A little 8 year old girl has her father taken away and put in jail; The well-meaning guidance counselor at school does not take Hanna’s life goal seriously; Hanna wants to be the hero called Ant because ants usually go unnoticed; She keeps her desires and dreams in a journal which is found and read by a boy.
On her way to school with her father, young Anna witnesses him get arrested and hauled of in a police car. At the station she continues to write in her journal to escape the cruel reality around her. Forced to leave her father in prison and go to school she’s greeted by jeers and taunting from the other kids.
Embarrassed having arrived at school on her first day in a police car, she meets the principal who tries to comfort her. She confides in the principal her ambition, no her destiny to become the greatest superhero her world will ever know: The Ant. She is so convincing in her conviction and delivery that her principal believes her.
On her way home from school she is hit with a stone by one of the children who mock her from school. A boy in her neighborhood helps her gather her things but she snaps at him and runs off.
He discovers her journal and rushes home to read it, though he plans to give it back to her later. Once he starts reading the journal he witnesses the ant in all her glory destroy criminals and save the innocent, he is left in awe.
Hanna’s dad talks with his neighbor about how as an ex con the police think he killed his boss, and if they have no other evidence and him as the last person to leave his office is the prime suspect. When Hanna sees him she is overjoyed, they wrap their arms around each other. Hanna prepares to eat dinner with her dad when she realizes…her journal is GONE!
I loved the portrayal of the father and daughter. The inherent Love littered throughout this one issue eclipses some comic book relationships which have existed since the 80’s. It was the kind of thing that made me want to rush out pick my own daughter up and tell her I love her. Powerful visual!
Equally great was the definition of why Hanna chose the name “Ant” for a codename for being a superhero “Ants never really get noticed. They are small and forgotten. But they are also strong and fearless and nothing stands in their way!” This one statement summed up her character nicely and moves “The ant” from just another superhero into literally embodying the meek, the chastised, the overlooked and the freaks among society….think Lady Gaga and her “Little Monsters” kind of symbolism 🙂 This also ties directly into writer Mario Gully’s epiphany for the character’s creation while in prison
The problems faced by Hanna also took me back to my own childhood, where being different was to be an outcast and to a lesser extent as an adult. The experiences that we all have as children, for better or worse make the teenagers and the adults we eventually become. Painful as these times are they are essential components into who we are, this was so accurately portrayed that I was drawn into the tale as it unfolded and had flashbacks of my own time as an outcast as a child.
I also found the father’s plight releatable as an “every man” struggling to make ends meet and take care of his kid.
Some may be put off by the lack of any “real action” since everything happened in the mind of the characters as opposed to on the physical plane.
Others may lambaste the depiction of the titular character and her skin pigmentation; she may not be “black enough” for some.
An enjoyable, relatable tale with a good premise with room to grow 4/5