Went opening night to watch the latest Marvel franchise film, Ant-Man. I absolutely loved this movie. It ranks right up there with the original Iron Man and Captain America: Winter Soldier as my favorite in the series. I’ve actually been a fan of the character from a little ways back. The original Ant-Man was never really figured out. It was a Stan Lee and Jack Kirby character that actually rivals the Fantastic Four as oldest silver age Marvel character. He was just Dr. Hank Pym for the first couple of issues then they saw how well superheroes were selling again and he got a costume. Hank Pym was mainly directionless for most of his comic book life. Changed names a lot. Yellow Jacket, Goliath, Giant Man and he never seemed to fit. They wanted a character who didn’t exactly buy into the tights and capes business, but he just often felt unattached. He had a main squeeze in Janet Van Dyne, the Wasp. A large portion of the comic’s fandom probably only knew Hank from the infamous scene of him striking his then wife Janet. Mostly like how for a long time Tony Stark was just a drunk because a great 80’s story line “Devil in a Bottle.” Robert Downey Jr. did incredible things to rewrite the fortunes of Iron Man and land him as a company mascot. In the Ant-Man film, Michael Douglas plays and older Hank Pym and like RDj, really adds life and new perspective and fondness for the character. I like Hank Pym more now then I ever have before and I’m seeking out old stories to revisit for a new consideration.
The current Ant-Man of the comics and the main character of the film is Scott Lang. He had a brief role as a thief who stole the Ant-Man outfit in efforts to help save his sick daughter. Through some excellent comic-bookness, Pym lets Scott keep the suit and away we go. Scott Lang is easily one of my favorite comic characters. My teenage son was busting me about like a somewhat “lame” character so much when I explained to him. I’m 38 and a divorced dad who never really does well, but always puts his kids first. Well that’s Scott Lang. Especially under the talented guiding hand of Nick Spencer. He’s the current writer of Ant-Man and probably my favorite take on the character or at least on par with Matt Fraction and David Michelinie. I highly recommend the first trade paperback of the last series called “Second Chance Man” and also go see the movie. “Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron” was fun, but it was big and full of explosions. Ant-Man is really character driven and its done incredibly well.