When “Astonishing Ant-Man” opened, readers learned Scott Lang would eventually wind up in jail, and that fact has hung over the series since it began. With Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanas’ latest installment, it’s almost a relief to see that moment rapidly approaching; after all, Scott can’t get out of jail until he finally actually goes to jail. In “Astonishing Ant-Man” #7, all the pieces start to click together, and Scott’s latest plan becomes probably his worst one yet.
While Spencer has always been careful to place Scott at the center of his own series, there’s also no denying that insidious events have been taking place while his attention was elsewhere. This is where all of those missed moments start to come back to haunt him: first, that his supervillain employees have secretly been working for Cross to help him start up Lackey, and second, that Cassie has signed up to be part of Hench. Just like that, the Lackey/Hench wars shift into something that’s deeply personal to Scott. At the same time, Spencer keeps some revelations in reserve, like the fact that Darla’s people have been secretly filming him for the reality show that he blindly signed the release for, which gave them access to his life. It’s a good balance, and it gives us something to anticipate even as we wonder just how this will affect what’s still to come.
Throughout, Spencer never loses sight of the fact that Ant-Man is supposed to be likable even when he screws up. His desperation — which leads to what looks like a stunningly bad decision — is focused entirely on the well-being of his daughter; it’s not for selfish reasons. This is a character who constantly recognizes his own shortcomings — sometimes amplifying them a bit too much in his own mind — and tries to rise past them. That good nature is what pushes “Astonishing Ant-Man” forward; if there was a less pleasant character at the center of this book, it would be a bit harder to swallow, but Scott’s consistent attempts to do good are admirable.
Rosanas’ art looks as nice as ever. I love the clean style of his characters, with everything from Rax using his height powers to attach a security cameras (with one eye squinted closed to get it just right) to the almost alien face of the new Plantman as he crows over “catching” Ant-Man. I’ve got no complaints from Rosanas here; he makes the mundane look real and the fantastical appear both larger than life and fun.
“Astonishing Ant-Man” #7 is another installment in a series that everyone should be reading. It’s got humor, it’s got drama, it’s got superheroes and supervillains fighting one another — what more could you possibly want? Well, if the answer is an incredibly likable main character to tie it all together, don’t worry, because Spencer and Rosanas give us that too. This is a great point to give this title a whirl; trust me, you need to jump on board. This book is too good to let slip away.