Writer Nick Spencer, artist Ramon Rosanas, colorist Jordan Boyd and letterer Travis Lanham end the first volume of Scott Lang’s adventures in “Ant-Man: Last Days” #1. Spurred along by the “Secret Wars” event, this comic checks in on Lang in Miami as the pocket-sized super hero accepts his fate, but not before getting a stern talking-to from the sole investor in his business, Mary Morgenstern.
The creative team delivers as much energy and quality in this twenty-two page finale as they did in the debut issue. That’s no small feat in today’s market but, with Ant-Man’s growing profile (pun intended), it is absolutely critical for a successful title, which makes it all the more alarming that this series is ending. The ending is story-driven, which makes it more impactful as Spencer masterfully envelops his story into the grander “Secret Wars” saga without ever losing sight of Lang or Lang’s personality.
Spencer provides plenty of insight into Lang’s thoughts and actions, paralleling a log of sorts around the flow of the story. This is pretty typical storytelling in the All-New Marvel manner, but Spencer balances the two nicely, playing with introspective captions and weaving them through the drama and story in-panel. This allows Spencer to expand the cast and inform the reader while supplementing the drama. It also leads to some pretty tight panels.
Those tight spaces seem tailor-made for Rosanas. Like George Perez, Rosanas seems to pack more detail into smaller panels. The establishing shot for Valhalla Villas, for example, is roughly a quarter of the page, but Rosanas draws shingles on the roof, panes in the windows and fronds in the palm trees. Like Kevin Maguire, Rosanas delivers a dynamic range of expressions on a variety of faces, from Leopard Girl’s half-teasing pick-up wink to Lang contorting his face in a replica of Taskmaster’s mask. Rosanas doesn’t stop there, using the characters’ entire bodies in the acting and filling “Ant-Man: Last Days” #1 with gorgeous imagery. Boyd’s colors follow suit and add depth, whether in the palm tree shadows on Morgenstern’s wall or the glowing radiance of the Asgardian artifact.
Lanham, however, has the biggest challenge and meets it squarely. The combination of rich dialogue and in-depth narration requires a lot of caption boxes and word balloons, all of which are sharp and consistent. In some cases, Lanham has to wiggle a bit more to fit the lettering in, but rarely does it seem as though the challenge got the best of him. Instead, he adds consistency and finality to the story, right down to the final caption box that closes out the issue.
This series started and ends strong, consistently delivering light-hearted but sincere super hero adventures. Spencer, Rosanas, Boyd and Lanham have filled this series with their absolute best work and “Ant-Man: Last Days” #1 is a fine sample of their topnotch comic collaboration. I’m thankful for this series as well as its finale and look forward to more Ant-Man adventures from this creative team soon.