Cassandra Lang was introduced as Scott Lang’s daughter in Marvel Premiere #47 – Lang’s first outing as Ant-Man. We took a look at that issue here. Truth is, though, I was reading about Cassie’s adventures as a superhero before I ever read a single Ant-Man story, so she’s always been fascinating for me. Though I’ve come to appreciate Ant-Man himself, and my excitement for the upcoming movie is nearing overdrive, Cassie will always be my favorite Lang.
In Marvel Premiere #47, Cassie started out as her father’s driving force to be a superhero. He wants to save her life and simultaneously prove that, despite his life of petty crimes and screw-ups, he can be a good father. Cassie was way younger in these stories, and initially isn’t fleshed out as a person. She’s a reason for Ant-Man, the seeming key to his redemption, rather than the Cassie Lang we’ve come to know as a hero unto herself.
Here’s where things turn around for Cassie. Young Avengers – the first series, written by Alan Heinberg and drawn by Jim Cheung. Cassie had been exposed to Pym Particles when she was younger and, now that she’s a teen, she’s developed the ability to manipulate her size. Big, small, you name it. She joins the first incarnation of the Young Avengers, along with founder Iron Lad (Nathaniel Richards), Hulkling (Teddy Altman), Wiccan (Billy Kaplan), Hawkeye (Kate Bishop in the house!), Patriot (Elijah Bradley), and eventually Vision and Speed (Tommy Shepherd). That run, though short, was one of my favorite comics, and helped make me a fan of the medium in the first place. The LGBT representation was somewhat unique for that time, especially for what was essentially and young adult book. Along with books like Runaways, it introduced a roster of modern, interesting, and incredibly nuanced characters into the Marvel Universe.
As Stature, Cassie and her friends led their own title for a short while, but also played parts in a good amount of the company-wide crossovers at the time. They were integral players in Civil War and Secret Invasion, where they had time both in the main titles and their own side stories.
Cassie was killed by Doctor Doom in Avengers: Children’s Crusade, an event that reunited the Young Avengers with their original creative team of Heinberg and Cheung, while also bringing in the Avengers and the X-Men. Cassie’s death rocked the Marvel Universe, casting a shadow over Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s revival of the Young Avengers, which was a brilliant, pop song of a comic book. It took the Young Avengers on a new journey, exploring what it was like to be eighteen. I love that book, and Cassie’s absence did exactly what I feel it was meant to do – make me miss Cassie. Scott Lang was also reeling from her death in FF, where he became leader of the Future Foundation while suffering from depression. He’s lost his daughter; his reason. Doctor Doom, in yet another event, seeks redemption by resurrecting Cassie, who returns to her father.
That leads us to now! Cassie is currently playing a role similar to that of her introduction in Nick Spencer’s Ant-Man series. Scott is trying to show that he’s not a screw-up by keeping Cassie away from his superhero antics… the thing that got her killed in the first place. Though it’s great to have her back, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before Cassie steps out of the supporting cast and becomes a hero on her own again. With Marvel’s new initiative, which is focusing heavily on female characters and young heroes, I hope that, soon enough, Cassie will become Stature once again.
PAT SHAND writes comics (Family Pets, Robyn Hood, Charmed: Season Ten) and pop culture journalism (Sad Girls Guide, Blastoff Comics). You can find him at local coffee shops, entirely too caffeinated, or Twitter @PatShand, where he posts pictures of his legion of cats daily.