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Henry Pym

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Hank Pym and his alter egos with Ultron in the background.
Full name = Henry Jonathan "Hank" Pym
Species = Human (empowered)
Publisher = Marvel Comics
Debut = Tales to Astonish #27 (January 1962)
Creators = Stan Lee
Larry Lieber
Jack Kirby
Alliances = Avengers
West Coast Avengers
Mighty Avengers
Secret Defenders
Avengers Academy
Secret Avengers
Avengers A.I.
Aliases = Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, Wasp, Scientist Supreme
Partners = Wasp
Powers =
* Genius-level intellect
* Size-shifting from nearly microscopic to ~100 feet gigantic (both at extremes)
* Ability to transfer his size-shifting ability to other beings and objects
* Bio-Energy Projection, also known as a Bio-Sting (particularly during his periods as Ant-Man & Yellowjacket)
* Flight via grafted wings during his period as Yellowjacket
* Telepathic communication with ants via cybernetic helmet as Ant-Man
* Superhuman strength, stamina and mass in giant form as Giant-Man, Goliath and Yellowjacket

Dr. Henry "Hank" Pym is a fictional character that appears in publications by Marvel Comics. Created by editor and plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber and penciler Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in Tales to Astonish #27 (Jan. 1962). Pym's character, a scientist that debuted in a standalone science-fiction anthology story, returned several issues later as the superhero Ant-Man, with the power to shrink to the size of an insect. Pym is eventually given a crime-fighting partner, Janet van Dyne (Wasp) and goes on to assume other superhero identities, including the size-changing Giant-Man and Goliath; the insect-themed Yellowjacket; and briefly the Wasp.

Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, the character of Henry Pym has featured in other Marvel-endorsed products such as animated films; arcade and video games; television series and merchandise such as action figures and trading cards. Henry Pym is a founding member of the superhero team the Avengers.


Publication history

Hank Pym debuted in a seven-page solo cover story titled "The Man in the Ant Hill" (about a character who tests shrinking technology on himself) in the science fiction/fantasy anthology Tales to Astonish #27 (cover date January 1962). The creative team was editor-plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, penciler Jack Kirby, and inker Dick Ayers, with Lee stating in 2008: "I did one comic book called 'The Man in the Ant Hill' about a guy who shrunk down and there were ants or bees chasing him. That sold so well that I thought making him into a superhero might be fun".

As a result, Pym was revived eight issues later as "Ant-Man", a costumed superhero who starred in the 13-page, three-chapter story "Return of the Ant-Man/An Army of Ants/The Ant-Man’s Revenge" in Tales to Astonish #35 (September 1962). The character's adventures became an ongoing feature in the title, with issue #44 (June 1963) featured the debut of Pym's socialite girlfriend and laboratory assistant, Janet van Dyne. Van Dyne adopted the identity of superheroine the Wasp and co-starred in Pym's subsequent appearances in the Tales to Astonish title. The Wasp also on occasion acted as a framing-sequence host for backup stories in the title. In September 1963, Lee and Kirby created the superhero title Avengers, and Ant-Man and the Wasp were established in issue #1 as founding members of the team.

Decades later, Lee theorized as to why "Ant-Man never became one of our top sellers or had his own book," saying,

I loved Ant-Man, but the stories were never really successful. In order for Ant-Man to be successful, he had to be drawn this small next to big things and you would be getting pictures that were visually interesting. The artists who drew him, no matter how much I kept reminding them, they kept forgetting that fact. They would draw him standing on a tabletop and they would draw a heroic-looking guy. I would say, 'Draw a matchbook cover next to him, so we see the difference in size.' But they kept forgetting. So when you would look at the panels, you thought you were looking at a normal guy wearing an underwear costume like all of them. It didn't have the interest.

Pym began what would be a constant shifting of superhero identities in Tales to Astonish, becoming the 12-foot-tall Giant-Man in issue #49 (November 1963). Pym and van Dyne continued to costar in the title until issue #69 (July 1965), while simultaneously appearing in The Avengers until issue #15 (April 1965), after which the couple temporarily left the team.

