Ant #12 comes to comic stores on June 9 from Image Comics co-founder Erik Larsen. Joining Larsen in this long-awaited finale is flats artist Mike Toris and letterer Ferran Delgado.
The Ant is a character with a surreal background of publishing rights and backstory. Created by Mario Gully for Arcana Studios, the character is a power fantasy for coping with harsh realities and turning life around. Following Hannah Washington’s alter-ego, she constantly struggles with how her reality shifts. This state all but reflects the behind-the-scenes drama, including premature cancellations. Gully ultimately sells his character’s rights to Larsen after seeing the Savage Dragon creator’s passion.
Ant #12: Ending As A Prologue
Larsen’s plans for Ant #12 is ultimately a slate cleaning prologue for a new series. It’s actually set up kind of nicely for readers not too familiar with the title character. The reader can seem just as confused and frustrated as Hannah is. There’s something big going on, and instead of something big and dramatic, Larsen cleans the continuity slate. Keeping what works like Ant’s enemies and rejecting what doesn’t is vital to starting anew. Without much of the backstory baggage, Ant now shares space with the likes of the classic Savage Dragon.
Part of Something Bigger
To help ease Ant into Larsen’s storytelling, Larsen employs several clever techniques. Ant #12 is a display of anticipative movement where actions have an impact. The way Larsen draws Ant climbing walls and fighting enemies evokes a sense of wonder, and her red costume and visual flair against muted backgrounds adds to the excitement. Which does come with the implication that Larsen put more effort into the coloring details of Ant than anything else. He happens to have help from Toris with basic flats. It also comes with enemy designs and machinery that evoke a campiness reminiscent of Jack Kirby.
That’s all to say nothing of the lettering by Ferran Delgado. Not only do the word balloons, captions, and sound effects match Larsen’s art style, they add to the narrative weight. In a two-page spread with actions going on, the change of speech becomes apparent as one-word balloon changes to another. After the attacks of these characters move with these characters’ speech, the captions going down slows it down. This adds to how heavy Hannah feels in the moment while demonstrating the scale she’s facing.
Keep An Eye Out For Ant #12
Ant #12 will be a satisfying read for people following this character and be a good introduction for new readers. With Larsen taking creative duties, this prologue will give readers something to look forward to.