him and he kicked the Avengers butts in issue 161, that was a fun Perez issue…)

Dr. Pym for me. His first identity, and still the best after all those years. It was the spandex that rotted Pym’s mind, I tellya! Give me the red jumpsuit any day of the week.

Since this is FAVORITE identity and not “best” or “more logical” I’m going with Yellowjacket. It looks cool, had better powers and was more intriguing with all his strange mental problems.

And seriously, what is it with Pym’s identities always being stolen by other characters? Once or twice maybe, but each and every one? (Even Dr. Pym, if you count the Skrull impostor.) It’s even less funny than Peter Parker always being miserable. Sheesh.

I went with Wasp. I like how his costume looks (so sleek and I have to agree with Jeff Holland about his high-tech visor of sorts) and how the identity mixed his abilities–his all-in-one “toolbot” is reminiscent of how he grew and shrank his arsenal as Dr. Pym, and he (so far) doesn’t primarily rely on his growing abilities the way he did during the stories that I’ve read with him as his other heroic abilities.

Need an ‘anything but Wasp’ option. Really.

He’s best as just plain Hank Pym. He was the most versatile that way. And it never made much sense for a guy whose identity has been public at least since the late sixties to always wear masks. As far as I can remember this was his only maskless identity, and the weird thing is it took Esperita to convince him that he could be a super-hero without being a traditional-type super-hero. Too bad she wasn’t around to tell him not to take the Wasp identity.
I think the fact that he went back to growing huge (which he’d long claimed was too hard on his health) when he returned to the East Coasters was just his inferiority complex taking over again.

I guess the most important thing is no matter which identity he uses, he’s always going to be at least a little screwed-up.

So who is that Living Eraser he fought as Giant-Man on the cover shown above? That looks pretty cool. I guess comic-book characters must be extremely vulnerable to someone like that.

Ant-Man. I can’t say no to that helmet.

But with his most recent incarnation, he has some pretty sweet goggles.

Admittedly, I have a fetish for headwear.

Ant-Man. Avengers #93. ‘Nuff said.

Dr. Pym!
For all of the above reasons!

Casey: Avengers #93, the one where Ant-Man pulls a “Fantastic Voyage” on The Vision, rendered in gorgeous Neal Adams art? I love that issue. Highlight of the Kree-Skrull war.

Yellowjacket. As was mention above, you go with what you knew first. I can certainly see where Dr. Pym is better from a story-telling angle, but that Yellowjacket costume was a favorite for me to draw as a kid.

The first stories I read that included him with any regularity were the WEST COAST AVENGERS issues where he ran around in the red jumpsuit. For nostalgia alone, I went with the Dr. Pym identity. I liked that he didn’t change size but could alter the size of anything he touched. He always stood out from the rest of the team. He was, and never has a hope of being, a favorite of mine but it was during this time that I liked him best (maybe because I had yet to learn what a ‘bag he was).

@Danny Djeljosevic: that’s the one!

Dr. Pym was a good idea executed horribly. I never cared for the Yellowjacket look, and the whole backstory of the costume and the wedding is creepy. I thought it was great when Ant Man became Giant Man, but I never understood why he didn’t shrink as well as grow.

My favorite hands down is Goliath, especially when he was stuck at 12 feet tall.

I’m pretty certain Hank did shrink as well as grow when he was Giant-Man. At least he did both in Tales To Astonish #58, which is the only story I’ve read from his first time as Giant-Man. (And it’s the only comic I own which is older than I am.) That was also the first issue in which he used the cybernetic helmet to control his size, rather than gas or pills.

By ‘his first time as Giant-Man’, I meant the first period in which he used that name. I didn’t mean it was his very first time.

Hey! It took forever to find another person who voted Goliath. i started reading Avengers with the issues the Pym took out Egghead & the Masters of Evil singlehandedly while being framed for breaking out of jail. This was after his 1st four identities. So, i really have always liked the character just being him [which is what happened after those issues].
Why did i vote Goliath then? cause Ant-man was always so wimpy, Giant-man is stupid name, Yellowjacket has better powers but is a total ass, and i haven’t read any Marvel in so long i can’t comment on his being the Wasp [although i think it sounds stupid]. So, if you’re going to be a giant, at least have the creativity to call yourself Goliath! plus i like that costume.
DFTBA

I’ve not read much WCA, so while I’ve heard good things about Dr. Pym I had to vote The Wasp. As far as I’ve read, he’s never been as cool as he has the past few issues of MA.

Daniel O' Dreams

October 14, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Hmmm. Favorite costume: Yellowjacket impractical fins and all. Favorite concept: Dr. Pym (yeah he was the one when I really getting into comics about 10-11 years old).
I/m going with Pym by a slim margin.

