Tim Seeley is responsible for some of my favorite comics. He’s currently helming Grayson into an unlikely hit over at DC, but as kickass as that book is, my favorite works of his are his creator-owned comics. Hack/Slash is one of my favorite comics of all time; it’s the sprawling saga of Cassie Hack, the proverbial final girl, on a journey that both embraces and skewers every horror trope there is, while still telling a moving, personal story. Revival, co-created by artist Mike Norton, is a quieter, creepier tale about a town where the dead don’t stay that way. Seeley has an exciting, startlingly unique voice – I mean, hell, I’ve written about his works here and here. So when we at Blastoff started getting all revved up about the upcoming Ant-Man flick, I thought how cool it would be to revisit one of Seeley’s earlier forays into the world of superhero comics.
Ant-Man and Wasp is written AND drawn by Tim Seeley, who started out primarily as an artist, but is now know for his writing. It came out in late 2010 with inks from Victor Olazaba, colors from Val Staples, and letters from Simon Bowland. In this series, Hank Pym is currently acting as the Wasp, teaching at the Avengers Academy, and preparing to open Janet Van Dyne Centers for Women. His co-star is Eric O’Grady – known in his own book as the Irredeemable Ant-Man. He hangs out with villains, uses his dangerous status as an adventure to kick his one-night stands out through the fire escape so people don’t see them, and even allegedly uses his Ant-Man powers to spy on girls in the shower. The dichotomy between Wasp, a hero trying to achieve redemption, and Ant-Man, a lowlife half-assing his way toward becoming a hero in title alone, couldn’t be harsher.
The coolest part about this series is its connection to Avengers Academy. I love that series, and Ant-Man and Wasp uses its location and some of the characters without tethering its plot to that series, which I feel is the best way minis like this can work in expanded universe. It’s a fun read by itself, and it’s even better if you’re down with Avengers Academy. I especially liked how much smarter the students are than Eric.
The series, beyond having a juicy conflict between the leads, is positively overflowing with ideas. Earlier, Ant-Man is helping Mr. Fantastic stop an alternate reality from converging on ours, while Wasp is going to him with a tip from a villainous friend, while also inadvertently giving A.I.M. access to a virtual pseudo-Heaven that Wasp created to give peace to Bill Foster’s soul… Whew! And that’s just cracking the first issue of this sci-fi, superhero adventure that has a hell of a lot of fun with both genres, throwing a bunch of great concepts into a single miniseries and watching the way they react to each other.
That’s the beauty of comics, you guys.
The end of the first issue brings the two together as a team by highlighting a shared desire… they both know they’ve been jerks, and they want to be better. Wasp is better in a way, but Ant-Man more accurately wants to want to be better… so it’s a start. The two of them head off to tackle A.I.M. and their hired hands, teamed-up as Ant-Man and Wasp – and we just know that’s not gonna go smoothly.
PAT SHAND writes comics (Family Pets, Robyn Hood, Charmed: Season Ten) and pop culture journalism (Sad Girls Guide, Blastoff Comics). He can be found in San Diego, with his legion of cats, where he, when not writing, practices his evil laugh.