Ant-Man and the Wasp are a classic comic book duo - but never this Ant-Man ... and never this Wasp ... together, until now.
Scott Lang and Nadia Pym pair up for Ant-Man & The Wasp, a six-issue limited series from writer Mark Waid, artist Javier Garron, and colorist Israel Silva scheduled to debut June 6. In this series, Lang has shrunken down and gotten lost, with Nadia his only hope of rescue. The problem is, Lang's not the kind of guy to easily admit he's lost - or that he's in need of a rescue.
The series will debut one month ahead of Marvel Studios' Ant-Man & The Wasp movie, of course, featuring Paul Rudd's Scott Lang and Evangeline Lilly's Hope (not-quite Nadia Pym, but close) Van Dyne.
Newsarama spoke with Waid and Garron about the new series how it builds off Waid's previous work and digs into the real science behind this fictional diminutive duo.
Newsarama: Mark, you've written Ant-Man and the Wasp individually on several occasions, but now they're together. How'd this team-up come about?
Mark Waid: Everyone at Marvel knows I'm obsessed by two things: the Microverse and Cyclops. So when editor Jordan D. White wanted to do an Ant-Man & The Wasp mini-series, he knew to call me or else there'd be hell to pay.
Nrama: Javier, how would you describe Scott Lang (Ant-Man) and Nadia Pym (Wasp) as an artist drawing them?
Javier Garron: Each character by itself is amazing, but the true gem and the real treat comes when they interact with each other. As a comic book artist, specifically as a superhero comic book artist, you need to make the action pop out of the page, make it clear but exciting and dazzling. Yeah, sure, that's vital.
But as important as that if not more is having the ability to make the characters feel real and all the non-action sequences as exciting as the ones with explosions. A conversation must be as interesting as a fight. Some of that fall on your ability as a visual storyteller, but if the dynamics between the characters are interesting you have more than half your work done. And these two's dynamics are explosive! This story has a classic screwball comedy flavor wrapped in a science fiction package. They need each other but they don't really get along so well, they're like day and night, and it's so much fun to make them reply each other. He's a charismatic funny mess and she's a super genius with tremendous sense of responsibility and little time to waste. I love working with body language and when these two talk is just a treat. Their faces and bodies can tell the whole thing.
Nrama: Is this more a person vs. nature story, or are their villains here, playing into the superhero genre?
Waid: There aren't so much "villains" as "menaces," though almost anything can happen.
Nrama: So we know you're drawing Ant-Man & The Wasp … anything else you can tell us you're drawing, from characters to set pieces?
Garron: The pace and tone of the story is crazy fast and crazy fun, so by the end of Ant-Man & The Wasp #1 has already happened a lot of stuff. You could even say there are two full adventures in the first issue, which I feel as a reader like a treat. I fear to give away too much. But let's say there are light speed chases, a whole new species already in danger, an experiment gone wrong and quite a lot of arguing! I was able to use from very classic page layouts to really wild compositions, a lot of face expressions and I had my first experience drawing fireworks. Was that too vague?
Nrama: Mark, this spins out of your recent runs on Avengers and Champions - what's it like to be able to get down to a book just about two characters and not those larger, ensemble stories?
Waid: As much as I dig the team books, the twosome of Scott and Nadia does allow more character-moment time, and we'll be taking full advantage of that.
Nrama: This also gives you a chance to delve more into that comic book science - which I particularly remember you having fun with on The Flash - and the classic trope of shrinking characters. Have you done any science researched or called in some favors to some scientists or teachers for something to bring into the series?
Waid: Trust me, my browser history and desktop are filled with research. I could spend days and days just researching. With Nadia as my "voice," I'm able to really articulate how subatomics works using today's science. The atom model we all learned in school - billiard ball surrounded by smaller orbiting billiard balls - is incredibly inaccurate and doesn't take into account how electrons rely on probability, not set paths, nor does it properly explain the nature of quantum foam and what its significance is. Feel free to take notes or just enjoy the story.
Nrama: Some superhero stories are interchangeable, but for something with a concept like this I imagine it offers something unique in the possibility of shrinking, growing, seeing things from different perspectives, and drawing odd proportions. What's interesting about that to you?
Garron: That's a perfect definition in the very same question, man! Oh boy, this adventure is not interchangeable at all! We're diving into the craziest corners of the Marvel universe, those only accessible for microscopic superheroes! These characters offer a wide range of visual possibilities due to their powers. Just that sets the stage for very crazy imagery in terms of placing the camera, forcing the lens or depriving concepts like up or down from their meaning.
