2015 looks to be a promising year for Ant-Man. The arguably C-list character not only stars as the title hero in his own movie, but now as the star of his own comic. Nick Spencer has reintroduced us to Scott Lang and it looks like the ex-con, ex-Avenger is here to stay. Ant-Man has many of the same irreverent qualities that made The Superior Foes of Spider-Man such a hit with fans (including CM Punk.) The book is a true start for a Marvel character that will surely be seen as new for a generation of people who have grown up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (much like Guardians of the Galaxy.) And it most certainly will go into another printing as it looks to sell through its first printing. But here’s why you should jump on the back of this ant and get ready to take off!
The Marvel Premiere of Ant-Man (wink to Scott Lang’s debut in Marvel Premiere) opens with a daring heist, or so it seems. We find Lang making his way through a building and slipping past security by “making the most” of his talents. While far from the abilities of Thor and Namor that he compares himself to, he is able to change in size and communicate with ants. Abilities that while may not sound impressive to a woman at a super hero party, they certainly come in handy when breaking into a certain building belonging to a certain heavy player in Marvel comic books. The opening pages read like a Nick Spencer story. That’s a plus for a writer that has a knack for quick dialogue, sharp wit, and genuine laughs. Each word that Scott Lang speaks sounds almost as if it was coming from the mouth of Paul Rudd in a Judd Apatow film. And hey kids, Paul Rudd is playing Ant-Man in July! Spencer writes the character so well as he is no stranger to characters with sordid pasts just looking for a second chance. It’s truly great that he has not abandoned his wildly imaginative and go for broke style that made Superior Foes such a loss when it was cancelled.
As Scott Lang goes for a job interview, Spencer’s story takes us to places that so little mainstream comic books take us. Ant-Man becomes a super-hero, a MARVEL super hero, with a heart and issues we could all relate to. It’s almost a plus that this character is so under appreciated and not on the likes of Spider-Man and Iron Man as we may not have been given such a gem of a book. As Lang fumbles through his interview and clarifies why he had been convicted of a crime, we are taken back to a retelling of Avengers #181 and Marvel Premiere #47 and #48. It’s a fantastic embellishment by Spencer that establishes Scott Lang’s roots within Marvel history. We’re told of his “compelling back-story” and how “just nothing quite stuck.” After a little bit of exposition and an appearance by Tony Stark, it’s clear that if we stick with the book for a few more pages we are going to seriously care for this guy. Shocking, right?
Ant-Man #1 is not only a win for Nick Spencer and a win for Marvel; it’s a win for Scott Lang. The first issue gives us our next hero to root for and excitedly follow as he makes it all up as he goes along. And if it’s not watching him try to secure a job at Stark Industries, it’s watching him try to be a good father to his daughter Cassie. Nick Spencer’s first issue is as much a story of a father and daughter as it is of an ex member of The Avengers. (Possibly even more so!) It also helps that Ramon Rosanas’s art style, invitational and friendly, brings to mind Chris Samnee’s terrific work on Daredevil and the short-lived but loved Thor: The Mighty Avenger. Be sure to pick up Ant-Man #1 before it sells out because, trust me, it will! And, while you’re at it, maybe pick up one of those cool shrinking variants by Ed McGuinness too!
Ant-Man gets five out of five stars!