Cassandra Lang

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Stature
Youngavengerspresents5.PNG
Cover art for Young Avengers Presents #5.
Art by Jim Cheung.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance (as Cassie Lang) Marvel Premiere #47 (April 1979)
(as Stature) Young Avengers #6
Created by David Michelinie
John Byrne
In-story information
Alter ego Cassandra Eleanor "Cassie" Lang
Team affiliations The Initiative
Mighty Avengers
Young Avengers
Notable aliases Giant-Girl, Stature
Abilities
  • Ability to shrink and grow in size

Stature (Cassandra Eleanor "Cassie" Lang) is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics universe. She is the daughter of Scott Lang (the second Ant-Man). Cassie Lang has been a member of the Young Avengers and The Initiative. She has the same powers as her father, the ability to shrink and grow in size, but lacks her father's helmet which allowed telepathic communication with insects. However, she manifested her powers much later than her first exposure to Pym Particles.

Publication history[edit]

Cassie Lang first appeared in Marvel Premiere #47 (April 1979), and was created by David Michelinie and John Byrne. She first appeared as Stature in Young Avengers #6.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Ant-Man's daughter[edit]

Cassie Lang was introduced to the Marvel Universe as the ill daughter of Scott Lang. Her congenital heart condition forces her father to steal Hank Pym's Ant-Man equipment and Pym Particles, which he uses to rescue Doctor Sondheim, the only doctor able to cure Cassie's condition, from Cross Technological Enterprises.[volume & issue needed]

After the divorce of her parents, Cassie lives for most of her childhood with her father, whom she loves and admires greatly. She is fascinated by his life as a superhero once she learns of it, and generally has a good relationship with his colleagues; when she was younger, she even called Tony Stark 'Uncle Tony'. However, her mother and stepfather fear that his life as an Avenger was unsafe for a child, and they claim custody over Cassie.[volume & issue needed]

Scott's time as an engineer for the Fantastic Four brought Cassie to the team's then headquarters of Four Freedoms Plaza. In the spectacular environment Cassie once called home she forged a strong friendship with the former ward of Doctor Doom, Kristoff Vernard. For the time they shared a home with the Fantastic Four, Cassie helped Kristoff adjust to life outside of Doom's castle, and she developed something of a crush on the boy.[volume & issue needed]

After the Fantastic Four went missing and Scott found himself without a job, he found employment at Oracle, Inc. with the Heroes for Hire (H4H).[volume & issue needed] It was while working with the Heroes for Hire that Cassie had further adventures, accidentally activating the Super-Adaptoid and receiving horrifying visions of things to come.[volume & issue needed] The H4H easily defeated the Adaptoid, and Cassie's participation in these dark events helped her father and his allies defeat Master of the World in a battle for the fate of the Earth.[volume & issue needed] All of these adventures gave Cassie a taste for the action-filled life of a superhero, but it caused her mother to take sole custody from Scott.[volume & issue needed]

As a result of Cassie being kept away from her father Scott, she grows more and more bitter towards her mother, and even more so towards stepfather, Blake Burdick. As a police officer, he can not stand the world of superheroes the young girl loves, and he tries unsuccessfully to keep Cassie and Scott apart. For years, Cassie visits her father whenever possible, much to her mother and stepfather's chagrin, until the events of Avengers Disassembled, when Scott Lang is killed due to the actions of an insane Scarlet Witch.[1]

Cassie retreats into herself, blaming Blake for being unable to understand her as her father always did. Blake Burdick tries unsuccessfully to be a caring stepfather, and is sometimes distant toward her, seeing his stepdaughter as a "less than brilliant" girl. Some time after her father's death, Cassie plans on running away to Los Angeles to join the Runaways, but sees the "Young Avengers" on television before she leaves and subsequently changes her plans.[2]

Young Avengers[edit]

Cassandra Lang as Stature from Young Avengers Special #1 (December 2005). Art by Neal Adams.

