Ant-Man #1 is written by Al Ewing, illustrated by Tom Reilly, colored by Jordie Bellaire, and lettered by VC’s Cory Petit. It’s published by Marvel Comics. “Alone Against The Ant-Agonists!” takes place years in the past, as Hank Pym, then known as the Astonishing Ant-Man, attempts to take the night off. But several of his enemies have joined forces to lure him into a trap…and end his life! As Ant-Man attempts to escape the jaws of death, he encounters a mysterious man who also claims to be Ant-Man and who resides in the future.
Ant-Man celebrates his 60th anniversary this year alongside fellow Marvel heroes Spider-Man, Thor, and Hulk. To celebrate, Ewing & Reilly crafted a story that stretches all the way back into Ant-Man’s history. This isn’t the first time Ewing has told a story that draws upon Marvel’s 80+ year history – the recently launched Defenders Beyond miniseries is proof of this. But given Ant-Man’s increasing popularity with his film trilogy in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and status as a founding member of the Avengers, this story brings plenty of weight to its narrative. Ewing’s script features dialogue and structure that would be right at home in old issues of Tales to Astonish.
The art team also makes their art feel like it was crafted in the 60s. Reilly’s simple yet striking style perfectly captures the Silver Age style of Hank’s Ant-Man costume, from its unique symbol to the large helmet he wears. The same goes for Janet Van Dyne as the Wasp and the “shrinking effect” that features lines surrounding both heroes’ bodies whenever they go subatomic. A nice added detail is the number on each corner of the page, which was common back in Marvel’s heyday, around Hank whenever he grows or shrinks, which makes it feel like he’s really changing size. Bellaire chooses to go with a color scheme resembling a sepia tone, giving the pages the illusion of being worn by time. This approach worked wonders for The Thing miniseries, and it’s perfect for the story Ewing is trying to tell.
Things take a sharp turn once the future Ant-Man gets involved. Red and silver narrative captions, designed by Petit to look like computer interface screens, speak directly to the reader, making them a part of the narrative. Reilly designs a new suit for the future Ant-Man that pays homage to Kamen Rider, and Bellaire tops it off with a black and red color scheme that’s the inverse of Hank’s. Finally, Ewing bookends the issue with a pair of sequences that feature the future Ant-Man traveling through time in order to prevent a mysterious menace. Knowing Ewing, I’m sure this menace will be something that requires everyone who’s ever been Ant-Man to fight it.
Ant-Man #1 is a great start to a story that celebrates the astonishing Avenger’s 60th anniversary, touching upon everyone who’s ever held the mantle. The next issue is slated to put a spotlight on the ‘Irredeemable Ant-Man,’ Eric O’Grady, and I’m looking forward to how the creative team tackles that adventure. Whether you’ve only seen the Ant-Man movies or have read every one of his appearances, this is a comic I definitely recommend to everyone.
Ant-Man #1 is available wherever comics are sold.
Ant-Man #1 is a great start to a story that celebrates the astonishing Avenger’s 60th anniversary, touching upon everyone who’s ever held the mantle. Whether you’ve only seen the Ant-Man movies or have read every one of his appearances, this is a comic I definitely recommend to everyone.