Let’s face it. Movies about bugs don’t make it to the big screen very often. However, many of the most recent insect-related films have Marvel to thank for making them come to life. Both the Ant-Man and Spider-Man franchises are currently producing films, but it was Ant-Man that was the subject of a new movie in July. “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” the follow-up to 2015’s “Ant-Man,” takes place in the Marvel Universe between the events of “Captain America: Civil War” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” The sequel hit theaters in early July.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp” tells the story of Ant-Man superhero Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and his new partner Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), aka the Wasp. The Wasp is the daughter of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, entomologist and original 1963 comic book Ant-Man. While Ant-Man is adjusting to his life as a superhero, he is partnered with the Wasp and given an urgent mission to rescue Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), the original Wasp. He once again dons his size-changing suit and must now learn to fight alongside his new partner.
MARVEL’S INSECT MANIA. Marvel fans are evidently curious about insect-inspired heroes and villains, as a number have been featured prominently throughout the Marvel Universe, both on television and in comic books. Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Yellowjacket, Dragonfly, Mantis and the Human Fly are just a few.
In Ant-Man’s case (and now the Wasp’s), his powers come from his physics-defying suit, which allows him to shrink down to the size of an ant while growing his strength exponentially. Plus, Ant-Man has a way with electronics and can telepathically communicate with other insects. But what makes the Ant-Man franchise truly special is that it highlights the unique abilities of ants, which will undoubtedly be of interest to PCT readers.
Just as Lang can pack a mean punch and topple bad guys in his tiny ant form, ants have a reputation for being uncharacteristically strong for their size — able to lift anywhere from 10 to 200 times their body weight, depending on the species. In fact, researchers for the Journal of Biomechanics report that the neck joint of a common American field ant can withstand pressures up to 5,000 times the ant’s weight.
Will Ant-Man be able to withstand the pressure of a mysterious new villain called Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) who is intent on taking over the world? Your guess is as good as mine.
MOVIE NIGHT. Marvel’s strategic release date for “Ant-Man and the Wasp” falls after “Avengers: Infinity War,” even though the events of the sequel take place before the newest Avengers film. Perhaps the studio hopes this placement will act as a sort of lighthearted remedy to the grim ending of the latest movie in the Avengers franchise (don’t worry, no spoilers if you still haven’t seen it, but be warned).
So head to the theater in July or August and find out if some fun and entertaining action with “Ant-Man and the Wasp” will improve your thoughts and feelings toward these critters we dedicate so much time and effort to keeping at bay.
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