A GROWING PROFILE...1 of 12
Ant-Man and the Wasp is now in theaters, with the return of the MCU's shrinking sensation also bringing his winsome partner to the screen for the first time in a substantial way.
To celebrate, we're taking a look at the best size-changing superheroes in comic books - great and small.
GIGANTA2 of 12
Okay, so she's not technically a superhero, but Wonder Woman's giantess nemesis has been around since the mid-1940s, despite offering no more threat to the Amazon warrior that being really, really tall.
Perhaps the idea of a giant woman with super-strength and a scientist's genius appeals to Wonder Woman's many creators, or maybe it's just that for decades of her existence Giganta's costume consisted of little more than a leopard-skin bikini.
ELASTI-GIRL3 of 12
Rita Farr had it all: An Olympic athlete turned glamorous movie star, she was successful, beautiful and... Oh, yeah, gifted with the ability to grow or shrink her body at will (unlike other characters with this power, she could even do it one limb at a time).
Of course, that kind of good fortune couldn't last, and before too long she was killed by the Brotherhood of Evil becoming, in fact, the only member of the original team who did actually die as a result of an explosion intended to kill the entire team.
She's returned numerous times since then of course, and she may be a character on the DC Universe streaming app's Doom Patrol TV series.
STATURE4 of 12
Poor Cassie Lang. Arguably the most heroic of the original Young Avengers, she was also the unluckiest - assuming a superheroic identity after the death of her father (Scott Lang/Ant-Man - he got better), falling in love with a future super villain and eventually dying to save her resurrected father from Doctor Doom.
She made the most of her size-changing skills, but sadly couldn't beat a seemingly cursed existence.
Like Elasti-Girl, Stature later returned - though she later started going by Stinger. Cassie appears in Ant-Man and the Wasp, but not as a superhero (yet).
COLOSSAL BOY5 of 12
One of two size-changing members of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Gim Allon got his powers from a radioactive meteorite that sadly didn't give him the ability to pick a better superhero name for himself (In later continuities, he called himself "Leviathan," which was a little bit better, let's be honest).
The greatest re-interpretation of Colossal Boy came in Mark Waid and Barry Kitson's sadly short-lived 2004 reboot, where it was revealed that he was actually a giant who could shrink to human size who hated being called "Colossal Boy."
SHRINKING VIOLET6 of 12
The second of the two Legionnaires to change size, Shrinking Violet (a.k.a. Salu Digby), was created a year later than Colossal Boy as his equal and opposite number... and also, future unrequited love.
Throughout the years, the character has had to fight against her name in many ways, becoming tougher and more violent to prove that she's not a pushover (she's also been known as Atom Girl, Virus and LeViathan). If only she'd thought to name herself "Ass-Kicking Violet" instead...
ATLAS7 of 12
Rivaling Stature in the bad luck stakes, Erik Josten a.k.a. Power Man, a.k.a. Goliath but likely better known as the Thunderbolt Atlas may have been one of the first villains to feel the lure of going straight and trying to be a hero, but the life of glory and rewards was not for him.
Firstly turned into an "ionic energy creature," then left so huge that he couldn't move and eventually teaming up with Wonder Man during his inexplicable "Revengers" period, Josten's entire career appears to be one bad move after another.
GOLIATH8 of 12
And what about Goliath? Well, it depends what Goliath you're talking about, as there have been so many in the Marvel Universe: Hank Pym, Clint Barton, Erik Josten and the Fosters, Bill and Tom.
Let's focus on the final two: Bill Foster was a lab partner of Hank Pym who got into the superhero game as, embarrassingly, "Black Goliath" before eventually realizing that he didn't need that first part at all. Sadly, shortly after assuming the Goliath identity, he got killed in Civil War, leading his nephew to take up the identity to honor his legacy – and remind the world that the Avengers were responsible for Bill's death whenever possible, too.
Bill appears in Ant-Man and the Wasp portrayed by Laurence Fishburne.
THE ATOM9 of 12
Ray Palmer's origin may mirror Colossal Boy's in some ways (he too got his powers from a meteorite - sorry, crashed white dwarf star albeit with some additional science thrown in), but Palmer and the subsequent Atoms in the DCU (Adam Cray, Ryan Choi and the new Justice League member) found success getting small instead of going large.
Now, Ryan Choi is the DC Universe's Atom, recently serving an extended stint with the Justice League. Meanwhile actor Brandon Routh has brought Ray Palmer to new popularity as a cast member of DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
THE WASP10 of 12
Who doesn't love Janet Van Dyne? A founding member of the Avengers and also former leader of the team she made the growth from fun-loving socialite to fully-fledged hero in front of readers' eyes, giving them even more reason to adore her besides her upbeat, can-do attitude and seeming inability to stick with any one costume for an appreciable amount of time.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wasp made her debut - where else - in Ant-Man and the Wasp, where both Janet Van Dyne and her daughter Hope Van Dyne have worn the mantle.
ANT-MAN11 of 12
The Marvel Universe has been home to three different heroes named Ant-Man.
The original, Hank Pym (as in Pym Particles), was a founding Avengers alongside his partner Janet Van Dyne, the winsome Wasp. Pym and Janet didn't last however - Hank was abusive during a psychological breakdown that also eventually led to him leaving the Avengers.
Hank hasn't fared entirely better since then - in the MCU he's the elder statesman of the superhero community, but in Marvel Comics, he's been physically bonded with his terrible android creation, the murderous Ultron, while his soul was recently trapped within the Soul Stone.
The second Ant-Man, Scott Lang, is still around - more on him in a second.
The third Ant-Man, Eric O'Grady, was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who basically stole the Ant-Man suit. Despite his reputation as being "incorrigible," O'Grady became an Avenger under Steve Rogers and ultimately sacrificed his life in the line of duty.
Back to Scott Lang, Scott is the current Ant-Man. An Avenger, a Guardian of the Galaxy, former leader of the Fantastic Four (and still just doing his best), Scott is Marvel's premiere hero to use the name Ant-Man - and the greatest size-changing hero of all time.
He's even appeared in multiple MCU films, including Ant-Man and the Wasp.
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