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Comicphiles: Secret Flying Ant Warriors

Comicphiles: Secret Flying Ant Warriors


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With a collection I wouldn’t care to count and shelves jam-packed with figures of caped crusaders and grinning villains, it’s obvious even to the untrained eye that I’m a bit of a geek. A short tour around my room would betray much of my not-so-secret love for all things fantastical, magical and heroic.
I used to save up my lunch money (who needs food anyway?) so I could sneak off to the comic store in my town and splurge on the latest issues. This is the same shop I then started working in (with a measly salary but a tasty discount) for about a year until life got in the way, and my love affair with comics quietly ended. Instead of mourning empty pockets because of the adventures of heroes and villains, it was suddenly due to various shades of expensive eye shadow, nice clothes and credit to text boys.
Perhaps it was because I was finally leaving my awkward early teenage years that I felt the need to overhaul all ties with my previously shy, nerdy self. The reasoning doesn’t matter, because despite the fact that this comic drought inexplicably lasted up until a few weeks ago, I’ve now come to my senses.
Comicphiles will be a column covering three new #1 issues every week so that the comic noobs among us (and as the prodigal daughter of the comic world, I’m one too) can easily know what’s worth starting and what can be discarded like Tony Stark’s lovers.
This week I’m covering Max Ride: First Flight, Secret Wars 2099 and Ant-Man.

Max Ride: First Flight

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 19.04.58When I first saw the issue sitting lazily on a low shelf in Forbidden Planet, I was immediately excited. The Maximum Ride book series by James Patterson was an obsession of mine as a teenager and, in the sickest of ways, I desperately wished I’d been experimented on as a child too so that I could go off on flying adventures with my flock. Needless to say, I had high expectations.
Released in April this year, the story is about Max and her winged makeshift family, the ‘flock’, consisting of Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel as they escape the scientists who created them and defend themselves from the vicious Erasers. Along the way, Max discovers her mysterious purpose is to save the world and, even though this isn’t mentioned in the first issue, there is a tone throughout that suggests Max is heading for big things.
Although I liked the pacing of the story, the first few pages try far too hard to hammer home the identities and personalities of the characters. It’s quite distracting, but eventually the story starts to pick up and it feels more natural. The main issue for me is their wings. In the comic, they’re around two feet and look like moth wings with a brief mention of them being made of ‘alloy’, whereas they’re totally different in the book. The art, too, was a little disappointing as I thought it might be similar to the variant cover (left) that I picked up.
Despite all this, I did enjoy it. The humour that was so integral in the books really shines here, and I have enough questions about what they’re doing differently to continue for another few issues to find out.
Will I Continue To Read? Yes. I’m too curious to see how it goes.

Secret Wars 2099

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 19.42.12A lot of people have been talking about Secret Wars and, with my lack of knowledge, I’ve found myself nodding dumbly whenever it’s brought up. Once I started reading, however, I realised that it wasn’t going to be as easy to pick up as I thought. Immediately you notice something very different, as Captain America was referred to as a woman. It soon became obvious to me that everything was different in this new world. Not to mention confusing.

Released in May this year, the story is about a time in the future where everything is in a whole new light and is set in a place called Nueva York. Characters who have never been seen before make their first appearances, including the Avengers 2099. In this new alternate reality, mega corporations like Alchemax rule with an iron fist, and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes must fight to survive.

Right off the bat, it’s an interesting premise, but I found myself Googling what was happening to get a good idea of what I didn’t understand. Although it was badly paced at times, with more than its fair share of dodgy dialogue, I loved the colours which, in their earthy, neon tones, paint a picture of an advanced world with ties to the past.

The Hawkeye, Black Widow, Iron Man and Captain America, along with newcomer Hercules, in Secret Wars 2099 certainly aren’t the Avengers we know and love, and that’s not a good thing. If it ain’t broke, right?

Will I Continue To Read? No. I know people are raving about it but I wasn’t feeling it at all and have no interest in continuing.


Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 19.59.15As the highly anticipated film of the same name has just been released, I thought I’d pick up an issue starring ant man himself. Right away I loved the beautifully drawn cover art by Mark Brooks; I thought it was really clever to have him gradually shrinking while taking off the helmet and it stood out on the shelves.

Released in January, and written by Nick Spencer, the story is about Scott Lang, who has never exactly been anyone’s favourite hero. The previous Ant-Man invented Ultron and joined the Masters of Evil, so he had big shoes to fill. When Iron Man calls with a once in a lifetime opportunity, Scott gets the chance to turn everything around and be the hero he dreams of being.

I absolutely loved this comic. I didn’t know much about Ant-Man before this and not only do I feel like I’ve gotten to know Scott Lang and his story, I actually really like Scott Lang and his story, and that’s a well done first issue in my opinion. It’s hilarious, with superb dialogue, and it’s packed full of information. I was genuinely disappointed when I turned the last page. This comic is exactly what a first issue ought to be; informative, gripping with a stellar story. Two major thumbs up!

Will I Continue To Read? Yes! I want more now!

Have you read any of these first issues? Do you agree with me? Let me know in the comments!