Penned by Nick Spencer, and drawn by Ramon Rosanas, Ant-Man is a quirky, heartfelt, personality driven force to be reckoned with. Ant-Man #1 is wonderfully written and well-spaced redemption story of a failed hero. This issue could very well stand as a one shot, as Spencer gives readers everything they need to know about the hero without any prior knowledge of the characters history. Normally, I will give a series about two or three issues before fully investing my time into a story line, but Ant-Man immediately left me wanting more.
The comic opens with Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, sneaking into a heavily guarded building as he is narrating his life story. With the exception of his powers, Lang has nothing. He lives in a loft apartment, divorced, no money, criminal history, no job, all while trying to be the best father he can possible be for his daughter. Superheroes with common everyday struggles are not something that is seen very often. What’s an even rarer sight are depictions of superheroes with families, which is refreshing in my eyes.
In order to prove to his ex-wife and daughter that he isn’t a total screw up, Scott applies for a Security Consultant at Stark Industries. Scott shows up the interview in a brand new suit, his newly modified Ant-Man suit that is. During the interview process Lang recalls each of his shortcomings from his daughters illness to serving a jail sentence.
After the interview, Stark gives the potential candidates a trial run in which they must get past a mock security system and the winner will be employed.
Lang meets his competitors, Prodigy (Young Avengers), Victor Macha (Runaways), and Beetle from Superior Foes of Spider-Man. I should also note that each of their series are no longer continued, which is rather ironic that each of these characters are applying for a new job.
Lang realizes he is out matched and fakes an illness so that he can buy more time. Later that evening, Lang sneaks into Starks apartment to with intentions to cheat and retrieve the code to Starks mock system, thus bringing us back to the intro scene. An alarm goes off, and Stark congratulates Lang for passing the test. Stark reveals that his test was to see who was willing to do whatever it takes, which Lang proved. As a bonus reward, Stark also provides Lang with his apartment.
Aside from the brief history of the character, a majority of the issue seems to revolve around the relationship between Lang and his daughter. This is what humanizes Lang, although he is left with very little his only priority is daughter and the measures he is willing to take to give her his all.
Just as things are beginning to look up for Lang, another curve ball is thrown at our hero as he discovers his daughter is in Miami and has to make a decision between showing up to work for Stark or fly out to Miami immediately to be with his daughter. Lang chooses the latter of the two. Spencer does an amazing job portraying where Lang’s heart truly lies and where his priorities lie.
This is why I enjoyed this issue. You got a super hero in a battle, not against a villain like Ultron or Blackout. Instead, Lang is presented with ordinary struggles. It’s a much more personal look into the life of a superhero and what’s actually going on behind that mask and beyond just punching out baddies.
If the recently released Ant-Man trailer wasn’t enough to fill your appetite, then take my advice and read Ant-Man #1. I can say I wasn’t much of a fan of Ant-Man prior to this issue but between Spencer’s writing and Rosanas’ art, I’ve been made into a believer. It’s a refreshing and charming take one of the founding members of the Avengers and just a peak of what Marvel has to offer in 2015.