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The Harbinger of Menoth

The Irredeemable Ant-Man

Ant-ManBe careful, lest you follow my example and inadvertently pigeon-hole Robert Kirkman as 'that zombie guy'. Although his work on The Walking dead and Marvel Zombies both gains (and is worthy of) attention, Kirkman is also sneaking out some great work on The Irredeemable Ant-Man.

The first six issues cover the origin story of what is proudly entitled 'the World's most unlikable super hero'. Eric O'Grady is a low-level minion at SHIELD, the Marvel Universe's entirely ineffective generic-secret-agency. Between unsuccessful attempts to bed his co-workers and whining about his future at late-night poker games, Eric is, in general, a total ass. One thing leads to another, and (I won't spoil it), but Eric-the-ass gets his sticky mitts on the new, experimental Ant-Man suit. And voila - as the title says, you've got a super-hero even more irritating than the original Pym version.

Ant-man's story is a great tongue-in-cheek look at behind the scenes of the Marvel Universe, with just enough genuine emotion to make the reader grow genuinely attached to the (mostly) repulsive Ant-Man. Kirkman's not afraid to let the meta-narrative rule - a complicated (but intriguing) framing device involving ('6 months later...') kept my attention and formed the first six issues into a solidly-planned graphic novel.

Phil Hester's art is a good addition - quick, easy and often indicative cartooning that keeps the story going at exactly the right pace. If a few of the characters look a bit... similar... that's a small price to pay.

The first collection, Low-Life, was an unexpectedly enjoyable treat. I look foward to following the rest of the unlikely and unlikable hero's adventures.