Pym rejoined the Avengers and adopted the new identity Goliath in Avengers #28 (May 1966). Gradually falling to mental duress, he adopted a fourth superhero identity, Yellowjacket, in issue #59 (December 1968). Pym reappeared as Ant-Man in Avengers #93 (November 1971) and for issues #4 - 10 starred in the lead story of the first volume of Marvel Feature (July 1972 - July 1973). Temporarily abandoning a costumed persona, Pym joined the West Coast Avengers as a scientist and inventor in West Coast Avengers vol. 2, #21 (June 1987). The character returned to the Avengers as the superhero Giant-Man in The Avengers vol. 3, #1 (February 1998). When the team disbanded after a series of tragedies, Pym, using the Yellowjacket persona again, took a leave of absence beginning with vol. 3, #85 (September 2004).

Following the death of the Wasp, whom he had married and divorced by this time, a grieving Pym took on yet another superhero identity as the new Wasp, in tribute to her, in the one-shot publication Secret Invasion: Requiem (January 2009). Giant-Man appeared as a supporting character in Avengers Academy from issue #1 (Aug 2010) through its final issue #39 (Jan 2013). Pym returned as the Wasp in the mini-series Ant-Man & The Wasp (Jan. 2011).

Henry Pym appeared as a regular character in the 2010-2013 Secret Avengers series, from issue #22 (April 2012) through its final issue #37 (March 2013).

Fictional character biography


Biochemist Henry Pym, discovering an unusual set of subatomic particles he labels "Pym particles", creates a size-altering formula and tests it on himself. Reduced to the size of an insect, Pym has a dangerous encounter with ants in a nearby anthill. Shortly afterward, he constructs a cybernetic helmet that allows him to communicate with and control ants. Pym designs a costume and reinvents himself as the superhero Ant-Man, and defeats several KGB agents attempting to steal the formula for an anti-radiation gas.

Pym debuts as Ant-Man on the cover of Tales To Astonish #35 (Sept. 1962). Art by Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers.

After several adventures, Pym is contacted by Dr. Vernon Van Dyne, who asks for aid in contacting alien life. Pym refuses, but is attracted to Vernon’s socialite daughter, Janet. Vernon Van Dyne is subsequently killed by an alien criminal who teleports himself to Earth, and Janet asks for Pym's help in avenging his death. Pym reveals his secret identity to Janet, and uses Pym particles to graft wasp wings beneath her shoulders, which appear when she shrinks. Janet assumes the alias of the Wasp, and together they find and defeat her father's killer. The pair feature in the first issue of the title Avengers, becoming founding members of the superhero team. Pym eventually adopts his first alternate identity as the 12-foot-tall Giant-Man and with the Wasp continues to star in the feature "Giant-Man", battling foes such as the Living Eraser; the Human Top, and the Porcupine until issue #69 being replaced by Namor the Sub-Mariner the following issue. The pair also develop a romantic relationship during their final appearances in the title.

Accidentally involved in a plan by the Asgardian god Loki to draw out his sibling Thor, Ant-Man and the Wasp join the superhero team the Avengers, the Wasp unintentionally thinks up the name of the Avengers, with Pym becoming Giant-Man after the first mission. It is revealed in flashback that Pym adopted the identity of Giant-Man out of feelings of inadequacy when compared to team mates Iron Man and Thor. After a final encounter with the Masters of Evil, the pair decide to take a leave of absence.

Pym eventually rejoins the Avengers, adopting the new identity of Goliath. A mishap traps the character in giant form for several issues, and affects his self-esteem. Pym also creates a robot called Ultron that accidentally achieves sentience and becomes one of the Avengers' greatest foes. During a botched experiment Pym inhales chemicals that induce schizophrenia, and suffering from a personality crisis, reappears at Avengers Mansion as the cocky "Yellowjacket", claiming to have disposed of Pym. Only the Wasp realizes that it is Pym and takes advantage of his offer of marriage, with Pym eventually recovering from the chemicals during a battle with the Circus of Crime at the wedding.


Pym appears as Giant-Man on the cover of Tales to Astonish #56 (June 1964). Art by Jack Kirby and Chic Stone.

After several adventures with the Avengers, including another encounter with Ultron, the pair take a leave of absence. The heroes encounter Pym at the beginning of the Kree-Skrull War, discovering that the character has been reverted into a caveman by the alien Kree. Pym is restored to normal, and returns briefly to repair the android Avenger the Vision. For a time Pym retains his Ant-Man persona and has a series of solo adventures.

