- "Gratitude can be forgiveness. I spent years carrying around my anger for Hank Pym. I devoted my genius to him. I could’ve worked anywhere. I chose my mentor poorly. You didn’t even have a choice. He never believed in you. It’s a shame what we had to do, but he forced us to do it."
- ―Darren Cross to Hope van Dyne[src]
Darren Cross was the protégé of Hank Pym who usurped his mentor as CEO of Pym Technologies and rebranded it as Cross Technologies. His obsession with Pym's former creation of the Pym Particles caused him to try to replicate his own version, which he then intended to sell to HYDRA and the Ten Rings. Using his own version of Pym's Ant-Man Suit, which was known as the Yellowjacket Suit, he tried to fulfill the transaction, but he was challenged by Pym and Hope van Dyne, who destroyed his research with the assistance of Scott Lang. Driven mad by the failure, Cross tried to murder Lang and his family and eventually disappeared after their battle.
Darren Cross was born in 1976 at New York City to an unnamed father who was a scientist and an unnamed mother who was a saleswoman. In 1992, he went on to high school, where Cross gained high-level popularity as he became a scientific genius. Cross went on to attend MIT and graduated as valedictorian at the age of twenty.
Working for Pym Technologies
- "He was my assistant. I thought I saw something in him. The son I never had, perhaps. He was brilliant, but as we became close, he began to suspect that I wasn't telling him everything. He heard rumors about what was called the Pym Particle, and he became obsessed with recreating my formula. But I wouldn't help him. So he conspired against me and he voted me out of my own company."
- ―Hank Pym[src]
Cross was hired directly from MIT by Hank Pym, and for a time worked as his assistant at Pym Technologies. However, Cross became obsessed with learning the secrets of Pym's Ant-Man Suit, and his size-reducing Pym Particle technology, despite Pym's constant attempts to convince Cross that it was nothing more than an urban legend and should not be taken seriously.
Over the years, Cross forced out Hank Pym from his own company and took over as CEO, renaming it Cross Technologies; the company under Cross' leadership became a rival of Stark Industries thanks to his guidance. Cross continued to obsess over Pym's previous experiments that had remained hidden from the world, focusing much of his energy into understanding the science behind the fabled Ant-Man Suit. Eventually, Cross' obsession paid off and he was able to make his own weaponized version of the Ant-Man Suit, which was called the Yellowjacket Suit.
WIRED Magazine Interview
Cross gave an interview with WIRED Insider discussing his work at Pym Technologies. Cross assured his interviewer, James Rondell, that Pym Tech was working hard with their old designs while developing a new design that would be astonishing. When Cross was asked about Hank Pym, his past involvement in the company, and whether or not he was pushed out of his company, Cross claimed he and Pym were close friends before cutting the interview short.
Reunion with Hank Pym
Presenting the Yellowjacket
Cross organized a presentation with several potential investors for his Yellowjacket Suit, and also invited Hank Pym to witness his success. To his surprise, Pym showed up and was greeted by his estranged daughter, Hope van Dyne, who was now working for Cross. While giving his presentation, Cross showed off many pieces of footage believed to be of Ant-Man in the 1980s and used Pym as an example of his history with the project, which Pym continued to deny.
Eventually, Cross showed his guests his Yellowjacket armor and explained its many benefits to the military with a slick presentation. He explained how he had been able to recreate the technology used by the Ant-Man and created a new form of Pym Particles which could shrink who or whatever came into contact with it while increasing their strength. However, a member of Pym Technologies, Frank, seemed less than impressed, noting it was only a suit which could also pose a threat if it were to fall into the hands of their enemies. Annoyed at having been questioned, Cross asked to see Frank in private later to discuss the Yellowjacket further.
With the guests discussing the pitch, Cross spoke to Pym in private. When Pym finally confessed that he had developed the Pym Particles and the Ant-Man Suit in the 1980s, Pym warned Cross not to pursue this project any further as he believed that the technology was far too dangerous when put into the wrong hands. Cross refused to listen to reason and vowed to complete his work, telling Pym that they could have built the Yellowjacket as partners, but Pym had ruined any chance of repairing their partnership.
