Ant-Man & The Wasp #1 Review

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Posted June 6, 2018 by Alden Diaz in Comic Books

Written By: Mark Waid

Art By: Javier Garron & Israel Silva

Published By: Marvel

I know that the first thing people think when the idea of a “movie tie-in” is even hinted at is “Oh sweet lord, no!” It’s natural, and I feel like we’ve all been burned enough times to justify that fear. We as fans immediately expect they’ll strip these characters of all interesting nuances and represent them in the lowest, most basic way to try and cash in on the feel of teaser trailers. And that’s exactly what these kinds of comics usually end up being: Teaser trailers masquerading as stories. But when it comes to Marvel’s new Ant-Man & The Wasp mini-series, two words had me interested beyond those fears from the moment it was announced: Mark Waid.

Waid is one of those veteran writers that commands attention. He has an ability to expertly employ the classic superhero sensibilities that contribute to the ongoing success of the genre, while also ensuring that his work meshes well with whatever the current status quo is of the universe in which he’s playing. I was particularly excited with this story because it’s a writer I enjoy and respect crafting a tale around one of my top favorite superhero characters: Scott Lang (better known to MCU fans as Paul Rudd).

Lang is a funny guy. Always has been. He’s a bumbling dad that also happens to be a superhero with a semi-laughable powerset, and that’s the core of what I’ve loved about him going back to Matt Fraction’s FF run. So there’s a lot to mine here and a lot that I’m already on board with. And Waid mostly succeeds with his take. Now, I really liked the comedy here he wrote with Scott. There isn’t anything here that I disliked purely as lines of dialogue. But there is a potential issue that I’ll be keeping my eye on: making Scott goofy to the point of being useless. Now this issue doesn’t go full tilt into that direction; Scott is definitely valuable, but it does feel like his personality is ALMOST exaggerated here. The biggest symptom of this problem is that aspects of his nature as a father are glossed over to put more emphasis on his clashing with the new Wasp, Nadia Van Dyne. I question why Scott isn’t more concerned with his predicament.

Now, despite the tone, Nadia is a much more straightforward and calculated character, and I think she is definitely well written here. You could say she’s cold, but when the time comes, she’s motivated by the simple desire to help people (or sentient light beings, because comics). This is the first time I’ve ever read anything with Nadia in it, and Waid does a great job of selling me on her.

The story is a rather simple one. It’s a classic cosmic adventure with new beings and interesting concepts. I liked that through Nadia’s perspective, Waid is able to raise logical questions about their powersets and the microverse. Now, this isn’t a scientific analysis paper. It’s still a fun romp, so it isn’t necessarily exploring those ideas, but it’s fun to breathe life into the conversations of people that live in this world. The story isn’t deep, it isn’t epic, but it’s the start of a good time with some interesting ideas. This could be a great first comic for someone of any age. And with the art team of Javier Garron and colorist Israel Silva joining in on this voyage to the microverse, the fun feel is brought further into the limelight.

I didn’t come into this issue familiar with Garron or Silva, but by the time the issue was over, I was excited to see what they had in store for the rest of the series. The visuals work perfectly with Waid’s writing, and I think that the faces in particular emphasize the comedic tone. I found myself taking extra time to look over the new light creatures and the environment Scott and Nadia were stuck in. It’s solid work. Nothing here that I think will go down as incredible work that fans will remark about, but I largely feel that way about the entire issue. It doesn’t have to be that. The art is clean, fun, and kinetic. Garron conveys speed with his line work and the colors from Silva get a spotlight here that I really enjoyed.

Overall, this is a solid start. Despite the one character thing with Scott that I really hope gets resolved, I think it’s a good #1 issue for this story and for these characters. I could easily see some fans not being sold on what feels like an ultimately inconsequential plot, but I’m looking forward to the second issue. This mini feels like it’s making the case for smaller, self contained adventures. You know, like the genre was built on. My biggest takeaway is that I came away liking a new character, and for a longtime Marvel fan, that’s always a great surprise. If you’re someone that’s never tried out Pym Particles before and you want to give an Ant-Man story a try, pick up this issue.

Written By: Mark Waid, Artwork By: Javier Garron, Colors By: Israel Silva, Letters By: Joe Caramagna



$3.99

Written By: Mark Waid, Artwork By: Javier Garron, Colors By: Israel Silva, Letters By: Joe Caramagna

7.3

Final Score

7.3 /10

Pros

  • Waid understands how to evoke a classic superhero feel.
  • Most of the jokes landed for me.
  • This issue is entirely accessible both veteran fans and new readers.
  • Our heroes and the new creature designs are depicted with fun visuals.

Cons

  • Scott Lang characterization is inconsistent.
  • Some fans might feel the storyline isn't engaging due to "low stakes."



About the Author

Alden Diaz

Alden Diaz is a WTN writer whose roots go back to the site's two predecessors. So basically he has a seat on the Council AND the rank of Master? Right? He's a geek with lots of opinions on film, comics, TV, etc., a graduate of broadcasting school, a smark, and a shameless collector of Funko Pop figures. Ask him why pigs are the best animal.