Saturday, 21 February 2015

Ant-Man #1 - Marvel Comics

ANT-MAN No. 1, March 2015
Without the imminent release of a major motion picture by “Big Talk Productions” with which to tie this into, it is hard to imagine such a relatively minor character such as Scott Lang being awarded his very own ongoing solo title by “Marvel Worldwide”. Admittedly Ant-Man is one of the founding members of the Avengers, and apparently a favourite of co-creator Stan Lee following his first appearance in Issue 35 of “Tales To Astonish”.

But that was the original incarnation Hank Pym, and was way back in the very early Sixties when all the comic book capers of a modest-sized ‘Marvel Universe’ could easily be monitored, managed and stored upon pieces of paper housed within a single office filing cabinet. These days the publisher seemingly has an unlimited number of colourful costumed characters capable of possessing their own comic book, with new super-heroes appearing all the time. So why chose to award one to a reformed thief and electronics expert?

Well if the writing of Nick Spencer is to be believed it is that very lack of success which will captivate the long-term reader as despite all of his very best efforts Lang continues to fail in his goal of providing stable support for his semi-estranged daughter Cassie. Indeed even when victory appears within the grasp of the one-time burglar, and he manages to become the new head of Security Solutions at Stark Industries, triumph is snatched away from him at the last moment as his ex-wife Peggy Rae packs up her belongings and permanently moves to Miami.

Spencer is also rather clever by including the tumultuous backstory of Lang into the actual plot of the issue by covering the ‘retconned’ character’s imprisonment, death and resurrection via a job interview. Although somewhat artificial and clunky, this results in the ‘Ant-Man uninitiated’ swiftly being brought up to speed on major Marvel events such as “Avengers Disassembled” and “Avengers: The Children’s Crusade” and their impact upon Scott Lang.

Disappointingly however, it also means that there is little action within the book’s thirty-pages as discussion after discussion takes place. Either between Ant-Man and Tony Stark, Lang and his rivals for Stark industries top job or between the disheartened super-hero and Peggy. This also means that the rather angular inanimate style of Ramon Rosanas’ artwork looks all the more sedentary and uninspiring. Though the Catalonian illustrator manages to competently imbue the small-scale shrunken world of the ant with some suitably proportionate detail and vitality.
The regular cover art of "ANT-MAN" No. 1 by Mark Brooks

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