You Want Ants? Cause That’s How You Get Em

By David Nieves

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Writer : Nick Spencer   Art: Ramon Rosanas
The Marvel onslaught of ad-books starts the first week of 2015 with a bright spot. Writer Nick Spencer follows the Fraction model of turning a B-list character into a series star by humanizing him in Ant-Man #1.

Whether he was Hank Pym or Scott Lang, Ant-Man has never really been a character looked upon with big league potential. So how do you make a mundane super hero into a character worthy of a reader’s hard earned money? Take the “super”out of them. This new Ant-Man series follows a similar trajectory to that of Matt Fraction’s astonishing run on Hawkeye. Scott Lang is undoubtedly a horrible super hero, but Spencer shows the audience the redemption story of an absent father trying to make a better life for his daughter. Only this father talks to ants and has the ability to shrink down to their size. The series debut recaps Lang’s nefarious past as a master thief and his more recent stints on the Avengers and FF while setting up his move to a new city.

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To tell a story with oddball powers like that of an Ant-Man; the art needs to weird yet lucid. Artist Ramon Rosanas is no stranger to the peculiar. His recent works include Night of the Living Deadpool. Ant-Man is a bit more straight forward than Deadpool but Rosanas does hit the right mark of quirky. There’s a ton of panel work that feels as isolated as the character is intended to be. We often see Lang alone on the page with his worst enemy; his own thoughts. In fact the only time Lang doesn’t feel so alone is when he’s commanding his army of insects. Though in future issues, Rosanas could be tighter with his choice of camera shots. A few pages feel as though I’m looking at an almost identical shot, particualrly during Scott Lang’s interactions with Tony Stark.

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It’s hard to remember a recent video game created along side a film that didn’t almost make you want to hate the movie. Comics have had more success in this avenue because of their freedom to tell a story that doesn’t depend on the film yet still be an asset to both audiences. Ant-Man is without a doubt an ad-book for Marvel. There’s little doubt this series would exist if the studio wasn’t making the feature film to be released this Summer, so this book definitely carries a chip on its shoulder. Spencer’s run on Ant-Man is off to a terrific start in reintroducing Scott Lang by playing on his irredeemable qualities and has the potential to get comic fans who don’t care about him in the theaters.

Definitely worth picking up!