Ant-Man #1 Review

by Jay Hill on February 05, 2020

Written by: Zeb Wells
Art by: Dylan Burnett
Colors by: Mike Spicer
Lettered by: Cory Petit
Published by: Marvel Comics

Scott Lang is a tad down on his luck and is on the hunt for his next big score. Along with him is his daughter Cassie, aka the hero Stinger. The pair are looking to hit the big time and grow their names while shrinking their size.

Scott plays the role of loving father and likable loser in this issue. In a lot of ways this unlucky period he seems to be in makes perfect sense for his character. Although he’s a hero who has achieved great feats, he has found himself looking for his next big move. This bad luck is actually good for the story because his parenting of Cassie seems to work best in situations where he isn’t in the most stable of circumstances, as seen in the movie adaptation that uses that relationship well. In this book, it is put through an even more interesting iteration as they begin the comic teaming up. The opening scene had some really funny moments with Ant-Man & Stinger which ends up being a sign of things to come because what this comic does best, besides getting the Scott Lang character perfect, is its comedy. This is a really funny book. And it’s not the “out of character” jokes for jokes' sake kind of comedy. This book has some nicely timed and crafted humor. Writer Zeb Wells’ style connects with the character and story. Along with the jokes, the book is supported by Scott Lang’s motivations to get back on his feet. He is so down that he currently resides inside an anthill outside an easily irritated lady’s house in Florida. A lot is done in this book to ground (no anthill pun intended) the character and the world. The great focus on Scott earns the “Ant-Man” title the comic has, something other solo books could learn (if you’re going to name the book after someone it should focus on them). Although there’s a grounded feel to the story, it’s not without its spectacular moments. Towards the end of the issue, Scott encounters a threat that he seems just the man to face. The introduction of some new villains who seem not only perfectly in the realm of Ant-Man but also quite possibly seriously dangerous was just the cherry on top this series opener needed to close. With an entertaining story that puts the character in a new and interesting situation, sparks of a deeper emotional story, and the start of an intriguing plot with formidable foes, this book grabs and holds interest.

The grounded, “human” tone of the story along with its humor is captured well in the art. Without being too “over the top” the comedy is subtly expressed. Dylan Burnett’s style has a nice mix of good looking figures and an expressive quality. With writing that is more on the humorous side, some artists take it as a sign to go more cartoony, but Burnett keeps it feeling grounded just like the writing. While the style stays grounded, the composition of the shots have a fun creativity to them. Shots like Scott hearing Cassie scream his name while he’s underground, the bee flying in front of his face, and the neat shot of Ant-Man shrinking and hopping atop the bee gave the visuals of the book a whimsical nature. The art was helped also by some great use of lettering (helping with the whimsy). Mike Spicer’s coloring was the other aspect that kept the grounded feeling of the book. The general palette and the way the rural Florida setting was colored gave it a domestic atmosphere. In the action scene, color is also used well to show the allegiance of the bees.

Ant-Man #1 proves that good things come in small packages (that are also really big sometimes). There’s family bonding, fistfights, and a lot of fun. This story takes what’s great about the character, does it well, and adds its own quite interesting elements. Scott might be down on his luck, but he’s been known to rise to the occasion. This book not only has promise, but it could also be a defining story for “the guy who talks to bugs”.

Our Score:


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