The first issue of Ant-Man and the Wasp delivered a solid foundation for the adventures of two characters fans are going to watch on the big screen soon. Placing both Ant-Man and the Wasp in the Microverse also gave Mark Waid the opportunity to deliver an adventure that does not have world ending implications. Instead Waid can get weird with the Microverse and has so far given something unique for Ant-Man and the Wasp to do. That said there are some improvements that will need to be made, namely balancing the character voices and action, to make Ant-Man and the Wasp a standout mini-series. Let’s see if things can get better with Ant-Man and the Wasp #2.
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Javier Garron
Colorist: Israel Silva
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In their headquarters the Saargs discuss the invaders that have shown up on their part of the Microverse. One of the Saargs recounts his recent encounter with one of the invaders.
One hour earlier the Saargs run away as Wasp, who appears as a giant to the Saargs, tries to maintain her footing on a stone platform. Ant-Man, who is trying to repair Wasp’s vision, tries to get Wasp to calm down by having her tell him about her origin.
Wasp talks about how her dad (Hank Pym) never knew his first wife was pregnant when she was kidnapped. She goes on to say that as a kid she was trained in the Red Room, with some training by Winter Soldier, where the leaders of the program had her recreate her father’s Pym Particles. Wasp then goes on to say she used her own use of the Pym Particles to escape and eventually came across and was mentored by Janet Van Dyne. She then mentions how she then became the Wasp, become an Avenger and later lead her own team of like minded individuals.
Ant-Man says their stories aren’t that different since he only stole Hank’s tech in order to save his daughter and eventually got Hank’s blessing after that first adventure.
Wasp suddenly loses control of her footing and falls onto another rock platform, where the Saargs run away in fear without her knowing what she is doing to them.
Back in the Saargs headquarters they all decide to deal with the invaders immediately. They get a device together and use it to start shrinking Wasp to their size.
Feeling that she is shrinking Wasp tells Ant-Man to get in her tear ducts. Wasp then thinks about how the people running the Red Room kept telling her she would never know her father and starts crying. Ant-Man rides Wasp tears out of her eyes just as she is shrunk down to the Saargs size.
The Saargs quickly capture Wasp and place her in a containment unit without her costume. The Saargs tell Wasp they will be experimenting on her the next day.
Wasp calls out to Ant-Man, who is hiding where the Saargs are keeping Wasp’s costume. End of issue.
The Good: Much like the first issue Ant-Man and the Wasp #2 is a solid reading experience. The heavy reliance on flashbacks to Ant-Man and the Wasp’s origins, specifically the latter, may get old for fans of these characters. But for newer fans this acts as a good step into learning who these characters are and it helps that it is all taking place in the weirdness of the Microverse.
The greatest strength of Ant-Man and the Wasp #2 is the pacing. Mark Waid keeps the issue moving forward, even when he is looking back at the character’s history. This pacing helps you stay engaged in not only the plight of Wasp losing her sight and Ant-Man trying to restore it but also what is going on with the Saargs. That investment is key in the presentation of these characters who are still lesser known and more people looking to get into a series like this that is easy to digest.
The other good thing that Waid does is that he does not position the Saargs as the typical villain from the point of their introduction. By the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp #2 that is definitely fill the role of antagonist group that our heroes will have to overcome. Instead Waid makes you understand that the Saargs are just reacting to a major threat to their world. Even though Wasp is an unintentional threat, she is still someone that is causing mass destruction to the Saargs, making their reaction more understandable. And now that the Saargs have captured Wasp it’ll be interesting to see what they try to do to her in their experiments and how Ant-Man gets them out of it.
Now as someone who is not familiar with Nadia Pym-Van Dyne it was good to learn what her background is. Waid did a good job condensing her origin in a few quick pages. The way he spread it out made the execution of these flashbacks better as we first get to see how strong Nadia has become as she has become the Wasp. Seeing this then helped get over the how you feel for Nadia as she is still carrying some insecurities that center around not meeting her father, Hank Pym. As a reader seeing how Nadia became emotional about not seeing her father before he merged with Ultron I now have another reason to want to see Hank turned back to his normal self so he can meet the daughter he did not know about.
Similarly, Waid was able to quickly establish Scott Lang’s origin in quick fashion without spending too much time. What made the origin retelling better was that Waid had Ant-Man use this as a way to calm Nadia down. It also allowed the two to grow a greater connection with each other as they learn more about their respective character motivations that they did not know before. That connection that the two grow to have make you root for Ant-Man and Wasp to find a way out of their predicament more.
Javier Garron delivered solid artwork throughout Ant-Man and the Wasp #2. Garron’s art style has a very animated look to it, which is perfect for depicting how crazy the Microverse is. He made the Saargs look as weird as they should look with how they looked like microorganisms. He also added to how light hearted the entire adventure was with the different reactions he gave Ant-Man and Wasp that you would expect to see from a cartoon to look like. And credit to Israel Silva as well for delivering some strong coloring that added to how animated Garron’s artwork looked.
The Bad: The retelling of Ant-Man and the Wasp will not go over well with those who already know both characters history. Even as someone that does not know Wasp’s origin, it does feel like retreaded ground with how Waid presents us. It is one of those necessary evil things that was needed since Marvel is positioning this mini-series to be picked up by new readers who are looking for an Ant-Man and the Wasp comic once the movie premieres.
From a story standpoint Waid failed to explain why Wasp lost her sight. Not explaining this plot point in a better manner made it look like a convenient way to retell Ant-Man and the Wasp’s origin stories. There needed to be more of an explanation of this and how it relates to the Microverse to get over how crazy and random this place is to readers who have little to no knowledge of this world.
There is also a lack of action in Ant-Man and the Wasp #2 that fans expecting that will be disappointed about. Having some form of action would have help make the focus on the origin stories not to be so pronounced. But since that is the case what this issue may be most remembered for is the retelling of the origin stories more than anything else. Now that Ant-Man and the Wasp are with the Saargs we’ll hopefully see an uptick on the action that this series is missing.
Overall: Ant-Man and the Wasp #2 is a solid comic book that makes you care more about the current predicament our lead characters find themselves in. For readers unfamiliar with who Ant-Man and the Wasp are this is a great starting point as Mark Waid goes into their respective origin stories. For readers who already know this may become bored by what happens in this issue, especially with the lack of action. Still, Ant-Man and the Wasp #2 moves at a quick pace that helps this mini-series be a good jumping on point for those looking to read a comic involving these two characters with their movie coming out in July.