We’ve got a first look at Marvel’s new Ant-Man title, and it’s raising a lot of questions about the expert thief-turned-hero Scott Lang. As he's standing in the center of a gang of truly obscure villains, we have to ask, is this new Lang making good life choices? Or is this just a fantastic way to get a lot of lesser-known comic characters like Grizzly and Porcupine back in the spotlight? We interviewed "Ant-Man" writer Nick Spencer and editor Wil Moss in search of answers in this first look at "Ant-Man No. 1."
Artist Mark Brooks’ teaser creation is loaded with classic comic book faces. Left to right, there’s Whirlwind, Porcupine, the new Beetle and Grizzly (yes, the villain whose go-to look was a giant furry bear suit/exoskeleton). When we asked if the black-and-white motif was alluding to a flashback or something else, Spencer said he thinks Brooks was playing with “a little bit of a ‘Breaking Bad’ homage. I think Mark Brooks took some inspiration there in terms of the color choices.”
But that doesn’t explain why the cover for "Ant-Man No. 1" surrounds Scott Lang with villains. Spencer pulled back the curtain a little further and said, “We’re hinting at a major development for Scott. Scott is an ex-con, he’s a guy with a criminal past. This teaser hints that he may not be quite as reformed as we might have thought. This is our first big hint that Scott’s going to find himself back in his old world, back in a criminal life.” However, Moss warned to take a closer look before assigning Lang a spot in the rogues' gallery, “The key thing to take away from the promo images is, if you look at Scott’s hand that he’s holding behind his back, he has his fingers crossed.” So don’t count Scott out just because he’s hanging around with a bunch of bad guys.
How did Lang get into this predicament? Spencer and Moss were mum on the specifics but did reveal that his daughter, Cassie Lang had a huge influence on Lang’s new perspective. Noting that, at the end of the last volume, a large part of Lang’s character was centered around his life as a single dad. “But over the course of the events of the first arc, he actually puts Cassie in a lot of danger,” said Spencer. “So he’s come to reassess what he thinks his place in her life should be. When we begin this new story, it’s a very different relationship than it was before.”
Is this hinting at Cassie’s eventual rise to Stature as a Young Avenger? Maybe, but we’re not holding our breath. “You know I can’t say anything yet,” said Spencer. “But I’m a big Cassie fan. I’m a big Stature fan, who knows what might be in the future.”
For now, the focus is on Lang and his damaged relationship with Cassie, whatever happened in the eight-month gap leading up to “Ant-Man No. 1,” and this brand new crop of old-school villains. What are these baffling monsters up to anyway? Apparently Grizzly has a job in Lang’s new Ant-Man Security Solutions company. “I’m having a blast writing him,” said Spencer. “He’s just a big, loyal guy who is trying to go straight. Trying to be a good guy, and not doing the best job of it.” Other villains not pictured on the cover, but still a major part of the new Ant-Man title include Darren Cross and a classic Marvel villain whom Spencer would not name, but teased as "'80s-tastic."
"Ant-Man No. 1" will be available in the fall.