Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady)
|First appearance||Civil War: Choosing Sides #1 (December 2006)|
|Created by||Robert Kirkman
|Alter ego||Eric O'Grady|
|Team affiliations||Secret Avengers
|Notable aliases||Slaying Mantis, Derek Sullivan, G.I. Ant-Man|
|Abilities||G.I.Ant-Man armor allows:
Flight via jetpack
Robotic arms with magnetic grapples
Flame projection from arms via redirecting jet flame
Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady) is a fictional character, a superhero in the Marvel Comics Universe. He is the third character to use the name Ant-Man. He first appears in Civil War: Choosing Sides #1 (December 2006) and was created by Robert Kirkman and Phil Hester.
Eric O'Grady was the main character in the ongoing monthly series The Irredeemable Ant-Man, with the "Irredeemable" title given to the comic's title to indicate the character's immoral attitude and behavior. The series was canceled after issue #12, though no official cancellation notice was given (as Marvel Comics simply opted to not solicit issues of The Irredeemable Ant-Man beyond #12, though the final issue did mercilessly mock the idea of cancellation, such as having Eric scream in spite towards a massive assault of canceled comic characters).
Though canceled, the series ended with Eric O'Grady becoming enrolled in the Initiative. With Avengers: The Initiative #8, O'Grady joined the title's cast. He departed from the title after Avengers: The Initiative #20, and as of Thunderbolts #128, is a member of the new Thunderbolts team. After the events of Siege, he becomes a member of the Secret Avengers, beginning with issue one. Beginning in November 2010, he starred alongside Henry Pym in the three-issue mini-series Ant-Man and the Wasp, by Tim Seeley.
Ant-Man appeared as a regular character throughout the 2010–2013 Secret Avengers series, from issue #1 (July 2010) through the character's death in issue #23 (April 2012); the character was replaced by an LMD with all of his memories in the following issue, renaming itself the Black Ant in issue #32, revealing itself as an antagonist in issue #36, before disappearing in its final issue #37 (March 2013).
Fictional character biography
Eric O'Grady is a low-level agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who stumbles upon Dr. Henry Pym's latest incarnation of the Ant-Man suit in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s headquarters. A man of very few morals and willingness to lie, cheat, steal, and manipulate in order to get ahead in life, Eric immediately steals the armor for his own selfish plans, which include using his status as a "super-hero" to stalk women and facilitate his thievery. A running theme with the character is his evil side clashing with a desire to be accepted by others, which leads to Eric vowing to renounce his evil ways and become a proper hero, leading to a cycle of the character relapsing and vowing to "change".
The Irredeemable Ant-Man
Mitch Carson, whom O'Grady looks up to, is a S.H.I.E.L.D. security agent under Dum Dum Dugan. Originally picked out to be the wearer of the Ant Man suit O'Grady stole, he was forced to wear a hastily built prototype suit based on the armor O'Grady had stolen. When S.H.I.E.L.D. discovered that O'Grady had stolen the suit, Carson confronted Eric in the new experimental suit. In the ensuing battle, Eric disfigured his friend's face by accident with his suit's jets, burning the left half of Carson's face and leaving him deaf and blind on that side as well. Despite what he did, O'Grady took him to the infirmary nearby to help the injured Mitch, who later vowed revenge.
As his series progressed, it is revealed that O'Grady's best friend and fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. surveillance agent Chris McCarthy was the first person who actually wore what would become O'Grady's Ant-Man suit. McCarthy was killed however, during a HYDRA attack when he was shot in the head by a HYDRA agent. Eric took the suit off of Chris's dead body just before the Helicarrier crashed. With his best friend dead, Eric sets his sights on seducing and bedding Chris's girlfriend, Veronica King. The attraction resulted in the two having sex, leading to Veronica King's pregnancy and Ant Man ultimately abandoning her.
Despite his attempts to seduce Veronica, Ant Man continuously uses his powers of shrinking to stalk women and watch them in various stages of undress, with Ms. Marvel of The Mighty Avengers being a popular target for his ever-increasing voyeurism.
