Written by: Neil Davies, Special to CC2K
Marvel’s latest opportunity for newcomers to hop on the Ant-Man bus might have had a bit of a clunky start, but it promises to give readers more than a few great laughs along the way.
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Ramon Rosanas
Colorist: Jordan Boyd
The Marvel universe has always been a difficult world to break into. With so many alternate dimensions, reboots, side teams and heroes who share the same moniker, it can be daunting to pick up an unfamiliar storyline or hero. Which is why whenever Marvel opens a door for beginners, like rebooting a series or starting from an issue #1, I tend to take it.
This fresh start into the world of Ant-Man features the reformed thief Scott Lang, who has taken over the mantle of Ant-Man from the well-known Hank Pym.
This first issue has a lot of great things going for it: it’s unbelievably witty, our hero is sympathetic and loveable and it’s a comic that is very self-aware. Lang’s inner monologue is some of the funniest out there, and it elegantly straddles the line between obnoxiously self-aware Deadpool comics and the quick witted Spider-Man. Sure, there’s some ill-timed, or forced, humor here and there but for me the hits far outweighed the misses.
This is a story about a man’s redemption. Throughout this comic, Lang is remarkably un-super. He doesn’t fly from frame to frame, he doesn’t kick in a door, yell something dramatic and save the day, but rather he goes on a job interview and tries to make up for lost time with his daughter. The only thing that reminds us for most of the issue that he’s a hero is the fact that not once does he remove his Ant-Man costume, even while doing mundane tasks like riding the bus or walking his daughter home from school. Which brilliantly displays to us as on a visual level that he is a man striving to be something, or someone, greater than he once was.
While writer Nick Spencer’s wit is enough to have you audibly chuckling throughout your read, the issue does suffer from several heavy doses of exposition dump and character history; very little of which was pertinent to the overall plot. Unfortunately, this particular issue was so thick with dialogue and heavy handed backstory that it often hindered the artwork, leaving very few opportunities for the visuals of this comic to take the story and add breadth.
The story itself was also one of the bigger downfalls of this issue. #1’s generally set the tone of the first story arc and get the readers pumped for what is to come. Unfortunately, and without spoiling any of the story, the ending is more likely to leave readers angry that they have to buy the next issue, rather than excited about future Ant-Man adventures.
Ant-Man #1 attempts to set a tone with readers that this series is about Scott Lang who happens to be the Ant-Man, and not the other way around. Overall, this restart (not reboot) gave a solid introduction to a lesser-known character who is likely to garner lots of publicity within the coming months.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0