Ant-Man #1 Review

Written by: Nick Spencer

Art by: Ramon Rosanas

Publisher: Marvel

Given that he’s got a big screen debut coming later this year, the good folks at Marvel clearly thought it was time Ant-Man got his own ongoing series. Many seemed quick to pass this off as a cash in or simply an advertisement for the upcoming movie, however Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanas have crafted a comic with a ton of heart and character leading to what could be another big hit amongst fans in a string of successful hits from Marvel.

The comic works both as a history of Scott Lang’s Ant-Man (sorry Pym fans, but the focus is solely on the second Ant-Man here) as well as a good adventure in its own right, involving a down on his luck Lang attempting to break into Tony Stark’s apartment in order to get a job to secure a future for his teenage daughter Cassie. The story works very well on multiple fronts, it gives new fans interested in checking out the character a nice rundown of his history, giving them a reason to care about Lang’s adventures. His supporting cast gets equally good treatment, with his situation of a divorced dad being very unique among superhero comics, with his relationship with Cassie feeling very genuine. It also shows us the sort of adventures we can expect from the series, which look to be an absolute blast, following very much in the line of books like Hawkeye and Spencer’s own Superior Foes of Spider-Man, very grounded stories and situations with super heroes at the centre. In this case however, things seem a little more off the wall than those books; think The Tick as opposed to Louie.

What helps sell the book is Spencer’s portrayal of Scott Lang; I’ve always found Ant-Man to be a very vanilla character (sorry again Pym fans) but here he’s bursting with personality and comes across as very likeable and sympathetic, a man who may not get everything right but has his heart in the right place and tries his best. It makes him feel very relatable and is sure to win over people who’ve never really looked at the character. Spencer tackles the idea that Ant-Man is not only a rather obscure superhero but not even the most popular Ant-Man quite head on, leading to many laugh out loud moments which places Lang as a loveable loser. It’s very similar to what Geoff John’s did with Aquaman in its early issues, but it works very well here, especially since Lang has the trouble of not only winning over the casual fans but also the die-hard Pym fans who don’t want to accept someone else in the role. All this builds into a very effective and heart-felt done in one story that ends on a very sweet ending. While it does come a bit out of left felt it did manage to give me what the internet calls “the feels”, summing up Lang’s character perfectly.

A key factor in why this series feels a little more traditional superhero than the other indie feeling Marvel titles is thanks to artist Ramon Rosanas who brings a style akin to a Saturday morning cartoon. The art looks absolutely fantastic, it brought back great memories of reading classic superhero comics while maintaining a style all on its own. It’s another example of Marvel’s willingness to give artists a chance to bring something new to the artistic table and it fits this book to a T. Given that so much of this book centres on characters with big personalities and humour it’s great that Rosanas’ art nails that comedic style and makes each character incredibly expressive. It’s just the best fit for a book such as this and captures the tone perfectly.

This is a comic I didn’t think I’d like but ended up absolutely falling in love with. I encourage many of the cynics out there considering passing this series up to give it a look in. Ant-Man stands among many fan-loved Marvel books such as Ms. Marvel, Daredevil, Hawkeye and Secret Avengers as a new wave of indie Marvel books that are absolutely top quality stuff. It’s got a great sense of style, humour and is full of character. Despite the annoyingly high price this is definitely a book worth checking out and that I guarantee you will fall in love with it. There’s more to Scott Lang than Hank Pym’s shadow.