Monday, September 5, 2016

Astonishing Ant-Man #11 Review and **SPOILERS** - Marvel Monday

Ant in Captivity

Written By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Ramon Rosanas, Jordan Boyd
Lettered By: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Price: #3.99
On Sale Date: August 31, 2016


When I was a kid, I went to camp for a week at the end of the summer, on this island called Shelter Island that is all the way on the East end of Long Island. This was more of a secular humanist camp, it wasn’t about surviving in the woods or archery or skinning a bear or any of the stuff people normally equate with summer camp, but it still put me uncomfortably close to nature. I remember one year there were these giant, furry red and black ants marching along the side of the gravel path to the dining hall, and though I didn’t interact with them (I am not suicidal!) I have been in mortal fear of ever seeing them again. Well, thanks to the internet and having to review a copy of the Astonishing Ant-Man, I did a search for these big, hairy ants, and found out they are actually wasps, but commonly known as Velvet Ants. The females are wingless, doubtlessly what I saw at camp, and don’t normally attack people but are equipped with a very painful sting capability. They also squeak when threatened. So now I am like ten times more terrified of these bugs I saw when I was seven years old than I was yesterday. But Astonishing Ant-Man isn’t too scary, so let’s take a look at issue #11 together! Shall we?

Explain It!

It’s a good thing that this is the first issue of Astonishing Ant-Man I’m reviewing, since it’s the end of an action-packed arc that fairly well defines the series! So after failing at a heist of purple industrialist Darren Cross, which resulted in a failed rescue attempt from Cross’ office by Scott’s daughter Cassie and some employees of Scott’s security company, Scott is in prison. He’s being given some medicine that nullifies his Pym Particles, so he can’t change size or command ants anymore. At the hospital, Darren Cross’ son Augustine is convalescing after being completely wrecked, albeit accidentally, by Crossfire’s plasma gun during the fracas that ensued in saving Scott. And look who shows up, but Crossfire—Darren’s cousin, actually—and Darren greets him with the traditional handshake of grabbing Crossfire by the throat and slamming him against the wall. Crossfire says he’s got a gift for Darren—the driver of Ant-Man’s heist van (which is actually called the Ant Van), Hijacker, currently being held against his will against a palm tree, which he is probably very against. Hijacker immediately blabs some stuff about Ant-Man’s lab, which intrigues Cross…but we’ll have to see why in a future issue.

On an island where pterodactyls just fly around and stuff, Power Broker, the guy who began a supervillain-for-hire app that sort of started this whole mess, is sweet-talking his investors who are having none of it. Seems they invested billions in him, and he’s squandered everything. This doesn’t seem to bother Power Broker, who goes to sip his margarita when Cassie Lang, who was all tiny on his drink straw, goes big, knocks him out, and carries him back to Miami. At prison, Scott gets some visitors: his old employees who sold him out to Darren Cross, Ms. Morgenstern who funded his whole enterprise, and Darla aka Ms. Thing, who got Scott busted by not explaining that drone cameras were following her every move, including the illegal ones, for a reality show. Which is now doing great numbers and has turned Scott into a television star…though if he has the lifespan of most reality show stars, then his tenure is doubtlessly over already.  In the end, we see all of this is being told to Scott’s lawyer, the Sensational She-Hulk!

So uh, this was like five pounds of gumballs in a ten-pound bag. Which, by the way, is too many gumballs. Unless you’re a distributor or something. Point is, not a lot happened in this issue, but it did serve as a good wrap-up for people who had been reading the series regularly. So I hope you were! Otherwise, this is an awful book to jump in on, and it has a ton of characters with story-relevant back stories, so don’t bother. The whole thing is reminiscent of the Superior Foes of Spider-Man, and that’s not a bad thing. Looks like a new arc starts with issue #12…either that, or the series ends. In any case, I’ll see you then! Probably.

Bits and Pieces:

Some pretty funny scenes, but not a lot of story define this ending of what was a fairly exciting arc in the series. Not really the place to jump on the Astonishing Ant-Man, but still a worthwhile series, particularly if you like humor and blue-collar sensibilities in your comic books.


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