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Comic Book / Ant-Man (2022)

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Ant-Man (subtitled Ant-iversary for the collected edition) is a 2022 limited series published by Marvel Comics, timed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the titular superhero Ant-Man. The series is written by Al Ewing and illustrated by Tom Reilly.

Each issue focuses on one of the different people who have worn the Ant-Man costume over the years - from Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, to Eric O'Grady, Scott Lang and a new Ant-Man of the year 2549, Zayn Asghar.

Ant-Man contains the following tropes:

  • Art Shift: The art and color changes as the future Ant-Man travels back to Hank Pym's time, mirroring the comic style of the 1960s. The panel gutters also shift from pure white to yellowed ivory, increasing the sixties comic feel.
  • Avengers Assemble: The end of issue 2 shows the Ant-Man of the 25th century has summoned the other Ant-Men to fight a future version of Ultron. Eric gets summoned up because the situation has gotten so desperate anyone will do.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • In the first issue the villains Trago, the Protector, Time Master and the Window-Washer all return from the original 1960s Tales to Astonish stories.
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    • Skrull infiltrator Criti Noll, killed off in 2008's Secret Invasion, appears in the Eric O'Grady issue while impersonating Hank Pym.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Time Master's aging ray, which just seems like part of issue 1's one-off story, comes back in issue 3.
  • Comic-Book Time: Given a nod in the opening recap for issue 2, with the ant noting the events of Irredeemable, published in the early 00s, are just six years ago in Marvel Time.
  • Connected All Along: The first issue reveals that both Scott Lang and Eric O'Grady, two Legacy Character versions of Ant-Man, crossed paths with Pym early in his career.
    • O'Grady, as a teenager, pelts Pym with popcorn when he's trying to watch a movie with Janet Van Dyne.
    • Scott Lang inadvertently rescues Hank by trying to burgle the villain's soundproof lair, as Trago's music is heard by the Wasp as soon as the window's slightly open. The Wasp lets him off with a warning.
  • Continuity Nod: Alongside teenaged Eric is his best friend Chris McCarthy, who was the one who used the G.I.Ant suit before Eric.
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  • Entertainingly Wrong: Issue 2 shows Criti having a private freak out over her being punked by Eric, wondering if he knows she's a Skrull and is plotting against her, while it's already shown Eric is a complete moron who has no idea about her.
  • Hint Dropping: When Black Ant takes Cassie hostage, Scott makes numerous size-related remarks until Cassie finally uses her size-shifting abilities to escape.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: Hank defeats the Ant-agonists using their own powers against them, breaking free when Time Master's aging ray ages him enough to slip his bonds, then grabbing it and using it to age Window-Washer's spritz bottle enough it decomposes, getting his paralyzing fluid on him.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: At the start of his issue, Eric O'Grady discovers that his suit is out of Pym Particles, so can't shrink. He has absolutely no idea how to get more of them. After an attempt at Grave Robbing and a battle against Criti Noll, he discovers he simply needed to tell the suit to make more.
  • Idiosyncratic Cover Art: Each of the first three covers has that issue's Ant-Man pictured in an identical pose, helmet under their arm, in a close up that doesn't show their face. Each of them is against a single-colour plain background.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Black Ant and Scott's fight in issue 3 has Black Ant note this is the first time the two have ever actually crossed paths.
  • Leaking Can of Evil: The Avengers hoped Ultron was a Sealed Evil in a Can after his defeat over in Iron Man, but he was still able to speak out to Black Ant and arrange his freedom.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The narration boxes for the future sections of the first issue ask viewers / readers not to spoil the villain of the piece, which anyone who's read the solicits for the final issue may know.
  • Legacy Character: A theme of the series, with each issue spotlighting a different character who's worn the Ant-Man helmet.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: An enforced trope. Criti uses a washroom while impersonating Hank Pym and the mirror shows her undisguised Skrull form. This is a narrative device for the reader's benefit, as her in-universe reflection doesn't reveal her disguise.
  • Morton's Fork: Sitting alone in an apartment, Eric O'Grady considers all his possible options, concluding that no matter what he does, he'll die in jail.
  • Painting the Medium: The narration boxes for the scenes in the 60s are typically bombastic for that time period. The ones in the unspecified future era are terse and branded to fit not only the time period but the sterile laboratory setting, as if they were being spoken by a computer.
  • Retraux: Issue 1 is written and drawn in the style of Hank's Tales to Astonish-era adventures.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: Hank uses his ants to scare a young Eric O'Grady out of pelting him any further.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: How Black Ant frees Ultron from his can. Vibranium may be a fictional metal, but it's still one that obeys some of the laws of physics... like entropy.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Cassie's general speech to Scott, after seeing him acting like a Butt-Monkey despite years of competent superheroing under his belt.