Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanas’ “The Astonishing Ant-Man” #3 is another strong issue in a fun series. The secret? A perfect blend of seriousness and out-and-out comedy.
Spencer uses guest stars to great effect in “The Astonishing Ant-Man” #3. Captain America gets to be the impetus for the main plot involving the raid on the ship, even as we see him used as a springboard to both see more about Scott’s tenuous relationship to the superhero community, as well as more of Scott’s personal doubts about the decisions he’s made in his life. All the while, there’s a devilish thread of humor running through the comic involving Scott giving Sam advice on how to be a better Captain America. It’s as much poking fun of the very nature of legacy heroes as it simultaneously shows us Scott isn’t the only one having a small crisis of self-worth.
That said, it’s the B-plot involving the villains that makes “The Astonishing Ant-Man” #3 step up from above average to great. The Hench app is a story that’s been running in the series for a while (both the current one and the five-issue “Ant-Man” run that was published earlier this year prior to “Secret Wars”), and the latest issue takes a turn that — with hindsight — should have been predictable. The line “You got Lyft-ed!” is perfect when you consider that Hench has been referred to by characters in the comic as the super villain version of the Uber app; having a competing service is brilliant, and the commercial starring Crossfire and Kangaroo is wet-your-pants funny.
Rosanas’ art just gets sharper with every issue. His style reminds me of other creators we don’t see nearly enough of, like Chris Sprouse. Characters are drawn with just a few well-placed lines, but still have a great deal of expression and feel beautifully carved onto the page. Rosanas really makes each character look unique; for example, after Sam and Scott spoke about how terrifying Maria Hill is, her “whatever” eye-roll is simultaneously funny and a little daunting. When Sam flies up in front of Scott on the second page, the way Sam’s wings curve out and then back in is a little awe-inspiring.
“The Astonishing Ant-Man” may exist because of this year’s “Ant-Man” movie, but — if that’s how it got the green light — there’s another reason to be happy about that quirky film. “The Astonishing Ant-Man” is a ridiculous amount of fun; if you haven’t read the series up until now, this issue works well as an introduction to what you’ve been missing.