Written by: Al Ewing
Art by: Tom Reilly
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover art by: Tom Reilly
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: August 31, 2022
Ant-Man #2 jumps forward several decades to the 2000s to visit Eric O’Grady, aka the Irredeemable Ant-Man, fresh after his escape from S.H.I.E.L.D. When O’Grady can’t use his suit due to a lack of Pym Particles, he hatches a plan to find a fresh supply. Unfortunately, the Skrulls suspect O’Grady’s departure may upend their plans for a Secret Invasion.
Is It Good?
Ant-Man #2 is pretty darn amusing, depending on your point of view. That’s not a cheeky way of saying this issue is good when it’s bad or vice versa. Ewing and Reilly have taken a novel approach to visit the assorted Ant-Men throughout history, so Eric O’Grady, as the titular adjective “Irredeemable” suggests, is a jerk and an idiot. There are more than a few Marvel fans who wish the Eric O’Grady era never happened for good reasons, so while going back to visit him makes sense for the theme of this arc, it’s about as thrilling as visiting irascible family members for Thanksgiving Dinner. In short, let’s get this over with.
Oi! Ewing nailed Eric O’Grady’s character. On the one hand, O’Grady is as unlikeable as you remember. On the other, kudos to Ewing for reproducing everything about O’Grady that made him so disliked. As with issue #1, Ewing and Reilly are doing their level best to reproduce the art style, tone, and character voices from their respective time periods, and on that point, this issue is a resounding success.
The plot takes place just after O’Grady escapes S.H.I.E.L.D. and struggles to figure out how to work the Ant-Man suit but before Secret Invasion takes place. Unaware of the suit’s capabilities, O’Grady hatches a daft plan to find more Pym Particles by way of grave robbing Scott Lang’s resting place. The plan is foolish, the way O’Grady goes about it is wildly inefficient and poorly thought through, and if I’m being honest, the absurdity of it all is funny.
This issue isn’t simply a trip down memory lane for its own sake. Our Ant-Man from the future shows up to perform more mysterious scans on the ants. He also stays long enough to answer O’Grady’s question about the future, including an amusing exchange where future Ant-Man spills the beans on the outcome of the ABC show Lost. Future Ant-Man leaves in exasperated frustration before O’Grady can pepper him with more questions about the future that would lead to undue profit.
Reilly captures the spirit and design of comics from that era with relatively strong results. If you don’t remember the last time you saw a 16-panel page, there’s a good reason for that, and Reilly puts one front and center to remind you of the bad art choices of the past. Oddly, the comic art styles of the 2000s were so varied that it’s hard to pin down whether or not Reilly captured the right aesthetic of the period, but his style is close enough to work for the story here.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
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Ant-Man #2 is everything you despise about the Eric O’Grady era of Ant-Man mythology, and that’s a positive. Ewing’s writing captures the tone and attitude of Eric O’Grady down to a tee, the plot is amusing, and Reilly’s art captures the style of the era close enough to feel authentic with a 16-panel page thrown in for good measure. Oi! You may have unkind feelings about the O’Grady ere, but you can’t deny the creators replicated it beautifully.