Comic Review: Ant-Man & the Wasp #1 (of 5)

Artist Javier Garrón delivers a beautifully drawn Ant-Man and the Wasp comic. Unfortunately, the comic’s story is not enough to keep me reading.
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Ant-Man & the Wasp #1 (of 5)

Publisher: Marvel | Writer: Mark Waid | Artist: JAVIER Garrón | Cover Artist: David Nakayama | Color Artist: Israel Silva | Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna| Release Date: June 6, 6018 | PRICE: $3.99

This review contains spoilers.

A legendary team?

Mark Waid writes this new Ant-Man and the Wasp miniseries launching during Marvel's Fresh Start initiative. The comic begins by reflecting on the original Ant-Man and the Wasp, Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne. Javier Garrón's draws these panels with a high level of beautiful detail. The panel layouts are nice with cute and decorative borders that illustrate nostalgia. There’s a really detailed panel of Hank riding a flying ant that's very striking.

The comic describes the two as a legendary team. I’m not too familiar with either character as a duo as I’m more used to seeing them on other teams. But I also thought Hank Pym was a shitty dude and not that great to Janet, so the history here seems a bit revisionist.

A new Ant-Man and the Wasp team appears

Waid introduces readers to the current Wasp, Nadia van Dyne and Ant-Man, Scott Lang. Scott, stuck in space asks Nadia to help him return home.

One of the things I like about the art here is Nadia’s facial expressions. Scott annoys Nadia. Her eyes eyes slant in frustration and deep thought. Scott is expressive too. Garrón draws Scott's face in an annoying, goofy style.

You can tell that their relationship is one in which Nadia has saved Scott many times, and that feels annoying. She finds a way for Scott to come back, but tells him there’s a window that he has to make in order to get back to the right place. Of course he misses this, so she has to go find him.

There’s a really cool full page that breaks into small dynamic panels showing how small Nadia is. She’s next to a bird and people eating; she’s small enough to fly through someone’s hoop earring. The two pages contrast well. The background is also great. It’s a city street with high rise buildings in the sunset. The coloring makes the lighting look fantastic and beautiful, and both work together for a great sense of scale.

Wasp to the rescue

Nadia lands in a foreign place with bright, multi-colored entities. Again the art and coloring are fantastic here. Overall, I like the art much better than the plot of the book.

Scott has a little bit of scruff and looks a little wild, like he’s been here a long time. There’s some interesting banter between them. However, I still get the sense that Nadia is doing a lot of the labor to save Scott. Asshole Ant-Man even blames Wasp for stranding him.

I find it hard to get into the story as Ant-Man has never been one of my favorite characters. Scott blaming Nadia is frustrating, when she told him specifically that he can’t miss the window.

Even the way they approach the situation they’re in is frustrating. Scott wants to get involved and disrupt an environment that they’re new to. While Nadia wants to stay back and not potentially put anyone in danger, because they don’t know the repercussions of their actions. But they decide to do things Scott’s way.

At the end, there’s a beautiful page that shows Nadia’s full face, except her eyes are red with no pupils. She’s breaking down a bit in front of Scott and is really vulnerable.

Final thoughts

Overall I’m not a huge fan of this book. Waid's writing is fine: the dialogue is nice and the story moves quickly. But despite this, there’s not enough that makes me interested in Scott and the way he interacts with Nadia. He just seems like a dude that doesn’t appreciate her, screws things up, and then leaves it to her to fix. I’m not sure if this is their typical dynamic, but I’m not a fan.

This is a mini-series, but I don’t feel like it’s one I want to finish. I probably will not pick up the second issue. Even though I love the art, it’s not enough to keep me interested in the dynamic between the two heroes. I would recommend this book for huge fans of these two characters, but not to new readers or casual fans.

REVIEW SCORE: 7

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