Hank Pym, the first Ant-Man, created Marvel’s version of Doctor Who‘s TARDIS. Let’s face it, comic book science is infinitely beyond anything seen in the real world. Scientists like Reed Richards and Tony Stark have cracked everything from faster-than-light travel to interdimensional portals, even creating the most bizarre solution to global warming imaginable.
Given that’s the case, it’s no surprise to hear the super-scientists of the Marvel Universe can get pretty competitive. Hank Pym – the man who discovered Pym Particles and even figured out how to communicate with ants – has always felt somewhat overshadowed by the likes of Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man. It doesn’t help that some of his greatest scientific breakthroughs have gone so terribly wrong, with the most prominent example being his accidental creation of Ultron. Every now and again, though, he’s shown just how good he really is – proving the point when he invented Marvel’s version of the TARDIS in Dan Slott’s Mighty Avengers run.
Pym figured out how to shrink portions of time and space, creating what he called a “Pym Pocket” that contained a massive laboratory – one that ultimately became headquarters for a team of Avengers. The primary exit was a link to a broom closet in a Chicago mall, but additional entries could be hooked up to key locations such as Avengers Mansion. According to Pym, the technology he’d developed could allow the creation of entrance and exit points at any place in spacetime. No wonder teen genius Amadeus Cho dubbed it the TARDIS, and admitted Hank Pym was better than him.
Even this achievement didn’t get Hank Pym any respect; in fact, when Jocasta broke the Pym Pocket away from Earth, he was unable to secure help from Mr. Fantastic – simply because Reed didn’t trust him with advanced technology, fearing he was too unstable. To add insult to injury, Reed treated the idea of this entire base with disdain, as though Ant-Man’s accomplishments were nothing to speak of. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before those two egos were in a battle against one another.
Comic book writer Dan Slott has never made any secret of his love for Doctor Who, and that was certainly on display in his Mighty Avengers run. Not only did Hank Pym create his own version of the TARDIS, he also developed a pocket “toolkit” that was clearly a homage to the sonic screwdriver. The Doctor Who influence has continued to run through his comics, even inspiring his popular and critically acclaimed Silver Surfer series. It’s just one of the many ways the BBC TV show has had a cultural impact far greater than you’d think – and hopefully, it won’t be long before this idea is developed in Ant-Man 3 as well.