Henry Pym debuts as Goliath. From The Avengers #28 (May 1966). Art by Jack Kirby

After aiding fellow superhero team the Defenders as Yellowjacket, Pym returns to the Avengers. Pym is eventually captured by an upgraded Ultron, who brainwashes his creator, causing the character to regress back to his original Ant-Man costume and personality. As Ant-Man Pym arrives at Avengers Mansion, thinking it to be the very first meeting of the team. Seeing several unfamiliar members, Pym attacks the team until stopped by the Wasp. The other Avengers find Ultron and force him to retreat by threatening to destroy his robotic creation, Jocasta. After Ultron's brainwashing is reversed, Pym re-joins the Avengers as Yellowjacket, and together they destroy Ultron. Pym is forced to briefly leave the team when the roster is restructured by government liaison Henry Peter Gyrich.


Returning 14 issues later, Pym participates in several missions until, after demonstrating hostile behavior towards Janet, he attacks a foe from behind once the opponent had ceased fighting. Captain America suspends Yellowjacket from Avengers duty pending the verdict of a court-martial. Pym suffers a complete mental breakdown and concocts a plan to salvage his credibility by building a robot (named Salvation-1) and programming it to launch an attack on the Avengers at his court-martial. Planning to exploit the robot’s weakness at the critical moment, Pym hopes to regain his good standing with the Avengers. The Wasp discovers the plan and begs Pym to stop, at which point he strikes her. Although the robot does attack the Avengers as planned, Pym is unable to stop it and the Wasp uses the design flaw to defeat it. Pym is subsequently expelled from the Avengers, and Janet divorces him.

Left penniless in the wake of his disgrace, Pym is manipulated by old foe Egghead (believed to be deceased), who tricks the character into stealing the national reserve of the metal adamantium. Pym is confronted by the Avengers (whom he had covertly summoned) at the scene of the crime and after being defeated is blamed for the theft, as Egghead erases all evidence of his involvement. Blaming a supposedly dead villain is taken as further proof of Pym’s madness and he is incarcerated. During Pym’s imprisonment, Janet has a brief relationship with Tony Stark. Still not satisfied with his victory over his foe, Egghead reforms the supervillain team the Masters of Evil and kidnaps Pym at his trial, creating the impression that Pym himself staged his own escape. Egghead intends to use Pym in another of his schemes, but is tricked when Pym uses Egghead’s own apparatus to defeat the entire roster of the Masters of Evil. In a final act of desperation, Egghead attempts to kill Pym, but is stopped and accidentally killed by the Avenger Hawkeye, whose brother had been murdered by Egghead years ago. With the real perpetrator exposed, Pym is cleared of all charges. After bidding farewell to Janet and his teammates, Pym leaves to devote his full-time to research.

Hank strikes his wife Janet. Art by Bob Hall.

Pym reappears in the West Coast Avengers, first in an advisory role and then as a full-fledged member in a non-costumed capacity. Pym begins a short relationship with teammate Tigra, and after a verbal taunting by old foe Whirlwind contemplates suicide, but is stopped by the heroine Firebird. Pym and Janet also eventually resume a romantic relationship.


The character eventually returns to the Avengers, joining the East Coast team as Giant-Man. The pair, together with many of the other Avengers, apparently sacrifice themselves to stop the villain Onslaught, but actually exist in a pocket universe for a year before returning to the mainstream Marvel universe.

Pym returns and aids the team as Giant-Man and makes a significant contribution by defeating criminal mastermind Imus Champion and his flawed creation Ultron, simultaneously overcoming his old issues with his own brain patterns creating Ultron.


Pym debuts as Yellowjacket (with an allegorical scene of Pym standing over himself in the second Goliath uniform) on the cover of Avengers #59 (Dec. 1968). Art by John Buscema and George Klein.

