By Kevin Powers
December 18, 2006 - 10:00
Issue #1-#2: It’s safe to say I am pleasantly surprised by this title. S.H.E.I.L.D has always been that bad-ass organization that pretty much tries to control and maintain order in the Marvel Universe. You don’t get much about the lives of agents unless its Sharon Carter or Nick Fury, but Kirkman focuses on a few low-level grunts that are just working a job and trying to get laid. He’s created a character that readers are supposed to hate and who isn’t supposed to be Ant-Man at all. In fact, our protagonist, (if he deserves such a title) Eric O’Grady and his best friend Chris McCarthy happen to stumble upon Hank Pym’s lab on board a Helicarrier. McCarthy tries on the armor and then the helicarrier comes under attack by Hydra. McCarthy, who also dates Eric’s crush Veronica King, is then killed during the attack and Eric takes the armor for himself. Eric isn’t a guy we are supposed to like but he’s a guy that appeals to the jerk in all of us and he uses his newfound powers not for the betterment of mankind, but for the betterment of himself. There’s also two memorable moments where Eric and his friends are debating whether or not Nick Fury exists, and in issue 2 when he first sees Nick Fury there is an instant classic moment of “you do exist.” If you like Invincible and you want a new twist on the Marvel Universe definitely check out this title. Kirkman, I believe, does well with only certain types of characters and the new Ant-Man is one of them.
Issue #3: The jerk in me loves this title. The comic book fan in me loves this title. I think what makes this title unique and if done right, what will make this title most successful is the fact that the main character is a complete jerk. In this issue, we do both ends of Eric’s spectrum. One instance he is at Chris’ tombstone with Veronica and the two almost get busy and the next instance he punctures a wife-beater’s neck when he stumbles across the domestic dispute while dressed as Ant-Man. On a personal level, he’s not a great guy at all, but if something doesn’t involve himself, he knows the right thing to do. I think this title can survive based on the fact that it is going to be one hell of a journey turning Eric into a hero, if that is even what happens. Being hunted by S.H.I.E.L.D does not bode well for anyone, especially in Eric’s situation. There are a few scenes in the book that make you really hate the main character and there are those that make you wish you were him. I hope this title stays strong.
The art has also been fantastic. The title is serious but humorous, and the cartoon-ish style of Hester’s art really brings this out. There definitely some Bruce Timm inspiration and that kind of artwork is most definitely welcome in this title. The art also has a dark tone and it fits the overall feel of the title because when all is said and done, this new Ant-Man is a dark comedy.