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Ant-Man Vol. 1: Second-Chance Man Paperback – June 23, 2015
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Confession time: Most of my exposure to Scott Lang, prior to the Ant-Man movie, was in various issues of Fantastic Four and FF. For some reason, I had a craving for his newer solo adventures and picked this up.
Second-Chance Man gives Ant-Man the "Hawkeye by Matt Fraction" treatment to a degree. Instead of Ant-Man fighting crime, he's fighting to pay his bills, first with a shot at working for Tony Stark, then in Miami, running a security business.
Spencer knows his way around an Ant-Man story. Prior to his recent adventures, I thought Ant-Man was right up there with Hawkman and the Atom in terms of lameness. Spencer took the ant-covered ball and ran with it in this one, pitting Scott against menaces like Darren Cross, the Taskmaster, and, most fearsome of them all, his ex-wife.
Scott's relationship with his daughter Cassie is the heart of the book. He uproots his life and turns down a job with Tony Stark to be with her. When she gets into trouble, he assembles an ace team to help get her back, a team consisting of Grizzly and Machinesmith, whom I hope factor into future volumes.
Good stuff. Second-Chance Man was an entertaining way to spend an hour avoiding housework. Three out of five stars.
The story beings with Scott trying to secure a job with Tony Stark, but is forced to opt-out and go to Miami to follow and stay in his daughter's life. Along the way, He starts his own security agency where he recruits a few former criminals, fights long time foe-men, and fights for the survival of his loved ones. Its a roller coaster ride where we get first row seats to the struggles of fatherhood, making ends meet, and being a superhero.
In 'Foes' Spencer has a clean slate for the inner lives of minor league super villains. Here he takes on heroes that have been around for 35+ years, and works to make them familiar to those just coming off this summer's 'Ant-Man' movie. So Cassie Lang reverts to the first couple paragraphs of her Wikipedia entry - she goes from 'Young Avenger killed and later resurrected by Doctor Doom (yeah, that happened)' back to 'victim girl.' Early on Scott thinks 'this is why my daughter is cooler than yours' - not because she is a self-sacrificing superhero, but because she thinks Battle Royale is better than the Hunger Games.
Anyway, I'd originally thought that I should give the second volume of Superior Foes a 4 star rating and therefore this should get 3 - but that means it is 'ok' and this book is better than OK. Buy the others first and then, unless you have cash flow problems or an inflexible fondness for previous versions of Ant-Man and Stature, buy this - fun stuff.
Top international reviews
I do not like film-version comics
I do not like silly slapstick.
I'm old school. To me Hank Pym IS Ant-Man .... but Scott Lang has quite a history in the suit.
I did not think I would like this book at all.
I bought the kindle version really cheap....but I loved it!!
This IS my Ant-Man II - Scott Lang with complete reference to his comics history, his failed marriage and his daughter Cassie.
The art is great, the covers better and the writing keeps the right side of 'zany' throughout.
There are some wonderful moments, wonderful continuity easter-eggs and some yes, laugh-out-loud moments!
If, like me, you dismissed this series as a weak, silly, childish cash-in on the movie with little to offer the more 'serious' collector -- ignore yourself.
This is a fantastic book.
Scott, ein verurteilter Einbrecher und aktueller Ant-Man, steht nicht gerade auf der Erfolgsseite im Superhelden-Biz. Eigentlich würde es ihm schon genügen, wenn er eine kleine Sicherheitsfirma aufmachen und das Sorgerecht für seine Tochter bekommen könnte. Doch neben einigen Ganovengegnern ist es vor allem der Alltag, der ihn ins Schwitzen bringt...
Die Stories sind mittelprächtig und Scott Lang ein nicht unsympathischer Held, der aber leider recht stereotyp daher kommt. Also kein Vergleich mit Hawkeye. Die Zeichnungen und die Colorierung allerdings sind klasse und retten locker den dritten Stern.
Man darf hoffen, dass sich die Serie, die Potential hat, dynamisch weiter entwickelt.
Und falls man sich etwas wünschen dürfte: die WASP ist doch viel zu charmant, um sie einfach von Ant-Mans Seite zu nehmen!
The first thing you’ll notice when you open this book is that it has some gorgeous art work courtesy of Ramon Rosanos. This is one attractive book and one particularly impressive aspect of it is how the action scenes illustrating Ant Man using his size shifting ability are easy to follow when they had the possibility of being anything but.
It’s always disappointing when a comic has fantastic art but is accompanied by bland writing. Happily this is not the case with Second Chance Man. The dialogue is amusing and witty, and had panels which had me laughing out loud; usually comics that attempt comedy only get the odd smile. Nick Spencer seems to specialise in revitalising these so called B-list characters (An insult Taskmaster uses to describe Scott Lang with in the excellent third issue), and turning into compelling and most importantly human characters that you really want to succeed.
Which brings us to Scott Lang himself. He readily admits he’s a loser, and is divorced unemployed and has prior convictions to stealing and has served time in prison. His redeeming feature is his love for his daughter and his desire to be a good father. As a future father to be this really stuck with me and has made Ant Man one of my favourite super heroes; something which I never ever thought I’d hear myself say.
This desire to be a good father is usually the motivation of each issue and usually ends up getting Scott in a lot of trouble whether its his unconventional interview style (the second issue in particular has a hilarious interview at a bank) or turning down job opportunities from Tony Stark in order to stay close to his daughter. He also gets two badass sidekicks after starting up his own business, Machinesmith and Grizzly. Once again I can only repeat my gushing praise of just how good Spencer is at writing these obscure characters.
Ant Man is funny, heart warming in places and also presents one or two genuinely emotional moments in others and I would recommend anyone that has even a passing interest in comics to give it a (second) chance.