I don’t really care about the character, so I went with my favorite costume. And that would be Goliath.

Ant-Man gets my vote, but I do love me some Dr. Pym. It was a logical evolution of the character.

I remember plenty of Yellowjacket, but the Doctor Pym thing just took the powers down a whole different route that. when I first saw it, had me saying “Nice!”

No character needs to have two or more disparate sets of super-powers. You can’t be the Hulk while also being from planet Krypton and then later getting a bullshitium skeleton with claws. Instead of trying to attach different gimmicks to the same character just create a new character.

I think Ant-Man sums up his personality best. He’s a little guy, hanging around with giants.

I like Yellowjacket. It reflects his insect powers, but he could also grow in it (unlike his time as Ant-Man).

I really like the idea of him as the Wasp, but I want Jan back too much for it to be permanent.

I don’t understand why anyone thinks the new Wasp outfit looks worse than Pym’s older suits. Nostalgia can make anything look good apparently.

Without a shadow of doubt… Ant-Man. He has always been one of my favourite Marvel characters period.

I went with Yellowjacket. Not that I endorse wife-beating but it’s my favorite (ie- I grew up with it. Love the mask, for some reason.) Best EXECUTION of the idea of shrinkin’ & growin’ is Dr. Pym. But yelling “PYM!” during a battle makes you sound like you want a cookie or some sweet sherry or something.

Never understood why they made him a wife-beater…

I went with the Dr. choice.

Never understood why a guy that gave one (1), ONE slap on his wife while suffering from a mental breakdown (during which he also released a killer robot on his closest friends and associates, no less, a FAR more serious crime by any standard), for which he repeatedly apologised (darn it, he even served time in jail), and never laid a finger on his wife again during the long period when they were together again suddenly becomes a “wife-beater”.

I blame Mark Millar.

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Ant-Man is the only ID he’s had that was really “heroic” in any meaningful sense. All of the others were the result of some screwed up attempt on Pym’s part to cope with his emotional baggage.

Once again, Pedro Bouca makes some great points. I didn’t start reading Avengers regularly until after Hank slapped Jan, but even though it was a much more recent event then, it wasn’t constantly talked about. In fact, I remember it only being mentioned once in the ’80s. But nowadays it seems to be all that a lot of people know about the character.
Like Pedro said, he was suffering from a very severe mental breakdown at the time (and it wasn’t his first). He was extremely paranoid, and fairly delusional. He actually insisted that the other Avengers were persecuting him because Captain America had the hots for a villain they’d just fought and that he was the only one who could see the real danger she presented. Pym was psychotic at that time, and sending a killer robot after his friends so that he could destroy it and look good was an insane plan even by comic-book standards. He assaulted ALL the Avengers then, not just Jan.

And she did divorce him immediately afterwards, which some people seem to have forgotten.

I don’t know whether Mark Millar is to blame or not. All I’ve read by him are a few Fantastic Four issues, which I hated. What did he write to besmirch Hank so severely?

Giant-Man for sure – it’s where all his powers came together. The trapped at 10 feet (or whatever) Goliath was interesting, and so was the “I can only shrink” Goliath where he, Wasp and Hawkeye were the only Avengers – this before Black Panther and Vision came in.

But Giant-Man was great. And I echo my regrets about how some writers (Millar) decide to focus on a one-panel hypnotised Hank to decide the guy’s entire history. What a copout.

Mary, the Ultimates version of Henry Pym, arguably more on the public’s eye than regular Hank Pym on the last few years, IS an unrepetent wife-beater (more like wife-murderer really) and a scumbag. As is wanton to Millar, he turned the bad sides of the classic Avengers in the dominant traits of their personalities and Henry Pym got the worst of it.

The regular Henry Pym will probably never live down his Ultimate version until he can get a significant role on a series that actually outsells his Ultimates appearances. Sadly not very likely.

Maybe the eventual Avengers movie can “redeem” him. Cinema did wonders for the public perception of Iron Man (thankfully), or we would have been saddled with the evil, moustache twirling Civil War characterization (by Mark Millar, again).

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

agree with everything Pedro is saying. once saw my buddy smack his daughter when she tried to kick her grandmother and he is in no way a child-abuser.
However I’d be willing to bet my entire comic collection that any Avengers movie will follow the Ultimate “Hank as a douche bag” theme.

I guess I made a good decision in never reading any Ultimate titles. I did watch that first Ultimate Avengers DVD, though, and I was really annoyed by how they changed all the characters. (I was especially annoyed by Bucky being alive. That was before I found out they resurrected him in the regular Marvel.)