Eric also encounters the thief Black Fox, and steals his possessions. Black Fox later shows up looking for the jewels. O'Grady, however, had already sold them to a pawn shop. The two work together, getting the $150,000 back and splitting the proceeds, with O'Grady keeping 15 percent.
After saving the life of a child, Ant-Man encounters Damage Control. This organization offers him a job and, after he obtains a fake ID under the name Derek Sullivan and comes up with a new superhero name (Slaying Mantis), he consents. He meets a woman named Abigail, who he starts dating. He leases an apartment under his new name and with Damage Control's help begins to establish a new identity while continuing to hide from S.H.I.E.L.D. However, as Abigail begins to fall in love with Eric, she reveals to him that she is a single mother with a son. This in turn triggers Eric dumping Abigail over her keeping her son's existence a secret from him while pursuing a romantic relationship with him.
During a later confrontation with Abigail, she reveals that she possesses the power to read people's emotions telepathically. She promptly then accuses Eric of truly loving her, through use of her powers to scan Eric's mind for his true feelings about her. Before he can answer though, the Hulk attacks Manhattan (See World War Hulk). Eric reluctantly joins the fray by attacking the Hulk from the inside of his body. However, the Hulk's stomach and innards proved to be just as tough and Eric ended up being discharged through one of the nostrils. He awoke in a S.H.I.E.L.D. infirmary, with Mitch Carson standing by his bed, stating that he was under arrest.
Carson takes Eric to a secret room aboard the helicarrier, and proceeds to torture him. While doing so, Carson reveals shocking secrets to Eric regarding his own sociopathic nature and how he has abused his position as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to cover up murders he has committed over the years. Just as Carson is on the verge of burning Eric's face with the suit's jet boosters, Iron Man arrives and subdues him. Eric uses Carson's confessions of past misdeeds to frame him for the whole stolen-suit fiasco, saying that he was only trying to stop him from using the suit for evil. Iron Man refuses to believe Eric though Iron Man is quickly sidetracked by the arrival of the Black Fox (who had become friends with Eric after their first encounter). Black Fox demands that Eric be released and claims to have placed explosives on the helicarrier in order to extort his friend's freedom. Eric refuses Fox's claims to protect him from Iron Man, leading to Fox being arrested.
Several weeks pass and while Carson's fate is left unresolved, it is shown that Eric has resumed his post upon Helicarrier, having been offered his own job under unknown circumstances. Feeling guilty for Black Fox being in jail, Eric helps the elderly thief escape from the helicarrier, with Eric admitting that he was sorry for putting Black Fox through the ordeal of being arrested. Later on, Eric refuses Veronica's attempt to work out an arrangement for raising their child together, in part because of Eric's inner fear that he would be a horrible father due to his utter lack of morals or ethics. Meanwhile, despite their misgivings, Iron Man and Hank Pym reluctantly offer Eric his old Ant Man suit back after determining that none of the other candidates can control the suit to the degree that Eric has already demonstrated, on the condition of him becoming part of the Initiative, which Eric accepts.
Eric also has one last meeting with Abigail and tells her that he does, indeed, love her. However, he tells Abigail that he will be leaving for a while and wishes to be with her. While doing so, he hopes that he can be a better person. Before leaving, he tells her his real name.
In spite of his vows to Abigail though, Eric continues his lewd and irredeemable ways upon joining the Initiative. He appears in Camp Hammond, as an official recruit for the Initiative, along with Crusader, Melee, Geldoff, Dragon Lord, Geiger, Red Nine, and Diamondback.
In particular, during his first meeting with the Taskmaster, Eric attempts to slander the name of his predecessor, Scott Lang by passing off stories of his lewd stalker behavior regarding Ms Marvel onto Scott, as well as claiming that Scott Lang was never really an official Avenger and that he was simply hiding inside the Avengers mansion during his tenure with the team and following the group around as a hanger-on. Unfortunately, Scott's daughter Cassie overhears Taskmaster and Eric laughing at Eric's lies and attacks by growing to giant size and attempts to step on the human-sized Eric. Using his suit to increase his size to fight the giant-sized version of Cassie, Eric tricks her into thinking she had stepped on and killed the hero Stingray, in order to knock her down with a cheap shot. This in turn causes Hank Pym to grow giant-sized and attack Eric, who upon defeating Cassie begins to mock her by yelling "Who's Your Daddy Now?". However, as their fight begins to attract the attention of people outside the Initiative compound, the Taskmaster brings all three of the giants down with his shield.
