What is the Ant Mans suit made of

Pym particles

All pictures: © MARVEL

The Pym particles were originally developed in the 1960s by scientist Hank Pym, who worked for the news organization S.H.I.E.L.D. worked using the Pym particles with a special suit to become an agent called Ant-Man. His wife Janet van Dyne also supported him under the name Wasp. Although Pym wanted to keep the Pym particles secret, Pym's former employee Darren Cross managed to successfully restore the Pym particles in 2015 and use it to create the Yellowjacket suit, which he wanted to sell to terrorist groups such as Hydra and the Ten Rings.

Human users of technologies using the particles are able to shrink to the size of an insect while still having the physical resilience, strength and exertion of an average human that can be increased to their reduced extent . The process of resizing compresses force and energy and manifests as short shock waves of vibrations around the target, increasing the amount of force the target can generate. It also increases the density and resilience of a target, making it stronger and tougher than normal. Living subjects of this type develop inhumane exertion and loading abilities, particularly giving them the power of a bullet while they have shrunk.

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Hank Pym as Ant-Man.

In the 1960s, Doctor Hank Pym discovered and isolated a rare group of subatomic, extra-dimensional particles known as "Pym particles" that could increase or decrease the size and mass of objects or living things by being moved or removed from a subatomic Dimension were added. He formulated the particles in a special suit designed to take advantage of them and which allowed him to shrink to the size of an insect. [Comic: Ant-Man Prelude]

He and his wife Janet van Dyne used these skills to become the superheroes "Ant-Man" and "Wasp". However, a tragic incident occurred during a missile attack defuse mission. Janet used the Pym particles to shrink to a subatomic level, which led to van Dyne's disappearance into the quantum realm. This caused Pym to give up the Particles and his exploits and swear not to let anyone get a Pym Particle while they are alive. In the meantime, Hank started his own company, Pym Technologies. Ousted from his company by his estranged protégé Darren Cross, he was concerned that Cross intended to recreate his Pym particles and use his shrinking ability to market his weapons-grade yellowjacket suit. By 2015, Hank Pym had been forced to recruit a new Ant-Man and teach him how to use Pym Particles so they could complete their mission of stopping Cross from making his own version of Pym Particles, called "Cross Particles" to sell to nefarious organizations. [Ant-Man]


Pym particles have the ability to change the scale, mass, strength and density of organic and inorganic subjects, most notably reducing them to the size of an insect while maintaining their normal strength and increasing them as the shrinkage of the Reinforce the subject. On a reduced scale, a subject is augmented by increased density and strength, as well as compressed energy and physical strength of the subject, resulting in an organic subject having unnaturally high levels of physical exertion and resilience, as well as amazing strength and durability. It does this by adding or moving mass from a subatomic dimension from which the particles derive their capabilities.

Hank Pym in the Ant-Man suit.

The process of resizing and changing the mass level leads to the creation of extreme physical forces and dramatically increases the dynamics of an organic subject. This force can be applied immediately after changing the size. This further increases the physical endurance as well as the strength and durability of the organic test persons, with whom they can accomplish heroic deeds of inhuman physical exertion and strength with similar inhuman ease; especially immediately after being used by a human while returning to normal size. An example is when a human user falls from a great height on a small scale, he can harness the kinetic energy and moment of falling and exert that force immediately after or during the return to normal size. This will prove to be a feat of inhuman strength at a normal size.

The particle's ability to distort mass and size can transport this mass, but also objects and living beings, into the so-called quantum realm - a subatomic dimension of space that holds any mass of those who have shrunk through the use of the particles. The mass, while still part of the shrunken subject, is shifted within the quantum realm until it returns. As the blue Pym particle disks demonstrated, mass can be applied to an object of the particles, allowing the object to increase in size rather than shrinking it.

Side effects

However, there can be negative side effects when using Pym particles. Long-term exposure to and use of Pym particles can lead to extreme mental instability as it alters the chemistry of the brain. Hank designed the Ant-Man suit helmet specifically to protect the user from this brain damage while using the particles.

The Yellowjacket suit in action.

The Pym particles appear to have a negative impact on onset after continuous use in humans. Without proper protection like the Ant-Man suit, people turn into a pile of protein. Even with the suit's protection, Hank Pym stated that continued use of the suit had taken its toll, and so continued use of the suit and shrinking could cause him some dangerous health problems.

Using the particles to get huge also appears to cause great physical stress on the user. The Giant Man feature of the Ant-Man suit appears to require manual activation, and Scott Lang was visibly exhausted and tense after just a few minutes of use. His use of the feature during the San Francisco chase ended with breakdown from exhaustion. Hope van Dyne was forced to manually shrink Lang to keep him from drowning in the San Francisco Bay.

Cross particles

Pym's ex-employee Darren Cross worked for years to restore the shrinking technology on his own, but got mad when he slowly realized that Pym always owned the technology but had hidden it from him. His research eventually progressed to the point where he could shrink inanimate objects, but attempting to shrink living organisms killed the beings. After much trial and error, however, Cross was able to develop cross-particles for use in the yellowjacket suit that were so stable that they would not kill a person during the shrinkage process.

Darren Cross on target.

While the perfected Pym particles used by Hank Pym were red in a suspended solution, the cross particles were yellow. Although they came close to the features of the technology version of Hank Pym, they lacked some of the refinements Pym had made to counter health damage from prolonged exposure, i.e. altering brain chemistry and leading to mental instability. Exposure to the Cross particles increasingly unbalanced Cross, and he eventually revealed that he intended to sell the technology to Hydra. While Ant-Man stopped Cross and destroyed his laboratory along with all computer files, a Hydra member named Mitchell Carson escaped with a sample of the Cross particles. [Ant-Man]

Appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe