Ant: Reality Bites
by Mario Gully, Marc Hammond (Image, 2006)

Ant's debut through Arcana was weak. The insectoid heroine's return, now under the Image banner, is weaker still.

Forget the grossly disproportionate physique of star Hannah Washington, displayed for all to see through the thin (but amazingly strong), skintight antsuit she wears. Unfortunately, the story has lost what little spark made the concept appealing.

In the first volume by writer Mario Gully, Days Like These, Hannah was a young girl from a troubled home. Her father was in prison for a murder he didn't commit, her mother was a deadbeat parent who stripped for a living and had little time for her offspring. Hannah escaped her reality through her journal, in which she wrote and drew stories about her future heroic self, Ant. Ant, however, seemed to have a life of her own.

Now, Hannah is all grown up and lacks a memory, and her efforts to find answers to her past connect her to a couple of established Image stars, Savage Dragon and Spawn. But the story never really seems to go anywhere -- it's just a bewildering array of hops from place to place, from person to person, without ever really coming together in a cohesive plot.

The fact that her major nemesis here is a band of evil mimes -- who, um, talk quite a lot for mimes, when you think about it -- doesn't help hook me into the tale. And the fact that Gully ends it all (minor spoiler ahead) by telling us the entire book was a dream ruins whatever small progress was made.

I guess you'll have to tune into volume two to see if Ant's next adventure is real or imaginary.

I have only respect for Gully, who owns up to his own criminal past and explains how the creation of Ant's storyline, which he both writes and draws, while in prison helped turn his life around. But a good backstory for the creator doesn't translate to a strong package for the created, and Ant just doesn't have what it takes to hold my interest.

review by
Tom Knapp

29 December 2007

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