In sitting down to do my comic book review for the Ant-Man and Wasp story in Tales To Astonish #44, I realize the importance of this issue. These simple, and short facts must be stated first before I begin even thinking about being critical of the 18 page story.
This issue is the first appearance and the origin of the Wasp, ant-man’s lovely partner, but is introduced to us first as Janet Van Dyne, the daughter of a brilliant scientist.
While I mention the wasp first, it is far from the first important element written into this issue, before we even meet the wasp, we get a good amount of depth built into the background of Dr. Henry Pym, an epic tale of love and death that will build upon the origin we already know.
this comic book story was well written, and given the depth needed to make both ant-man’s new origin compelling, as well as a good understanding on why he takes on the wasp, and what factors lead him to his choice.
as a 18 page epic tale, it is also a wordy comic, with a lot of dialogue, but none of this feels like a waste. In fact the story reads quite smoothly.
I feel the artwork of this epic tale was done quite well, using many of the elements that I love in these classics, there is a lot of uses of close up face shots to build upon the scene, and the sense of tension.
the character design for the wasp is also quite interesting, the color choices in her uniform seem to be designed to show a connection with Ant-Man in there similar appearances, but also works to set her apart, she is after all not ant-woman but the wasp.
Originality & Continuity
I will start with Continuity, as it does offer a bit of retcon on ant-man’s origin making some significant changes to his background, that in some ways contradict what was already established, but I will talk more about the new ant-man origin below.
As for the creature from Kosmos, he has one strong compelling bit of originality. unlike most alien invaders we have seen so far, he does not represent his race, his is an outsider among them, a criminal, whom escaped to earth.
Characters & Development
Our star, and main hero grows a lot in this issue, his origin is changed but in doing so, I feel it offers the character great chances for growth in the future, his original origin can still mostly fit in with what we learned here, however now we have a good reason for him to be a super-hero.
Although new, Janet Van dyne, or as she will be known the wasp starts off quite compelling, and undergoes some strong changes in the first story, in some ways she still is and will act like a young woman, this has a strong chance to lead to great growth for her as well as for Ant-Man.
The Wasp is also just what Ant-man needed, he had no supporting characters. The Fantastic Four at a minimum had each other and the hulk had Rick Jones, Betty Ross and General Ross. Now Ant-Man has the wasp, a partner and companion, that will help make his stories more compelling.
Comic Book Review summary
in this issue we have Ant-Man & the Wasp together for the first time in a story that is nothing short of epic, and with great art work, my only real complaint is that more effort could have been done to make ant-man’s new origin fit in with his already existing origin.