Iron Lad, a younger version of classic Avengers foe Kang the Conqueror, desperate for help against his future self after learning what he will become, uses the Vision's database, stored in the remains of his synthezoid body, to track and recruit young superpowered individuals connected to the Avengers' history. Cassie was not one of the individuals on the list. In fact, attracted by her father's career, she had stolen Pym Particles to use on herself several times over the years, but they never seemed to give her powers— until a sudden mood swing caused her to grow in size in front of the Young Avengers.[volume & issue needed] Later, she learned she could also shrink, much as her father did.[volume & issue needed]

Iron Lad assures her that if Vision had known she had developed powers, she would have been part of his plans for the Young Avengers. She is formally invited to join the team. She suggests she take the name Ant-Girl, while her teammates informally dub her "Giant-Girl" for a short period; she ultimately adopts the codename Stature. Besides being able to change size at will, she also grows or shrinks due to emotions. Her body has reacted to anger and guilt, metaphorically reflecting her being a shrinking violet about her family issues.

After deciding to continue her life as a superhero, Cassie overhears her stepfather talking to her mother. They suspect that she is secretly Stature, but refuse to believe it. Later, Jessica Jones talks to Cassie's mother and confirms Cassie's dual identity. Cassie's mother is overwhelmed by this news and begs Jessica not to tell her husband about this; she was also worried that although Cassie was cured of her heart condition, her heart might not be able to handle the strain of continuous size-changing.[volume & issue needed]

When Jessica Jones asks Cassie, "And there's no part of you that wants to go back to having a normal life?", Cassie replies, "Ms. Jones, my dad was Ant-Man. I never had a normal life." [3]

In the Civil War limited series, Cassie, along with her fellow Young Avengers, had joined Captain America's resistance to the Superhero Registration Act. She and the rest of her team were staying at a safe house, while Nick Fury arranges new secret identities for them. During this time, she participates in a rescue effort of Captain America, when Iron Man seemingly springs a trap at Yankee Stadium: all escape. When Goliath is killed by a clone of Thor and Young Avengers teammate Wiccan is captured by Iron Man, she decides to leave Captain America's side, citing her reasons as being a desire to fight villains rather than cops and other heroes.[4]

The Initiative[edit]

Cassie then joins the Initiative, as a trainee.

Cassie, along with fellow Initiative members Dusk, Tigra, Silverclaw, and Araña, were ensnared by the Puppet Master.[5] Although she (along with others) was mindcontrolled into fighting Ms. Marvel, she was eventually freed and restored to normal.[6]

Her time at Camp Hammond brought her in to contact with her father's successor as Ant-Man - Eric O'Grady. O'Grady made several disparaging remarks about her father, not realizing that she was within earshot. This caused a literally giant-sized brawl between the two as both grew to their giant forms. After O'Grady picked up a bus and hit Lang with it, Henry Pym intervened, also growing to his giant form. Taskmaster broke up the fight by attacking their now giant-sized Achilles tendons, bringing all three crashing to the ground.[7]

Later, Cassie is visited at Camp Hammond by the Vision, who disguises himself as Tony Stark in order to take her out on a date. Vision confesses that he shares Iron Lad's attraction to her, and hopes that she can love him. Cassie is unsure of her situation, but open to the possibility. The two fight off an attempt by A.I.M. to steal the Vision.[8]

Cassie accidentally injures her stepfather Blake, while stopping the Growing Man. Her guilt causes her to shrink and the other Young Avengers attempt to snap her out of it before she shrinks into non-existence. She comes to terms with the responsibilities and risks of her position as part of the Young Avengers and the Initiative, reasoning that Blake also understands the risks as a policeman.[9]

Secret Invasion[edit]

Stature fought against the Skrull invasion of Manhattan as part of the Initiative.[10] She grew larger than the Skrull Yellowjacket and punched him out.[11]

Dark Reign[edit]

In the aftermath of the Skrull invasion, Cassie leaves the Initiative at the start of the Dark Reign storyline. Cassie and Vision (who she now refers to as her boyfriend) fly to the Avengers Mansion ruins, having been summoned by Wiccan with warnings of a great magical threat. They arrive and find the other Young Avengers turned to stone, and then encounter the Scarlet Witch, who transports them away to be a part of The Mighty Avengers, led by Hank Pym.[12] She is willing to help her new-found friends and allies in multiple adventures and missions on more than one occasion despite conflicting loyalties. At one point, Hank Pym needs a device Reed Richards will not let him have in order to save his laboratory. Instead of participating in a battle as her team does, Stature goes against plan and tells everything to Susan Richards, because she feels the Fantastic Four are more family then anything.[13] Cassandra's distrust of the woman who killed her father led her to expose that the Witch was in reality, Loki in disguise.[14] While part of the team, Lang also fought a demi-god at Mount Wundagore,[15] and a homicidal ancient Inhuman.[16]

