WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Avengers of the Wastelands #4 by Ed Brisson, Jonas Scharf and Neeraj Menon, on sale now
Ant-Man is usually held up as one of the lesser Avengers. It’s hard not to be overshadowed in a crowd that regularly includes legendary characters like Captain America and Thor. However, Ant-Man is still a powerful hero in the right situation. His sheer potential is genuinely frightening too, as evidenced by how the Ant-Man helmet is used in Avengers of the Wastelands #4.
The Ant-Man of Avengers of the Wastelands just revealed how deadly the Ant-Man helmet can really be when fully utilized by taking down an entire group of villains with just one wave of insects.
The new Avengers of the Old Man Logan universe have already had a rough time of it by the time they’re lured into a trap orchestrated by Doctor Doom at Osborn City. It’s revealed that a band of villains still loyal to his rule — Green Goblin, Enchantress, Absorbing Man, Shocker and Wild Child — have been laying in weight alongside MODOK to spring on the heroes. Despite the overall power of the new team, they’re quickly overwhelmed by the experienced and prepared villains. Only Viv is able to successfully bring down her opponent, with her phasing abilities proving too much for the Absorbing Man, who can’t reconstitute his body and fades away.
Most of the group is pushed to the edge by this battle, with the villains even gleefully revealing that the current Ant-Man, Dwight Barrett, brought the heroes into the trap in an attempt to free his captured people. But before Shocker can advance on Ant-Man and kill him, Ant-Man takes the chance to modify and amplify his helmet. The Ant-Man helmet now no longer draws ants under his control — it broadcasts a beacon that attracts a horde of locust to his location.
Despite Wild Child’s healing factor and Enchantress’ magic, there’s nothing the villains can do in the time it takes for the swarm to arrive and surround them. Under Ant-Man’s command, the locusts kill the villains and strip their flesh clean off their bones, leaving four of this world’s remaining villains dead at his feet. MODOK is left defenseless as a result, and Viv uses her powers to kill the AIM created villain. Although Dani Cage wishes they could avoid killing their enemies during battle, she soldiers on.
This serves as a good reminder that Ant-Man is a deceptively dangerous figure within any version of the Marvel Universe. His ability to command entire legions of insects means he could unleash an entire army at his beck and call. In massive enough numbers, even Asgardian magic can’t save his target from being wiped out. Coupled with the size-shifting the suit also typically entails — although Dwight has been without the Pym Particles necessary to perform such a move — Ant-Man just single-handily brought down four very dangerous villains who were each strong enough to stand up to versions of major classic heroes like Thor, Hulk and Captain America.
It’s the sort of move that Scott Lang would never think of, but it’s one that’s a useful strategy in the Wastelands of the Old Man Logan universe. With Doom cleaning house across the United States, it’s a good thing that Dwight has discovered such a major and deadly modification for his helmet, as it might give the Avengers a chance to fight back against Doom and his forces.
The Ant-Man who appears in Avengers of the Wastelands just proved just how deadly he can be when he's fully unleashed in Old Man Logan's world.