Above and beyond anything else, Hank Pym is human, and a genuinely well-meaning (if sometimes slightly clinical) guy. He’s made a lot of mistakes in the past – many of them down to sheer bad luck or poor judgement – and while that might put a black mark against his name in some people’s books, everything he does, he does for the right reasons - whether it turns out well or not.
Hank suffers from a sometimes crushing insecurity complex that makes him push himself a lot harder to succeed than he probably should. It’s not helped by his numerous demons for which he desperately wants to atone, and he’ll sacrifice just about anything he has to measure up in people’s eyes (including his own wellbeing).
The doctor rarely leaves his lab, and when he does, it’s something to talk about. Science is Hank Pym’s single, all-consuming passion, and if he doesn’t keep it in check (which, to be quite honest, he doesn’t), it’s quite easy for him to spend weeks staring intently into a microscope without surfacing.
Being a pioneer in a field as chaotic as science sometimes means you end up breathing in things you shouldn’t, and, like all brilliant men, Hank has a tendency to suffer his ups and downs - which isn’t helped by a chemical-induced propensity for the occasional schizophrenic episode. He’s learnt to handle his less sweet-natured alter ego Yellowjacket with steady-handed competence, now, but there’s always a permanent fear of losing control again in the back of his mind. That fear, coupled with the ever-oppressive insecurity complex, can sometimes make a potent mix for drawing Hank back into his shell – especially when it comes to those he fears hurting the most.
Hank has never, and will never, be able to shuck his guilt over hitting ex-wife Wasp. It may have been during an episode, during one of the worst crises of his life, but Hank’s a pacifist at heart and if he’d only had more control over himself, he’d never have raised his hand to anyone – especially the woman he loves.
When you spend a lot of your time around insects, and you’re in possession of a cybernetic helmet that allows you to converse with them, you tend to get kind of chatty. To say Hank is a bug enthusiast is something of an understatement, and since there’s rarely any human company to be had around his lab, probably the closest thing he has to drinking buddies are his ants. He thinks there’s probably some ‘agony ant’ joke to be had in there, somewhere, but humour’s never been his strong suit, so he’s not going to look too hard for it.
In his own twisted, Freudian way, Yellowjacket still carries a torch for Janet Van Dyne, much like Hank. He may not be above treating her callously himself, but he’ll be damned if anyone else is going to put her in danger, either.
Pacifist though he may be, that’s not to say that Hank Pym is completely without a fuse. He’ll reason himself out of most emotional reactions with logic and common sense, and nearly always talk himself down from a fight; but like any genius, spark his frustration, and things can quickly begin to spiral downhill. On the rare occasions when Hank does lose his temper, you know about it.
—More to come…—