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Ant #3

Posted: Monday, August 30, 2004
By: Michael Deeley



Writer/Artist: Mario Gully, (with script assists from Tina Gully)
Publisher: Arcana Studio

Hanna’s father has been arrested for murdering his employer. Because of his less-than-angleic past, everyone’s ready to convict him. Even the mother of his child, who’s now living with the victim’s son, thinks he’s guilty. But his daughter Hanna knows he’s innocent. If only she was the superhero The Ant now, instead of when she grows up, she could find the security tape that would clear his name. Well the tape does seem to appear. It’s mailed to the victim’s son. And he’s not happy to see it in his girlfriend’s hands.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about this comic. It’s gotten a lot of great advance press. I wanted to like it. But I can’t. There are too many flaws.

The most obvious is the inking. The art style reminds me of Greg (’Spawn’) Capullo, with its big eyes and overwrought faces. But the inking is heavy, rough, and overdone. There are too many black marks in the wrong places. Visually, this looks like a cheap copy of an Avatar comic.

Second is the dialogue. When Hanna’s mother reads Hanna’s journal, she realizes just how much Hanna needed her. She chastises herself for her life of sex, drugs, and greed. It’s the kind of self-pitying speech you normally find in a Chick tract. I expected Jesus to walk in and say, “It’s not too late. Repent your sins, believe in me, and you shall be saved.” It’s a little over the top.

Maybe I just don’t get the idea behind the series. Hanna believes she will grow up to become a superhero called The Ant. She writes about her future adventures in her journal. Now, I get that Hanna’s stories are her way of dealing with the world around her. (And for a 4-year old, the stories are very well-written.) But why am I reading this? Why am I caring about Hanna in the first place? Because she’s a poor little girl in a big, bad world? Is there a larger theme of how superhero comics help all of us deal with reality? Hanna’s father has been wrongly accused of murder and she’s powerless to help. Boo-hoo. Pardon my human nature, but I just can’t care. I like the part with Ant. Hey, insect-woman fighting a giant cockroach always makes for a good story. But a family falling apart? Couldn’t care less.

Call me when Hanna grows up.



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