"Nineteen Ninety-Two (Part One)"
Writer: Jeffery Kaufman
Artists: Mario Gully (p), Rob Hunter, Mario Gully (i)
Publisher: Image Comics
"This ainít your daddyís XYZ-character." This is exactly what I would say to any reader of any (XYZ) character after an issue like this one. Then again seeing as the character and history of Ant is not quite old enough to span generations, I am going to amend myself a bit. How about, "This ainít your XYZ-character"? Yes, that sounds better, even more so when we replace the generic XYZ with Ant.
For anyone wondering as to what it was exactly in this issue that made me start off my review this way, the answer is a fairly simple yet totally mind-boggling one. Antís Origin. An as important (if not more) part as her powers, the origin of both Ant and her alter ego, Hannah Washington, has been a mainstay of this character ever since her first appearance under the Arcana Studio banner. Having lost her father (to a wrongful murder conviction), Hannah spent a better part of her childhood and teenage years under psychiatriatric care, with the character Ant more of a childís wild imaginative ramblings in her journal than an actual real entity. Or that is just one possible story that what we know of. Until now. In another one, Ant was not only real but more than that, she was the "best superhero that the world has ever seen." A national hero, that Ant "died" (in the public eye), giving up all she was, either forced by some unknown circumstances or due to her own volition, the truth about which was never revealed. Once again, until now. Although not fully revealed even here, this installment of Ant brings with it what I hope will be the opening to the truth behind the Ant, the real truth.
As for the person who recounts all those revelations to Ant, or rather to Hannah, itís the muscle bound masked character appearing on the cover with Ant. With the dissemination of the news of Ant being alive (thanks to the ever nosey media), all hell breaks loose, both for Ant and her ragtag team and for the US government. The team members, well, they make a run for the hills because even if Ant might not know or remember, they (Rundown, Caliente and Sidekick) know for certain the fall out from this explosive news piece. If the reaction in the Oval Office is anything to go by, their reaction is right on the mark. Regarding why the government types, including the current standing President, look as if they might both wet themselves and vacate their bowels simultaneously, it all might have something to do with the story that Charlie (the guy on the cover) tells Hannah. Not only that, but thanks to Charlie and his powers, Hannah even gets her hand back (Note: Ant lost her hand in issue #6 when it was frozen and broken off, at the wrist, by ColdBurn).
There is a lot going in this issue, the entirety of which is just too expansive to be covered in this review. Suffice to say, all that we know, all that Hannah knows/remembers about her past, none of that is true. Heck, not even the one about her father and what happened to him, none of it. Unless there is some change in the coming issues, the truth of Hannah Washington is the one set by this issue, with all the memories before it being implanted "false" ones.
As I stated in my review of the previous issue, the inclusion of a dedicated inker (Rob Hunter) has worked wonders for the quality of the artwork of this series. Not only does it allow Mario Gully to focus solely on the pencilwork, thus making for better intricacies, it also makes for tighter crispier lines. In the colors, on his second issue colorist Edward Bolaís slightly darker (compared to previous colorist, Stephanie Renee) shades already feels at home with Ant. Together all three artists make for rather impressive visuals.
Conclusion: Even though the previous "Moving On" arc started out quite slowly, it gathered speed to reach an explosive (albeit slightly anticlimactic ending). If this first issue is anything to go by, this arc is going to an even bigger blockbuster than the one it follows.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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