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In Ant Man, Hank Pym shows us that he

and his wife rode a soviet nuclear missile into the middle of the ocean. He explains how his wife is lost, but he does not explain how he escapes. We last see him in his tiny ant suit tethered to a speeding missile headed into the water. The momentum would have pushed him deep into the water unless he released his tether and opened a parachute, thus abandoning his wife without trying to save her. And even then Hank would be swimming in the middle of the ocean.

Has this event been documented anywhere else? Like in comics or cartoons? Did Hank go under water? Is his suit equipped for deep sea swimming? Did he contact a recue team? Who and with what tech?

This seems like something that might have been in a comic.

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How did he get rescued?

Since the missile was launched by "separatists" from a hijacked Soviet silo, both the Russians and the Americans would presumably be more that willing to share the ICBM's location with American Search and Rescue facilities. It appears to crash within view of the Continental US which means that Coast Guard helicopters would probably be on the scene within a matter of minutes and failing that, we know that SHIELD has its own aircraft.

Why didn't he drown?

Pym's helmet is waterproof and his suit seems to contain its own air supply. Assuming he removed his tether from the missile (and why wouldn't he) and that he's capable of remaining buoyant, he could simply wait to be picked up by the US Coast Guard and returned to SHIELD for debriefing.

  • Given that Hank's mission was to disarm the missile and let it fall into the ocean, I think it's safe to assume SHIELD had an extraction plan in place when he finished... – KutuluMike Aug 16 '15 at 16:56
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    @CodeMed - Nope. And it's unlikely to be. Most movies don't spend long worrying about things that are relatively obvious. – Valorum Aug 16 '15 at 17:16
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The event we see in the movie was created entirely for Ant-Man; Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne's backstories in the comics universe are fundamentally different from those in the MCU.

Although there was a period of time when Ant-Man and Wasp did work together, it was not as agents on assignment for SHIELD. Instead, Pym and van Dyne were the people who founded the Avengers, and fought supervillains much the same way MCU Avengers do.

Therefore, the only information we have about this particular event is what we see from Hank's memory. Beyond that, we can only speculate that he must have gone into the mission with a plan to get back safely, and he used whatever that plan was as expected.

  • I see no evidence of a plan. "Get to it and disarm it, your lives are expendable" was pretty much the plan as far as I can tell. – Valorum Aug 16 '15 at 23:03
  • Hank didn't randomly decide to disarm a missile for fun. SHIELD sent him there. We saw a tiny fragment of Hank's memory, and none of the planning that led up to him being there. – KutuluMike Aug 17 '15 at 2:03
  • Ah, but since he can't fly, could he have been on the missile when it launched? – Valorum Aug 17 '15 at 5:48
  • There's no evidence that he can fly. He relies on insects for travel and there's no way they could intercept a missile. Wasp, on the other hand clearly had wings. – Valorum Aug 17 '15 at 11:41
  • That appears to be a wasp mk2 suit. The original had wings too – Valorum Aug 17 '15 at 12:07

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