Comic Book Review: The Irredeemable Ant-Man #4

The Irredeemable Ant-Man has been a truly pleasant surprise. This was a new title that didn’t get a lot of publicity or hype before its debut. And it is a title that I really didn’t expect much from at all. First, this was a new character, second, Kirkman had failed to impress me on Ultimate X-Men and third, I’m not a fan of Hester and Parks’ style of art. However, The Irredeemable Ant-Man has been a real blast to read. Marvel’s most unlikable hero is fast becoming my most favorite Marvel hero. I’m positive that Ant-Man #4 is going to be a great read. Let’s hit the review.

Creative Team
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler: Phil Hester
Inker: Ande Parks

Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Mitch and his team searching the woman’s apartment for any trace of Ant-Man. We then flashback to three months ago with all the S.H.I.E.L.D. returning to duty on the newly repaired and operational helicarrier. Eric just isn’t emotionally ready to return to duty. Eric is immediately approached by Mitch. Mitch asks Eric if he knew where the Ant-0Man suit was. That when they found Chris’ body, the suit was gone. Eric tells Mitch that he has no idea where the armor is. Mitch tells Eric that he has been assigned the task of finding the Ant-Man suit and he would hate to have to hurt Eric but that he wouldn’t hesitate to do it.

We then cut to Eric trying to get into his quarters, but his password doesn’t work. Veronica then stops by to talk to Eric. Veronica thanks Eric for all of his support and help since Chris’ death. Veronica leaves and then another agent comes over and asks Eric why he is trying to enter his quarters. Eric then realizes that his room is actually across the hall.

We cut to Eric in the Ant-Man suit checking out the female agents showing in the ladies’ bathroom. Ant-Man exits the shower through one of the air vents in the ceiling where he comes face to face with a bunch of ants. Ant-Man screams and yells for the ants to stay back. The ants all stay. Ant-Man then tells them to lift up one leg. The ants then lift up one leg. Ant-Man then tells the ants to roll over. The ants just stare at him.

Ant-Man then figures out that he can talk to the ants, but the ants don’t have to do what he says. Ant-Man starts to relax and get over how terrified he is of the ants. Ant-Man realizes that he can talk to the ants, but they can’t talk to him. Ant-Man thinks this new power is pretty cool and asks himself what is he going to do with it?

We then see Ant-Man organizing races between the ants and cheering them on. Ant-Man thinks this is a blast and just loves being a super hero.

We shift to the next day with Eric on duty at the surveillance center. Veronica stops by and asks Eric if he wants to get together after their shift is over. Eric says yes.

We cut to Mitch in Dr. Henry Pym’s lab. Mitch is testing the old Ant-Man suit. Pym tells Mitch that he will be outgunned by the new Ant-Man armor so he will have to be careful whenever he engages whoever stole the new Ant-Man armor. Pym gives Mitch a scanner that detects the Pym Particles that are generated by the new Ant-Man armor. The higher the reading the more recent Ant-Man was in that location.

We zip to later that night with Eric and Veronica finishing their “date.” Veronica tells Eric that she had a good time. Veronica says that Eric isn’t such a bad guy after all. Veronica then kisses Eric. We zip forward to Eric in bed with Veronica. Veronica is fast asleep after their booty session. Eric then slips out of the bed and puts on his Ant-Man armor.

We shift to Ant-Man back in the duct work meeting up with the same ants from earlier. Ant-Man has brought with him scraps of food from the mess hall. He tells the ants that tonight’s winners of the races get prizes this time. Suddenly, Mitch appears on the scene and tells Ant-Man that he is under arrest.

We zip back to present time. Mitch and his agents finish sweeping the woman’s apartment. One of the agents tells Mitch that they have confirmed Eric’s fingerprints on a teacup and discovered some hairs on the couch. The agent then begins to sweep the apartment with the infrared and motion sensor scanners to make sure Eric is still not hiding in the apartment.

Suddenly, the agent yells out that Ant-Man is in the room. Ant-Man then grows to full size and tells Mitch that they are going to end this right here, right now. End of issue.

