Bob Ingersoll: The Law Is A Ass #393


Sometimes I wonder why I bother getting out of bed.

So Scott Lang, former thief and current Astonishing Ant-Man, has a daughter, Cassie. Cassie is a teenager, meaning she’s in that rebellious stage. We’re not talking tattoos, emo outbreaks, and staying out after curfew to be with that boy. We’re talking the Boxer Rebellion of teenage acting out. Cassie decided that to get what she wanted, she should become a super villain.

What did she want? Revenge on industrialist inventor Darren Cross for one. Kind of a non-standard goal for an angst-ridden teenager, but Cassie had a kind of non-standard childhood, what with her having super powers, losing those powers, dying, and being brought back to life. Then there was the time, Cross’s son kidnapped her and stole her heart because he needed a transplant for his father. So I can see where Cassie might go all Wrath of Kahn  on Cross and start spitting at him for hate’s sake. (Okay, we know Captain Ahab beat Kahn to the “Hell’s heart” shtick, but Cassie’s young; she may not know from Moby Dick. To her a rousing sea story is probably Finding Nemo.)

Anyway Cassie went to Power Broker, a super villain whose gimmick is that he supplies super powers to people who want to become super villains in return for a cut of their ill-gotten gains. He even has an app – Hench– that people needing super villains can use to find his super villain database and find the suitable villains to hstingerire. And, it turns out, Power Broker has his own mad on for Darren Cross, because Cross’s son stole the platform for Hench and started a rival super-villain-hiring app, Lackey. So Power Broker convinced Cassie to undergo his process and regain her former powers.
She did and became Stinger, an insect-motifed super villain.

Power Broker wanted Cassie to use her Stinger powers to break into Cross’s super secure facility and retrieve Lackey. Cassie agreed. That way both she and Power Broker would get their revenge. (By the way, contrary to popular belief, revenge isn’t a dish best served cold. That would be vichyssoise. And I don’t really recommend adding either to your meal plan.)

When Scott learned what Cassie was up to, he gathered together a group of super powered individuals – himself, the new Giant-Man, Darla Deering AKA Ms. Thing, Grizzly, Machinesmith, Whirlwind, The Beetle, The Magician, The Voice, and Hijacker – to break into Cross’s super secure facility and rescue Cassie.1u1jnc Their twenty-two step plan succeeded well enough to get everyone into the facility. Then the team separated. The super-villains in the team – you did notice that most of the team was comprised of super villains, didn’t you? – went off to fulfill their goal, stealing technology from Cross. Scott headed off on his own for his goal, to rescue Cassie.

Scott found Cassie, who was in the middle of a face-to-face confrontation with Darren Cross, Cross’s son, and their super villain bodyguard, Crossfire. That’s when things went…

Ah, but you don’t want me to give that away, do you? I mean that would be a SPOILER and I’d have to do a SPOILER WARNING! and everything. Even though this is issue 9 which would be a bad place to stop a story arc, because 9 is a bad number of issues to collect into a trade paperback, so you probably already know the story was be continued in the next issue, you still don’t want me to tell you that things go badly and Ant-Man is captured by Cross and Crossfire. Right?

Okay, fine. Things go badly and Ant-Man is captured by Cross and Crossfire. Happy?

Now I’ve written before about my problem with super heroes who do stupid things that essentially break the law. But rather than do that, and like I said earlier, I shoula stood in bed, because apparently no one listens or cares. Hell, The Astonishing Ant-Man # 9 didn’t just not care, it doubled down on the trope. Instead of having Ant-Man do something stupid that essentially broke the law, this story astonished us by having Ant-Man do something stupid that actually broke the law.

Ant-Man teamed up with a bunch of super villains to break into a technology research facility. Sure Ant-Man’s motives were a little more pure than thieving. He wanted to rescue his daughter and keep her from becoming a super villain. But to do that, he aided and abetted a group of super villains he knew were going to burgle the research facility. That makes him just as guilty of their thefts as they are, even if Ant-Man didn’t, himself, steal anything. Ant-Man even knew he was guilty, because his narrative caption joked, “Cue Ocean’s Eleven soundtrack.” (BTW, Scott, your quip doesn’t work. In case you didn’t notice, or can’t count, there were only ten of you.)

I can’t say as I’m impressed with Scott’s parenting skills. I’ve got to show my daughter that the way to solve your problems isn’t to become a super villain. So I’ll solve that problem by becoming a super villain. I’d hate to see what Scott’s solution is when Cassie comes to him because it’s time for “the talk.”

Oh, and lest you think I’m being a little hard on Scott, because he wasn’t really a thief and his heart was in the right place, think again. Everything the astonishing Ant-Man did in this issue proves that, contrary to popular opinion, he was a thief. What did he do? He staged an elaborate heist to break into Darren Cross’s super secure technology research facility to steal something, only to be captured by Cross. See, Scott is a thief. He totally ripped off the plot to the Ant-Man movie.