MARVEL Ant-Man #1 by Spencer, Rosanas, and Boyd | Fanboys Anonymous

MARVEL Ant-Man #1 by Spencer, Rosanas, and Boyd

Posted by Sean Hamilton Friday, January 9, 2015
Ant-Man gets his shrink on
Ant-Man #1 cover
by Mark Brooks
Wow, what an issue. What a great start to a new series.

I'll backtrack slightly. I was at my local comic book shop (great people by the way—check out yours now, if you haven't already) picking up my weekly pull list. On the counter is a stand for notable new comics the shop wants to make everyone aware of (and try to sell more of). This week's spot light was none other than Ant-Man #1. While my pile of books was scanned for purchase, I quickly flicked through a copy, I had heard good things anyway. Seeing me do this, the owner remarked how funny it was and highly recommended the read. So there I was, cash in hand, just a little bit left to splurge, it wasn't going to break the bank, so why not? On a whim, I got the book.

Best decision this week!

I digress, let's get back to the task at hand, there is so much more that can be said of Ant-Man #1.

From the start writer Nick Spencer makes bold, decisive choices about characterization. The setup is smoothly achieved, all the while presenting a rough-hewn Scott Lang as Ant-Man. Ultimately, though, this is a story about personal redemption.

Scott Lang provides his back story
The job he didn't know he
wanted, but needed.
While reading this comic, I couldn't help but smile like a Cheshire cat. It has such a good feeling to it. There is real accessibility to the story, despite the audience seeming to be a matured readership, as they would understandably relate to the central character's plight more easily than younger readers. Spencer has taken a tongue-in-cheek approach to Ant-Man. He is self-deprecating, sarcastic, yet heartfelt and down to Earth.

There are pure moments of loveliness here. The relationships explored of Lang's immediate family are a fantastic touch to the narrative and only enhance this book. In this regard, Ant-Man #1 has the feeling of being Hawkeye-esque. Following in the award-winning style of Matt Fraction and David Aja, Marvel may be onto a winner here.

The book has a familiar superhero feeling, but places the central characters squarely in reality, akin to what we would expect from today's New York setting. The modern pop culture references and down-on-your-luck tone combined with a narrative style and artwork that is dramatic in an incredibly accessible way are a recipe for a hit series.

Being small goes a long way
Ant-Man shows why its size that matters
Ramon Rosanas provides great art in Ant-Man. While there is a lot of panel work, this made the issue seem longer; I kept feeling like I got a lot for my money. It just didn't stop. The choice of panel-by-panel transitions and the angles and shots has a balanced finish. What this means for readers is that they are taken deeper into the story in a more seamless manner, helping the story's effective points get across without undue interruption. The honesty of the story not only transcends the lettering, colors, and art in a graceful way but is completely supported by the artistic approaches utilized by the creative team.

Acknowledgement must go to the letterer, Travis Lanham, for allowing the story to flow. Given the scope of the narrative, backstory, and setup involved in a first issue, there was a lot of work here for Lanham, which he pulled off superbly. Mention should also go out to colorist Jordan Boyd on this issue. The colors of any comic have a profound effect on the final book, and with Ant-Man #1, the right approach has been utilized. The colors are not grabbing for attention. They are grounded: soft and subdued, supporting the final product, not clamoring for showmanship. Please understand is a skill from any colorist. The tone and feel Boyd provides is spot-on.

Iron Man in the thick of it
Ant-Man takes on Iron Man
All-in-all, if you haven't read this comic yet, you must. It was a highlight of the week for me. It is clear from the work involved that a lot of thought, planning, and attention to detail has gone into the final product. I genuinely look forward to the next issue (I just added this to my pull list) and hope this is the start of something great.

As always, if you have read Ant-Man #1, please tell us what you thought. We want to hear your thoughts and opinion, so leave a comment below or head on over to the Fanboys Anonymous Facebook or Twitter depots and make your mark there. Make sure you come back this way next next month for issue #2.

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