Saturday, August 29, 2015

Last Days of Ant-Man #1

   So the new standard for super-hero comics is to make the hero a lovable loser.

   While that works for Charlie Brown, it's not a good model for someone like Ant-Man.

   I hear you - you're saying, "Wait a minute, Chuck - Spider-Man has always been presented as a loser and he's the most popular hero in the world!"

   Ah, but there's a difference between having "real world" problems - as Spidey often does - and being a loser.

   Spider-Man actually was a winner who faced difficulties (no money, illness, a frail Aunt, girlfriends that didn't understand him) but he always overcame those things and emerged victorious, if sometimes misunderstood.

   It's a formula that has also worked in Hawkeye, so why not try it again with Ant-Man?

   The problem is, Scott Lang is presented as too much of a loser. His super-hero career is apparently a bust, so he sets out on his own to start a Security Firm - one without customers. His lone backer calls him in to steal back an item she lost - and he agrees to do it! Some hero.

   The sad part is, there's a germ of a great idea in this issue, one involving some Golden Age characters making a comeback. It's sweet and funny and clever and they do almost nothing with it.

   Instead, the whole series comes to a crashing halt as it runs up against the Secret Wars juggernaut, so the whole series will start up fresh (though not rebooted) in a couple of months.

   My suggestion: let him have problems, but let him win now and then. That's what heroes do.

Grade: B


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