Whenever one character has a very non-super hero outfit and he is hanging out with charcters in super-hero outfits, he is the one that always looks like the odd man out to me.

Like in Might Avengers, how Cho always looks strange.

ultimate marvel. blegh… just blegh
DFTBA

Mary,

The Ultimate Avengers cartoon is Ultimates without the douchebaggery (is that even a word?). Story is pretty much the same, but the characters were cleaned up. The original comics are much worse!

Azjohnson,

The aforementioned Ultimate Avengers cartoon is a good example why I think Marvel won’t allow Henry Pym to go into full arsehole mode in the Avengers movie. They probably won’t be willing to “burn out” a character (potentially a multi-billion property, just look at Iron Man!) just for cheap shock value.

On comics (and not even regular universe ones), that’s OK, but on a mass media project with a potential audience of millions? Forget it!

At most Pym will be an unsympathethic character like X-Men movie Cyclops, not the potentially murderous bastard from Ultimates.

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

It’s gotta be Dr. Pym.

And I want to point out that it’s NOT a jumpsuit… it’s obviously a speed-suit.

A tough one, but I’m going with Dr. Pym as well. I always got the sense that, when Pym put on tights, he was trying too hard. He’s a brilliant scientist, right? So let him be that. Also, I freakin’ loved West Coast Avengers.

As I see it:

Ant-man is Scott Lang
Goliath is Bill Foster
Wasp is obviously Janet (thank you very much Millar and Bendis)
Yellowjackett is insane (even if he has the best costume)

So it’s a toss between Giant-man and Dr. Pym, and since the latter is in the very first comic i’ve read, I voted for Dr. Pym (who totally kicked ass in Beyond).

Just found this poll! Seems like there’s a lotta love for the WCA version o’ Hank, but I gotta go with Goliath- I loved the second version of that costume ( red with blue trim, and the antennae goggles-classic!) And, as mentioned above, that was one o’ the best runs on the original series ( Thomas/Buscema).

I also went with Dr. Pym. Not only do I think it is the best focus of his personality, but it was the most unique use of his powers. There are a lot of super heroes and villans, both Marvel and DC, who grow or shrink. But, how many grow and shrink other things?

Theno

I liked Yellowjacket in the 1970s and early 1980s.

He was an unique character, a mentally unstable, fallen superhero in a time where such a thing was still new. His insecurity and personal failings gave the character a “hook” that he didn’t have before.

Yellowjacket. Hands down. One of the most bad-ass costumes EVER imo. His other identities (Ant-Man, GIant-Man, Goliath) were cool but I think for the majority of us – when we think Pym – we think YJ. I remember reading the “Court Martial of YJ” issue as a kid & it really made an impression on me.

As far as ‘Dr.Pym the scientific adventurer’ goes – I don’t really consider that an identity as he was just being himself. That was a lame idea anyway – should’a come back as YJ in all those WCA issues. As far as taking on the Wasp persona – another bad idea. Who’s calling these plays? I’m in my 30’s & recently got back into collecting comics (mostly Bronze Age) partly due to nostalgia & partly as an investment. Also, I just plain dig reading the stories. Got my hands on YJ’s 1st appearance Avengers #59! Sweet. Interesting to read these issues now with an adult perspective. I don’t read any of the current crap – I’m old school.

I remember reading the “Court Martial of YJ” issue as a kid & it really made an impression on me. Guess YJ is my fave Avenger because he’s human & has faults. I never bought into the whole “wife beater” crap. I seem to remember Jan dishing it out to Hank as good as she got it in issues after that. Plus, when one persona just wasn’t doing it for him anymore he’d ditch it for a new costume/powers. How cool is that? Looking fwd to Ant-Man representing in the new Avengers movie!

Dr. Pym. Because the character has evolved beyond any costumed identities. We know him as Hank Pym now, it’s what he’s called. And as Pym he can be involved in any types of stories and uses any of his tech the way he wants. It doesn’t have to be just growing big or becoming small or controling insects, he can do any of these things when the need arise.

Now I used to love Yellow Jacket. Great costume. But that was the 70s(and it seems like some creators *caugh* Goeff Johns *caugh* Kurt Busiek(Warbird/Ms. Marvel also *caugh* have forgotten that).

And calling himself Wasp is gay.

In these day he should be called only “PYM”. In a way it’s neat sounding and it’s like a codename.

Pym is my favorite so it’s too hard to pick one identity. Antman and Giantman were awesome. Goliath O.K. Yellowjacket was crazy which makes him awesome. Dr Pym was kinda depressing at times. Wasp is my favorite costume but I don’t like Janet so calling himself Wasp is odd.

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