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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This is true. It's kind of weird how Marvel was really quick to separate themselves from their own creation like that.

Philip Portelli said:

Unless it's Big Hero 6!

Is there some sort of deal like what DC had with Tony Isabella and Black Lightning? I think that was why Nightman never made a comic book appearance the whole time his show was on tv.

And DC is acting the same way about non-WB shows Gotham and Constantine as they're being ignored while Arrow and The Flash get their own spin-off comics!

And they're still pushing Smallville!
 
Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

This is true. It's kind of weird how Marvel was really quick to separate themselves from their own creation like that.

Philip Portelli said:

Unless it's Big Hero 6!

I did read this, and it wasn't bad. Sure, Scott does some things that may seem questionable, but within context they make a certain sense.  I liked his relationship with Cassie, and his relationship with his ex-wife also seemed sensible to me. One wonders why more Marvel 616 citizens don't get out of New York,  Also, while it wasn't quite uplifting, Scott does get what he wants at the end, albeit with a difficult choice.

If you get a chance, read the first issue and then make a decision. I think it's better than what you're reading here.

ClarkKent_DC said:

You're not helping -- !

Last week, my friendly neighborhood comics shop slipped Ant-Man #1 into my stack as a recommendation. As it happens, I have room in my comics budget, since Life With Archie and All-Star Western are gone, Fables and Fairest end this month, and She-Hulk (sob) goes away next month. But I didn't take them up on it. This thread is not encouraging me to change my mind. 

Glad you enjoyed it, Randy and I'm not dropping the book either. I'm just saying that for a #1 issue, Ant-Man is missing something and his problems are those we've seen brought up before.

It's the de-ageing of Cassie that I object to the most. It makes no sense. Was she part of the Young Avengers? Was she Stature? Because if she wasn't then Scott never gets resurrected! It's a slippery slope!

Thanks for sticking up for the title, Randy, but shenanigans like "cheating to get a job he immediately quits anyway" aren't encouraging. Neither is the notion that he tries to get close to his daughter by surreptitiously moving into his ex-wife's home. That sounds far too much like stalking to make me comfortable. 

Then again, I once had a supervisor who liked Mrs. Doubtfire; he said it captured the plight of the divorced dad. I couldn't see it that way; I thought the Robin Williams character was a straight-up creep. 

Don't they have editors over there? That is, people who shoot down the bad ideas and help the writer turn them into ideas that work, story-wise? Sure, Scott Lang loves his daughter and is always at odds with his ex-wife, but they needed to think this premise through a little more (or a LOT more) before they launched it.

I don't think editors have been shooting down bad ideas for quite a few years now. In fact I suspect they're doing the opposite, shooting down good ideas and helping the writers with the bad ones.

...What deal with Tony Isabella was that ?

  And what Nightman ? ( Believe me , if you knew my posting circumtances now , you would forgive me my brainfreeze...........)
 
Ron M. said:

Is there some sort of deal like what DC had with Tony Isabella and Black Lightning? I think that was why Nightman never made a comic book appearance the whole time his show was on tv.

And if Scott's goal is to gain more visitation rights, then he fails as soon as he gets discovered. And it could land him back in jail! So not only is he back where he started from but he's in a worse position!
 
ClarkKent_DC said:

Thanks for sticking up for the title, Randy, but shenanigans like "cheating to get a job he immediately quits anyway" aren't encouraging. Neither is the notion that he tries to get close to his daughter by surreptitiously moving into his ex-wife's home. That sounds far too much like stalking to make me comfortable. 

Then again, I once had a supervisor who liked Mrs. Doubtfire; he said it captured the plight of the divorced dad. I couldn't see it that way; I thought the Robin Williams character was a straight-up creep. 

Don't they have editors over there? That is, people who shoot down the bad ideas and help the writer turn them into ideas that work, story-wise? Sure, Scott Lang loves his daughter and is always at odds with his ex-wife, but they needed to think this premise through a little more (or a LOT more) before they launched it.

Thanks for the articles, Ron.

...Thank you too .

  Interesting ! (No time to read the full Nightman article yet .)

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