O'Grady is defeated by a clone of MVP, along with most of the recruits in his class. He hid under an unconscious Geiger and survived mostly unharmed. He hid from the rest of the action along with the Taskmaster.
When the Skrull invasion occurs in New York City, the Initiative are ordered to fight. Eric decides to avoid this by shrinking down and hiding. He soon discovers, however, that the Skrulls have taken over Camp Hammond. He aids the Shadow Initiative in a failed attempt to assassinate Queen Veranke. Escaping by once again shrinking down, Eric discovers the Skrulls' last resort plan: to open a giant Negative Zone portal, and have the entire United States removed from this dimension. During this time, Eric muses that the Skrulls planned for every possible complication that Earth's heroes might have created, but did not plan on a "one-inch tall coward" running around underfoot. Escaping the Skrulls on the back of one of their shock troopers, Eric brings the information to some of the remaining Initiative members, and they set out to stop the plan from happening.
In their first mission, Ant-Man and the second Russian Black Widow sneak aboard, Ant-Man hidden in Black Widow's cleavage and take control of Air Force One with Norman Osborn, Doc Samson, and the new President aboard. He secretly plants a gamma emitter on Doc Samson, causing the doctor to increase in strength and anger, which makes him attack the President.
However, O'Grady began to regret his actions in the Thunderbolts but can't do anything about it, since Osborn would have him killed. Paladin advised that he wait until Osborn inevitably loses his mind and is taken down. Ant-Man later secretly witnesses Paladin, Ghost and Headsman turn against Mister X and Scourge when they are ordered to execute Natasha Romanoff and Songbird, then erase their teammates' memories. He later assists in the capture of Luke Cage by entering his nervous system. However, when his teammates make no effort to extract him, O'Grady helps Cage to escape, later leaving his body while he is eating.
O'Grady becomes increasingly disgruntled with the Thunderbolts, and concerned for his future. In order to earn some goodwill, he helps Captain America escape from custody in Captain America: Reborn, asking that he keep this in mind in the future. Later, when sent with the rest of the team to infiltrate Asgard and steal Gungnir, he once again faces off with Stature.
After Scourge finds Gungnir, he attempts to take it to Osborn, but is stopped by Paladin, who has finally had enough of serving a madman. His teammate Grizzly attacks Paladin and attempts to kill him for treason but O'Grady shrinks down and enters Grizzly's ear canal, incapacitating him and saving Paladin's life. As the Mighty Avengers defeat what remains of the Thunderbolts, O'Grady finds Gungnir and gives it to Paladin, who decides to take it to a safe place where Osborn cannot find it. He says goodbye to O'Grady and departs. After the battle, O'Grady decides to re-evaluate the choices he has made and to do something good with his life.
O'Grady is later seen to be a member of the Secret Avengers, using Hank Pym's classic gear. He was invited by former Captain America Steve Rogers, who believes that O'Grady can be a better person. He's positioned as the rookie of the team, who is teamed up with War Machine, who believes he's not worthy of the Ant-Man name.
In the arc of the opening four issues, Eric inadvertently stumbled upon a group of Shadow Council agents planning to blow up his team mates with a bomb, but was able to defeat them by detonating it early.
Ant-Man and Wasp
The story opens to Eric riding high off his position as a Secret Avenger, using it as a tool for sexual encounters with various women. Black Fox comes to him with info regarding A.I.M., to hopefully boost Eric's relationship with Ant-Man predecessor, Hank Pym. When Abigail comes by, Eric admits his longing for a relationship with the intention of starting one, only for Abigail to find evidence of him being unfaithful. She leaves commenting he's improving as a superhero but sucks at being a person. O'Grady goes to Pym's lab, as Hank and Reed Richards discuss how to save their reality from being overwritten. Eric offers to help but is told to wait with his info. Eric waits and talks with Tigra, who knows about his power abuse to peep on women and warns him not to test her. Running into Striker, Finesse and Veil, Eric talks the ladies into private drinking party, where he passes out and they put shaving cream on his face before leaving him. After a bizarre break-in, Eric is awaken to find Striker standing over him, who he blames for the shaving cream and starts a fight with him. Tigra saves O'Grady from Striker's powers, just as Pym then finally explains the situation believing Eric brought in an alien who stole from Pym. It's revealed Fox used Eric to create an entrance and exit for a thief to steal an object from Hank's lab, Eric takes responsibility and teams up with Pym to retrieve the stolen object.
