First You May Have Missed: Eric o’Grady/Black Ant
Well this will be a fun one my friends so lets not waste any time and talk about Eric o Grady the Black Ant
Eric o'Grady was first introduced in Irredeemable Ant-Man #1, a short lived series that gave us an Ant Man anti-hero/villain. Eric o'Grady while working for shield with his friend Chris. When Hank Pym ask the men to guard a new Ant Man (during an attack on shield by Wolverine) the men in a panic knock out Pym and Chris tries on the suit. This suit has a few upgrades over the original suit such as retractable arms much like the Iron-Spider suit and thrusters for flight which can also double as flamethrowers.
Chris gets stuck in the suit and tiny not being able to escape shield. While small he sees Eric using his absence to get chance at Chris's girlfriend which Chris manages to see. Later during another attack on shield Chris manages to get back to normal size while defending the base and runs into Eric in which the men exchange some words and briefly fight. After this Chris pushes Erick out the way then is shot and killed by the intruders.
Erick of course steals the suit from Chris and here is where the real story of the Irredeemable Ant-Man really begins. After shield notices the stolen suit they send Mitch (the original agent who was supposed to get the suit) with a prototype less advanced suit to go find the thief. They manage to fight while in suits through the shield ventilation system but never revealing their identities and they all still work for and live on shields base so it makes for a interesting spy vs spy type of thing that is a fun read.
Needless to say his brand of justice (or injustice) shows us a lethal and scary side to the idea of Ant Man. Doing things like stealing wallets spying on woman's showers and violently attacking bad guys,He once shrunk down and plunged his hand through someones neck leaving him gushing with blood. His series pretty much continues with a on again off again relationship of being a hero until the series ends at issue #12. But that is not the end of Erik o'Grady's Ant Man
O'Grady shows back up in Avengers: The initiative where he tries to convince taskmaster that Scott Lang is responsible for all the creepy peeping that he has done with the suit and even accused him of not being an Avenger but just following them around. When Scott's daughter hears this she attacks O'Grady and they get into a battle in which he wins by tricking her which then prompts Hank to come beat in O'Grady but Taskmaster mask short work of them all to stop the fight.
(can we get a Taskmaster & Black Ant series disney+?)
He goes on to have an huge but overwhelming career with highlights such as joining the Thunderbolts, hiding in Yolena Bolova's shirt to sneak aboard the presidents plane. He also joins the Secret Avengers, and here is where things get interesting. While protecting a young child O'Grady is beaten seemingly to death. Later he shows back up working with Taskmaster various times under the name Black Ant. It is later revealed that this O'Grady is a LMD so what happened to the real O'Grady? Black Ant and taskmaster form a great friendship as they flip flop sides as anti-hero's. Is the real O'Grady still alive somewhere? This is marvel so maybe but overall this story of Black Ant is not over.
Ok so why is Eric O'Grady aka Black Ant important and whats the potential spec? First he is a complex and entertaining character, there is seriously nothing you can't do with him. He is a shield agent with a heart but also no moral code so he can be whatever you need him to be in any story. His links to the 2nd black widow, Cassie Lang, Taskmaster, Hank Pym. The Thunderbolts, Secret Avengers and Shield makes him a shoe in for an MCU appearance. Just think of the dynamics he can have with any of these characters who we pretty much know are in or coming to the MCU. My guess maybe as soon as the black Widow movie we may see a Eric O Grady/ Black Ant debut with Taskmaster that leads up to present time with Thunderbolts and Cassie Lang (hey just wild speculation here but it all fits so well). With Thanos out of the way the focus on more complex multi movie character's should increase and this is one who can fit anywhere….no pun intended.
Irredeemable Ant Man #1: 30k print run 1 cover. First Eric o Grady as Ant Man. This is a tricky one because his LMD actually becomes Black Ant but i'm still grabbing this one for a new Ant-Man only 1 cover and Robert Kirkman story. This book is one that will continue to grow slowly with 9.8's already creeping. Grab them if you see them in the back bins i actually have 1 full run its a good story and i think that where the value is.
Secret Avengers #32: 35k print run and 1 cover. 1st LMD Eric o Grady as Black Ant. An easy pick up for me as Black Ant can be the Ant Man battle we really need even though Yellow jack was done it left a lot of room for improvement. Giant on Giant fight please marvel! This is an easy one to get but may creep up.
U.S. Avengers #1 the Vermont cover featured the Irredeemable Ant Man. Just a cool bonus if your into covers.
Hope you enjoyed reading this First You May Have Missed as much as I did writing it until next time “its better to have first and flipped, than to never have first at all” – Valiant Horton