When Rick Jones becomes a key player in the Destiny War between Kang the Conqueror and Immortus, two different versions of Pym are drawn into the war; the Giant-Man of Rick's present and the Yellowjacket immediately prior to his marriage to Janet. Although Yellowjacket briefly betrays his allies to the Time Keepers in an attempt to secure a timeline where he remains himself rather than reverting to Pym, he eventually releases the team when he learns the full extent of the Time Keepers' plans. It is subsequently revealed that the two Pyms were selected because Yellowjacket's betrayal would be crucial to bringing the team into a position where they could directly attack the Time Keepers, while Giant-Man provided both support to the team as a whole and served as an irritant to Yellowjacket to provoke his own actions.

During an encounter with the sorcerer Kulan Gath, Pym's personality is temporarily reverted to the early Yellowjacket phase, which he had long repressed out of fear of that part of himself hurting Jan again, and while the effect is reversed another Henry Pym, representing the parts of himself that he had suppressed, is accidentally created from the extradimensional bio-mass Pym uses to grow. Each Pym reflects an aspect of his personality: Giant-Man is the thoughtful, scientific aspect while Yellowjacket is the impulsive component. During the events of the Kang Dynasty storyline the two Pyms begin to deteriorate from being apart, but are restored when the Wasp helps the two halves realize that they need each other. Pym is eventually able to resolve his past problems and adopts his Yellowjacket costume once again, concluding that, since it was as Yellowjacket he faced his worst problems, it will be as Yellowjacket that he attempts to see if he has overcome them.

After the events of the Avengers Disassembled storyline, Pym takes a leave of absence, and in the one-shot title Avengers: Finale, the character and Janet leave for England to rekindle their relationship. Pym and Janet's relationship fails and it is revealed in flashback during the Secret Invasion storyline that he is replaced by an alien Skrull. The Skrull version of Pym, along with the Wasp and other heroes, is transported to a place called "Battle World" to combat each other. The culprit is revealed to be the cosmic entity the Stranger, posing as fellow entity the Beyonder, when Pym tricks the being into believing that he has won the war by seemingly disintegrating the other heroes when he has really only shrunk them.

Pym as Yellowjacket is a central character in the Civil War storyline, joining those heroes that support the Superhuman Registration Act. Together with Mister Fantastic (of the Fantastic Four) and Tony Stark (Iron Man), the character creates a cybernetic clone of currently missing Thor to battle the anti-registration heroes, although the clone shows no morals and kills Bill Foster (who had taken up Pym's former identity as Goliath) in battle. Pym is also kidnapped by Young Avengers member Hulkling, who uses his shapeshifter powers to impersonate Pym and free several captive anti-registration heroes. At the conclusion of the Civil War, Pym—still a Skrull impostor—is named "Man of the Year" by Time magazine for his role.

The Skrull is eventually revealed to be called "Criti Noll", and becomes one of the chief administrators at Camp Hammond, a U.S. military base in Stamford, Connecticut for the training of registered superheroes in the government program Avengers: The Initiative. The Skrull Pym officially ends the attempt at reconciliation with Janet, and becomes involved in a romantic relationship with Tigra. During the combat phase of the invasion, the Skrull Pym is exposed and defeated by the hero Crusader. Following a final battle between Earth's heroes and the Skrulls, the real Pym is found with other "replaced" heroes in a Skrull vessel. After the Wasp is seemingly killed in the final battle, Pym takes on a new superhero persona as the Wasp in tribute to his former wife. Pym rejoins the Avengers and is eventually convinced to lead the team.

The cosmic entity Eternity reveals to Pym that he is Earth's "Scientist Supreme", the scientific counterpart to the Earth's current Sorcerer Supreme, as he is able to create science with effects similar to magic. However, Loki later claims to have been posing as Eternity in order to trick Pym.


When Norman Osborn is defeated, Pym creates Avengers Academy, a program to help train young people whose newly acquired powers were manipulated by Osborn. While telling the recruits they are being trained to become heroes, the truth is that their profiles indicate they are the most likely to become villains and Pym hopes to prevent that. Pym returned to his Giant-Man identity in Avengers Academy #7.

Henry Pym later joins up with the Secret Avengers.

When a future Ultron conquers the world of the present as seen in the Age of Ultron storyline, Wolverine reasoned that going back in time and warning Pym against creating Ultron would just inspire him to do it anyway. He attempts to undo this future by going back in time, and kills Pym before he can create Ultron. However, after realizing this creates an even worse present, Wolverine goes back in time again and stops himself from killing Pym.