A later battle brings the team world-wide popularity due to a successful mission into the investigation of an energy-wracked scientific facility, due to a Cosmic Cube on the premises. They team up with the official government Avengers to deal with the crisis; however Cassandra and the others are in just as much danger from the official Avengers team, as they are led by the murderous businessman Norman Osborn, who has stocked the team with spree killers and other villains. The Mighty Avengers, like most other heroes, are on his 'list' and only their popularity kept them from being murdered as soon they met on the lawn of the facility.[17]

Normon Osborn later makes a play to take down the home of the Gods, Asgard. Cassandra is drawn into the defense.[18]

Heroic Age[edit]

At some point, Cassie attempts to apply for a babysitter job with Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, though more in the hope of eventually finding her way into the ranks of the New Avengers rather than any dedication to babysitting itself. She expresses as much during the job interview and gets dismissed in favor of Squirrel Girl.[19]

The Children's Crusade[edit]

When Wiccan's uncontrolled magical energy nearly kills the terrorist group Sons of the Serpent, the Avengers begin to fear that he may become another Scarlet Witch; they explain to the Young Avengers how the Scarlet Witch turned insane after the loss of her twin boys, resulting in the death of the original Vision and Scott Lang, and eventually rendering nearly all of the world's mutants powerless. Though Wiccan is unsure about what to do—being confined or go on the run—Cassie suggests that he find the Scarlet Witch, believing that if they can show her that her children were alive, she may be able to reverse everything she has done, including restoring her father to life.[20]

During Children's Crusade, Cassie is reunited with Iron Lad, and with some time travel, she was able to bring her father forward in time from the moment he was about to die from the Jack of Hearts' explosion to the present. This wasn't part of the mission plan, which was to save the Scarlet Witch. Since her father is alive and well, he tells his daughter he is very proud of her.[21]

Things took a turn for the worse when Dr. Doom takes Scarlet Witch's reality warping powers and fights the combined forces of the Avengers and X-Men. Doom looks like he kills Scott Lang again, and Cassie charges at the super powered dictator, getting a good blow against him. Doctor Doom then blasts the giant hero with an explosive spell, shrinking her down to size but also killing her.[22] Although Iron Lad attempts to take her into the future to save her, his offer is rejected by the other Young Avengers as it is more in line with what Kang would do than what an Avenger should do. While contemplating rebuilding the Vision (who was destroyed by Iron Lad when he protested against his plans), the Young Avengers realize that they would have to tell a restored Vision about Cassie's death and decide not to follow through with the rebuilding because of this. Kate prefers to believe that Vision and Cassie are somehow together wherever they are now.[23]

Bentley 23 (a clone of The Wizard) of the Future Foundation later postulates that due to the unstable nature of Pym Particles, Cassie's body could conceivably regenerate into an ionic form similar to the resurrection of Wonder Man. He suggests digging up the corpse to check stating that he's sure his classmates were thinking the same thing.[24]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Cassie has the ability to increase and decrease her size. She can become roughly 40 feet (12 m) tall and can shrink to the size of an ant. Her abilities seemed to be fueled by her emotions. She grows when she gets angry and shrinks when she feels guilty. Cassie seems to have become more powerful since first demonstrating her powers, as she has in recent issues surpassed her previous growth limit. At first she struggled to shrink to 6 inches and grow to 10–15 feet.[25] She has been seen growing larger than the Skrull Yellowjacket, who could grow to at least 100 feet (30 m) tall.[26] It was established that she and Hank Pym share an upper limit of somewhere around 250 feet (76 m) in height.[27]

Other versions[edit]

MC2[edit]

Cassie as Stinger, from A-Next #1

In MC2, Cassandra, now a doctor, operates under the name Stinger on the group A-Next. Although she is the oldest member of A-Next, in her mid-20s, and the only one on the original team with a professional life and a scientific background, she is still doted on by her father, who constantly worries about her newfound superhero life. She possesses many abilities originally engineered by Henry Pym, including resizing, flying, communication with insects, and firing bioelectric "stinger" blasts (as well artificial "stingers" sedative darts), all based on her costume and helmet. She does not seem to be capable of increasing her size and strength, unlike her main continuity version.[volume & issue needed]

Avengers Fairy Tales[edit]

