Written by: Nick Spencer
Art by: Ramon Rosanas
Published by: Marvel
I’ll be honest with you, a large part of the reason Ant-Man #4 is one of the best comics out this week is due to that gorgeous Miami Vice inspired cover. Aside from looking beautifully stylish, it perfectly incorporates how fun, energetic and bizarre the comic inside actually is.
With the series now in its fourth issue, it feels Spencer has really found his groove working on the book, so much so that he allows himself to slip back into some comfortable writing tactics for him; pathetic D-list super villains. Given his strengths on Superior Foes of Spider-Man it should be no surprise that the interactions between ex-con Scott Lang, Grizzly and Machinesmith lead to some of the funniest interactions in this comic, particularly over Lang’s mode of transportation. It feeds back into the down-and-out, grounded feeling of the series and ensures that even with all the crazy, bizarre happenings, the humour is very smartly written stuff. It never resorts to cheap jokes and the humour comes from the characters personalities rather than prat falls. With books like Daredevil ending and Hawkeye changing creative teams I feel now more than ever light-hearted and unique books like this are needed. It’s the sort of fresh, new books Marvel need to ensure they have to reach new markets.
The ongoing conflict about the resurrection of Darren Cross and the kidnapping of Cassie also proves to be involving and tense despite the book’s comedic edge. I feel I should praise Spencer for his ability to both balance an ongoing arc while still making this issue feel satisfying in its own right. Too many comics nowadays feel distinctly written for trade, so I’m glad that Spencer manages to make these comics a ton of fun to read every month to ensure fans get their money’s worth.
Once again, the visual styling art of Rosanas are top notch and contribute hugely to the book’s unique aesthetic, walking the line between a Saturday morning cartoon and something by Louis C.K. It’s a really hard style to describe, but I really couldn’t imagine the book being drawn by anyone else, it both feels like traditional superhero goodness while featuring totally fresh and inventive. Spencer and Rosanas feel completely in sync by this point, so the only place to go from here is up.
Overall, Ant-Man may be my favourite ongoing Marvel series right now. It’s a pure dose of fun every month with perfectly witty humour and an involving ongoing narrative. Ant-Man is the sort of superhero book the industry needs more of, and I hope this series can last a long time.