Writer – Zeb Wells; Artist – Dylan Burnett; Colorist – Mike Spicer; Letterer – VC’s Cory Petit; Assistant Editor – Lauren Amaro; Editor – Darren Shan; Editor in Chief – C.B Cebulski
This week, Marvel premiered their newest volume of Ant-Man helmed by Zeb Wells, in which the eponymous hero teams up with his daughter, Stinger, to fight crime as a father/daughter duo.
This first issue starts with them taking on AIM drug traffickers. The action is a nice blend of heroic violence and awkward comedy, much like the Scott Lang of the movies.
Their partnership is strained however, less like the movies, because of their familial relationship. She’s a teen superhero and he’s her father; he’s a partner, but also responsible for her behavior and actions. It’s tough to raise a person that is your equal in many ways, especially at work, when your job is saving lives. Scott is understandably frustrated trying to find and set a standard for their relationship as Ant-Man and Stinger while balancing their relationship as father and daughter. Further, Cassie is understandably frustrated being constantly watched by her father “at work”, being mad and frustrated/embarrassed at her dad for treating her like a kid instead of a superhero.
Scott has a similar situation with his roommate, an Ant called Pam. The reader gets a translation of the Ants’ “words” that leads to an “odd couple” situation. It may sound corny or weird, because it is to an extent, but it’s a novel idea that really works to add some more clear comedy in this book.
That’s what this book primarily is, a comedy. Specifically, a buddy/relationship comedy with a coming of age narrative, where one buddy is his daughter and the other is a sassy/passive-aggressive Ant that acts like a nagging housewife from a 70s sitcom. The comedy is the best part of this book, with Scott’s devil-may-care attitude to criminals and the awkward relationships in his life.
The story progresses to the team working for beekeepers to find their missing bees. Considering Ant-Man can talk to insects, he’s an ideal hire for this job. As it turns out, the missing bees aren’t an accident, unsurprisingly. It turns out that Swarm, a Nazi scientist made of bees, is behind it, and only Ant-Man can stop him!
Burnett’s art with Spicer’s colors does a nice job of blending big action poses (encapsulating the superhero aspects) and goofy expressions (capturing more of the characters and their relationship). This trend is most visible regarding the facial expressions. This design, while simple, conveys a depth of emotion very well; certain ones like frustration, surprise, and disgust showing up multiple time in multiple ways throughout the book. This is all paired well with the body language as well, to really help convey the tones of the written words.
The growing and shrinking effects look great as well, with outlines showing when an object is growing larger or smaller. An early scene with the drugs had a cool swoosh effect to the shrinking as well that really popped.
The monster design is one of the greatest things in this book. Swarm looks like a classic demon/monster that wouldn’t be out of place in a Ghost Rider or old school Hellblazer book. Further, there are more monsters at end that I won’t spoil, but they really looked interesting. Finally, while not really a ‘monster’ design, at one-point Scott gets a sort of exo-suit made of bees that looked really great, but also goofy. And that’s the point, it can be both and that only makes the series more fun!
Before concluding, VC’s Cory Petit’s letters in Ant-Man #1 merit some praise as well. There are, understandably, a lot of woosh and kapow like sound effects that all get some fun design, a trend this book will hopefully continue.
Ant-Man #1 is off to a promising start. A good choice for new fans, recurring fans, movie fans, and anybody in between that wants to read this character.