I like Hank Pym. There, and now with that out of the way, let us move on to the argument. Hank Pym has all the elements and makings of a Tezuka manga science-hero, not a Western superhero. A gargantuan claim? Maybe, but first, examinations on his two implied main rivals. REED RICHARDS: Fantastic Four #1 (Vol.1) showcases classic Reed Richards -nerdy, assertive, masculine, genius- testing the capabilities of experimental space aircraft designed to help win the Cold War for the U.S.A. After the famous life and body altering accident (the one with the cosmic rays), Richards transformed into Jack Kirby's own Teddy Roosevelt, a Renaissance man keen on Man's progress. TONY STARK: Again, another scientist shuttled into the hero life partially due to political reasons. Ultra-capitalist Tony Stark (based on Howard Hughes) injured himself during the Vietnam War, pushing him to stop mass-producing weapons draped in precious metals and circuitry. HANK PYM: Again, a scientist pushed into heroism by The Cold War. KGB agents attempted to steal a cache of anti-radiation gas, a Pym invention, leading Pym to save the day with his telepathic helmet and Pym particles. Like many Tezuka creations, tragedy revolves around and through Pym's life. His first wife, Maria, died, he suffered emasculating depression, suffered a nervous breakdown, inadvertently assaulting his wife, and created Ultron. Pym fought to redeem himself for years, inventing fascinating contraptions in the process. All three heroes have somewhat similar origins, but what separates Pym from his peers, and makes him a true mad scientist, are his inventions. Hank Pym shunts mass back and forth between Earth and another dimension, even ascending to a dimension of abstracts on his own power. Hank Pym creates personalized Heavens for his loved ones. Hank created his own powers (and his wife, but whatever). Hank Pym is in a relationship with a cat girl, raises a cat-boy hybrid, occasionally tangles with his self-evolving robot son (who possesses the brain engrams and darkest desires of his father), dated his robot daughter(?), and has a cyborg grandson. Pym has the whole insect theme going on too, a common anime/manga/sentai trope. Perhaps most importantly, Pym invents improbable inventions, makes improbable discoveries, and witnesses improbable events: The Ant-Man Helmet, Ultron; Pym Particles, the dimension where the Marvel Abstracts dwell; Meeting Eternity, leaving the conversation as Scientist Supreme.
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