The Marvel Cinematic Universe is populated with many intelligent, well-educated, and clever characters, who often shine in unexpected movies, such as the wacky Ant-Man movies. In the MCU’s second phase, Scott Lang became the size-changing hero Ant-Man, and he needs to be clever and smart about it if he intends to suvive and succeed as a bug-themed Avenger.

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The two Ant-Man movies feature plenty of smart characters who use their wits and resourcefulness to win or at least escape the most challenging fights of all, and it’s exciting to watch. Only with some serious brainpower and clever plans can Ant-Man and his goofy band of heroes pull off an impossible heist or untangle the secrets of the quantum realm.

10 Jim Paxton Is A Competent Police Officer

Ant Man's Jim Paxton

Jim Paxton was introduced as a romantic rival for Scott Lang, being Maggie Lang’s new husband and Cassie’s stepfather. Jim, Scott, and Maggie had a love triangle of sorts, but for a time, Jim had the upper hand, and he knew it. He also had a stable career backing him up while Scott did not.

Otherwise, Jim is less impressive as an Ant-Man character. He’s a solid police officer who takes his duty seriously, and that takes some serious training and some quick thinking to do. Still, he’s no scientist, and Jim isn’t terribly clever or resourceful, either.

9 Luis Started His Own Business

Luis in the MCU

Scott Lang’s ex-con friend, known simply as Luis, is one of the MCU’s funniest and most lovable characters. He’s not a genius cat burglar or scientist, but Luis is still clever and quick-witted as Scott’s experienced helper in various heists/robberies.

Luis eventually started his own business called X-Con Security Consultants, and after some struggle, he scored a major client and allowed his business to take off. Luis can also think on his feet and is fluent in both English and his native Spanish.

8 Scott Lang Is A Clever Avenger & Skilled Burglar

Scott practices using his suit in Ant-Man

The antihero Scott Lang may be a cheesy goofball and often gets in over his head, but he’s smarter than many MCU characters give him credit for. Even if he lacks scientific or business skills, Scott is an experienced burglar and thief who rivals DC’s Catwoman in his ability to steal valuable treasures.

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Scott Lang improvised when he broke into Hank Pym’s house and was met with a thick, old-fashioned security door immune to hacking. First, Scott accessed the door with a neat thumbprint trick, then used cold itself to break down that door and seize the waiting Ant-Man suit.

7 Sonny Burch Is A Shady Businessman

Sonny Burch Antman and The Wasp

Sonny Burch was a minor Phase 3 villain in Ant-Man and the Wasp. He made his debut as a well-dressed black market tech dealer who often provided Hope with high-tech parts for a fair price, but then he turned on her during their latest meeting.

Sonny soon became Hope’s and Scott’s enemy, and he chased them all throughout the movie. He’s no criminal mastermind, but Sonny is still smart enough to run a successful black market operation and nearly defeated the heroes more than once, which is saying something.

6 Jimmy Woo Is A Slick, Savvy Cop

Jimmy Woo and the S.W.O.R.D. logo

Jim Paxton’s cop friend Jimmy Woo is a highly effective and clever law enforcement agent who played a major role in Scott Lang’s house arrest in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Jimmy presented himself as a tough but fair cop who admittedly has terrible social skills with children like Cassie.

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Jimmy Woo is also an ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. operative, and that, combined with his FBI experience, means he has outstanding investigative and deduction skills to crack any case. He also played a major role in figuring out and managing the Westview Anomaly.

5 Darren Cross Took Over Hank’s Company & Made The Yellowjacket Suit

Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket from the MCU

Darren Cross was the main villain of 2015’s Ant-Man, a scheming businessman who seized control of Hank Pym’s company to make a fortune from its advanced technology. Darren coveted Hank’s shrinking technology but couldn’t access it, so he worked hard to develop his own.

Darren eventually succeeded, albeit in a villainous way, and made his own Yellowjacket combat suit. It takes some serious science and business savvy to think up, fund, and run a project like that and get a successful product like the Yellowjacket, which deeply disturbed Hank personally.

4 Bill Foster Once Worked With Hank Pym As A Fellow Scientist

Ant Man Wasp Bill Foster Laurence Fishburne

Portrayed by Matrix actor Laurence Fishburne, Bill Foster is a well-educated and savvy scientist in the MCU. He’s not quite on Hank’s, Tony Stark’s, or Shuri’s level, but Bill Foster knows his stuff, and he is also a successful college professor who can cover his chalkboard with mind-boggling equations.

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Bill once worked alongside Hank Pym, which is saying something, but they had a falling out. Later, Bill sought a way to help Ava Starr with her quantum problem, including his usage of the quantum energy chamber. In the end, he redeemed himself somewhat and helped Hank save the day against their real enemies.

3 Hope Van Dyne Learned Much From Her Father

Hope van Dyne as The Wasp

Hank’s adult daughter, Hope van Dyne, takes after her father in many ways, including her keen mind for science and technology. Like Hank, Hope is especially well-versed in chemistry and physics, which helped her intuitively use Ant-Man-style suits with little training.

Hope is also an accomplished business professional, working her way toward a position on the Pym Technologies’ board. She was fairly influential as a board member and could cast tiebreaker votes to make drastic decisions for the entire company.

2 Janet Van Dyne Is An Expert Scientist & Engineer


Janet van Dyne is Hank’s beloved wife and fellow scientist, and she has a serious reputation as a brilliant researcher and engineer. Back in the 1980s, she helped Hank engineer and build size-changing Ant-Man and Wasp suits, then bravely went subatomic to sabotage an ICBM in mid-flight.

Janet spent over 30 years in the quantum realm, which only boosted her understanding of some truly cutting-edge science. Now she’s back to save the day with hard science once again, and Bill Foster recognized her as someone who could help Avar Starr even more than he could.

1 Hank Pym Makes Cutting-Edge Science Look So Easy

Hank Pym's Ego Saved the Entire MCU

Dr. Hank Pym is one of the MCU’s smartest characters overall, and he pushed the boundaries of science in ways that not even Tony Stark, Shuri, or Bruce Banner would have thought of. Hank has been tinkering with shrink tech since the early 1970s, and it’s astonishing that he created Pym Particles with the technology of the time.

With some help from his wife Janet, Hank designed and perfected the Ant-Man and Wasp suits, and he understands their inner workings and atomic science better than anyone. Hank is also a business expert, understands the science of ants and other insects, and thought up a clever plan to secretly test Scott Lang’s burglary skills in Ant-Man.

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