As far as superheroes go, Scott Lang isn’t much of a role model. But he’s not a bad guy either. It’s a difficult balance to pull off in comics, but writer Nick Spencer handles it exceptionally well in The Astonishing Ant-Man. Scott isn’t a total jerk. He’s not unhinged. He just possesses faulty judgment and keeps trying to do better.
Things get a bit more serious in issue #4, but ridiculousness will forever be inescapable so long as your protagonist is Ant-Man. The humor remains strong, but Scott’s strained relationship with his daughter provides a solid foundation for the comic booky antics to stand on. Scott’s recent tendency has been to literally shrink away from Cassie, supposedly for her own good or something, and here we see how well that works out for him.
I also have to compliment artist Roman Rosanas. He’s got a good, clean style and knows how to effectively convey the hero’s sometimes-diminished stature. For example, Ant-Man spends a portion of this issue hiding on the shoulder of his ex-girlfriend, Darla. By using wide but short panels and fitting only the lower half of Darla’s face within, Rosanas succeeds in making her appear relatively gigantic and Ant-Man actually tiny without having to resort to any splash panels (which would cost a lot more of the book’s limited space). That’s good, efficient layout work right there.
Ant-Man isn’t a superhero to emulate, but he’s fun to read about.
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Roman Rosanas
Publisher: Marvel Comics
How to Read It: recent back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology; The Astonishing Ant-Man vol. 1: Everybody Loves Team-Ups (TPB)
Appropriate For: ages 13 and up