Monday, July 25, 2016

Astonishing Ant-Man #10 Review and *SPOILERS* - Marvel Mondays

Caught in Crossfire's Crossfire

Written By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Ramon Rosanas
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 20, 2016
Reviewed By: Paul B. aka DatBeardedBastard


This book has always been a blast to read. As I stated in my last review, it was a book that I missed out on during the post-Secret Wars relaunch, and had to go back to get caught up. I hope you’re all caught up as you proceed to read my review!

We pick right up from last issue, with Scott trapped in small sphere by Darren Cross. There’s a quick recap, but not enough to slow things down. One of my favorite parts of the recap was the wacky supervillain smart phone app HENCH. I would like to see Marvel do a book called Dial H For Hench! Make it happen Axel Alonso!!

After the recap, Scott's crew is taking all the items that Machinesmith said they needed from Cross Tech. Whirlwind decides to scrap the list and takes stuff that he thinks looks expensive, while everyone else gets only what is necessary (seems like something that will play out later in the plot.) Ant-Man’s crew meet up in a truck and are ready to split the take, but they notice Scott is missing. Cassie shows up and tells them that Cross has her dad, and asks them to help her free him. One by one the crew members leave, only concerned about their cut of the money. It is pretty predictable as to which baddies decide to take off, but it was still funny watching them bail from the back of the truck. The best part was when the Magician asked if it will negatively impact his rating on HENCH.

Now we are down to the core of the crew. The ones we all knew would stick around (I had a feeling that someone else would have helped as well, but more on that later...)

The crew takes off for action, and this is were the real fun starts. I love the dialog between Griz and Giant-Man as they take out the guards and the choppers. It was also nice to read this comedy element without them being too goofy or screwing up the plan. These guys have been through enough in the past, so it is rewarding to watch them get some shine, especially since they are working with the other half of the crew gone.


Thing takes out a bunch of robot security guards, and is able to get a weapon that Machinesmith said would be able to free Scott from Cross. She tosses it to Cassie while she is holding off the robots, allowing Cassie time to get into the air shaft. In the next scene, we see poor Scott getting bounced around a ping pong table! This is just adding insult to injury. Luckily, Cassie shows up and frees her dad from the sphere, then has to shrink down to avoid being taken out by Crossfire. Darren Cross gets a hold of Scott, and throws him out of the window! He is dangling from the ledge with Crossfire about to shoot him.

Crossfire gets unexpectedly shot in the shoulder, and yells at Cassie for shooting him. She tells him she didn't shoot him and it cuts the panel that I actually expected: the Beetle actually stuck around to help Scott, but doesn't want anyone to know. It’s like the opposite of Black Cat, and I like it, and I can see it developing in future issues as well.
Crossfire does not believe Cassie and goes to shoot her in retaliation, but Cassie shrinks as he fires and the bullet hits his own nephew Augustine. Cross blames Scott for this, of course, and he grows larger than the room. He grabs Scott and Cassie in one hand and intends to crush them. All of a sudden, the ceiling gives way and we find out Cassie called in for some reinforcements from the ants!

The ceiling comes crashing down on Crossfire and smashes him in the head.
 Scott and Cassie get away, and Machinesmith notices two unarmed drones following Ms. Thing and warns her. She freaks out, realizing that they are cameras that have been filming her for a reality TV show. She calls the producers and asks them to stop recording, and also not to air any existing footage that captures the team committing numerous crimes. The producer basically tells her that they will edit it to keep her from going to jail, but it’s too bad for Scott! As he and Cassie leave Cross Tech, they are swarmed (pun intended) by the cops and the issue ends.

The writing and art are, as usual, great, there are never any issues following along with the story or figuring out who is in each panel. A few DC books could learn a thing or two about that. This issue didn't have the same movie or TV show vibe to it, but it made up for that with the character development and plot points that could really pay off down the road. Who would have thought that Darren Cross would be a relevant bad guy before this story arc? Not many, I am sure. And if his son dies, it will make him even more of a threat since he has nothing to lose.
Ant-Man is always a sure bet, and it never disappoints. I highly recommend this issue and the whole series. If you have not read it before, check it out on Marvel Unlimited or pick up a trade. You won't regret it.

Bits and Pieces:

Another slam dunk of an issue by the creative team of Astonishing Ant-Man. This book balances humor, action, and intrigue to great effect. Some developments in this story appear to be set-up for storylines down the road, but that makes them no less entertaining. I strongly recommend this issue and the entire run of Astonishing Ant-Man.


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