Death and replacement
On a mission against Father (the creator of the World facility) with the Secret Avengers, Eric is beaten to death by Father's henchmen while defending a child's life. He later appears to be alive but is revealed to be a Life Model Decoy working for Father and helping him in a yet unknown plan, with the new name of the Black Ant.
Powers and abilities
While wearing the Ant-Man armor, O'Grady has the ability to shrink to the size of an insect while retaining full-sized strength. He also possesses two robotic arms he can release from the back of his armor when he is shrunk. The armor's main mode of transportation is a jetpack that can be detached and used as a weapon by turning the jet's flames onto an enemy. He also has the ability to talk to insects while wearing the suit. However, he has not quite trained in this ability and is somewhat lacking in skill.
After joining The Initiative, it was revealed that O'Grady's armor was the prototype G.I. Ant-Man suit that could also increase O'Grady's size. During his appearances in Avengers: the Initiative, Eric's helmet seemed to become more of a close-fitting piece of fabric, as it moulded itself to his facial expressions, and could even be peeled upwards to allow him to drink.
Following his induction into the Thunderbolts, Eric's suit is redesigned and recolored, to better fit his new covert operations position.
When he joined the Secret Avengers, his costume was redesigned to resemble the original Ant-Man armor. It was also fitted with Wasp-like stingers in the gloves. The armour retains the 'cyberlegs' of the original, not visible when retracted.
In addition to changes to his helmet and armour, Eric's hairstyle has changed throughout his appearances. In his eponymous series, he sported distinctive mutton chops, although he appears to have shaved them off by the time he joined the Thunderbolts and Secret Avengers. Despite this, in the mini-series Ant-Man and the Wasp (set between Thunderbolts and Secret Avengers) the mutton chops are on his face once again.
- Eric O'Grady can be heard in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Nightmare in Red." He can be heard when Red Hulk first appears damaging the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier.
IGN listed Eric as the 82nd greatest comic book hero of all time stating that Eric is another hero who faces the challenge of living up to a huge legacy but he is truly good at heart, and he's made great strides when it comes to doing justice to the venerated Ant-Man name.
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- Robert Kirkman (w), Phil Hester (p), Ande Parks (i), The Irredeemable Ant-Man #2 (November 01, 2006), Marvel Comics
- Robert Kirkman (w), Phil Hester (p), Ande Parks (i), The Irredeemable Ant-Man #5 (February 07, 2007), Marvel Comics
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- Avengers: The Initiative #8
- Avengers: The Initiative #9
- Avengers: The Initiative #10
- Avengers: The Initiative #14
- Avengers: The Initiative #15
- Avengers: The Initiative #16
- Avengers: the Initiative #17
- Avengers: The Initiative #18
- Avengers: The Initiative #20
- Thunderbolts #128
- Thunderbolts #133
- Thunderbolts #136
- Thunderbolts #137
- Captain America: Reborn #4
- Thunderbolts #142
- Thunderbolts #144
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- Secret Avengers #1
- Secret Avengers #2
- Secret Avengers #4
- Ant-Man and The Wasp Vol. 1 #1
- Secret Avengers 23-25
- Secret Avengers 32
- Ant-Man & Wasp #2
- "Eric O'Grady (Ant Man) is number 82". IGN. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
- Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady) at the Marvel Universe wiki
- Robert Kirkman Talks Ant-Man (cached), Newsarama, March 18, 2006
- Picnic Time, As Brevoort Talks The Irredeemable Ant-Man, Comic Book Resources, March 18, 2006
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- Getting Irredeemable with Robert Kirkman and Ant-Man, Newsarama, December 12, 2006