For those of us who aren't exactly well-versed in the more obscure heroes of the Marvel Comics universe, it was just a little bit odd to learn that the latest movie from the creators of characters like Thor and Captain America is called ... Ant-Man? Then again, we'll see just about anything with Paul Rudd, so the diminutive title doesn't turn us off too much. In this mythology, Rudd's Scott Lang dons a suit that shrinks him down to ant size while also granting him an ant's famously disproportionate super-strength, hence the name.
Hollywood has a long-standing tradition of using bugs — that's the highly scientific term we're using to include insects and spiders, by the way — in heroic, horrific, and even sympathetic roles. Arthropods, with their armored shells and sharp joints, multiple eyes and waving antennae, just look inherently creepy, and their behavior is even more alien to our human minds. So, why shouldn't they serve as scary monsters reflecting our fears of nuclear power or other scientific experimentation, as they've done in Them! and The Fly? They make really good stand-ins for interplanetary invaders in movies like Men in Black and Ender's Game. On the other hand, they're also really small, so we can accept someone like Jiminy Cricket as a wise advisor, or find ourselves identifying with the plucky misfits in Antz and A Bug's Life. And if you want to get really freaky with your metaphors, view them as murderous sex fiends, like the ladies in Invasion of the Bee Girls.
Just be warned, these films will make you think twice before you take out that fly swatter again.