As Cross walked away from Pym, he was approached by Mitchell Carson, an old enemy of Pym's who was now working for HYDRA. Carson offered a deal to Cross in which HYDRA would purchase the Yellowjacket Suit for twenty percent of his asking price in exchange for a fast payment in cash. Blinded by his greed and pride, Cross accepted the offer and began to put things in place to sell his weapons to the ultimate terrorist organization. However, before he could sell the technology, Cross knew he had to perfect it.
Quietly furious, Cross then sought out Frank, the guest who had questioned him in the Pym Technologies meeting, finding him in the bathroom, where Cross greeted Frank and presented himself as friendly and understanding despite Frank's concerns over the design of the Yellowjacket Suit. As Cross handed over a paper towel for Frank to wash his hands, they discussed the laws of man which Cross was breaking with his work with Pym Particles,
Cross, however, was not fazed over the questioning and argued that his work had transcended the laws of nature itself, which was his own twisted excuse to continue his work. When Frank handed Cross the used paper towel and continued to question Cross' work, claiming he did not understand the consequences of what he was doing, Cross shot him with a Shrink Gun that contained the unstable Pym Particles which Cross had been experimenting with, causing his body to shrink and collapse into itself, leaving nothing more a tiny gooey blob lying on the floor in front of the calm Cross.
Calmly noting that his scientists still had not fixed all the bugs in the technology, which is why the gun killed Frank rather than shrinking him, Cross wiped away the mess and flushed it down the toilet without a second thought. Cross then returned to the sink and washed his hands, removing all evidence of Frank's murder and his connection to it, knowing that nobody would ever discover his remains and therefore Cross could now continue his experiments without anybody questioning his own unique methods.
Dinner with Hope van Dyne
Viewing the Yellowjacket Suit presentation to have been a success due to his deal with Mitchell Carson, Cross invited Hope van Dyne out to dinner with him to celebrate. There, Cross discussed his fractured relationship with Hank Pym and they toasted to Cross' impressive success in finally completing his experiments with van Dyne telling him that he deserved everything that was coming to him.
Perfecting the Serum
With Hope van Dyne by his side, Cross continued his experiments to try to perfect his version of the Pym Particles in order to ensure that his design of the Yellowjacket Suit was finally ready to be sold to his new buyer, Mitchell Carson, by bringing in lambs to act as his test subjects, despite promising van Dyne that they would be using rats. The experiments continued to be a failure, with each shot of Pym Particles reducing the lambs into nothing but a tiny bloody mess on the floor.
Cross refused to give up, however, and continued bringing in test subjects for hours on end and forcing his staff to work long hours, with one after the other being instantly killed when coming into contact with the unstable Pym Particles. Eventually, one of the tests finally proved successful when the lamb was reduced in size and stayed alive in a small glass container. Delighted, Cross picked up the container and gave it a gentle flick, knocking the lamb off-balance before he began smiling maniacally at his success.
- "Pym Tech, the company you created, is about to become one of the most profitable operations in the world. We’re anticipating fifteen billion in sales tomorrow alone. You’re welcome. I know this is odd, but I’d like you to be there. This is my moment, I want you to see it."
"Sure, Darren. Yeah, sure. I’ll be there."
- ―Darren Cross and Hank Pym[src]
Cross traveled to the Pym Residence with the intent of killing Pym after he told his former mentor of his success. When he arrived, he found the door unlocked and overheard Pym speaking to Hope van Dyne and Scott Lang before discovering plans throughout the house for what appeared to be an elaborate heist into Pym Technologies to steal the Yellowjacket Suit. Before Cross could study these plans further, he was interrupted by Hank Pym. Not wishing to raise suspicion, Cross greeted his friend warmly and invited him to the presentation of the Yellowjacket as Cross' greatest achievement, to which Pym reluctantly accepted.
As Cross drove home, he phoned van Dyne in an attempt to ward off suspicions of his discovery and told her that he had just seen Pym, asking her where she was, to which she lied and claimed to be at her home. In an attempt to sabotage Pym's heist plans, he then ordered her to increase security at Pym Technologies ahead of the Yellowjacket Suit presentation; she reluctantly agreed, which caused a major problem for the heist. Cross told van Dyne that he was lucky to have her, despite knowing of her betrayal.
Selling the Yellowjacket
Betraying Hank Pym
As the day arrived to present the Yellowjacket Suit to his investors, Cross found Hope van Dyne walking through the Pym Technologies corridors where she had been sabotaging the inner workings of the building ready for the heist. Not wishing to let Van Dyne believe he was aware of her plans, Cross smiled and asked her opinion on his suit before they set off to greet their guests arriving for the presentation.