Main article: Marvel Fairy Tales

In issue 3 of Avengers Fairy Tales, Cassie is portrayed as Alice of Alice in Wonderland. She encounters Wonderland versions of the Young Avengers. At first her emotions cause her to grow and shrink beyond her control. She also meets Wonderland versions of Ant-Man (Scott Lang) and Tigra.[28]

What If?[edit]

In "What If Iron Man Lost the Armor Wars", Cassie is taken hostage by Justin Hammer to force her father's cooperation against his benefactor Tony Stark. When Hammer is later assassinated and his knowledge over the Iron Man armor claimed by A.I.M., Scott and Cassie are taken hostage by them as well, but are eventually freed by Stark clad in the Firepower armor.[29]

In the "What If Civil War Ended Differently" segment titled "What If Captain America Led ALL the Superheroes against the Registration Act," Cassie was among the first superheroes killed in a confrontation with government-launched Sentinels during the first battle.[30]

Children's Crusade[edit]

Cassie Lang, under the codename Stature went with her team on the search for the Scarlet Witch.[volume & issue needed]

In the alternate future timeline glimpsed during the Children's Crusade, Cassie was shown as a member of the future Avengers under the codename Stinger.[31] It was later revealed that it had been Wiccan, now renamed Sorcerer Supreme, posing as Stinger to get Iron Lad to go back in time.[volume & issue needed]

Cassie Lang was killed in Children's Crusade #8 by Dr. Doom. A statue in her honor was placed in the back garden of Avengers Mansion in issue #9.[32]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

The Ultimate Marvel version of Stature appears in Ultimate Comics: Ultimates as a member of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s "Giant-Woman" squad.[33] While brainwashed by Thor's son Modi, Stature battles the new Spider-Man and is defeated.[34] She later recovers and rescues the Helicarrier after it is shot down during a skirmish with HYDRA.[35] Monica Chang subsequently offers Stature a spot on the Ultimates due to the bravery she displayed during the battle with HYDRA.[36] For unknown reasons, she did not end up joining the Ultimates, but later resurfaced as a member of Nick Fury's Howling Commandos.[volume & issue needed]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Pop culture references[edit]

  • Cassie is referenced in the mc chris song "Nrrrd Grrrl": "Wanna conquer her like Kang, When you kiss like Cassie Lang".[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Avengers #500
  2. ^ Young Avengers #2-3 (May–June 2005)
  3. ^ Young Avengers Special #1
  4. ^ Civil War #4
  5. ^ Ms. Marvel vol 2 #18
  6. ^ Ms. Marvel vol. 2 #20
  7. ^ Avengers: The Initiative #8
  8. ^ Young Avengers Presents #4
  9. ^ Young Avengers Presents #5
  10. ^ Secret Invasion #3
  11. ^ Secret Invasion #7
  12. ^ Mighty Avengers Vol. 1 #21 (March 2009)
  13. ^ Mighty Avengers #25-26 (July, August 2009)
  14. ^ Mighty Avengers #27-30 (Dec. 2009)
  15. ^ Mighty Avengers Vol. 1 #23 (May 2009)
  16. ^ Mighty Avengers Vol. 1 #28 (October 2009)
  17. ^ Mighty Avengers #32-33 (Feb-March 2010)
  18. ^ Siege #1-4 (January 2010 - May 2010)
  19. ^ New Avengers #7
  20. ^ Allan Heinberg (w), Jim Cheung (p), Mark Morales (i). "Avengers: The Children's Crusade" Avengers: The Children's Crusade 1 (July 2010), Marvel Comics
  21. ^ Avengers: The Children's Crusade #6
  22. ^ Avengers: Children's Crusade #8
  23. ^ Avengers: Children's Crusade #9
  24. ^ FF (vol. 2) #16
  25. ^ Young Avengers #2-6
  26. ^ Secret Invasion #7
  27. ^ Mighty Avengers #24
  28. ^ Avengers Fairy Tales #3
  29. ^ What If? vol. 2 #8
  30. ^ What If? Civil War #1
  31. ^ Avengers: Children's Crusade - Young Avengers #1
  32. ^ Avengers: Children's Crusade #1-9
  33. ^ Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #17 (October 2012)
  34. ^ Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man (vol. 2) #18
  35. ^ Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #18 (November 2012)
  36. ^ Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #19
  37. ^ Ward, Chris. "Nrrrd Grrrl." Lyrics. mc chris is dead. mc chris LLC, 2008.