Monday, September 26, 2016

Astonishing Ant-Man #12 Review and **SPOILERS**

Ex-Girlfriend’s Revenge

Writer: Nick Spencer
Artists: Brent Schoonover with Ramon Rosanas
Color Artist: Jordan Boyd
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: September 21, 2016


Can you believe that the Trial of O.J. Simpson won an Emmy? I mean, I watched it and enjoyed the heck out of it, but it was so…salacious. It’s like awarding someone a prize for excellent bathroom stall graffiti or championing celebrity gossip rags for great journalism. We’re not supposed to reward things that pander to the lowest common denominator with industry recognition! The windfall profits they receive should be the only indicator of their success. It impugns the good name of the Emmy Awards Committee, which, as I understand it, consists of three housewives, a stoner insomniac, and Guy Fieri. Please have some standards, ladies and gentleman and Guy Fieri! For instance, you’d never want to recognize something like the Trial of the Astonishing Ant-Man, it’s tailor-made for the kind of courtroom trickery and Scott Land chicanery that makes a mockery of the entire justice process. For heaven’s sake, children, watch 12 Angry Men today because clearly today’s creative adults don’t give a hang about what they show you!

Explain It!

Scott Lang is back in jail. But his trial has yet to play out, and luckily for Scott he’s got swell lawyer and one-time FF comrade, Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk! He’s pretty much a shoe-in to win, except that the prosecuting attorney is Janice Lincoln, aka the Beetle, aka one of the gang that was in on the job to rob Darren Cross, aka the job for which Scott’s daughter Cassie Lang almost got busted for, aka the instance where Scott Lang took the rap for his daughter and landed him at the trial we see today. Oh, and Scott is also Janice’s ex-boyfriend, and things didn’t end well between them. This is going to be a problem, because by naming the conflict of interest, he shines the light on the rest of the crew that pulled the heist on Cross, including but not limited to but most importantly Scott’s daughter. It’s gonna get awwkwaard in this courtroom!

Meanwhile, Darren Cross is at the hospital with his bandaged, comatose son, who got messed up last issue when the fracas ensued. He’s enlisted, and by enlisted I mean kidnapped, Doctor Elihas Starr, aka Egghead, a super-smart villain primarily known for his robotic work. Cross has something very enticing to show him, right after an awwkwaard courtroom scene (I told you!) and Cassie admitting to her mom that her deadbeat bum of a jailbird dad is actually taking the blame for Cassie’s bungled heist. Though it really got bungled because she went back to save her dad, so it is sort of his fault. Though he was only there because…oh, the point is that Cassie feels guilty about it, which is not a good look for a would-be supervillain. Just sayin’.

Back to Cross and Egghead, they’re with Crossfire who is able to get them aboard a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier and to the evidence locker, where Cross points out an old Ant-Man helmet among the quieted giant robots and probably a handful of Eye of Agamemmos. Egghead isn’t impressed at first—until Cross points out that Hank Pym’s super-secret lab is contained inside this helmet, all you need to do is shrink down to, uh, the appropriate size to use an Ant-Man helmet as an action figure playset. As Egghead toys with the mysteries of Pym’s science, Jennifer Walters and Janice Lincoln give their opening statements, and the prosecution fairly well kicks the defense’s oratorical ass. As they try to regroup, Egghead points out a Pym Particles-fueled super suit, which Darren Ross finds very enticing—it sort of absorbs itself onto Cross to turn him into the formidable Yellowjacket! Which was a thing for Ant-Man a long time ago! Check Wikipedia and see!

So this was a pretty talky issue. Lots of recap, some re-establishing character connections, but the big occurrence was Darren Cross slipping on the yellow armor. This reads sort of like the first television episode of a new season, and that’s fitting enough for a new story arc. It’s told primarily in the usual captioned narrative, which adds some quips to the proceedings. The art is nice enough, though the story doesn’t require it to be very dynamic. I normally hate courtroom dramas, but this looks to have some silliness going on, so I hope it will be more like Night Court.

Bits and Pieces:

Conditions are established for what is sure to be the Trial of the Century, excepting future trials whose greatness cannot be predicted. Characters are moved into place, and motives re-established, while Darren Cross gets some new duds. An intriguing enough start to a story arc, I'll be watching to see if it ramps up to an interesting story by itself.

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