When Hank Pym arrived at the facility as requested, Cross happily invited him into the presentation room for a private discussion about their work as Pym congratulated him on his success. As Cross went through the security checks, Pym noted that he may have overdone things, but Cross said with a smile that he could never be too careful. Once Cross, Pym, and van Dyne were alone in the presentation room, Cross' bodyguards held them at gunpoint and Cross revealed that he had known all along of Pym's plans.
He then waited for Scott Lang to dive into the glass case to steal the Yellowjacket Suit and trapped him inside, removing the suit beforehand while mocking Lang for his failure. They were then joined by Mitchell Carson, whom Cross introduced as the representative from HYDRA. Pym attempted to convince Cross not to sell the suit to them, but Cross refused to listen and threatened to kill Pym. However, Lang was able to break free; he and Van Dyne began fighting Cross' guards, but Cross managed to shoot Pym.
As Lang and van Dyne ran to the bleeding Pym's aid, Cross stepped behind Lang and placed his gun to his head, threatening to kill him if he did not remove the Ant-Man Suit immediately, to the point of even promising that he was willing to pull it off his corpse. However, before Cross could pull the trigger, he noticed that a group of ants had begun crawling up his arm and biting into his skin, causing him incredible pain. Unable to fire the gun, Cross ran out of the room while leaving Pym, Lang and van Dyne behind.
While Carson escaped with the Pym Particles and the money, Cross ran to his guards while ripping ants off his skin. As he held one final ant between his fingers and slowly crushed it to death, the furious Cross demanded that a helicopter be brought to the roof immediately so he could escape. He then left two guards behind and ordered them to kill anyone who stepped out of the room without mercy before leaving to get on board the helicopter so he would not be arrested by the police that had gathered outside.
Cross took the Yellowjacket Suit in his suitcase and made his way to his helicopter on the roof, screaming at the pilot to leave as soon as possible, knowing that his deal with HYDRA and Mitchell Carson was clearly finished. As he began to escape, Cross witnessed a swarm of flying ants coming towards him, led by Ant-Man. Cross then began firing his gun wildly in an attempt to kill Lang but only succeeded in killing one of the ants carrying Lang while he continued to bellow at the pilot to take off.
This only served to anger Lang, who had managed to get on board the helicopter and knock out Cross' guards. However, Cross managed to kick Lang outside of the helicopter, but he just held on by grabbing the seatbelt. Cross continued to taunt Lang for attempting to stop all his plans with a heist, to which Lang clarified that he and Hank Pym had never planned just a heist, which confused Cross and caused him to look on the Pym Technologies Headquarters. Cross watched in horror as Cross Technologies, along with his Yellowjacket research, was destroyed by the explosives Lang had put in.
With no other choices remaining and all his plans ruined, Cross was forced to put on the Yellowjacket Suit himself as he then prepared to fight Lang on his own terms. As Lang pulled himself back inside the helicopter, Yellowjacket charged the laser on his suit and prepared to execute Lang, only for Ant-Man to shrink again and dodge all the blasts as the enraged Yellowjacket continued firing upon him without any regard for his surroundings and only desiring to kill the Ant-Man. When Lang managed to hit Yellowjacket in the face, it did almost no damage but only managed to anger Cross even more.
Finding himself at some disadvantage fighting against the almost invisible Ant-Man, Yellowjacket reacted by shrinking himself down to size and fighting Lang across the helicopter, while also increasing back to size again at various points. Cross' suit proved superior to Lang's due to the mounted cannons on the back; however, due to Lang's extensive training with the Ant-Man Suit, he managed to keep Cross back throughout their fierce battle. Eventually, Yellowjacket's cannons caused so much damage to the helicopter that it was forced to crash land over the San Francisco streets below.
With both pilots being killed accidentally by Yellowjacket's weapons, the helicopter span wildly out of control and both Cross and Lang tumbled into Cross' suitcase and fought a battle inside. As the furious Yellowjacket screamed and cursed at Ant-Man, his phone mistakenly heard his cries and played Disintegration by The Cure while they dodged the various keys and travel sweets that they each threw at one another as they continued to try to kill the other, all the while with Yellowjacket continuing to fire his cannons at Ant-Man, causing a lot of destruction within the small briefcase.