In the aftermath of the Age of Ultron storyline, Henry Pym and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s A.I. Division Chief Monica Chang assemble a new team called the Avengers A.I. in order to combat the threat of the sentient virus Dimitrios.

Powers and abilities

Henry Pym is a scientific genius with a Ph.D in Biochemistry, along with expertise in the fields of quantum physics, robotics/cybernetics, artificial intelligence, and entomology. The character discovered the subatomic "Pym particles" that enable mass to be shunted or gained from an alternate dimension, thereby changing the size of himself or other beings or objects. Pym is the creator of the robot Ultron.

After constant experimentation with size-changing via ingested capsules and particle-filled gas, Pym is eventually able to change size at will, and mentally generate Pym particles to change the sizes of other living beings or inanimate objects. Pym retains his normal strength when "ant" size, and possesses greatly increased strength and stamina when in "giant" form, courtesy of the increased mass. Pym’s costume is synthetic stretch fabric composed of unstable molecules and automatically adapts to his shifting sizes.

The character also uses a cybernetic helmet for achieving rudimentary communication with ants and other higher order insects. As Yellowjacket, Pym wears artificial wings and has bio-blasters called "stingers" built into his gloves. Pym also carries a variety of weaponry, provisions, and scientific instruments, which are shrunken to the size of microchips and stored in the pockets of his uniform.

After the death of his ex-wife Janet Van Dyne aka the Wasp, Hank took on the identity of the Wasp, in honor of Janet who he called the "greatest superhero [he] had ever known." To this end, Hank gave himself bio-synthetic wings similar to the ones that Janet possessed, as well as the ability to harness his body's own bio-electrical energy as his "Wasp Stings" much like Janet had. Unlike Janet, however, Hank was able to fly at great speeds rivaling those of Iron Man.


There are a number of characters in the Marvel universe that have also used the "Pym particles" to effect size changing. These include the Wasp, Clint Barton, Bill Foster, Scott Lang, Erik Josten, Rita DeMara, Cassandra Lang, Eric O'Grady, and Tom Foster.

Other versions

Marvel 1602

In the world of Marvel 1602, natural philosopher Henri le Pym is forced by Baron von Octavius to devise a serum that would cure him of a fatal disease, Pym is married to Janette.

The Last Avengers Story

In an alternate future in the miniseries The Last Avengers Story #1-2 (Nov. 1995), Ultron wishes for a decisive victory over the Avengers. After eliminating the team, he has Hank Pym gather a new group. After recruiting other heroes and mercenaries, Pym leads them to victory though fatalities are heavy on both sides.

Marvel Zombies

Pym is featured in several of the Marvel Zombies miniseries, appearing as one of the cannibalistic zombies in Marvel Zombies #1-5 (Feb.-June 2006), Marvel Zombies 2 #1-5 (Dec. 2007 - April 2008) and Marvel Zombies Return #4 (Oct. 2009).


The MC2 imprint title A-Next, set in a futuristic alternate universe, stars Henry and Jan Pym's children, Hope and Henry Pym Jr., who have become the supervillains Red Queen and Big Man respectively.


In this reality, in Marvel Team-Up vol. 3, #4, Pym is an intelligent, Hulk-like brute. He also appears in issue #13.

"Old Man Logan"

In the post-apocalyptic "Old Man Logan" storyline, Pym (as Giant-Man) is one of the numerous superheroes killed by the Red Skull's army of villains. Years after his demise, a Connecticut settlement dubbed "Pym Falls" is built around his massive skeleton. In addition, Hank's Ant-Man helmet is shown in the possession of a young boy named Dwight, who uses it to command an army of ants in order to enforce the payment of tolls across a bridge.

Ultimate Marvel

The Ultimate Marvel imprint title The Ultimates features a version of Hank Pym who is portrayed as a brilliant but mentally fragile scientist. He takes Prozac to battle his mental instability and depressive episodes. Pym gains his abilities after transfusing the blood of his wife Janet, who is a mutant. He is able to replicate this effect in order for SHIELD to produce multiple "giant men" agents. His abusive behavior ends their marriage and the character is expelled from the Ultimates, briefly joining pseudo heroes the Defenders in his Ant-Man persona. The character eventually rejoins the Ultimates in his Yellowjacket identity. During the events of "Ultimatum" storyline, Pym sacrifices himself to save the lives of the remaining Ultimates. The giant man formula is eventually acquired by HYDRA, which employ giant men and women agents.

