Maybe now that Ant Man has a future on the big screen we will see a resurgence of interest in the character. Henry Pym, Marvel’s original Ant Man, never appealed to us as much as his successor, Scott Lang.
We first encountered Lang in the pages of Iron Man produced in the 1980s by writer David Michelinie. In a few issues that still retain some value with collectors, Iron Man gets into a fight with the Hulk, and Ant Man rescues him from certain death. (See Iron Man #131, #132, and #133.)
In those Iron Man stories, inker Bob Layton provided the finishes over pencils by Jerry Bingham, and would stay on the title to work with John Romita, Jr. and other pencilers. Layton also receives credit for co-plotting those issues with Michelinie, making him the unsung but unifying force responsible for much of that run’s appeal.
To get an idea of Bob’s own style with a pencil as well as a pen, read his short Ant Man story, below. You can see his subtle combination of ink and zip-a-tone finishes, a look he often applied to metal and reflective surfaces. We don’t mind admitting that a large part of our enthusiasm for Iron Man comes from the Bob Layton finished his metal suit. Bob Layton also proves the assertion that great inkers in comics do more than trace; they bring as much skill to the page as the credited pencillers.