The suitcase that contained the pair eventually landed inside a highly confused family's swimming pool. Cross regained his size first and began moving towards the utterly horrified family. When the mother attempted to call the San Francisco Police Department, Yellowjacket used his cannon to destroy her phone before threatening to slaughter them all in his violent rage. Lang, however, launched himself out of the pool to defend them, transforming himself from small to large to land the best impact against Yellowjacket as he delivered a powerful punch that launched Yellowjacket through a wall.
Yellowjacket and Ant-Man's fight then continued inside the house, as they battled on a glass table until Yellowjacket managed to gain the upper hand against his enemy and kicked Ant-Man back outside of the house, causing him to crash land on top of the barbecue and return to his original large size once again. At the end of their brief confrontation, Lang managed to use a ping-pong paddle he discovered to smash Cross as he attempted to attack him, causing Yellowjacket to be thrown into a bug-zapper, seemingly overcharging the suit and killing him, ending the fight for the time being.
However, while Lang was mistakenly being arrested by Jim Paxton and Gale who were unaware of the situation, Cross was revived from within the bug-zapper screaming insanely as he was electrocuted yet again which caused him incredible agony. With his suit burnt and his body wounded, the now furious and highly unstable Cross began seeking some kind of sadistic revenge against those who destroyed his plans, starting by taking everything away from Lang after which he would then seek out Pym and Hope van Dyne.
Cross traveled to the home of Maggie Lang and took their daughter Cassie Lang hostage, waiting for her father to come to rescue her. It did not take long for Scott to arrive and confront Cross as the pair engaged in a brutal miniature fight on Cassie's toy train-tracks, throwing sections of the train at each other. Lang called for reinforcements from his army of Ants who attacked Cross, before Lang was able to throw him into the train tracks, causing him to be run over by Cassie's little Thomas the Tank Engine toy.
Lang attempted to shrink and sabotage Cross's suit. However, he discovered the mainframe on the Yellowjacket suit was encased with a shell of titanium, which could not be penetrated unless the Ant-Man Suit's regulator was deactivated; this would put Lang in danger of shrinking indefinitely. Frustrated by his inability to kill Lang during their fight, Cross then attempted to attack Cassie while she was being protected by Jim Paxton. Although Paxton attempted to shoot Cross, he was quickly disarmed by one of the suit's arms, leaving him and Cassie defenseless against him and his technology.
As Cross prepared to murder the innocent family simply to torment his foe and gain a victory in this fight, Lang was left with no choice but to turn off his suit's regulator and sacrifice himself by shrinking into the Yellowjacket Suit and damaging its internal mainframe. Cross screamed in horrific pain one last time before the suit then collapsed into itself, smashing the glass in his helmet, mangling his limbs, and crushing him to subatomic size. Lang was then briefly teleported into the Quantum Realm, before finally being able to return to his normal size and reunite with his daughter.
Darren Cross was an extremely cruel and ruthless businessman who was willing to use Hank Pym's Pym Particles as a weapon. He was a man who believes that his ends justified the means and would easily attempt to use anything in order to gain his final goal of miniaturizing organic matter, including using lambs to shrink even if the end result was a failure and once this was accomplished Cross had no qualms about flicking the successfully shrunk lamb in its container as a mere plaything. He was a good person when he started working for Pym as his protege, but that changed when Cross became obsessed with the Pym Particles and the Ant-Man Suit. As Pym pointed out, Cross was basically what Pym used to be like in his youth and originally thought that he was the son he never had.
Cross had no problems with murder, as he killed Frank for questioning the Yellowjacket Suit's safety using a Shrink Gun, attempted to kill Pym out of jealousy and anger, and Cassie Lang and Jim Paxton when they got in the way. He was also willing to sell the Pym Particles and Yellowjacket Suit to shady businessmen like HYDRA. As a man of extreme caution and intellect, he was able to deduce and plan ahead of his enemies, like when he set a trap for Scott Lang, Pym and Hope van Dyne after the latter attempted to steal his suit. As Yellowjacket, he became crazy after losing Pym Technologies and being electrified by a fly-light trap. He attempted to kill Ant-Man with no restraint, as he unintentionally killed his bodyguards and the pilots during the helicopter fight with no regard for his own action, and was willing to use Cassie Lang as a hostage to get to her father.
