Monday, July 5, 2010

Marvel History Post 23: Tales to Astonish # 37

Issue: Tales to Astonish # 37 Writer: Stan Lee/Larry Lieber Artist: Jack Kirby Publication Date: November 1962 Brief Summary: A jeweler is robbed, and Ant Man goes to him to find out what happened. The jeweler informs him there's a baddie named the the Protector who has demanded that all the jewelers of the city pay for his protection, or else the Protector blows up their jewelry with his disintegrating gun. Ant Man stations his ants in front of all the cities' jewelers to buzz him if they hear about the Protector. They catch up to the Protector on the third day, and Ant Man, in mini size, goes to confront him. They clash, but the Protector gets away. Ant Man decides to bait him by pretending to open up a jewelry store as Henry Pym. Sure enough, the Protector comes in to the store. Ant Man gets a couple of his ants to latch onto the Protector while he is terrorizing Pym. Ant Man follows the protector to his base of operations, but alas, he's then trapped in a vacuum cleaner. Ant Man escapes as the police are showing up. It turns out the Protector is actually the jeweler Ant Man encountered in the beginning of the issue. His disintegrating gun actually just creates a puff of smoke so he can steal the jewelry of other jewelers. With the criminal taken into custody, Ant Man rides off for more adventures. Commentary: It seems that while Ant Man's greatest boon comes from his ability to shrink his size and to summon ants, his size is also his greatest weakness, and the cause of all of his near defeats at the hands of criminals. This issue was pretty standard, with a slight twist at the end of the jeweler turning out to be the Protector. Not one of the most exciting stories, but then, Ant Man does not appear to be a strong enough character to support his own book. Favorite Panel: Um...shouldn't he be more careful than this? Next: Fantastic Four # 9