Sigh. Another hammer blow dealt by Marvel with another one of my series ending as a result of Marvel NOW! 2.0 (Though I have my suspicions Mr Lang will return alongside his daughter in the future). As with the Avengers, I say goodbye to this one with a heavy heart, having grown attached to fantastic hero and his brilliant friends?).
If my memory serves me well, this was the second series I decided to pick-up back last year with the launch of All-new All-different Marvel. I must admit, the film heavily influenced my decision to pick up this series and I’m glad, on this occasion, to have been so easily persuaded. I picked up issue 1 and Ant-man joined my top 10 favourite Marvel heroes (Maybe even 5).
The first arc focused on, more or less, setting up the plot for issues to come. It introduced readers to Ant-man and his business partners: Machinesmith and Grizzly. It also introduced other supporting cast members such as Giant Man, Ms Thing and Cassie Lang/ Stinger with varied and interesting mini-plots for each. Issue 7 kicked off Small-time Criminals which established why Ant-man ended up behind bars (again): A heist on Cross Technologies (Which in retrospect was what they did in the film but, at least, on this occasion it was more individual so I can let it slide (a bit)). The final 3 issues (11-13) saw Ant-man in jail and being put on trial with support from She-hulk (It’s good to have connections in the super hero community). This brings us to the final issue of Astonishing Ant-man.
Issue #13 did a goodbye issue very, very right. The issue opens with yet another flashback to previous events in the whole of Ant-man’s life including Cassie’s birth right up to him protecting Cassie from arrest. The trial is not swinging in Lang’s favour with some brutally honest statements from his friends where one confesses to working with super villains prior to employment at Ant-man Security Solutions and the other confessing to murder. Even the positive ones go wrong with poor connection ruining the video statement (Noted, Giant man is in space at the time). The congregation take a break from the Trial where Beetle, the lawyer standing against Lang, reveals her motives: Pym Particles. She points out the fact that she is one of the only insect based heroes who can’t shrink. She has called for the Ant-man suit to be brought to the trial where he can give her the Pym particles in exchange for her throwing the trial. For anyone who had forgotten, Lang’s archenemy Cross is currently inside the helmet with a deadly iteration of the Yellowjacket suit in his control. The suit arrives at the court room where Scott suits up and detects the problem very early on. Yellowjacket bursts out of the helmet and reeks havoc in the court room. Thankfully, most of Ant-man’s allies are close to hand and step in to help with almost all the Future Foundation members reuniting to boot fighting alongside him . They attack Yellowjacket but are rather easily defeated by the incredibly powerful suit. Ant-man provides a distraction and draws Yellowjacket away from his injured friends. However, Cassie isn’t prepared to let her dad take on Cross alone and formulates a plan which cuts off Yellowjacket’s all important power source, Pym Particles, using pills that break them down. It works and Yellowjacket is put out of action. The trial resumes with the last witness called up to the stand: Lang’s Ex-wife Peggy. Considering Lang’s rather poor treatment of Peggy in the past, abandoning her and going to prison, you’d expect a scathing statement of Lang. However, she points out the key brilliance of Lang’s character: his undeniable love for his daughter and his ceaseless need to make sure she is safe and happy. Lang is released and, in the final panels of this entire volume, admits the truth: He isn’t Cassie’s hero, Cassie is his hero.
Outstanding finale. It packed so much action and emotion that I felt somewhat miserable reading the last few pages and realising that this would be it from Ant-man for a while (There are currently no indications at his return in Marvel NOW! 2.0). The last few pages alone were some of the most wonderful of the whole volume, to be honest, with everything happy and peaceful. Thanks Nick Spencer, you were excellent (As ever but this time it was simply wonderful).
The Astonishing Ant-man has been another great comic which I will hold close to my heart for no other reason than it simply being a fantastic volume from start to finish. He’ll hopefully come back alongside his daughter (It was definitely teased when Lang said from now on it would be the Adventures of Ant-man and Stinger) which I imagine will be eagerly picked up by me.
Tally-ho, Mr Lang. You were, truly, what it said on the cover: Astonishing.