Despite his many negative qualities, he actually valued his teacher's wisdom, wanting to work beside him and stating they could have worked on the shrinking technology together. He was very saddened when his teacher distanced himself from him, as seen when he asked Dr. Pym why he chose him and why he pushed him away, having a tone of sadness as he spoke. He also seemed to care for Dr. Pym's daughter, Hope, taking her to dinner, showing gratitude towards her, and stating he was lucky to have her on his team. Additionally, he was visibly distraught by Hope's betrayal, like the night he planned to kill Pym, he stopped himself because van Dyne was there and he knew he wasn't ready to kill her.
Powers and Abilities
- Size Alteration: Using the original Ant-Man suit and Pym Particles formula as a template, Cross can reduce approximately to the size of an ant. He also still maintains his regular-sized strength and durability when shrinking due to increased density and compressed energy and physical force caused by size transformation.
- Enhanced Strength: The suit grants Cross superhuman strength, even while shrunk as well. This is thought to be due to Pym Particles enhancing the density and compressing energy and physical force to the user, giving him the power of a bullet. In the case of the Yellowjacket, its mechanisms may be able to enhance physical strength and resilience, even in human size, he was almost able to crush Ant-Man between his hands while Lang was in shrunken form. Though Ant-Man in normal size was able to take on Darren Cross while the latter was in the Yellowjacket suit. In addition, the suit's mechanized stingers can be used as melee weapons, which Cross used to knock Paxton's gun out of his hand and to help him grab Lang into order to hurl him through the air.
- Flight: Cross has the power of flight through highly advanced jets installed in the backward of the suit. The two top tentacle-like 'stingers' on the suit's back have exterior thrusters at the bottom of the tentacle that allows him to levitate and move forward with its propulsion.
- Energy Pulse Stingers: The suit has four mechanical tentacle-like 'stingers' on the back, the bottom pair of which can form shoulder weapons and direct energy weapons, which can fire intense energy blasts. The energy beams are blue and laser-like, burning through objects and, when Cross is in a small size, he can easily kill targets, much like bullets. When in normal size, the larger beams can easily burn through and destroy objects as large and as thick as a wall.
- "Well, they don't draft the stupid kids first."
- ―Darren Cross[src]
- Genius Level Intellect: Darren Cross graduated from MIT at only twenty years old and was impressive enough to be recruited by genius Hank Pym to work for him.
- Master Scientist: Cross was recruited by Hank Pym to work at his company, Pym Technologies as his personal assistant and one of the lead scientists. Over time, he became obsessed with replicating Pym's Ant-Man Suit, and managed to create his own version, the Yellowjacket Suit.
- Expert Businessman: Cross was able to oust Pym from Pym Technologies and become its leader, progressing it to the point where it became a rival for Stark Industries. Though the company had not presented a product in some time, Cross assured, in an interview, that its shareholders were satisfied.
- Glock 17: Cross took one of these guns from one of his security guards, with the intention of personally killing Hank Pym. Due to Ant-Man and Hope van Dyne's intervention, Cross was unable to kill him, but he still managed to shoot Pym in the shoulder. A group of Ants disabled Cross' gun, and he was forced to discard it.
- Beretta 92FS Inox: Cross took one of these guns from one of his security guards while trying to escape from Pym Technologies Headquarters. He began to shoot at a swarm of Ants, hoping to kill Ant-Man, and he managed to kill Ant-Man's steed, Ant-thony.
- Shrink Gun: As Cross tried to create a new form of the Pym Particles, he failed to shrink a living body. However, he weaponized it to the Shrink Gun, able to kill living beings by condensing their tissue into a tiny puddle of protein substance. Cross used it on Frank.
- In the comics, Darren Cross was a technology industrialist. His heart was failing, so he murdered homeless people and took their hearts to keep himself alive. Scott Lang fought Cross when he kidnapped Erica Sondheim, the only person who could cure Cassie Lang. When Lang and Cross fought, Cross died of a massive coronary.
- Yellowjacket is one of the many heroic identities taken by Hank Pym in the comics. During his first time donning the Yellowjacket suit, Hank Pym's mental state greatly suffered due to the Pym particles affecting his brain chemistry.
- In response to his introduction in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was resurrected and eventually took up the mantle of Yellowjacket.
- Darren Cross listens to The Cure.
- Yellowjacket is the second main villain to be killed by the titular character(s) of the film in which he appears, the first being Ronan the Accuser.