Hank Pym had a barny with Jan, she walked out, he shagged a supposed student, she wormed all his secrets out of him, bashed him with big green fists and took his place in superhero society.
So really, it’s pretty much what we’d have surmised – someone duped Hank. Really, this wasn’t worth a whole issue. All it did was make Hank look a git – the favourite hobby of Marvel writers – when he treats his Waspish wife badly, and an idiot, in being taken in by a young woman asking, in her own words, ‘a billion questions’ about the Avengers. All righty, so men can be flattered by women, but it seems this isn’t a one-night stand, but a fling . . . we’re meant to believe that one of the smartest members of the Marvel universe can’t spot when he’s being set up, over several days. Even if we go along with the idea that Hank hasn’t a great deal of emotional intelligence, he’s well familiar with alien spy techniques. Heck, writer Brian Michael Bendis slaps us in the face with this information in a long scene which looks set to culminate in his unmasking his unnamed Skrull fatale.
In not following through, he’s trying far too hard to be clever, and succeeds only in making Hank seem even dumber than he already does, and foregrounding his role as writer – the scene is unmistakably pleased with itself.
In the interests of fairness, Jan gets to act like a drunken shrew (which she’s not – this story is set in London, and no American can take British beer).
As for the art, this is one of the least pleasing John Romita Jr jobs I’ve seen. Admittedly, it’s page after page of talking heads, but an artist of his vintage should be able to make it interesting, find some way to make things dynamic. And the characters aren’t great – Hank looks like a 12-year-old, while Skrullette looks like Gwen Stacey crossed with the Gelfling from Dark Crystal.
Then again, how inspired would you be as an artist if the dramatic highlight of a book involved drawing two characters eating ice cream for three pages. The only time the art comes to life is in the Jan scenes.
In the annals of skippable comic books, this is the most skippable of all. Be like Hank, buy ice cream.