Tuesday, 16 April 2013
The Search for Ant Man
So as its the first post in this ongoing series of weekly(ish) editorials I feel I should explain my love for the Pym aka Ant Man (1) aka Giant Man aka Goliath aka Yellowjacket aka Wasp (2).
I personally have only been reading comics for a comparatively short period of time (2 years give or take) I don't really count my comic reading prior to this point (largely consisting of reading comics written by Claudio Sanchez of Coheed & Cambria) as I wouldn't have said back then that I was into comics.
The first Marvel comic I read was Captain America: Man Out Of Time TPB and I loved it. I remember picking it up from HMV in East Kilbride before the movie came out in 2011 and thinking this looks really cool! I bought it read it a few times and didn't think much more about it for months. During those months I started re-watching (and watching some for the first time) every Marvel movie I could find and then when I'd seen all of those moved on to the TV shows (largely old Spider-Man & Iron Man cartoons) though I wanted something a bit more in depth than those were offering at the time. So I decided to pick up a Deadpool TPB as after seeing him in Hulk VS Wolverine, and Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I was hooked on this crazy character.
I loved this book even more than the Cap book I read so at this point I decided I wanted to read more comic books. I tentatively made my first steps and picked up a few different TPBs to see what I liked and what I didn't. Now at this point you may well ask "what about your local comic shop" well mine isn't very local being as how the closest one is part of a chain and nestled sweetly in the bosom of a massive shopping mall coupled with the fact that its a half hour drive away (plus 20 mins finding a space and another 10 walking to the shop) its decidedly unlocal to me, so in deciding what I should collect (yes I decided I would collect immediately, I'm impulsive like that) I had a look around online and asked a few friends I knew were into comics vast varying opinions came flooding my way and I was unsure of what to pick up at first but several people recommended Civil War as a good starting point being that it was a major crossover and had most of the big players featured in it as well as being a fantastic story in and of itself.
And it's here that I first encountered Doctor Henry 'Hank' Pym, the scientist whom I had never heard of before which surprised me being as how I'd seen both the Iron man and both the Fantastic Four movies and he was not mentioned and yet here he was best of friends with Iron Man and Mr Fantastic and interacting with all these characters I knew from cartoons and action figures, so knowing nothing about him I had a little look into his backstory online to see what he was all about and something about him just sang to me the way his character has developed and changed over the years from his beginnings as a genius scientist, to becoming Ant-Man and helping to found The Avengers alongside his partner (and future Wife) Janet Van Dyne (AKA The Wasp), to having a nervous breakdown and attacking The Avengers, becoming Yellowjacket and marrying Jan and the infamous moment where he hit her (which was actually misdrawn as the writer never intended for this to happen, though they stuck it out and made it an integral part of his development) and to his eventual bounce back to become one of the leaders of the Avengers (see Mighty Avengers) and head up the Initiative and Avengers Academy to train the next generation of super heroes. And top all that off with an Ant Man movie on the way in 2015 the character can certainly be considered to be one of the big players in the Marvel universe. His fall and redemption as well as his relationship with Janet resonated very strongly with me and I could relate to a lot of what was going on with him (not the hitting part I must add!). I think being a grown up when I started reading comics had a lot to do with my liking for him, he was a more adult and relatable character to me than Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America etc. A real hero dealing with real issues (in some cases real psychological issues) and I immediately wanted to find out more.
I went on to pick up some Avengers trades and some of the other crossover events to find more of the character but I soon discovered that this was to be no easy task.......as you will find out next week on.....
The Search For Ant Man #2
Recommended starting point(s) in the comics.
Main Universe – Ant Man: Season One
Ultimate Universe – The Ultimates Vol.1