One of the comic books I most look forward to is the Nick Spencer written and Ramon Rosanas illustrated Marvel comic, Ant-Man. After a terrific issue which I talked about last month, “Is 2015 the Year of the Ant?”, we have the second issue that released this week. Has Scott Lang, along with his size-changing and ant-communicating abilities remained as charming as his Marvel première? Should Ant-Man remain a title that you pull or should it shrink down and disappear like every Ant-Man solo series has done?
When we last left off with Scott Lang, he turned down the job of working head of security for Stark Industries. Lang then decided to head down to Miami so he could be closer with his daughter Cassie. He isn’t in such a great place as his ex-wife doesn’t want him around their teenage daughter, he’s in his forties and unemployed, and living in a toy house that he stuck on somebody’s rooftop (it’s actually quite nice despite the furniture being plastic.) Simply put, Ant-Man is the farthest thing away from what you’d expect from a Marvel/ Avengers Now title. Because Nick Spencer’s scripti so unconventional, Ant-Man has become one of the most charming, sincere, and wittiest of comics. To answer my question from before of this comic disappearing? It would seem highly unlikely as Ant-Man is slowly becoming one of the most genuinely enjoyable of titles (and it certainly helps that we have the movie this July.)
Nick Spencer’s story is great in that it takes us to unexpected places. We all have somewhat gotten so lost in the Marvel Universe (Cinematic too) that we kind of don’t remember what a small, local story feels like. But that’s what is so great about Marvel is that they have an innate ability to create a living, breathing world that feels relatable. From the first thought box in issue 2 “I been thinking about the universe a lot lately…” you’re informed that Scott Lang may not be the smartest, or the coolest, but he’s Ant-Man! He’s an ex-con, ex-Avenger, and “trying to get a head start on an exciting new life.” It’s additionally hilarious that we find a positively C-list villain fighting Scott in the opening pages all due to an awkwardly and embarrassing case of mistaken identity. It’s here that Nick Spencer name drops O’Grady (the third Ant-Man in Robert Kirkman’s series). Spencer gave fans one of the funniest and enjoyable reads with “The Superior Foes of Spider-Man” so it’s only natural that he’s brought the same quality over to Ant-Man.
Ant-Man issue 2 continues with laughs and heart as Scott, in costume as the Ant-Man, goes to request a bank loan for his business idea, Ant-Man Security Solutions. While there is action in the book, one that includes a scene of Ant-Man fighting a giant Nazi robot (Yes, a Nazi robot) the highlights really are in the quieter moments. This is where Ant-Man will succeed unlike some of his other series. Spencer isn’t trying to make this a book that it isn’t and by playing it to the public idea of Ant-Man being more of a joke super hero, he becomes more endearing through his Charlie Brown like optimism. We can’t help rooting for him and wanting to see Scott Lang have his (long awaited) moment in the spotlight. It also helps that Ramon Rosanas attractively pencils and stages each page in an eye-catching way. I’ve mentioned that his style is reminiscent of Chris Samnee and if you hold Daredevil next to Ant-Man, you may actually think it is by Samnee. There is of course some differences (naturally) and Rosanas has a great way of capturing expressions which almost guarantees that you’ll be spending a few extra minutes with each page.
Ant-Man issue 2 was a real gem this week and was the most fun I had. Ant-Man deserves to sell out of every copy and if there ever was a series to do this, it’s Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanas’ run. Go pick up Ant-Man issue 2 at your local comic shop now.
Ant-Man issue 2 gets five out of five stars.