Marvel timed the release of Second-Chance Man beautifully, especially for those who were unfamiliar with the character. The audience’s curiosity was already piqued, people were curious about a superhero who shrinks to (roughly) the size of an ant (yes, there was much scepticism). It gave readers a chance to explore Scott Lang before the release of the Ant-Man movie.
There is a quote on the front cover by ComicVine.com, and I found it particularly apt ‘Get ready to be able to say you are now an Ant-Man fan.’ So many people have told me how much they love the character, granted that’s mainly because of the fantastic movie, but there is a lot of truth in the quote. You will certainly become a fan if you pick up a copy of Second-Chance Man.
You don’t need the backstory to know that Scott Lang is down on his luck, and seeking a way to turn his life around – to make his daughter proud. He got a second chance, was brought back from the dead, and now he’s looking for a fresh start and a new job. It’s where the graphic novel begins. Though in usual Scott fashion, he has an unorthodox way of going about things.
His unique style makes him perfect for the job of security advisor for Tony Stark, but even with a job offer from Iron Man himself, things don’t go according to plan. When Scott discovers his ex-wife is moving to Miami, he makes the decision to follow his daughter. Once there he establishes Ant-Man Security Solutions, runs into and old foe, the Taskmaster, takes on two employees and finds himself smack bang in the middle of a trouble – again. Worse, his daughter’s life is in danger.
It’s a fun adventure, and the action never stops. Here are a few of the reasons I loved Ant-Man: Second-Chance Man.
Breaking the Fourth Wall
There are other comic book characters who break the fourth wall and speak directly to the reader, but Nick Spencer did a wonderful job of blending these asides with the main action. Scott’s voice is strong; he’s funny and engaging. It was like a running commentary, a voice in your ear, but not in an annoying way. It also gave the character a very natural way to share a little back story, to give the reader additional context.
“My name is Scot Lang. I’m Ant-Man. Okay, fine – I’ll be the first to admit it, the whole “Ant-Man thing,” it maybe doesn’t wow people as much as you might hope.”
It’s a terrific hook, an ice-breaker which would make even the most sceptical reader smile. I love the way this dialogue starts immediately, so you feel as though you’re part of the scene, just shooting the breeze!
The artist, Ramon Rosanas, and colorist, Jordan Boyd did a wonderful job. There is so much detail, each panel brings a scene to life, so it feels like a moving picture. I particularly enjoyed the way they conveyed mood and emotion. The characterisation is also really strong, especially during the action scenes. I was glued to the story. I also love the front cover art by Mark Brooks.
One of the funniest scenes is the moment Scott meets Grizzly, or rather when these two characters collide. They hash it out and, unexpectedly, Scott gains his first employee. It’s an unlikely duo, but it works exceptionally well. But Grizzly isn’t the only surprise alliance, the pair also team up with supervillain Machinesmith. Together they unite to save the day.
Scenes with the Taskmaster were a delight, especially the banter between the two characters. There is a superb fight scene, made all the more electrifying by the graphics and Scott’s little buddies – the ants!
Tony Stark’s appearance is brief, but memorable. I enjoyed the familiarity between the characters and the way they both use humour, albeit in different ways. Scott certainly holds his own in these scenes, and comes out on top.
Of course the main story focuses on Cassie Lang, and Scott’s love for his daughter shines through. Everything he does, he does for Cassie. This is clear throughout the graphic novel, and their relationship is endearing. Their scenes together are stunning.
There are other supporting characters, some larger than life. But I don’t want to spoil the surprise, and give away the plot completely, so I’ll let you discover the main villain yourself.
This debut into what will hopefully be a new series ticks all the boxes; wonderful art, great story-telling, memorable characters, and delicious humour. I can’t wait to see where Scott’s adventures will take him next, and I guarantee you won’t regret spending time with him in Second-Chance man. It’s a treat!