This weekend the movie Ant-Man opened. It’s the latest in the pretty-entertaining crop of movies based on Marvel Comics characters, like Iron Man and The Avengers.
I haven’t seen Ant-Man yet. But I’m not going to let that stop me from telling film executives what their next insect-based superhero movies should be. There’s already been a TV series starring the Tick. Ant-Man has among its characters the Yellowjacket (yipe) and the Wasp (wait, yellowjackets are wasps—sorry, sorry, I’ll tell my inner pedant to shut up).
Here are some other excellent ideas.
You’re welcome, Hollywood. Also, I own these ideas. Take it up with my agent.
The Parasitoid Wasp
(I know, I just said Ant-Man already has the Wasp, but there are tens of thousands of wasp species, so let’s spare a few hours for one of the many, many species of parasitoid wasp.)
Somewhere in the Deep South, an evil pest is destroying crops: the Southern Green Stink Bug! Booo! Hissss! It feasts on valuable plants. The townspeople despair. But wait! Is it a bird? A plane? No! It is the Parasitoid Wasp Trissoleus basalis! She mates! She lays her eggs in the eggs of the Southern Green Stink Bug! The eggs hatch! They kill their vile hosts! The soybeans do a little better, maybe, although it’s not clear exactly how effective this whole wasp adventure was! The townspeople rejoice!
The Dung Beetle
The season: Spring. The place: A city where it snows a lot. The situation: All winter long, people have been walking their dogs, letting them do their business in snowbanks. More snow fell and covered it up. All was white and clean. But now the thaw has come and everywhere there are piles of poo. What will the residents of Snowville do? The Dung Beetle to the rescue! An eccentric industrialist puts on his custom-built poop-rolling suit and walks his way around town on his hands, using his hind legs to roll the poop into bigger and bigger balls and propel it down the streets and sidewalks. He overcomes obstacles—poop-impaling sticks, traffic—and rolls the dungballs into a field utside of town, where he buries them, one at a time. He uses his finest sphere of scat to win the heart of a beautiful lady. The grateful residents of Snowville throw him a thank-you party. He misses the poop.
Set in the First World War, this film features an extremely agile bug that can fly in any direction and is a champion at evading capture, although it is reluctant to venture far from water and a total failure at delivering bombs, being much more interested in catching and devouring small flies, plus mating. The great powers despair and decide to work harder on airplane technology instead.
It’s summer. The Mid-Atlantic town is being invaded by villains whose identity is unimportant, but I will tell you one thing: they’re very sensitive to sound. Sure, they’ll tolerate a little fuss to invade and take over the town, but they’d just really like everything to be quiet and peaceful. After 17 years of this tyrannical regime, the town’s savior appears: The Cicada! All these years, it’s been waiting underground to emerge, molt, climb into the trees, and start making the most horrendous din. Oh, yeah, forgot to mention, these villains also don’t like the indoors. So they’re stuck outside, under the trees, with what sounds like a jet engine in the tree above them, and they decide to abandon this whole villainy thing and go back to their planet. The townspeople rejoice.
The Stick Insect
It pretends to be a stick. And it does a wonderful job. Five stars. Take the whole family.
Photo: Wikimedia user Manisamg