Ant-Man is back, Baby!!!

ant-man

It is a big week for all Ant-Man fans out there.  Not only did a brand new Ant-Man comic book series begin from Nick Spencer (Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Secret Avengers, Avengers World, Morning Glories), but the new Ant-Man Teaser Trailer was released on Tuesday (January 6th) after the 2-part debut of the new Marvel mini-series, Agent Carter.

http://v.traileraddict.com/98382

I have always been a huge fan of Ant-Man. Within the burgeoning Avengers Movie franchise, it seemed a shame that two of its founding members, Hank Pym (Ant-Man) and Janet Van Dyne (Wasp) were omitted. While it is well documented that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) does not strictly adhere to comic book canon, it seemed out of place to have an Ultron storyline for the Avengers sequel and not have its creator, Hank Pym even introduced. What we have learned, though, is that it is Tony Stark (Iron Man) is the creator of Ultron in the next movie. Undoubtedly, it will work just fine when it hits theaters later this year. But for Ant Man purists, I am sure it will be a tough pill to swallow. Nonetheless, Marvel has committed to bring Ant-Man into the MCU. However, we see that Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas) is no longer a young man and is set to bequeath the Ant-Man suit to Scott Lang.  Will we ever see a Hank Pym storyline?  Perhaps this may tie into a Agent Carter story arc as has been speculated elsewhere (http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Ant-Man-Most-Important-Movie-Marvel-Cinematic-Universe-Here-Why-68112.html).

We will first take a brief look back at who Scott Lang is in Marvel comic history, second address the role of Scott Lang as Ant-Man in the upcoming movie, and finally review Nick Spencer’s and Ramon Rosanas’s Ant-Man #1.

Scott Lang as Ant-Man in the Comics

scott lang                                                                                                                                               Within the Marvel Universe (Earth-616), Scott Lang was an unsuccessful electronics engineer who ending up turning to a life of petty burglaries to support his wife and daughter, Cassie. While in jail, his wife divorced him but he furthered his studies on electrical engineering in order to try and make something of himself. Lang was paroled for good behavior and landed a job working for Stark International. Tony Stark, impressed with Lang’s work, enlisted him to help in the design of the new security system at the Avengers Mansion. Soon thereafter, he learned that his daughter was seriously ill with a heart condition. Lang sought medical help for young Cassie and believed the only one who could help his daughter was Dr. Erica Sondheim who he believed was kept captive from Darren Cross, founder of Cross Technological Enterprises. Darren Cross, like Cassie, was dying of a fatal heart condition and needed Dr. Sondheim assistance for his recovery. Desperate to free Dr. Sondheim and also to save his daughter, Scott Lang broke into the residence of Hank Pym and stole his Ant-Man suit. He defeated Darren Cross and rescued Dr. Sondheim. The doctor was able to successfully treat young Cassie and a repentant Scott Lang was ready to turn himself in. Hank Pym, however, said that he should keep the suit and turn away from crime and become the next Ant-Man.

As Ant-Man, Scott teamed up with Hank Pym (using the alias “Yellow Jacket”), the Avengers, and with the Fantastic Four. It was believed that Scott Lang was dead for a period of time. Lang frequently was at odds with his fellow teammate Jack of Hearts. Ironically, Jack of Hearts died saving Lang’s daughter. In the meantime during Scott’s apparent “death,” Cassie, having been exposed to enough Pym Particles over the years with her father, discovered that she was able to change her own size at will. Cassie joined the Young Avengers as Stature, a superhero in her own right.

In a crazy twist of fate, a resurrected Jack of Hearts returned via magic from the Scarlet Witch, who had gone crazy. When Lang as Ant-Man went to embrace him, Jack of Hearts blew up taking out both Lang and a sizeable portion of the Avengers Mansion with him. Later, to atone for actions, Scarlet Witch undone what had occurred to Scott Lang. Scott was surprised to discover that his daughter followed in his footsteps becoming Stature, but their reunion was short lived when Dr. Doom killed his daughter in battle. But as in all things comics, her demise is also temporary. In the new AXIS story line, a repentant, now heroic Dr. Doom in working with Scarlet Witch has resurrected Cassie Lang (Avengers World #16).

Scott Lang as Ant-Man in the Movie

Ant-Man-Comic-Con-2014-Exclusive-Poster-570x877

Based on what was learned from the panel at Comic Con and from what we gleaned in the teaser trailer, Scott Lang will be playing an ex-con who is being given the chance to be Ant-Man from Hank Pym. Interestingly though is the fact that the role of Darren Cross will be somewhat different than in the comic books. Instead of running Cross Technological Enterprises, Cross is now in charge of Pym’s company. Cross will play the villain and will don Hank’s Yellow Jacket suit to serve as Ant Man main foil.

New Yellow Jacket in ant man movie

As another twist, Evangeline Lily will play Hope Pym, Hank Pym’s daughter, and who I hope will inherit the role of Wasp. Like the comics, we see Scott’s actions again being motivated by love for his daughter, Cassie. It looks like this film will have more than its fair share of tongue-in-cheek humor. Paul Rudd as Scott Lang is an excellent choice for the role and while I love Michael Douglas, I am slightly disappointed that they chose to make Hank Pym as old as he was. Perhaps we will get some back story regarding Hank Pym and possibly Janet Van Dyne (Wasp). We will just have to wait and see.

Ant-Man Panel (Comic Con 2014):

http://www.traileraddict.com/ant-man/comic-con-panel-i                                            http://www.traileraddict.com/ant-man/comic-con-panel-ii                                           http://www.traileraddict.com/ant-man/comic-con-panel-iii

 

 

Ant-Man #1 Review  (Note: Spoilers Below)

ant man-1 book                                                                                                                             Ant-Man #1 revisits the exploits of Scott Lang as Ant-Man. Scott Lang is down on his luck, trying to pay his bills and be a good father to Cassie. Tony Stark has a job opportunity for Scott, provided he can prove himself worthy over other candidates, Victor Mancha, Beetle, and Prodigy, in Tony’s job interview challenge. Lang uses his ingenuity and skirts the rules to beat the competition; however, upon getting the job offer, he learns that his ex-wife has moved her and Cassie down to Miami. Scott, broke and without a job, decides to move to Miami to be with his daughter. We see the book culminate with both Cassie and Scott shrunken down to doll size, where they are relaxing on a plastic doll couch watching a movie on a big screen TV (ahem, cell phone).

 

So what can we take from this? More than once Tony and others had asked him what it was like to be “dead.”   Interesting enough, Cassie who also perished as the hands of Dr. Doom, as the superhero Stature, is also back as a teenager (Avengers World #16). Spenser kept the original storyline of Scott Lang being dead for a period of time before being brought back to life by the Scarlet Witch. Also with the return of Cassie, the possibility for her return as Stature is definitely a possibility.

 

As for the book itself, Nick Spenser did an excellent job telling a new story for interested newcomers and made for a compelling read for folks familiar with Scott Lang. Spenser does a great job interweaving humor throughout his story and provides insightful first-person narrative from Scott shedding light on his situation. There is of course the obligatory back story of how and why Scott first donned the Ant-Man suit and how he worked for periods with both the Avengers and Fantastic Four. Overall, though, I am excited to see that the series is going to move to a fresh new locale, Miami. With Spenser at the helm and great artwork by Ramon Rosanas, Ant-Man will be a definite read each month. Hopefully as the movie approaches, those not familiar with Ant-Man will get on board. Trust me, it will be worth the ride.

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