Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes
“To Steal an Ant-Man,” Season 2, Episode 5, 2012
Earth’s Mightiest Heroes was great for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the way it adapted classic stories. Among the best examples is this animated take on 1979’s Marvel Premiere #47, in which Scott Lang assumes the Ant-Man identity from Hank Pym.
The Ant-Man movie goes back to this same adaptation well, with more than a few changes and a wider audience, to be sure, but EMH did it first and best. There’s a great montage in which Lang shrinks for the first time and discovers what Pym’s tech can do, narrated over by Pym, that serves as an example of how exposition can work without feeling forced.
As EMH episodes go, it’s a quieter, self-contained one. Such episodes became more common in Season 2, after the first year rolled out everyone from Loki to Kang to Ultron. Pym, racked with guilt over having created a killer robot dedicated to wiping out all humans, has given up superheroing and is in the process of moving out of the Avengers’ mansion.
While packing, he catches a news report showing someone using his shrinking technology to commit bank robberies: Lang. Rather than go to the Avengers, given his current feelings about the team, he hires Marvel’s best best friends, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, to track down the culprit. No disrespect to Disney XD’s Ultimate Spider-Man, but I much prefer seeing the animated adult Cage and Fist banter over their teenage USM counterparts.
When Lang is uncovered by the Heroes for Hire, he launches into the familiar story about how he’s forced to steal to save his daughter, Cassie. In the end, Pym, Lang, Cage and Fist take down Darren Cross – more generic crime boss than generic corrupt industrialist in this iteration – and his goons, and Pym lets Lang keep the Ant-Man gear, providing the alibi that Lang was on an undercover operation for the Avengers.
And Cage gets off the last line: “Yo, Pym, where should I send our bill?” It’s no “Where’s my money, honey?” but it works in a pinch.