Friday, July 9, 2010

Marvel History Post 28: Tales to Astonish # 38

Issue: Tales to Astonish # 38 Writer: Stan Lee/Larry Lieber Artist: Jack Kirby Publication Date: December 1962 Brief Summary: A bunch of criminals are rather displeased at Ant Man for stimying their efforts, so they hire a character known as Egg Man who they believe has the smarts to take Ant Man down. Egg Man's plan is to turn Ant Man's ant insects against him. Egg Head, believing he can appeal to the ants and get them to turn against Ant Man, has the ants tell Ant Man that there will be thieves at a museum that Ant Man must stop. When Ant Man goes, Egg Man traps him against some flypaper. Ant Man, being a rather clever guy himself, releases a spring from his boots to shoot off the flypaper. He also uses the ants to help him round up all of the criminals gathered at the museum. Ant Man explains that the ants consider themselves his partners in the fight against crime, which is only a marginally better relationship than the one Batman has with bats. Ant Man was aware of the setup the whole time, and thought he'd turn the tables on Egg Head and the other criminals. The only mishap is that Egg Head gets away, although he seems even further mentally unhinged at the story's end. Commentary: Egg Head is pretty certain that his plan has worked because he has appealed to the ants' greed and vanity. Anytime you're appealing the vanity of an insect, you're in rough shape, whether you know it or not. Ants don't have vanity, smart stuff. One of the interesting things about this issue was that Ant Man didn't show up in the story until well after the villain and his plan were both established. Of course, this proved necessary, given the plotting of the issue and how Ant Man planned to turn the tables on the criminals the entire time. By withholding the details, Stan managed to keep the suspense. Quick Thoughts:
  • Egg Head should have used a signal cord to control the ants.
  • Still no love interest for our hero Henry Pym. Where could she be?...
Favorite Panel: The Avengers this ain't. Next: 1963!!!! And Fantastic Four # 10