Comic Book Review: The Irredeemable Ant-Man #3

The Revolution was surprised by how good of a read The Irredeemable Ant-Man #1 turned out to be. Kirkman had failed to impress me over on Ultimate X-Men, so my expectations for this title were rather low. However, Kirkman turned in a fun debut issue that definitely got me interested in the next issue. Unfortunately, the local comic book store that The Revolution has our pull list with managed to screw up my order and failed to get me Ant-Man #2. So, I missed that issue. Bastard. Anyway, I’m interested to see if Kirkman can keep the momentum and deliver a good read in The Irredeemable Ant-Man #3. Let’s hit the review.

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

Art Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with an ant giving us a recap of Ant-Man #2 and informing us bluntly that “dirtbag Eric O’Grady is using the Ant-Man armor to pick up chicks. He’s a pretty crappy super hero.” We see Eric at his date’s apartment. She tells Eric that she is not going to have sex with him. He responds with tonight or ever? The girl tells Eric that he is checking out her apartment like he was going to rent the place form her. It is weird. With that, Eric gets up and leaves the apartment. He then writes down her apartment number and her address. He gets a cabbie and goes to the local YMCA where he stored his Ant-Man armor in a locker. He then gets back in the cab and returns to the girl’s apartment building. Eric suits up in the Ant-Man armor and shrinks down. He then crawls under the door to his date’s apartment. He checks out her apartment and says “Home, sweet home.”

We then flashback to six months ago to the aftermath of the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier crash site. Eric is in shock over Chris’ death. Veronica then approaches Eric and says she is glad to see he is still alive. Eric then breaks the bad news to Veronica that Chris McCarthy is dead.

We zip forward one week later to Eric and Veronica arriving at Eric and Chris’ hometown of Lancaster, Vermont. (Ah, yes, Vermont. A gorgeous state. Very nice place to live.) Chris’ parents meet Eric and Veronica at the bus station. Eric thanks Chris’ parents for letting them stay at their house since Eric’s parents moved away. Chris’ mom freaks out and yells at Eric that her son is dead.

We shift to later that night at the McCarthy residence. Eric is sitting by himself in the dark in his bedroom. Veronica comes in and sits down next to Eric. Veronica mentions how she is trying to put the fact that Chris was cheating on her out of her mind. Eric then says that he is sorry that he told her about Chris and that Eric didn’t want Veronica to think that Chris was a bad guy. Eric places his hand on Veronica’s shoulder and tells her that they will get through this. Veronica quickly gets up and leaves the room. Eric is bummed that he struck out again.

Eric sits on the bed for a while before deciding to put on the Ant-Man armor and go outside for a while.

We cut to Agent Mitch Carson’s hospital room where he is recovering from a broken leg. Dr. Pym tells Mitch he was supposed to be the agent that they were going to select to wear the new Ant-Man armor. Pym tells Mitch that he still has a prototype Ant-Man armor that isn’t as advanced, but Mitch can use it to track down however stole the Ant-Man armor. Pym says that the Pym Particles give off a faint signal and that Dr. Pym is building a device to track that energy signal. Maria Hill then tells Mitch that as soon as his leg heals he will be given the mission of tracking down whoever stole the Ant-Man armor.

We shift to a married couple arguing. Their fight spills out into their yard. The husband is threatening his wife and slaps her. Ant-Man comes to the rescue. Ant-Man lands on the husband’s shoulder and prepares to give him a full-sized punch from an ant-sized man. Unfortunately, Ant-Man didn’t think this through and his full-sized punch causes his fist to bust through the man’s neck like a knife. Ant-Man pulls his arm and blood sprays everywhere. The wife panics and asks her husband what is wrong. The police and an ambulance arrive on the scene.

Ant-Man goes to a neighbor’s outside water spicket and turns it on and washes the blood off of his Ant-Man armor. Ant-Man climbs back into his room and sits back on the side of his bed. Eric has a depressed look on his face like he just can’t do anything right.

We cut to Eric knocking on Veronica’s bedroom door. Eric enters the room and tells Veronica that he has lost his best friend and now his entire world is turned upside down. Veronica sits down next to Eric and puts her head on his shoulder and tells him that she understands how he feels.

We zip forward two days later to Chris’ funeral. Veronica and Eric were holding hands while Chris’ mother loudly mourns her son’s death.

We skip forward one more day. Veronica and Eric are standing next to Chris’ grave. It is raining. They still have S.H.I.E.L.D. leave for more than a month. Veronica says that she is going to go visit her parents. Eric and Veronica suddenly start making out on top of Chris’ grave. Eric takes off Veronica’s shirt. Veronica then yells for Eric to get off her. That she is not doing this. Veronica runs off leaving Eric sitting on Chris’ grave. Eric then looks at Chris’ tombstone and asks “What are you looking at?”

