If you’re a giant-sized fan of Ant-Man like I am, then this is the week for you! Not only does the second issue release for Nick Spencer’s Ant-Man ongoing, but the movie prelude tie-in hits comic shelves as well. The story, while set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is your standard movie tie-in, it should be of importance as all the MCU tie-in books are official cannon for the universe and phases of films.
Marvel’s Ant-Man Prelude is a limited series of two issues. The first came out today and is a quick, fun, and serviceable entry into the world of Ant-Man according to the MCU. It’s written by Will Corona Pilgrim and should satisfy fans as it focuses not on Scott Lang (the second Ant-Man and Paul Rudd in the film), but on Hank Pym (Michael Douglas and original founding member of The Avengers).
Pym is working as a research and development consultant for S.H.I.E.L.D. and it’s alluded to that he creates their gadgets – “So you came to order a new toy for the boys?” He has an uneasy relationship with an older Howard Stark, a Howard Stark that looks strikingly like John Slattery’s version in Iron Man 2. Howard wants Pym to lend them the Ant-Man suit as the “particles” will allow a covert mission to take place in East Berlin. Apparently, or so we’re told, Hydra-tech was found in the Soviet Sector of Germany and S.H.I.E.L.D. wants to stop the group of radicals before they can reverse engineer it. Pym doesn’t trust Stark and isn’t comfortable with the particle being used on a mission. This is another place within Pilgrim’s first issue that sets the stage for Hank Pym’s distrust of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Howard Stark. While they debate, a familiar face enters the room – Margaret “Peggy” Carter!!! She’s a little older than when we last saw her (Agent Carter), but not as old as she was in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. We learn that she is a founding member of S.H.I.E.L.D. as we have learned from the Agent Carter one-shot and could surmise will happen at the close of the Agent Carter mini-series.
This is where the book becomes MCU must reading material as we could see Marvel’s master plan at work right before our very eyes. In order to most likely rectify the fact that Hank Pym was not present for Phase 1, we are given his introduction at the very close of Phase 2. Fans needn’t worry as Pym is not being shortchanged in any way – he’s an integral member to S.H.I.E.L.D. and has close ties with the two founding members – Howard Stark and Peggy Carter! As we already know, John Slattery and Hayley Atwell will be reprising their roles in this July’s Ant-Man movie so it’s no surprise that they are fetaured within the first issue of the Ant-Man prelude. It also works as a nice, relevant, and current tie-in to Agent Carter on ABC. Ever the calm, cool, and collected voice of reason, Agent Carter discusses the importance of the mission to East Berlin with Pym. She understands Pym’s reservations and is fine with him being the one to don the Ant-Man suit; she just doesn’t want him “to do it blindly.” She trains him and in a moment that is directly from Captain America: The First Avenger she pulls a gun on him and shoots. Before he could be hit, Pym reacts immediately by activating the particle and shrinks down to the size of an ant. After he resumes his normal size he asks “So… what do you think?” to which she replies “I think it works.” It’s the highlight moment of the book as we recognize the work Marvel has put into the creation of the cinematic universe and we understand just how much history it already has! For this moment to work between Peggy and Hank, we need to already have a relationship with Agent Carter to have that make you smile moment in the comic.
Ant-Man Prelude #1 works as a book worth your time and $2.99. If for any reason at all, pick this up for Agent Carter. She works as a great way to get us familiar with and comfortable with a new face in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If Peggy Carter likes Hank Pym, then we should too.
If Peggy Carter believes in Ant-Man, then so should we!
*It also helps that Hank Pym is Michael Douglas.
Ant-Man Prelude #1 of 2 gets three out of five stars. Miguel Sepulveda, no stranger to the MCU tie-ins, captures the actors and gives the book a a unique feel. When paired with Will Corona Pilgrim’s writing, we could easily see why Marvel treats this book as canon. Simply put, Ant-Man Prelude works and accomplishes its goal of introducing us to a character that will soon be a house-hold name.
MARVEL’S ANT-MAN PRELUDE #1 (of 2)
WILL CORONA PILGRIM (W)
MIGUEL SEPULVEDA (A)
GET READY FOR MARVEL’S NEXT SMASH HIT FILM WITH THIS OFFICIAL PREQUEL!
• Before Scott Lang becomes Marvel’s shrinking sensation, Dr. Hank Pym will pull on the helmet and leap into action on a death-defying mission that will take him into the icy heart of Cold War East Berlin!
32 PGS./Rated T …$2.99