COMIC BOOK REVIEW - The Astonishing Ant-Man: Small-Time Criminal
By The Masked Medic
It appears these days that insect-related superheroes are more popular than ever. I’m talking about Spider-man, Blue Beetle and of course, Ant-Man. Now back when comic books were still printed mostly on paper and no-one liked these gritty vigilantes, Ant-man was one of the founding members of the Avengers. Hank Pym was a genius scientist, on par with Mr Fantastic, Iron Man and Black Panther. However, when the MCU needed an Ant-man they went with Scott Lang, and this comic book run focuses on him.
Small-time criminal sees our titular hero continue on his self-appointed mission to be a better hero. He starts with giving the original Giant-Man suit to Raz Malhotra, a scientist who was previously brainwashed by a villain but ended up breaking free and helping the Avengers take down the villain. However, it’s quite apparent that Raz has no hero training. So whilst Scott gets down to train the new Giant-Man, his daughter Cassie struggles with her own identity. Missing her superhero days, she attempts to get superpowers by making a deal with a villain, Power Broker, that’s giving out superpowers to ordinary people in order to make them supervillains. Whilst it’s clear that Cassie doesn’t want to be a villain, both her and Power Broker find a common enemy; Darren Cross. Can Ant-man stop his daughter from making a terrible mistake? Or will he find himself in the crossfire of a situation he didn’t want to be in?
I mean, it’s fairly evident from the get-go that Ant-man is not a character that takes himself very seriously. In a way that reflects in this series too, because it’s a fairly laid back and funny novel. I think that the dichotomy between Scott and his daughter Cassie is fairly stark, and adds a decent layering effect to the story. On one hand, you’re happy to read about Scott being an idiot, on the other, you really feel for Cassie and her identity crisis. I think this novel lacked the cameos that the previous novel had, but I don’t think it really needed it.
The artwork was good! Some of the panels had a very simplistic style which I appreciated. The covers were also fairly decent, but I really liked this one that I chose. Overall, this was a good second novel in the series and personally may be on my list of best underdog series for Marvel!
Scott is one of the most relatable comic book characters ever!
Scott. For a long time, I wondered why Hank Pym was no longer Ant-man. Now I know.
Story Arc: ★★★
Character Development: ★★★½