This makes Battle Chasers look positively timely. Fourteen years after its previous issue was published, Image Comics partner and Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen returns to the character of Ant to provide fans with a volume one conclusion and the promise of more Ant adventures to come. The story arc finale one-shot, Ant #12, will hit shelves this June from Image.
"Back when I was the publisher I brought Mario Gully's Ant over to Image and Mario and I talked at great length as to how the book could be retooled in order to be integrated into the Image Universe. I ended up putting a lot of thought into the character and concept," explained Larsen. "I saw the character's potential from the very start."
Larsen worked with the original Ant creator on a story which was to wrap up the series but several unfortunate circumstances along the way—including lost files—prevented the final issue from ever coming together. The story was lingered in limbo for a number of years with its fate left unresolved. Gully had moved on and pursued other goals but Larsen wouldn't let it go.
"At some point Mario offered to sell me his creation. He knew how much thought I'd put into her. Hell, I'd laid out a full-length story for him—and I couldn't resist," said Larsen.
Following Larsen's acquisition of Ant, and as Mario Gully was jailed, Ant appeared in Spawn and Savage Dragon. But that unfinished story taunted him. "I just couldn't leave it as an unfinished work. I felt compelled to write, pencil, ink and even color the story."
But Ant #12 wasn't the end Larsen had thought it would be. "Finishing this story got me into the groove. I was experimenting with a new art style. I was playing with color. I was having a blast and I didn't want to stop."
Larsen didn't want to just wrap up the story anymore, he wanted to breathe new life into the character and expand her place in the Image Universe. In both the story itself—and in reality—Ant was still searching for her identity and Larsen was committed to giving her a new direction and a new lease on life. "I found there was a lot I wanted to say and a lot that I wanted to do. I started digging in on an origin story and it just kept expanding and expanding. Pretty soon I had all kinds of plots dancing around in my head and numerous directions the book could go. Work has begun on a new ongoing Ant book. But first—the concluding chapter of the old one—at long last."
Ant #12 both wraps up the story already begun by Gully and serves as a completely self-contained introduction to Ant by Larsen. "Hannah Washington has spent years looking for answers, and finally her quest comes to its epic conclusion! Guest-starring the Dynamic Daredevil!"
Ant #12 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, June 9.