NYCC Exclusive: Ant-Man's Nick Spencer: "Comics Always Do This Stuff Better"

Today at their Axel-in-Charge panel at New York Comic Con, Marvel Comics announced that writer [...]

Today at their Axel-in-Charge panel at New York Comic Con, Marvel Comics announced that writer Nick Spencer and artist Ramon Rosanas will launch Ant-Man as a monthly, ongoing series starring Scott Lang as the shrinking superhero.

The series will center on the imperfect (but trying to improve) Lang, his reputation and relationships in the Marvel Universe...and how the Superior Iron Man plays into it all.

Spencer joined for an exclusive chat about the series.

Are you coming into this book with a big-picture/long-term plan?

Oh, absolutely. This is one where they'll have to fire me to get rid of me, for sure. So let the countdown begin!

With a movie coming up, though, you'd think there's a lot of potential to grow the base and incentive for Marvel to keep the book on the radar. Have you seen a draft of the script so you can keep from being too wildly out of step?

That's one of the most exciting things about this. We've got a real, legitimate shot at making Scott Lang the A-list character he's always deserved to be. The big Marvel marketing machine is going to be out there promoting all things Ant-Man in 2015 and that will only help our book. I'm excited.

As far as script goes, I'm going into the movie with the same fresh eyes as everyone else. I haven't read anything, and aside from a few hints, I don't have any more information about it than you do. Which is great-- we got to do our own thing here and tell the story we wanted to tell. Of course, no one will ever believe that, and everything we do with the book will be accused of only happening so things would line up with the movie. But it's true!

Obviously Ant-Man is a character who has fairly recently had a short-lived but beloved ongoing series. That one was pretty self-contained, though. Will your Ant-Man be more hooked in to the main Marvel Universe?

As always, I think it's crazy not to take advantage of all the things a shared universe offers you. So yes, lots and lots of guest stars, from the first issue onwards.

You'll be launching your series right around the time Arrow is expected to debut The Atom. Will you check that out to see what they're doing with the powers, or is your approach that this is a common superhero power and you can't worry about what others might do with it?

Not really. The way these production schedules work, I'm too far ahead for anything coming out this fall to have any impact. Besides, the comics always do this stuff better.

Obviously, you've had some experience with less-than-perfect protagonists. What draws you to these kind of flawed heroes?

Well, it makes them interesting. I like writing about human beings, and human beings have flaws. For most of us, our greatest enemy is always gonna be ourselves.

He's got a daughter who was killed in this business, but that was a while ago. When you're writing a character like that, what's the math on just how much that weighs on his psyche and plays into his character?

With Scott, it's a huge factor, the defining aspect of his life, really. The fallout from that is really what drives our entire story forward.

Since he'll be sharing the page with Superior Iron Man, will we get to see some Science Bros-type action? And if so, how does the dynamic differ between these two as opposed to Tony and other Marvel science guys?

Tony is smart and successful and famous and women love him and he's a legendary hero. Scott is smart but not in a way that's easy to capitalize on, he's broke, he's an ex-con, he's divorced, and most people can't even figure out which Ant-Man is which anymore. So yeah, you put those two together in a room, it's an interesting team-up.