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Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
by yo go re


An egg-slinging scientific genius, Dr. Elihas Starr began as a criminal underdog and rose to become a worthy adversary of Ant-Man and the Avengers.

Ah, the word "worthy" is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence. We haven't seen a word stretched so close to the breaking point since fans said Across the Spider-Verse "confirmed" that Earth E-65 Gwen Stacy was trans. An atomic scientist fired for trying to sell secrets, Egghead was hired by the criminal underworld to rid them of their greatest enemy, Ant-Man. Wait, Ant-Man? Can that be right? According to the comics, it is. In just three months, Ant-Man apparently had the entire New York crime scene on the run. So it's like that bit in The Dark Knight, except instead of a tense meeting with a sinister murderer, it's a bunch of guys who look like F-tier Dick Tracy villains just approaching a portly man on the street.

Marvel's Egghead precedes DC's Egghead by three years - and given that both of them are just "plain human smart guy with weird-shaped bald head," these days lawyers would probably have prevented DC from making theirs. Of course, while DC's just had a tall head, Marvel's actually is shaped like an egg: large, round, pointed on the top... Paul Harding sculpted this, and Egghead ends up looking like Dan Akroyd. If the character hadn't already appeared in the MCU, that would have been a good casting choice! His glasses are a separate piece, cleverly plugged into the bridge of his nose, and if you get in super close, the molding seam even makes them look like bifocals. Can't beat that!

Dr. Starr doesn't even dress like an egg! He uses the Happy Hogan suit body, to make him big, and has a lab coat over it. Not the normal lab coat, a new one sized for this body. It's got three pockets - two at waist height, one higher - with the lapels overhanging the breat pocket slightly, and it curls back just a bit on the lower right side. You kind of have to respect Egghead's dedication to never getting a costume or anything, just sticking with the dress pants and necktie right up until he died. [Correction: he did wear a costume once, while fighting the Defenders, but apparently decided he didn't like it because he immediately went back to plain clothes --ed.]

Yes, "died." Egghead's entire claim to fame is that he got blown up by Hawkeye. Accidentally. He was about to shoot Ant-Man with a laser pistol, Hawkeye jammed the barrel with an arrow, and Egghead, not being nearly as brilliant as he was cracked up to be, pulled the trigger, whereupon the feedback exploded him. Fittingly, this figure includes just such a pistol. It's not the same mold as the one from the comic, but neither is it one we've seen reused a bunch of times - it comes from Genis-Vell, and I can't immediately remember any other times it's been used? Really, they could have dug out Sharon Carter's, because it's pretty close to the comic art, but the fact they gave him anything at all is nice. Otherwise it would just be the usual articulation.

He does have an important part of the Cassie Lang Build-A-Figure, though: the torso.

For all his smarts (he was the second mad genius Leader recruited for the Intelligencia, after all), Egghead was held back by his obsession with Ant-Man. Yes, that's true of most villains, but for all that Doctor Doom hates Reed Richards, he still does stuff that's not centered around the Fantastic Four. Even when Egghead formed his own incarnation of the Masters of Evil, it was because he wanted to beat the Avengers so he could get to Ant-Man. It doesn't take a lot to be Ant-Man's arch-enemy (other contenders include "man forced into retirement," "angry Communist lady," and "trumpet hypnotist"), but Egghead gets the title. And now he's got his first action figure, something that seems exceedingly unlikely to have ever happened!

-- 09/22/23

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