I Guess We Like Hank Pym Now: ‘Ant-Man’ #1 Reviewed

by Tony Thornley

Well… I liked an Ant-Man comic.

Okay, I joke. There’s plenty of Ant-Man comics I’ve liked. But they’ve been Scott Lang Ant-Man comics, not Hank Pym. So I guess Al Ewing, Tom Reilly, Jordie Bellaire, and Cory Petit are what I needed to like Hank Pym comics.

Hank Pym apparently has enough enemies to form a revenge squad. The Ant-Agonists if you will (don’t get mad at me, it’s Ewing’s joke). Thankfully, Janet Van Dyne is already on the case. To both their surprise, they may get some very unexpected help- FROM THE FUTURE!

There’s definitely a stigma about Hank Pym. I actually think he’s fine but Scott and Eric are both way more engaging characters, and neither have the extremely difficult baggage that Hank does. There’s a reason Marvel Studios basically skipped over him and went straight to Scott being the primary Ant-Man.

Meanwhile, Ewing is known for taking difficult characters and giving them a new spin. This story is such a good example of that talent he has. The story is a throwback, narration and all, but it doesn’t feel like a step back. It’s fun, it has silver age silliness, and gives Hank a good amount of depth. He also doesn’t shy away from the fact that Hank is a jerk- he does use his powers for petty revenge- though he doesn’t do more than hint at Hank’s struggles with mental illness.

Reilly and Bellaire are the perfect art team for this story. Reilly’s clean style creates fun moments, and his characters are incredibly expressive. Playing with perspective in an Ant-Man story is a big deal, and he does great things with it during moments for Jan and Hank (there’s a very cool panel of Wasp shrinking out of her street clothes and into her costume that I loved).

I adore Bellaire’s colors though. She takes the softer colors of 50’s and 60’s comics, adds a slightly sepia tone that makes the pages look aged, then uses just enough modern coloring techniques that it doesn’t look dated and it all comes together into an absolute knockout of a book. Reilly and Bellaire are rapidly becoming an art team that will make any book a must-buy for me.

Petit does a lot of the same tricks that Bellaire does to set the book in the past. His font choices feel more like the bullpen of the 60’s than anything modern, and he even places the balloons in similar ways. It feels hand-lettered, and I really love it.

This story is intended to be a celebration of one of Marvel’s most venerable characters. We’re already on the road to success and I can’t wait to see the rest of the series.

Ant-Man #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.

Overview

A spotlight series for one of Marvel’s most unlikable but long-lasting characters is a tough sale. The creative team not only succeeds but knocks it out of the park. This one promises to be a delight.

Overall
9.5/10
9.5/10
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