Overview

The Irredeemable Ant-Man #1

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The Irredeemable Ant-Man #1

Credits

  • Words: Robert Kirkman
  • Art: Phil Hester
  • Inks: Ande Parks
  • Colors: Bill Cabtree
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Oct 4, 2006

Hank Pym has been commissioned by S.H.I.E.L.D. to create a new and improved Ant-Man, but a series of trials and mishaps puts the project in jeopardy.

I’m beginning to see the enormous potential in writer Robert Kirkman. Not only is he the genius behind his Walking Dead series for image, but he’s also responsible for the highly successful Marvel Zombies series. This guy can flat out write interesting books with engaging characters and then manage to cull them into unusual situations. There’s no doubt that his new Ant-Man series falls into this category, and I have to say this is a very damn good read.

This new approach to revamping an old concept works brilliantly on many levels. Firstly, the setting for this opening issue takes place entirely on the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier and the focus revolves around a pair of hapless agents working in the surveillance division. Secondly, when we are first introduced to Eric and Chris, our first impressions suggest both are total slackers. So keeping that in mind, the remainder of the story follows the pair through a series of mishaps when both get assigned to guard the entrance to Hank Pym’s secret lab where he is hard at work on developing the new Ant-Man suit. The story then takes an unexpected nosedive when Chris suddenly decks Hank Pym while coming out from the lab. Eric panics and he orders Chris to help him drag Hank back into the room and upon doing so the pair gets a glimpse of the Ant-Man suit. Chris is dying to try it on and once he does he gets more than he ever bargained for.

So that about sums up the ongoing absurdity in this issue and of course Kirkman is the culprit behind it all. I really liked the way he handled the story and he managed to load his script with plenty of witty (sitcom-like) dialogue, and imbue all the principle characters involved with quirks and traits that made them stand out. I can’t say they are likable characters for the most part, given how everyone involved seems to have a total disrespect for the job, but they were engaging enough for me to want to read more. I really think this book is going to make Kirkman a true star in the medium and there is no doubt I will be back for the second issue.

Robert’s partner in crime in this new endeavor was artist Phil Hester and for the most part his work fit like a well worn glove. Phil’s style leans heavily on simplicity and consists of a more graphic look, so that gelled well with the amusing tone of the story. Much of the panels displayed the confidence of a well timed comedian, so this allowed Phil to compliment all the story beats when needed to. There’s not a soft page in this entire book and now I am beginning to wonder how long the pair intends to team up on this project. I am hoping they have a long enough run to enjoy and in turn create a memorable series with Ant-Man at the helm.

So once again I can’t say enough about this new project. I think its great Marvel decided to give Kirkman a chance to put a new spin on an old face. This first issue was cleverly handled in many respects, and I think the "Irredeemable" part of this book is definitely a major selling point as a part of the character’s new direction. I am sure the dearly departed Scott Lang is turning over in his grave right about now knowing his legacy as Ant-Man has been now given to a halfwit, but that’s what makes this so much fun.

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