Graphic Novel Review: Ant-Man: Second Chance Man

Ant-Man: Second Chance Man

Ant-Man: Second Chance Man - Credit: Archant

Size isn’t necessarily everything...

(Panini Books)

The imminent release of the latest Marvel movie is the perfect opportunity to catch up with this comic book counterpart in this first collection of the latest Ant-Man series.

Ex-convict Scott Lang has already had one second chance at life. After “acquiring” the costume and powers of original Ant-Man Hank Pym, he saved the life of his dying daughter, began a new career as a costumed adventurer, joined the Fantastic Four and the Avengers and then, er, died…

Killed by teammate Jack of Hearts during Avengers: Dissassembled, he was eventually resurrected following some time travel jiggery-pokery in the Children’s Crusade event, witnessed his daughter Cassie sacrifice her life in the process, and eventually saw her come back from the dead thanks to Doctor Doom’s altruistic actions in the Axis crossover. Phew! It’s certainly been a busy couple of years for our diminutive hero, and he spent a chunk of those pushing up daisies!

Now reunited with his daughter, albeit sharing access with his ex-wife, Scott resolves to make her proud by landing a gig as Tony Stark’s new security advisor, even if that means going up against the likes of the new Beetle, the mutant Prodigy and cyborg Victor Mancha in the world’s most dangerous job interview.

But when his ex resolves to relocate to Miami to give Cassie a fresh start, Scott is forced to choose between the job of a lifetime and being a better dad. No contest.

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Taking up residence in a toy replica of Stark’s apartment, and following a run-in with former Spider-Man bad guy the Grizzly and a Nazi robot, Lang is given the opportunity to set up Ant-Man Security Solutions, and another door opens…

Despite the somewhat bleak baggage which has surrounded the character over the past decade, writer Nick Spencer adopts a humorous and irreverent tone which perfectly suits the adventures of a man who shrinks to the size of a formicidae and talks to insects, while also maintaining the drama and challenges which are necessary to make any superhero book succeed.

A first-rate debut for what will hopefully be a long-running series that will finally raise Scott Lang to Marvel’s A-list.