The Good: The Irredeemable Ant-Man #4 was another great read! Kirkman is really doing a great job on this title. Kirkman has brought a unique blend of drama and humor to this title that makes Ant-Man a total blast to read. Ant-Man is a dark title, but it isn’t. Ant-Man is a wacky title, but it isn’t. It is hard to label this title one certain genre. Ant-Man can be as funny and off the wall as Ambush Bug or Justice League International, but it can also be as dark as X-Factor or Daredevil.

Kirkman has created such a distinctive mood on Ant-Man that makes it like no other comic book on the market. Honestly, I’m stunned that Kirkman has been able to pull this off. His work on Ultimate X-Men has been so pedestrian that I didn’t expect much from him on Ant-Man. Well, Kirkman has continually proved me wrong on each and every issue of Ant-Man and deserves all the credit to turning out a comic book that is such a refreshing change of pace compared to the other types of comic books on the market.

Kirkman continues to make the reader absolutely love this totally unlikable loser in Eric O’Grady. Eric is such a slime ball. The guy steals the Ant-Man armor off the dead body of his best friend. He hooks up with his dead best friend’s girlfriend on top of his best friend’s grave. He continually uses his Ant-Man’s powers to check out ladies in the shower. We saw him first do it in Ant-Man #3 and then we see him do it again in Ant-Man #4. Eric can’t even figure out which side of the hall his quarters is located as we see him futilely try and get into another agent’s room thinking that it is his.

Eric is a total loser. Eric is a scumbag. But, I love him! Eric is a great character! There is no other super hero in the Marvel Universe like Eric O’Grady. And that is probably a good thing. Kirkman has a very unlikely protagonist that you definitely don’t see in other super hero comic books. This is a stroke of genius by Kirkman and is definitely what sets Ant-Man apart from the myriad of super heroes populating the Marvel Universe.

Initially, I was skeptical about Ant-Man being a successful title. I figured that we have seen so many versions of Ant-Man that who is interested in seeing yet another one. And, evidently, Kirkman also realized this fact. If Kirkman had delivered your standard issue hero like all of the previous versions of Ant-Man then this comic would have probably failed. Instead, Kirkman took the idea of a new Ant-Man and ran in a totally different direction than what you usually see with a fledgling super hero.

This issue was nicely paced. I dig Kirkman’s technique of mixing in the flashback origin scenes with the present day scenes in order to keep the story more vibrant and interesting. The dialogue is also well written. Eric has developed a well defined character and voice. Kirkman definitely shows that he has a nice sense of humor.

I thought that the scene where Ant-Man first comes face to face with ants was perfect. Absolutely classic! Eric just screams in terror. And honestly, that is probably the most realistic reaction when coming face to face with ants bigger than you. They would seem like monsters.

I also loved how Eric slowly calmed down and then realized what a cool power it is begin able to talk to ants. I dig that Kirkman put a little twist that ants can choose whether or not to do what Ant-Man tells them to do. That is much more interesting than the ants being compelled to carry out his orders like they were under some type of mind control. The fact that the ants don’t have to do what Ant-Man asks them to do should lead to some rather interesting situations down the road. Plus, it means Ant-Man better not piss any of them off.

I also liked that the first think Eric thought to do with his new powers was to arrange ant races. This is a great example of the off the wall personality of Eric that makes him such a great character. I mean, who wouldn’t want to organize ant races?

I also like the robotic metal insect legs that sprout from the back of the Ant-Man armor ala Spider-Man’s metal legs that spouted from the back of his Iron Spider uniform. They are pretty useful and are a cool addition.

Kirkman also ended the issue with a nice hook with the lead in to two fights between the two same characters. Mitch versus Ant-Man three months ago and Mitch versus Ant-Man in the present time. Ant-Man #5 should definitely be action packed.

The Bad: I’m still not a huge fan of Hester and Parks’ style of art. However, I’m starting to warm up to it and gave it my highest rating so far. Hester definitely does a good job capturing the comedic side of Ant-Man.

Overall: Ant-Man #4 was another great read. Kirkman is cranking out a consistently entertaining read each and every month. I am really digging the offbeat and funky style that Kirkman is bringing to Ant-Man. This title is a breath of fresh air and is not like your average super hero comic. I definitely recommend giving the Irredeemable Ant-Man a try. It is a comic book that is worth your hard earned money.