How 'Ant-Man' #1 Creates Bug Problems for Scott Lang
Spoiler alert! Read through a full breakdown of today's debut mag!
Warning! This article contains spoilers for today's ANT-MAN #1, so read on at your own risk, oh frantic ones!
There are very few heroes who can claim membership in the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the Future Foundation, the Heroes for Hire, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Scott Lang can. But even that credibility can’t help him anymore.
Scott’s made a lot of mistakes in his recent past, and that’s why this week’s ANT-MAN #1 finds him at a new low point in his life. But even when things seem bleak, writer Zeb Wells and artist Dylan Burnett still give Scott something hopeful to cling to: his relationship with his daughter, Cassie Lang.
How did Scott fall so far? In ASTONISHING ANT-MAN (2015), Scott lost his company, Ant-Man Security Solutions. Things also took a turn for the worse when Hydra forced Scott to be a double agent during SECRET EMPIRE, and he betrayed his friends and colleagues to save Cassie’s life. In ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2017) #12, Scott joined Star-Lord’s team in space through the end of INFINITY WARS. Now, Scott’s back on Earth and trying to rebuild his life yet again.
While Scott was thought to be dead years ago during AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED, Cassie actually was killed during AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE. Prior to that, Cassie carried on her father’s heroic legacy as Stature alongside her fellow Young Avengers. But after her revival during AXIS, Cassie was largely retired as a heroine. Then, in ASTONISHING ANT-MAN (2015) #6, Cassie took on her new codename, Stinger, and gained Wasp-like powers. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Cassie’s MC2 counterpart took the same heroic path and codename in A-NEXT (1998) #1.
In ANT-MAN (2020) #1, Scott and Cassie are partners again as Ant-Man and Stinger, but they’re not entirely on the same page. While busting some drug dealing agents of A.I.M., Cassie and her father clash over language and the fact that he doesn’t treat her as an equal. Instead, he’s just as parental as ever. Scott is also disheartened by the fact that their heroic exploits are largely ignored by the press in Florida. He’s simply not front page material for today’s newspapers.
Scott’s so hard up for money that he’s actually taken to crashing inside of an ant hill. But Scott even manages to make a mess out of that relationship when he carelessly mistreats the ant eggs—and the ant who vouched for him openly regrets doing so. This issue also plays with the way that Scott interacts with insects by depicting their communications in a way that readers can understand. It also reestablishes that Scott isn’t limited to calling on ants for help.
Eventually, Scott does get a chance to make money off of his abilities when he’s hired to locate some missing bees. The bees in question turn out to be captives of Swarm, a baddie whose body is made up almost entirely from bees. Since his debut in CHAMPIONS (1975) #14, Swarm hasn’t exactly been on the A-list of super villainy. But he is a natural foil for Ant-Man, and it’s telling that Scott knew all about Swarm’s history off the top of his head.
With the help of the captive bees and his temporary bee armor, Scott made short work of Swarm. Unfortunately, though, Swarm isn’t the real threat. The closing moments of the issue introduce new villains who scare even him: Vespa, the specter of hornets; Thread, the silkworm ghoul; and Tusk, the Rhino Beetle Hulk. Scott may soon wish that he hadn’t tackled this job solo... Suddenly, a team-up with Swarm isn’t out of the question as ANT-MAN (2020) charts a new path for Scott.
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