Some supervillains are like aspiring song-and-dance performers; they think they have got to head to New York City to make it big. Well, if you’re a noob who’s going to head to the capital of crime-fighting, you’re going to need this guide, courtesy of some of the Marvel Universe’s lamest bad guys and The Astonishing Ant-Man #8.
In the issue (written by Nick Spencer with art by Brent Schoonover, Jordan Boyd and Travis Lanham), a bunch of D-list ne’er-do-wells have gathered together after accepting a request from the Hench app, a mobile application lets users assemble a crew of muscle for breaking the law. Freshman villain The Magician is among them and, after hearing this is his first outing, perennial losers Whirlwind, The Voice and Hijacker school him on the ins and outs of superpowered law-breaking, like who not to work for:
They also warn him away from ever venturing towards the Big Apple. But if he’s gotta go, they tell him to be mindful of certain neighbourhoods:
Nick Spencer’s run on Ant-Man has been one of Marvel’s freshest titles, combining bumbling humour and parental angst in a funny package that still feels like it has real stakes for everyone involved. Spencer writes criminals very well and part of the charm of his self-aware approach is in the down-to-earth, working-stiff vibe he imparts to the men and women that get punched by Captain America and his avenging friends. As previously seen in Spencer’s work with Steve Lieber on Superior Foes of Spider-Man*, not every villain is a moustache-twirling, expository-rant-spewing megalomaniac with delusions of world-conquering grandeur. Some of them just don’t feel like working at a desk or a cash register when the weather’s nice. Totally understandable.
*Spencer and Lieber are currently working their magic for The Fix at Image, which is the same great taste with 100 per cent less capes. It’s great.