This will hopefully be the first of series of reviews of modern comics in this, the Conglomerate Age where everything is merely a drop in the corporate bucket which makes my opinion practically worthless. But you get what you pay for and we'll see if we get ours with Ant-Man #1.

  • Obviously this book is out because of ANT-MAN THE MOVIE, which is shocking enough! Who would have thought that Ant-Man would have a movie out before Wonder Woman or Doctor Strange!
  • The creators are Nick Spencer (writer) and Ramon Rosanas (artist), names that I'm not familiar with, though that reflects nothing to their talent.
  • The art is above average, so Marvel could have a new star here.
  • The basic plot is that loser Scott Lang is trying to get a job from Tony Stark as Stark Industries "Head of Security Solutions", even though he worked for Stark before.
  • Tony has no faith in Scott, telling him that he is unreliable and a failure, despite being both an Avenger and a part of the Fantastic Four.
  • Scott's criminal past is brought up. Several times.
  • His failed marriage is brought up. Several times.
  • His love for his daughter Cassie is brought up. Several times.
  • The villain of the piece is the female Beetle from Superior Foes of Spider-Man who is apparently a hired assassin, out to kill Stark after lulling him to a false sense of security by trying to have sex with him. Eww!
  • Actually the bulk of the issue deals with Ant-Man sneaking into Stark's computer system so he can rig it so that he wins the job the next day. Not really a "There Came a Day...." scenario.
  • Also his (evil) ex-wife, Peggy, moves to Miami to get Cassie away from New York City, super-heroes and Scott.
  • So Scott wins the job but loses his daughter but doesn't accept that so he abandons Stark and covertly moves to Miami to secretly be near Cassie by living in a dollhouse!

As first issues go, it certainly sets up the character and his situation but it gives Ant-Man no purpose. He has no niche, no mission, no reason for being Ant-Man except to spend some time with his daughter. He needs more.

And we've seen all this from Scott Lang already. His conflict with his ex-wife and his being an ex-con were resolved ages ago. Except for some references this story could take place after his initial Marvel Premiere appearances. The maturity and leadership qualities that Scott possessed are washed away in order to present him as a wash-up!

And he doesn't even catch the villain! Iron Man does!

In recent issues of She-Hulk, Henry Pym shows up as Ant-Man while Scott was in FF. Are they sharing the identity? Hopefully Han will appear here to settle "who-is-who". They debut a new Ant-Man armor here and it's visually uninteresting and generic. They do give him a knock-out gas gimmick that's nice but he still lacks any sort of offensive power.

Then there's Cassie Lang, the apparently now-former Stature who is no longer dead (as Scott was himself). But she's no longer in the eighteen-to-twenty year old range but now looks about fourteen! It's almost like they gave him another daughter so he has something to fight his ex-wife over!

If this book is going to succeed, they have to give Ant-Man a challenge and some motivation. He needs to be more of a heroic figure. He can't act like a supporting character when he's the star of the book!

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The book is about him cheating to get a job he immediately quits anyway? Not a good opening.

Alex and Julie Powers' ages have also bounced around. At one point she somehow became older than he was. They also aged around 6-8 years in the same time Franklin Richards aged 4. Wasn't Cassie only a few years older than Franklin, which Marvel says is now 8? Apparently editors aren't bothering to keep track and writers are making these characters any age they want.

Isn't Tony evil now? Being an Avenger and a member of the FF might not mean anything to him. Maybe he should have said he was a former Master of Evil.

Maybe they don't know what the movie is going to do with Hank and Scott so they're keeping both Ant-Men around just in case Michael Douglas ends up in the suit at the end of the film?

Not only did Scott cheat to get the job but Tony gave him the job because he cheated!

Tony only wants crooks working for him now? I really don't get what Marvel thinks they're doing with him.

Well, Tony said he wanted someone who thought "outside the box".

I wonder how many supervillains are working for Stark Industries?

The Beetle applied.

So none except for the Looter in Accounting, the Gremlin in Human Resources and the Living Eraser in PR.

Shoot! Radioactive Man washed out, huh?

I plan to read this very soon, Philip. I should actually be able to contribute something to the conversation soon.

I found this to be really depressing. He can't ever hold down a job, and then as soon as he gets one, he has to drop it again. Ugh.

I loved the art, though. It reminds me a lot of Marshall Rogers.

What I found disturbing was that Scott had the chance to get his life back together again (in the context of this series). He could have let Cassie move to Miami, work for Stark, build up his reputation (again, in the context of this series) and establish to his ex-wife how responsible and respectable he has become which might have let see his daughter more. Instead he decides to "stalk" her by living in Barbie's Malibu Dream House and it's a secret!

That would sound reasonable to anyone, including judges, lawyers, the police and Tony Stark!

btw, in the new Avengers NOW! Handbook, Cassie Lang as Stature travelled back in time and brought Scott with her to the present prior to his death, thus resurrecting him and/or creating a temporal anomaly. She in turn was killed by DOCTOR DOOM! Which no one seemed to mind or hold him accountable for!

Not that it matters because her fourteen year old "clone" is running around Miami now!

Nobody wants to punish him because Doom has been "redeemed" by being nice to Valeria Richards and says he wants to make a better world for her. Still waiting for that to turn out to be an insidious plot of some sort.
How many people have gotten a double through these temporal anomalies by now?

Nick Spencer has been writing 'Superior Foes of Spider-Man', one of the series that make my annual 'Marvel Unlimited' fee worthwhile.  I'm happy to get smart.entertaining series that move minor characters forward rather than brilliant series starring the once-were-hereos of the MU.  Glad to see that Spencer is carrying some stuff forward from SFoS.

It was an entertaining series, and you don't have quite all the problems with the characterisation, as they are utterly immoral characters anyway, (amoral on a good day...)  You should check it out.

When it comes to current comics, I generally don't worry about anything that happened before Avengers Vs JLA.  The  Unverses were unmade and remade several times during that series and the MU wasn't put together quite right at the end.  It has been completely different since then, with personal morality and integrity not being very high on most characters' agenda.  Badass for the major characters and hopeless losers for the minor ones.

The minor characters have had some lovely long runs where they've been passed from creator to creator and handled quite well.  Avengers Academy, Hank Pym, the Taskmaster etc.  They've tended to be highly compromised characters, but at least they know they are, not like Spider-man, Iron Man, etc. who the writers don't quite realise are now elitist thugs for the most part.

I say all this as someone who loved Scott Lang back in the day.

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