Ant-Man may have spent way too much time playing video games in his life, however, his Battletoads skills saved his daughter’s life!
Scott Lang’s version of Ant-Man has been criticized for being a bit of a slacker. Unlike the original super scientist Ant-Man Hank Pym, Scott’s more of an everyman hero – primarily concerned with giving his daughter a good life and making time for watching his favorite reality shows. Even though he’s been portrayed in a more serious light, even leading the Future Foundation and defeating Doctor Doom, Scott’s always been more into playing video games than protecting the universe.
Ironically, then, Scott’s love of video games proved instrumental in saving the person he loved the most – his daughter Cassie. Fans of the Ant-Man movie know Scott would literally go to the Microverse and back to save his daughter, but one time he had to go someplace even stranger.
How Cassie Lang Lost Her Heart… Again
Comic book fans know that Cassie Lang joined the family business and become a superhero, first as the Young Avenger Stature and later as the shrinking hero Stinger (a name she also uses in the future MC2 universe). At one point in Marvel’s Ant-Man comic book series, however, Cassie temporarily retired from the hero life and became a normal high school student. Unfortunately, this didn’t stop her from becoming a target for villains – including the evil businessman Darren Cross.
Cross was ironically the reason Scott Lang became Ant-Man in the comics – as Cross had once kidnapped Dr. Erica Sondheim, a renowned heart surgeon and the only doctor capable of saving Cassie Lang from her rare heart condition. Desperate to save his daughter, Scott stole Hank Pym’s Ant-Man uniform and Pym Particles and used them to save Sondheim (so she could save Cassie). Pym, who had been watching the whole thing, was impressed by Scott’s performance and decided to let Scott keep his gear.
Unfortunately, Scott’s past came back to haunt him years later when Cross’ son abducted Cassie, believing her Pym Particle-infused heart held the key to saving his father’s life. Cross even kidnapped Dr. Sondheim again to perform the heart transplant. Although Cross did give Sondheim a replacement heart to keep Cassie alive, Cassie’s immune system began attacking the foreign tissue, threatening Cassie’s life.
How Ant-Man Played Video Games At A Microscopic Level
Hoping to buy Sondheim enough time to save Cassie, Scott shrank himself to near-microscopic size and entered Cassie’s bloodstream. He then began blasting Cassie’s white blood cells to keep them away from her new heart long enough for Sondheim to stabilize his daughter. As he fought Cassie’s immune system, Scott admitted how difficult this was, musing, “Shrinking down to a microscopic level and navigating the bloodstream – it’s difficult. Like third-level-of-Battletoads-difficult.” Nevertheless, Scott succeeds in warding off the white blood cells long enough for Cassie to survive – showing his video game skills do have real-world applications.
Surprisingly, this wasn’t the first time Scott Lang performed extreme microsurgery on a human being. In The Incredible Hulk #32, Scott shrank down to microscopic size, entered the body of Bruce Banner (who was suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease) and replaced Banner’s damaged genes with healthy genes taken from the corpse of Banner’s dead father Brian Banner. Scott also had to fight off the Hulk’s insanely powerful immune system using, of all things, pineapple juice to break down his antibodies.
Although Scott admitted he wasn’t a doctor, he was a master mechanic and was able to accomplish this miracle by looking at the human body like a piece of machinery (and using blueprints and parts supplied by Reed Richards). The practice likely came in handy when he entered Cassie’s bloodstream (sans pineapple juice) and performed some equally impressive surgery on her.
While some people look at Scott Lang as a second-string hero, stories like these show that Ant-Man is both smart and courageous enough to accomplish astonishing miracles with his shrinking powers, technical expertise, and video game prowess. Heroes and villains may constantly underestimate him, but Ant-Man continues to prove you just can’t underestimate the little guy.