Marvel Adventures

Henry Pym appears in issue 13 of Marvel Adventures: The Avengers as a scientist working for Janet's father with no superhero identity, and was the one who gave Janet her superpowers. He is visited by Spider-Man and Storm when Janet (Giant-Girl in this continuity) falls under insect mind-control. He tells them how to free her (severing the antennae on her mask), gives her a new costume, and uses an insect telepathy helmet (identical to his Earth-616 Ant-Man helmet) to create an illusion of several giant-sized people, scaring the insectoids away. He returns in issue 20, becoming Ant-Man. He not only joins the team but begins a relationship with Jan.

Marvel Apes

In the Marvel Apes universe, Henry Pym is a gorilla named Gro-Rilla who is a member of the Ape-Vengers.

In other media


  • Hank Pym's Goliath persona appears in the X-Men animated series episode "One Man's Worth (Part 1)" in a non-speaking cameo.
  • Hank Pym appears as Ant-Man and Giant-Man (though still usually called Ant-Man or Hank) in The Avengers: United They Stand voiced by Rod Wilson. In this series, he leads the Avengers.
  • Hank Pym (as Ant-Man, Giant Man and Yellowjacket) appears a main character in the animated series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. He is voiced by Wally Wingert, reprising his role from Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2.


  • Henry Pym is due to appear in the 2015 Ant-Man film, directed by Edgar Wright.

Video games

  • Henry Pym's Yellowjacket alias appears as a boss on the Anti-Registration Side in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, voiced by Wally Wingert.
  • Henry Pym's Ant-Man persona makes a cameo appearance in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 during Hawkeye's level three hyper combo move which Hawkeye shoots an arrow with Ant-Man towards his opponent. Hank then jumps off the arrow and attacks the opponent, and stomps the opponent in giant form.
  • Henry Pym appears in Marvel Heroes, voiced again by Wally Wingert.


  • Hank Pym as Yellowjacket is the 58th figurine in The Classic Marvel Figurine Collection.
  • Pym also appears in his various guises in the HeroClix miniatures game and in the Vs. System card game.
  • In 1999, a toy line was produced for the Avengers: United They Stand cartoon series, with an action figure of Hank as Ant-Man released.
  • Toy Biz released a figure of Hank Pym in his Giant-Man costume in an Original Avengers box set that also included a miniature Ant-Man figure, and then released the same figure in wave 4 of their Marvel Legends toyline as a repaint of Pym in his Goliath outfit. The figure also came included with miniature Pym/Ant-Man and Wasp figures. A miniature version of Pym as Yellowjacket was included with Wonder Man in wave 11.
  • An exclusive series of Marvel Legends figures was released to Wal-Mart stores in the United States. This series required the purchasing 10 of the figures in the assortment to complete the "Build-A-Figure" toy of Giant-Man.
  • After Hasbro took over Marvel Legends, Hank Pym in his Yellowjacket persona was released with the second series.
  • Hank Pym first appeared in wave 5 of the Marvel Super Hero Squad line as Ant-Man, packaged with Doctor Strange. He was also released as Ultimate Giant-Man in the second wave of the Marvel Super Hero Squad Mega-Packs, packaged with Ultimate Iron Man.
  • A figure of Pym as Ant-Man was released in the Avengers boxset of the Marvel Minimates line. A version of Pym as Giant-Man from the Marvel Zombie series was released as a retailer exclusive. Pym as Yellowjacket and a variant chase of Pym as Goliath were released in wave 32.
  • A figure of Pym as Yellowjacket was released in wave 11 of Hasbro's 3.75" Marvel Universe line; a 12" figure of Pym as Goliath was released in wave 1 of the Marvel Universe Gigantic Battles line, packages with a 3.75" Iron Man figure.


Hank Pym was ranked as the 93rd greatest comic book character of all time by Wizard magazine. IGN also listed Hank Pym as the 67th greatest comic book hero of all time.


External links