Arc Reaction: Ant-Man #1-5

Published on May 12th, 2015

Ant-Man is the Marvel’s most recent attempt to make me care about Scott Lang. Writer Nick Spencer and artist Ramon Rosanas go the quirky route. Scott’s ex-wife and daughter have moved to Miami to get away from Scott’s craziness. Now it’s up to Scott to pull his life together by starting a small business where all the employees are also superpowered rejects. Surely he can then win his wife’s respect and his daughter’s love! That’s the idea anyway.

I want to like this take on Ant-Man. I like the premise. It’s like a superhero version of Mrs. Doubtfire. Spencer does a good job of actually trying to develop a relationship between Scott and his daughter Cassie in the first issue. The hook’s there, but Cassie’s not in the book nearly enough to make Scott look good. Mrs. Doubtfire is as much, if not more, about the kids than it was about Robin Williams in drag; and that’s why it works. Ant-Man misses the mark.

The art from Ramon Rosanas and colorist Jordan Boyd doesn’t necessarily do the book any favors. Everything functions, but the layouts feel cramped. You can follow the action from one panel to the next, but it’s not graceful. Background are often drab and feel tacked on. It all feels uninspired, and that’s sad with a character like Ant-Man where perspective can be played with so freely. And it all adds up to something that just passes. Ant-Man is a comic book, yep.

Ant-Man is a book with a solid idea behind it. I can imagine Marvel was looking to get a Scott Lang book out, and the idea of focusing on Scott as an unemployed father fits in with the style of books they’re doing at the moment. But the first arc just seems to lose focus far too quickly. Are we paying attention to his daughter, to his new employees, or to this returning villain that I don’t care about? I like simplicity. Do one thing, and do it really damn well. Maybe next time, Scott.

Travers Capps