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Comic Legends: Did Ant-Man Nearly Get a 1990s 'Extreme' Makeover?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and eighty-eighth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Here's part 1 of this week's so-far all Ant-Man-related legends! Click here for part 2 of this week's all-Ant-Man-related legends!

NOTE: The CSBG Twitter page hit 10,050 followers, so I did a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed earlier this week. We'll keep the bit going, though. Every 1,000 followers of the CSBG Twitter page, I'll do a bonus Comic Book Legends Revealed that week.

COMIC LEGEND:

Scott Lang almost got his own series in the 1990s, complete with an "extreme" costume makeover

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STATUS:

False

Reader Jim S. wrote in to ask if it was true that Herb Trimpe gave Scott Lang a new "extreme" costume as part of a new Scott Lang Ant-Man series that was going to spin-off from the Fantastic Four.

Simply put, no.

I think Jim is just mis-construing something that Herb Trimpe once said about the new costume that he gave Ant-Man in an issue of Fantastic Four Unlimited. If you folks recall, Trimpe tried out a more modern style in the pages of Fantastic Four Unlimited and for years, people insisted that Marvel forced him to draw in that "Image" style, but I did a Comic Book Legends Revealed years ago where Trimpe insited to me that it was his idea. Of course, when all is said and done, whether a guy decides to do something on his own or whether Marvel specifically tells him to do it, I think the main point was that Trimpe knew that the writing was on the wall for him if he DIDN'T change his style. As he noted to me at the time, it is important to realize that this was the last time that he ever had a regular gig at Marvel, so it seems like a bit of a no-brainer, doesn't it? Change your style and or don't get work. You don't need an editor to TELL you to do it when it is obvious.

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In any event, in Fantastic Four Unlimited #9 (by Roy Thomas and Herb Trimpe), Ant-Man (who was serving as a sort of de fact fourth member and science adviser in the absence of the thought-to-be-dead Reed Richards) is exposed to some mysterious chemicals and they begin to mutate him...

The FF had recently fought a giant ant and it turns out that the giant ant, Grottu, is messing with Scott's head and makes him take on a new personality and name, Myrimidon. He also gets a new costume...

He goes back to normal at the end of the story, but soon after, Scott does, in fact, adopt a variation of that costume as his new costume...

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Talking about that period years later, Trimpe noted that he thought that the costume was really cool. Here's where the confusion I think comes in, as Trimpe then noted that it was so cool that he thought that Ant-Man would get his own series because of it. In other words, nothing was actually in the works. Trimpe just thought it would be received so well that it would lead to a new series.

As it turned out, Marvel never even credited Trimpe with the new design (maybe they thought Paul Ryan changed it enough for it to be a distinct costume?).

Thanks for the suggestion, Jim!

OK, that's it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week's covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo, which I don't even actually use on the CBR editions of this column, but I do use them when I collect them all on legendsrevealed.com!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

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See you all next week!

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