The Man who was Tiny and Giant No One
By Jason Tenner
Reading the Who was Nobody article at French Wold
Newton got me
thinking. What if Arthur Gordon Pym/Cagliostro/who knows what else/
Joseph Balsamo had taken another identity....as Henry "Hank" Pym.
That's right a man with many names was the super hero with many
Lets look at the similarities between the two. Both were geniuses in
many fields. Both had many different names (and Hank Pym once took a
new identity as Yellowjacket when he first used that name and
costume). Both are way ahead of state of the art technology. The one
thing one might think would make them impossible is their methods.
That's not as big as you think, in fact the "Forbidden Planet: Star
Trek to Altair IV" article had Balsamo as Dr. Edward Morbius.
Certain he would know what a robot in the wrong hands (or with his
intellect and no morals) would be like. However it is not known if
that future was the end of Balsamo/Pym, if it was the future or the
fact that Morbius could have shrunk himself down and hid on their
ship and took a new identity.
The fact that Balsamo used the name Pym before is a key fact. It was
over a century before the use of Henry "Hank" Pym of course.
Another fact is Pym's size changing powers. It should be impossible
(though considering what lurks in the WNU...), yet it had happened to
others in the 1950s. Perhaps they were all experiments of Balsamos
to help perfect it for use on himself. He also worked on equipment
so he could talk to ants. After all if you're going to be that small
why not get some allies?
Early appearances of Hank Pym had him be a bit different than he
would be as a super hero. In those early appearances he was a bit more arrogant and mad scientist like in nature. In those early appearances (and even later), not much of Pym's early life has become known.
Yet after gaining his powers he became a hero (and he probably crossed
swords with enough of them in the 1930s to know what they were
like!). He fought various threats to the world (interdimensional
criminals to Communist agents to whatever the living eraser was).
After a few solo adventures he got a partner and later wife, the Wasp. To the Wasp he added insect traits (her wings and such) something that he didn't do to himself. He also added controls to her, just in case. Shortly after that they helped found the Avengers (who are much more covert than in the comics).
He seemed to keep changing his costume and gaining different names
(Antman, Giantman, Goliath, and Yellowjacket). He also was for a time
not using a costume and had different powers than before (he could
shrink or enlarge objects, people. etc). He also seemed to have
mental problems (a side effect of his powers perhaps? After all the
50 foot tall man and woman sure had those).
As said before Pym was way, way, way ahead of his time. Communication
with ants, shrinking and enlarging, adding insect DNA to humans,
being able to make memory engrams and advanced robots. Of course
perhaps he also created another robot in another identity...the
original Human Torch. It would take a man with Balsamo's skills,
intelligence and connections to build such a machine. But that is
for another time.
Hank Pym has proven to be long lived (of course). However he truly is
that long lived.
French Wold Newton "Who was Nobody"
article "Forbidden Planet: Star Trek to Altair IV"
various Marvel comics(most notably Tales to Astonish and Avengers
comics and Avengers West Coast as well)