History of Ant-Man

Follow the History of Ant-Man Pt. 6

Meet Eric O’Grady, never quite a hero, but perhaps not entirely irredeemable!

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In 1962, the legacy of Ant-Man began; today, over five decades later, the legend has come to encompass multiple heroes and will take shape as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2015.

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Marvel as well as prepare for Marvel’s “Ant-Man,” coming to theaters on July 17, 2015, learn all about the history of this unique hero.

Eric O’Grady represents one of the strangest facets of the story of Ant-Man, one that defies easy description. Neither hero nor villain, O’Grady forged his own path with Hank Pym’s technology and left behind a unique story of a man consumed by his vices and struggling to keep his head above ground—and out of the anthill.

Undistinguished S.H.I.E.L.D. agent O’Grady learned of Pym’s Ant-Man equipment in IRREDEEMABLE ANT-MAN #1 and found himself in line to test the gear, but stole it instead, an act which caused a fellow agent, Mitch Cason, to be wounded. Carson vowed to track down O’Grady and bring him back to S.H.I.E.L.D.

O’Grady began to use Pym’s technology not for heroics, but to become a voyeur, spying on women at vulnerable moments. Carson received an older version of the Ant-Man suit in IRREDEEMABLE ANT-MAN #4; meanwhile, O’Grady ditched his girlfriend Veronica in IRREDEEMABLE ANT-MAN #6 and joined Damage Control as “Slaying Mantis” in IRREDEEMABLE ANT-MAN #7.

After going up against the Hulk during the green giant’s “world war” against humanity, O’Grady fell into the clutches of S.H.I.E.L.D. in IRREDEEMABLE ANT-MAN #10, but managed to frame Carson in IRREDEEMABLE ANT-MAN #11 to make his escape. Incredibly, Iron Man himself invited O’Grady to join his Avengers Initiative in IRREDEEMABLE ANT-MAN #12.

Arriving at Camp Hammond in AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #8, the third Ant-Man set the tone of his tenure by battling both Cassie Lang, the daughter of his immediate predecessor, and Hank Pym, the original. O’Grady actually made himself useful during the Skrull’s secret invasion in AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #18 by passing on information of the aliens’ plan to open a Negative Zone portal on Earth. Somehow, he graduated from the Initiative to be promoted to the Thunderbolts in AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #20.

In THUNDERBOLTS #128, O’Grady’s first mission with his new team concerned trouble on Air Force One, but old habits die hard and he still struggled with his voyeuristic tendencies and narcissistic behavior. O’Grady helped to capture Luke Cage in THUNDERBOLTS #137, then worked to free him as the situation changed before his eyes. This trend toward benevolence continued in CAPTAIN AMERICA: REBORN, when he did a good turn for the Sentinel of Liberty, an act that Cap wouldn’t soon forget.

After reevaluating his life and making up his mind to try and do better in THUNDERBOLTS #144, O’Grady accepted a slot on Captain America’s new covert team in SECRET AVENGERS #1. Now in the classic Ant-Man gear, he seemed to get into the swing of things and even saved his comrades from the Shadow Council in SECRET AVENGERS #4, a monumental moment in the life of a man who normally only looked out for himself and his own interests.

Alas, his old vices reared their ugly heads and though he assisted Hank Pym in recovering some stolen tech in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP #1, O’Grady continued to use women as playthings and pawns, among other less-than-honorable actions.

Eric O’Grady’s tempestuous life and off-kilter career as the third Ant-Man came to a bitter end in SECRET AVENGERS #23, from a brutal beating by an agent of the man known as Father.

His last act in life saved an innocent child, perhaps balancing the books on a sordid and unrewarding existence and leaving the legacy of Ant-Man, for the most part, untarnished.

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