We shift back to present time with Ant-Man in his date’s apartment. The girl is taking a nice hot shower and Ant-Man is up on top of her shower door looking at her. Eric comments that “This is the life.” Suddenly, the doorbell rings. It is Mitch Carson along with a squad of S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers. End of issue.

The Good: Ant-Man #3 was another good read. Kirkman has hooked me on this new series and Ant-Man has certainly earned a spot on The Revolution’s permanent pull list. Kirkman has wasted no time getting this new series off to a quick and entertaining start.

I like that Kirkman is using flashback scenes pertaining to the origin of Ant-Man mixed in with scenes from present day where we are already in the middle of the action. This prevents this series from suffering from a slow and somewhat boring start laying the foundation for Ant-Man’s origin. Instead, Kirkman is able to keep the pace fast and the story exciting while still giving the reader all of the necessary background information on the various characters.

Kirkman continues to crank up the tension in Ant-Man #3 as we see the selection of Mitch Carson as the man to head up the search for whoever stole the Ant-Man armor. This will definitely put Eric in a sticky situation having to go up against his friend. We also find out that at some point between six months ago and the present day that Mitch’s face becomes horribly disfigured. That is an interesting little teaser and I’m curious to learn more about what caused Mitch’s injury.

Killing off Chris McCarthy so soon into this series definitely stunned me. I certainly didn’t see that coming. But, I like it. It caught the reader off guard and had a huge impact on our protagonist. Personally, I’m glad that Eric is the character that Kirkman chose to be the new Ant-Man than Chris. No doubt that Chris is a much better hero and is certainly more likeable. However, Chris is too generic and too much like your typical comic book hero. Eric, on the other hand, is much more amusing.

I love Eric’s character. Yeah, Eric is a total dirtbag. He is a little sleazy, rather pathetic and most definitely a slacker loser. But, damn it, he makes for one entertaining Ant-Man. I mean, c’mon, the guy lies to his best friend’s girlfriend about him cheating on her. And just when you think Eric is going to come clean to Veronica about lying about Chris cheating on her, he doesn’t. Nope, instead, he uses his best friend’s death as a way to get closer to Veronica. And to top it off, Eric tries to have sex with Chris’ girlfriend ON TOP of Chris’ grave! It was in such poor taste and yet so funny at the same time. Eric is such a loser.

And to further his pathetic image, Eric uses his Ant-Man armor to stay at his date’s apartment. After all, Eric needs a place to crash and where else can he stay where he can get such views such as this girl taking a shower! Seeing Eric in the shower watching his date shower was just hilarious. Eric knows no boundaries and just when you think he can’t get any sleazier, he does.

Eric is the complete opposite of a super hero protagonist that you get in every other comic book on the market. You have the strong silent types like Batman. The truth, justice and America way types like Superman or Captain America. You have the genius types like Reed Richards or Iron Man. You have the funny loveable types like Spider-Man. You have the psychotic killer types like Midnighter or the Punisher. And then you have Ant-Man. The sleazy, pathetic, slacker, loser chump named Eric O’Grady. Ant-Man is such an enjoyable change of pace from all the other types of super heroes that you get on the other titles.

I hope that Kirkman keeps Eric the sleazy loser that we love. I don’t ever want to see Eric grow into being a mature, responsible, intelligent and respectable super hero. I want Kirkman to continue to live up to Ant-Man’s billing on the cover of his own comic book. Eric simply must always remain “The World’s Most Unlikable Super Hero.”

But, what is so great about Ant-Man is that Kirkman clearly plays for plenty of laughs from the reader, but this comic book is most certainly not a “Bwahahahaha” style comic book like the Justice League International or Ambush Bug. Those titles got old after a while, especially Ambush Bug which is one title I could never really get into. No, Kirkman has made Ant-Man a dark and serious title that is quite depressing at points, but the reader doesn’t immediately realize it because of Kirkman’s excellent wit. This gives Ant-Man nice balance and makes it a much more quality read.

The Bad: I have no complaints with Kirkman’s writing. The art, however, is a different story. I just don’t dig Hester and Parks’ style. It simply isn’t for me. The art lacks detail. It looks extremely sloppy. Overall, the look is rather flat and boring. I will admit that Hester draws a great Ant-Man. Hester’s style really captures the comic aspect of Ant-Man.

Overall: Ant-Man #3 was a great read. I’m really enjoying this new series. Kirkman has really surprised me with his strong effort on this comic book. Personally, I don’t dig on Hester’s art, but if you like his style then I’m positive that you will enjoy Ant-Man. Give this title a try. It definitely is a much different take on the super hero theme than you see in most other titles.