|Ant-Man Annual #1 Cover by Mark Brooks|
As if that wasn't enough, the comic side of Marvel's megalithic machine is back from a break, in the middle of the unfolding saga of Secret Wars. The artistic team that brought Scott Lang back for a fantastic solo series delivers once more on the Ant-Man Annual issue.
With Nick Spencer, Ramon Rosanas, and Jordan Boyd, joined by Brent Schoonover for the series Annual, we get a great story that is still so full of heart and feels very much a part of the first 5 issues from earlier this year. The magic that delighted audiences remains in force in this issue, with the same comedic flavor that Spencer established from the start.
The story picks up from the last regular issue of the Ant-Man series, with the defeat of Scott Lang's nemesis Darren Cross. The team from Ant-Man Security Solutions are taking a deserved breather in a local bar, when the events that transpired in the Marvel OGN Rage of Ultron play on a news broadcast in the background. Thus, ensue the flashback adventure or Scott Lang's narrative.
|Grizzly gets impatient for his home team.||Machinesmith's sarcasm is on point.|
The tone and feel of the story—and other qualities that endeared Spencer's take on Ant-Man—remain consistent, providing a seamless voice to the characters and story as a whole. This was important to need of the get right, due to the lapse in time from the regular series with Secret Wars dominating the Marvel publishing line up currently.
The voice that Spencer invokes for Scott Lang is sarcastic, humorous, yet human. We have a real sense of compassion from the character. The characterization behind this is a high standard and a driving force for the development of the series. It is this distinguishing trait that lets audiences into the world of the characters—to participate as a witness to their deeds and adventures. This means we can become absorbed into the comic and experience a break from our own real world momentarily, escaping to where Marvel would have their creative teams take us—for a nominal charge, mind you.
|Time to take this party elsewhere...||Scott remembers what Hank Pym did for him all those years ago...|
The art from Rosanas, Boyd and Schoonover melds well, between the past and present sense of the characters. While this is good from one angle, the differentiation of the various periods of time could be more demarcated also. Colorist Jordan Boyd provides a delightful visual landscape, bringing to life the line work of Ramon Rosanas and Brent Schoonover. There is an accessibility to the story through the artwork that is extremely welcoming on this title. The panel layouts flow well and the story itself is made for a modern easy reading audience. I get the sense that the creative team have been quite conscious of the effort readers may need to put in for a newer series and have played this down dramatically in kind.
|One more bad guy put down!||How many Ant-Men does it take to...|
With the next stop for Ant-Man scheduled for August with the Last Days of Ant-Man one-shot, and with Secret Wars still raging on around the new Marvel universe, we will have to wait until at least October to see how Ant-Man reacts to the "All-New, All-Different" Marvel landscape. However, with the teaser ending Spencer and co have left in this issue, the next one-shot could have some fun in it. With the information provided in Marvel's July Previews magazine, it is a great relief to see the same, main creative team that we have on this issues still on board for the future. There is a great chemistry here, which is a winning combination for Marvel, and still looks like it has a lot of potential for further stories.
|All-New, All-Different Ant-Man|