The latest episode of the animated Avengers offered a darker departure for the series.
For starters, the only actual Avenger in the episode was Wasp. Ant-Man, aka Hank Pym, who quit the team last season over his guilt for building Ultron, shows up at Avengers mansion to finish destroying one of his old labs. Since he and Wasp were a couple all of last season, they get in to a brief argument over his quitting not only the team but also quitting their relationship. However he ends the argument early when he notices a news report over her shoulder saying that a bank had just been robbed… by Ant-Man?!
Rushing back to his lab, he opens his vault to check on his Ant-Man equipment just to discover that it is indeed missing. Distraught and needing help, he happens to notice an ad in the paper about “Heroes for Hire”…
Yep, the future Avengers (in the comics anyway) Luke Cage and Iron Fist are on the case!
Turns out that Stephen Lang, the janitor at Pym’s laboratory, was the guy who stole the suit and is robbing banks by shrinking the money with Pym Particles and flying it out on the back of an ant. See, Lang isn’t JUST a janitor. He’s actually a former electrical engineer who had a sick daughter named Cassie, and that he desperately needed money to help pay for her treatments. This had led to him getting wrapped up in a bank robbery ring years earlier, using his engineering know how to break into sophisticated bank vaults. He’d been arrested and done his time, but finds himself now in another desperate situation: his former partner in crime has now kidnapped Cassie, and demands Lang do one last bank job for him. Which is what led him to stealing the Ant-Man equipment.
Together with Pym and the Heroes for Hire, Lang manages to rescue his little girl of course. In the end of the episode Lang offers to turn himself in, but Pym tells him “No need. I’ll just say that Ant-Man did all of these things while on special assignment for the Avengers.” To which Lang replies “But I’m not Ant-Man.”
“You are now.” Pym says as he’s walking away.
Overall a good episode of the show, much more serious in tone than it has been in the past. I loved seeing the Heroes for Hire duo. And I found it very interesting that all of the Avengers big hitters (I.e. the characters in the movie) sat this one out.
If you haven’t watched Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes yet I recommend you start, especially if you enjoyed the live action movie.