In his debut comic appearance, Dr. Henry Pym was introduced as a man who had discovered how to make objects shrink. Somewhat of mad scientist, his research was done to not only benefit mankind, but to prove his worth within the scientific community. Having successfully shrunk and re-expanded a chair, Hank perfected his serum with the goal of using it ti revolutionize transportation, by reducing the cost of shipping people and things around the world. Requiring a living test subject, Hank decided to test the experimental serum on himself by placing a drop on his arm. Instantaneously, he shrank down much smaller than he expected.
Having accidentally left the antidote on the window ledge, (which is kind of dumb for being the scientist supreme), he ventured outside crying for help. Even though no one could hear him, he caught the attention of a colony of ants. Surrounded by the insects, Hank decided to take over by hiding inside the their anthill. Falling into a pit of honey, he was lucky enough to have been saved by a friendly ant, before using his knowledge of Judo on the other not so friendly ants to escape.
Fleeing, he used his kindly ant friend to ride up the wall to his laboratory window. There, he used the antidote to return to normal. Terrified from his experience, he destroyed his work to prevent such a situation from arising again.However, weeks later he realized that he had acted irrationally and decided to recreate his serum. He also became inspired by ants, studying them in an attempt to learn how they communicate.
Discovering that the key was an electronic wavelength transmitted through their antennae, he created a cybernetic helmet, and a suit capable of resisting insect stings and bites. Hank was soon forced to test his re-created serum and new outfit when armed communists broke into his lab in search of on an anti-radiation formula Hank had created for the American government. Shrinking, he journeyed back to the anthill. There he attempted to use his helmet to tame the ants.
At first he encountered resistance from the largest ant, with the resulting fight revealed that the revised serum had reduced his physical size, but not his strength. Using this, his outfit and knowledge of Judo he eventually gained control and recruited an army of ants. Returning to the lab, he snuck in and untied his assistants while commanding the insects to attack. With the ants causing a distraction and plugging the enemy guns with honey, his lab assistants managed to fight off their assailants. Before it was all over, Hank returned to his office, and enlarged himself.
Continuing to use his powers as Ant Man, Hank went on to solve countless mysteries and fight various threats. Along the way, he met the daughter of a colleague Vernon van Dyne named Janet. He shared his discoveries with her, who became his miniature partner “The Wasp.”
Together, they became two of the first five founding members of the Avengers, working alongside Iron man, Thor and the Hulk.
Over the years, Hank used his ingenuity to develop other crime fighting identities.These included transforming into Giant-Man, and Yellowjacket.