"You want to destroy this power, Lang? I won't let you. I'm going to embrace it. I'm going to use it for what it was meant for. But first, I'm going to kill you!"Eric O'Grady was a former SHIELD agent and research scientist, working in experimental weapon concepts and designs. It is unknown exactly how O'Grady came to be working for SHIELD, though he is known to have done contract work for Tony Stark as an intern shortly before Stark suspended all weapon development at his company. Despite his brilliance in terms of research, O'Grady was never linked to HYDRA, AIM, or any other terrorist organization that would have greatly paid for his knowledge. In fact by all accounts O'Grady was a normal individual until he began looking into the research of Hank Pym and the mythical Pym Particle.
Tasked by SHIELD director Thaddeus Ross to try and unlock the secrets of Pym's technology, O'Grady began experimenting with several different formulas to try and duplicate the shrinking effects of the Pym Particle. In short order, mostly due to his own fortitude, O'Grady managed to unlock the secrets of insect communication, as well as detect the subatomic particles in question. But he could only safely make them work on inorganic matter. O'Grady attempted to access the original research files that Bill Foster had encrypted concerning the Ant-Man project, but could not break into them before Foster disappeared with them. As such, he simply moved into trials based on animals and, as he would let slip later on during his fight with Lang, even testing it on a few prisoners as well, all in his obsession to try and figure out how the technology worked.
Eventually, O'Grady managed to figure out the secrets of the Pym Particles. However, he did not know about the negative side effects that exposure to Pym Particles could have on human anatomy. Eager to exploit his find, O'Grady quickly developed a suit incorporating his discoveries, adding some weapons and manueverability to it as well, and planned a demonstration at the SHIELD research facility for director Thaddeus Ross. This demonstration, however, went south as it was interrupted by the elder Hank Pym, Bill Foster, Hank's daughter Hope van Dyne, and Scott Lang aka the New Ant-Man. Having used the suit already, the Pym Particles began to have an almost immediate negative impact on O'Grady's already obsessed mind, causing him to reveal the way in which he tested on humans to get the results he wanted while also making him obsessed with destroying this new Ant-Man. Calling himself Black Ant, O'Grady sent an army of his own ants after Scott and his. The two fought through the SHIELD facility before winding up in a helicopter that eventually crashed. It appeared that Scott had defeated Eric in the crash, only to be captured by waiting police. However, Eric survived and, based on information that Scott had let slip during their fight, tracked down his daughter and ex-wife, holding them hostage to flush Scott out.
Their battle resumed in Cassie Lang's bedroom, encompassing not only themselves but the ants at their beck and call as well. The battle ended when Eric, having grown to full size, was preparing to kill Cassie and Maggie. Scott shrank between the molecules of Eric's pack, destroying the Pym Particle delivery system contained within and causing O'Grady to shrink to a puddle of protoplasmic goo.
Powers & Abilities
- Ant-Man Technology: Through the research left behind by Hank Pym and Bill Foster, as well as his own trial and error, Eric was able to replicate the Pym Particle and create his own Ant-Man suit. O'Grady also enhanced the suit's offensive capabilities, giving it built in laser cannons on the back as well as inborn jet propulsion in the backpack.
- Insect Control: O'Grady also figured out how Hank Pym had controlled ants, using various electronic frequencies to stimulate their senses. Eric also used unique radio frequencies in his methods, ensuring that only he could control the ants he had linked too.
- Scientific Genius: O'Grady shows a great deal of scientific ability, given that he was able to unlock the formula for the Pym Particle when dozens of others had failed before him.
Unbeknownst to O'Grady, the Pym Particle has deletrious effects on the human brain, unless the user is shielded by a protective helmet such as the one developed by Bill Foster. Since O'Grady never added this technology to his own suit, his mental state became increasingly unstable the longer he used the suit, to the point where he began to threaten the family of Scott Lang merely out of need for revenge or proving himself better than any other logical reason. This, ultimately, is what led to his downfall and death at the hands of Lang.
Eric O'Grady appears in the following films within the Earth-11584 continuity. In all cases he is portrayed by actor Jackson Rathbone.
- Ant-Man (2015)