Sunday, July 18, 2010

Marvel History Post 37 (Thirty Seven!): Tales to Astonish # 40

Issue: Tales to Astonish # 40 Writer: Stan Lee / L.D. Lieber Artist: Jack Kirby Publication Date: February 1963 Brief Summary: There's some hijacking going on in the city, and none of the people on the scene can remember the crimes after they occur. Ant Man catches wind of it as he's finishing inventing a transparent adjustable gas mask. Ant Man goes off to meet Mr. Mitchell, whose armored trucks were robbed. Mr. Mitchell says that these robberies will put him out of business, as he is losing customers. Ant Man decides to set a bait by having Mitchell announce he's sending a huge payment, and then Ant Man will catch the criminal in the act. Alas, Ant Man falls pray to what appears to be appendicitis. So, the armored truck rides off without Ant Man's protection. The Hijacker strikes, and knocks the guards out with gas. But wait! Ant Man was there all along! He feigned illness as he thought the Hijacker might not strike if he knew he was there. So, the Hijacker and the tiny Ant Man combat each other, and Ant Man reveals that the Hijacker was Mr. Mitchell, who was pocketing the money he was stealing. Commentary: Well, I guess Henry Pym wasn't actually able to diagnose appendicitis on the spot, but he did catch the Hijacker, so that's a good thing. This is yet another case of Stan pulling the switcheroo by having the person who appears to be the victim actually the perpetrator of the crime, but this one was pretty obvious. Either that or I'm starting to expect this to occur. Also, Ant Man needs to start returning to normal size to fight people at some point. Every issue features him nearly getting killed by someone trying to drop a pot on him or something. Quick Thoughts:
  • Unstable Molecules continue to make big appearances, this time as Ant Man's gas mask.
  • It's a little strange that Ant Man doesn't return to normal size when he arrives at his destination and just needs to have a conversation with someone.
Favorite Panel: Incan Art, as imagined by Jack Kirby. Next: Amazing Spider-Man # 1!!!