Writer: Nick Spencer
Artists: Ramon Rosanas & Jordan Boyd
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Summary from Comixology: “Scott Lang has never exactly been the world’s best super hero. Heck, most people don’t even think he’s been the best Ant-Man, and the last guy invented Ultron and joined the Masters of Evil, so that’s saying something. But when the Superior Iron Man calls with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Scott’s going to get a chance to turn it all around and be the hero he’s always dreamed of being. Sure he’s been to prison! Sure he’s been through a messy divorce! Sure he’s been, um… dead. But this time is different! This time nothing is going to stop the astonishing Ant-Man!”
First off I’d like to state that I already wrote this review. It took me hours because I had to do it in between my children fighting, and crying, and asking for food, and crying some more, and then fighting WITH food. It was exhaustive and when the site crashed for a moment and erased it all I was inconsolably livid. But, that’s life, so here’s to round 2…
I like Ant-Man. Or rather, I like the men, the characters, that ARE Ant-Man. I like Hank Pym because (much like Hawkeye and Black Widow) he’s a genius who holds his own alongside a crew of super-powered individuals who are damn-near indestructible. I like Eric O’Grady because… well, because he’s an a-hole. An inexplicably likable a-hole. And I like Scott Lang because to me, he’s the perfect Ant-Man. “Why?” you might ask. Well, this first issue in the new Ant-Man series completely captures why I like him…
Scott Lang is a dude. He’s not a genius. He’s not a superhero. He’s not really much of a hero at all. But he’s clever and he’s got honorable motives. Scott is a dad, with a teenage daughter. I can’t fully relate to what the character deals with, but I can sympathize because I do have kids and I know the feeling of being willing to do anything to give them a good life. Scott is just the kind of guy who does the wrong things for the right reasons, as opposed to, say, Tony Stark, who does the right thing for the wrong reasons (and who also is featured somewhat prominently in this issue), or Bruce Banner/Hulk who does the right thing seemingly on accident. Nick Spencer NAILS this aspect of Scott Lang in this issue. He fully solidifies Scott’s “grey area” character. He wants to be good, but he’s better at being bad. I had only been aware of Spencer through his work on Avengers with Jonathan Hickman, before now, but I’m fully confident that he’s the man to breathe fresh air into this character.
The art here is great as well. The art team of Rosanas & Boyd masterfully achieve a style I’ll call “defined simplicity”. They paint beautiful panels full of color and precise line-work, but it never gets too complex or too cartoon-ish. You can tell these guys strive for an easy to understand, never dumbed-down form.
Creatively speaking, I have no “lows” to address. However, as we’ve address many times here before, I would like to point at the $4.99 cover price. I also have to thank my fellow 4LN writer (and on-again-off-again boy-toy) Bill Clark for making notice of this one, because my love of the character clouded my perception on this. For me, $4.99 is not too much to pay for this comic. But for a lot of people, especially people who are already on-the-fence, or not sold at all, on Ant-Man (or, for that matter, any other character with $4.99 price on their series) that cost is just too high. I hate that so many people will look at that and say, “Nope”, just because of the price tag. And it’s not their fault either. Marvel (and DC also) needs to understand that they are shooting themselves in the foot here. I get what they value their characters at but, the old saying remains true, “Something is only worth what someone will pay for it.”
The Final Say –
As an Ant-Man fan, I’m proud of this comic. Spencer writes Scott as completely self-aware and cognizant of the fact that “being Ant-Man” comes across as pretty lame. In fact, he fully addresses it in the first few pages. If you don’t like Ant-Man, I encourage you too follow the Comixology link at the top of this article and read them in full resolution. Spencer has Scott say everything you’re thinking.
I’m giving Ant-Man #1 a 4 out of 5 stars. Like I said, creatively, the book is flawless to me, and I’d like to give it 5 stars. But I just can’t fully support an ongoing series consistently costing $5 an issue. While I’ll most likely continue reading it, I completely understand those who choose not to for that reason.
Coincidentally, Marvel has just released the first TEASER for this summer’s Ant-Man film, starring Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lily, and Corey Stoll! Check it out!