In the Season 3 premiere of The Boys, Billy Butcher and his band of vigilantes seek to take down a Supe known as Termite, who has the ability to enlarge and shrink his body at will. And they manage to do that in a manner that is very typical of the series: by scooping him into a bag of cocaine, causing him to overdose and pass out.
Termite is indeed an interesting character who can crawl inside people’s bodies before enlarging himself and killing them. However, the size-changing ability is not exclusive to him. In Marvel, DC, and a number of independent comic labels, there are a handful of characters who can do the same, though in a less explicit manner.
Gim Allon (Colossal Boy)
Gim is a member of the Legion of Superheroes, a group of superpowered individuals from the 30th century that protects the United Planets from villains. He first appears in Action Comics # 267.
Gim’s arc is tied to the trope where individuals acquire powers accidentally. He does so when a meteorite falls next to him during his stint as a Science Officer on Mars. Despite having a cliche origin story, Gim has several outstanding attributes such as his humility and selflessness. He is quick to quit working as a Science Officer so he can help humanity, even though it’s his dream job. He happens to have a very good relationship with his parents too, who always encourage him to keep doing good.
William Foster (Black Goliath)
William is first introduced in Avengers # 32 as a scientist in Tony Stark’s Baltimore warehouse. After a growth serum increases his size to 10 feet, Dr. Hank Pym helps him find a cure that enables him to alter his size.
Unlike Termite, Black Giant is not just a one-dimensional character. His relationship storylines have been more wholesome than those of many other major heroes. Thanks to his competence, he has been a part of many major groups including, the Champions of Los Angeles, the Defenders, the West Coast Avengers, and Secret Avengers. His death is one of the saddest ones too as his colleagues are forced to bury him while he is a giant since he is unable to change sizes once he dies.
Like Colossal Boy, Shrinking Violet is also a member of the Legion of Superheroes from the 30th century. She has briefly gone by other names such as Virus and Leviathan.
Violet’s ability to alter her size has made her a master of espionage. She is frequently seen sneaking into villain bases and acquiring all the tactical information necessary to defeat them. She is thus considered a very important member of the Legion’s Espionage Squad. Unlike Colossal Boy, her size alteration abilities are tied to her heritage as she is a native of Planet Imsk.
Erik Josten (Power Man / Atlas)
In Avengers # 21, Josten is first seen as a mercenary who is granted Ionic Ray powers by Baron Zemo. He is then exposed to Pym Particles by Karlin Malus, enabling him to change size.
Josten’s power is advantageous to him since his strength increases as his size increases. Consequently, he can lift up to 100 tons. Fans would have a hard time deciding whether to like or hate him as he often alternates between being a hero and a villain. As a member of the Thunderbolts, he has won hearts by saving Manhattan from extraterrestrial attacks but as a member of Baron Zemo’s Masters of Evil, he has sunk to the lowest despicable levels.
Rita Farr (Elasti-Girl)
Farr is first seen participating in the Olympic swimming games in My Greatest Adventure # 80. She has a brief stint as an actress too and after acquiring her powers, she goes on to be a founding member of Doom Patrol.
Rita’s size alteration is far superior to many others of her kind because it’s almost limitless. During a battle in Gotham, she grows as large as a skyscraper. No amount of physical attacks can affect her either since she is able to regenerate any body part she loses. And while most size-changing characters have to enlarge their entire body, Ritta can opt to enlarge an arm or leg only.
A member of the Guardians Of The Globe, Ray makes his debut in one of the best Image Comics issues, Invincible # 9. He participates in several missions before being swallowed by Komodo Dragon.
Unlike the version seen in the Amazon Prime series, Shrinking Ray is male on the pages. Nonetheless, he is just as awesome as the animated version. Thanks to his powers, other members of the Guardians depend on him for spy work. Additionally, he has become somewhat of an escape artist, able to pull himself and his buddies out of captivity at any time.
Ray Palmer (The Atom)
In Showcase # 34, it’s revealed that the physicist can shrink to sub-atomic sizes. He is also a member of the original Justice League of America.
There is a lot more going for Ray rather than just shrinking, He is extremely intelligent and happens to have a Ph.D. in Physics. He is a great combatant too, thanks to the Judo training he received as part of his Justice League of America training. And because of his resourcefulness, he has been recruited to the Suicide Squad and Teen Titans at different stages.
Janet Van Dyne (The Wasp)
Janet starts out as a fashion designer in Tales to Astonish # 44. She then gets exposed to Pym particles and vows to be a hero in order to avenge the death of her father.
The Wasp is only one of the best sidekicks in the MCU but in the comics, she is much more prominent. As a founding member of the Avengers, she has gone on more missions. She isn’t just about fieldwork too, She once demonstrates her leadership abilities by serving as the Chairperson of The Avengers. And since she can fly, she happens to be much better at moving at dodging attacks than Ant-Man.
Karen Beecher (Bumblebee)
Karen is introduced in the DC world in Teen Titans # 45 where she is said to be the love interest of Teen Titans member Mal Duncan, aka, Herald.
Karen’s fate is an unfortunate one because she can only keep on shrinking and not increase in size. This development resulted from a Zeta Bean accident and to prevent her heart from exploding, she has to remain on medication from The Chief. Nonetheless, she has gone on to be a very reliable member of the Teen Titans, often using her skills as a researcher to discover the source of various powers.
Scott Lang (Ant-Man)
Lang makes his debut in Avengers # 181. He later goes on to work for Stark before joining the Avengers, becoming one of their most popular members.
Lang is undoubtedly the most iconic hero with size-changing abilities and Termite is clearly a parody of him. And his size-changing abilities are better because they are not just limited to himself as he can change the sizes of many other objects at will too. His super strength is impressive too. A punch by a half-inch Ant-Man is shown to have the same effect as a punch by a normal human.
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