This week sees Nick Spencer, Ramon Rosanas, Jordan Boyd and Travis Lanham launch a new book over at Marvel in the shape of Ant-Man. Featuring the Scott Lang version of the size-changing hero, the series is pitched as being about a C-List Avenger trying to turn around his post-Avengers career and get a new job, so he can provide for his daughter, Cassie. He has an upset ex-wife, a crappy apartment, a criminal past, and no hopes – and that's how the series begins.
With this first issue of the new series - which is on sale now - Spencer takes the jokey tone of his Superior Foes of Spider-Man series and downplays things significantly. While Foes was about villains trying to keep a criminal career going, here we have a hero trying to keep a heroic career going. Or, well, any career at all. It's a familiar concept for anybody reading Marvel at the moment, as most of their solo books are about the very same idea, played out in different ways.
Marvel’s recent relaunch of Moon Knight saw the white-clad vigilante pare things down to a bare minimum as he stalked the streets by night, taking down gangs, gunmen, and anything else that posed a threat to innocent people. In the hands of Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, the character was reinvented, stepping away from past characterizations to form a new identity. Across just six issues the creative team stamped a brand on the book that may mark how people approach the character and concept from here onward.
From The Dead collects the entirety of Ellis, Shalvey and Bellaire's run on the book. It features a series of deft action sequences, and builds a convincing new world for Moon Knight to walk in, though Ellis's sparse and low-key scripts effectively cede the floor to the artists, allowing penciller Shalvey to create that world and colorist Bellaire to establish the tone. The series is a methodically structured exercise in comics storytelling, with Shalvey excelling in his depiction of a run-down, black and white world of straggling criminals.
I didn't really think I'd be comparing Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy's new, 10-issue Vertigo series The Wake to Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic's Thor: God of Thunder after the first installment, but here we are.
Get ready to vote, everyone: As of next week, Matt Wilson and I will be done with our in-depth review of the X-Men film franchise, and that means it's time for another vote! Against our better judgment, we're letting you, the readers, determine our fate by picking out the next set of movies we go up against...
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