Once you enter subatomic level you enter a whole new realm where there are no limits to your imagination. It's not our world anymore. I mean, it is, but it isn't. I'm an open book, right? A whole new set of unknown rules take charge of the situation, and the unexpected is your new reality. In visual terms you can go wilder. When you're working with, let's say, alien worlds, you're still bound by pretty much the same physic rules of the universe. But once you go subatomic, things start to go nuts at every level! Colors, shapes, kinetics, everything can be different. Both organic and inorganic elements. Just sky and space are wickedly original.
These are all extremely interesting aspects to work with, and the script is really making use of them. Full throttle.
Nrama: You're working on this with Javier Garron, who was recently named one of Marvel's Young Guns - and in terms of Marvel tenure, is probably the youngest of the Young Guns. What does knowing he's on the other end translating your scripts to comics do for you as a writer?
Waid: Man, there's such a bounce to his line, such energy to his figures. He handles the dramatic action with excellence, but he also brings it hard to the character moments and beats of comedy. I'm lucky to be partnered with him.
Nrama: Javier, this is your first project since being named a Young Gun at Marvel. Does that give any extra pressure or inspiration in drawing this five-issue series for Marvel?
Garron: Young Gun! Wow, still cannot believe it! So many titans were named Young Gun in the past. Jim Cheung! Sara Pichelli! Rafa Sandoval! Oliver Coipel! I'm thankful beyond words for the trust, support and showcase it means from Marvel. You know, it's a strange feeling. When I'm working on comic pages it pretty much feels the same. I have to hit the deadline and today's page must be better than yesterday's one.
My routine hasn't changed a bit, and I was already extremely self-demanding about the art. I'm not much of a social media guy (I know, I should fix that, right?), I don't know many people who does this for a living and we definitely don't talk very often. I live in some kind of a bubble, I think, with my editors, writer and family. Reality is the page in front of me. It's mind blowing to see my name next to the other Young Guns, whom I admire from the bottom of my fanboy heart, the logo and the spotlight articles. When that happens is when somehow the outside world enters the bubble of my everyday routine and it feels surreal.
It's so incredibly awesome that I almost cannot believe it is happening to me. But then I go back to work and I feel, like I felt before, that I have to prove with every new page that I'm worth the job in this so very competitive world. I take nothing for granted.
Nrama: So what got you interested in this project?
Garron: There are so many awesome things about Ant-Man & The Wasp! I think that it all felt like a step up, like going into a brand-new territory in every way, and mostly it felt like a challenge. I love the characters, both present and past incarnations, but never had the chance to draw them. You always jump into any chance to work with new characters, is like getting a brand-new set of toys to play with.
The editors are some of the most important and best in the industry. And let me tell you editors don't get all the credit they deserve. The better the editor, the better the project, as simple as that.
The color artist, Israel Silva! Color is the soundtrack, light and soul of the comic and is extremely vital. A good color match can lift you up and a bad one can tear you down. Israel takes the pages and elevates them to a whole new level of amazingness. He knows how to play rock & roll, electronic or classical musical with his color palette, and he nails every single one of them.
And speaking of big names.... Mark Waid! One of the greatest writers we have. A living legend. I never thought, not in my wildest dreams that I could be working with him. I mean, every time that I see a new email with his name in my email inbox I have to pinch myself. I'm still processing it, cannot completely believe it's the same Mark Waid from (forgive me for only mentioning recent runs) Daredevil, Black Widow, Champions or Captain America. But please don't tell him I'm fanboying like the whole time, I'm trying really hard to look professional.
Nrama: So, last question guys… what are your big goals with Ant-Man & The Wasp?
Waid: Not only does this give me a chance to really refine the Ant-Man/Wasp relationship, it hopefully sets in place some solid "rules" about the Microverse that will help Marvel writers from here on out!
Garron: I want to preserve and potentiate the spirit of the script. The text is fast, funny, smart and colorful, so I have to be at least that. I want it to look incredibly good. I want it to be crazy, wild and hilarious. I want to up my game with the designs and force my creative muscles to the limit.
There's a world-building engine inside my head and I need it be bigger and better, I know it can be. I want to portray the characters in a respectful way and make them a little bit mine while they are my toys at least, just a bit. I want my creative team to be proud of the comic and I want every single reader who comes for the first issue to start counting down the days until Ant-Man & The Wasp #2 arrives!
I want you to tell your friends they should pick it up too because is such a good read! I'm having the time of my life working on it and I really hope that it somehow transpires from the pages.