Written by Mark Waid
Art by Andre Lima Araujo
Colors by Frank D’Armata
Published by MarvelNOW!
Mark Waid’s issue of Age of Ultron tells the story of a child who grows up in the American countryside with parents who love him but will never understand his desire to do more and be more than they can ever imagine. The only person who the child can relate to is a relative from his Father’s side of the family who seems to understand and encourage the child in a way that the parents can’t do while at the same time, being a bridge between the child and his parents. And the name of that child was Wally West.
Wait…no it wasn’t, it was Hank Pym.
This issue opens after the events of the finale of Age of Ultron. Ulton has been defeated and Hank Pym is still mulling over the message he received from himself and the impact that his life has had on the Marvel Universe. Waid uses the narration, which he does so well, to give us a highlight tour through Pym’s life beginning with his Wally West-like childhood. Hank’s intelligence was never a question, but his intelligence was matched by his creativity and his curiosity. His parents however just wanted him to use that intelligence to make something that would be practical and hopefully at the same time make them rich. The only light in Hank’s life was his Father’s Mother, Angela, who shared Hank’s nature.
When Angela Pym died, a part of Hank died with her. All of the fight he had in him seemed pointless so he buckled down and tried to be productive instead of creative. But after a couple of decades of mundane work and boring creations, Hank snapped and decided to become a super hero using his newly developed “Pym Particles”
One of the things that everyone knows about Hank Pym is that he didn’t have the best relationship with Janet Van Dyne, and most of their relationship is glossed over, save for mentioning that there was one. To be fair, if you’re trying to make someone likeable, getting Mark Waid to write the character is a great idea.
In the end, Pym comes to the conclusion that the world is a better place with him in it than the world was without him, that means actually being out in the world as a hero and not just sitting around in a lab coat inventing.
When Pym gets up off the floor (literally) and gets in to costume, you can’t help but think how cool the live action Ant-Man movie is going to be. There are some brilliantly executed multiple-size action scenes that demonstrate the possibilities of such powers.
The art team of Andre Lima Araujo and Frank D’Armata never really wowed me, but the art was clear and expressive and as they did manage to make the action sequences seem so inventive I have no complaints on that side of things.
In one issue, Mark Waid has managed to do something that’s never been done before, he’s made me interested in Hank Pym, partly because he’s made Pym interested in himself. The comparisons to Wally West as written by Waid are too glaring to ignore, but I’ll never mind a seeing a writer repeat some beats when they are done this well and make a character come alive in a way I’ve never seen before.
Much like the main Age of Ultron series, this additional issue ends up being a teaser of sorts for what’s to come. Avengers AI is just around the corner and it’s genuinely going to be interesting to see how Hank Pym grows (sorry!) as that series develops.
What we’re left with instead of a main who is repentant for the building of Ultron is a man who is looking forward to the future, who realizes what he has to offer, and who wants to make a positive difference in the world, no matter what anyone says.
4.5 out of 5 nerds