Tales To Astonish #37 (Ant-Man)
Issue(s): Tales To Astonish #37 (Ant-Man story only)
This has Pym going up against a pretty ordinary criminal (albeit with a disintegrator ray) running a protection racket scheme. And to the story's credit, for once the crazy irrational things going on, like a criminal disintegrating gems instead of just taking them when a jeweler can't pay his protection fees, actually turn out to be clues. My brain is trained to accept all the lunacy that goes on in these comics as fact, so when it turned out the "Protector" was in fact the first victim that we met, i was as surprised as any 9 year old reading this in 1962.
It's said in this issue that Ant-Man's ant information network only respond to verbal stimuli.
I was actually happy to see that. Ants don't really have intelligence in a way that we can relate to, so the idea that ants were scouring the city listening for human crimes to report back to Henry Pym just seemed way beyond what we expect from Marvel, even in the early Silver Age. I don't really accept that they can be trained to react to verbal stimuli, either, but it's enough in the realm of super-science that i could live with it. Later issues, however, will abandon this and just have the ants straight up talking to Ant-Man.
Since the action in this issue is on the ordinary side, let's focus on the many humiliations of a shrinking hero. First, specific to poor Ant-Man, is his disgusting method of travel.
And when the ants aren't able to swarm, there's always baby carts and people's pants to land on.
But more importantly, there's the ways he can be defeated. The first is water pistol. When you find yourself uttering "That lollipop stick -- it's my only chance!", you might want to start working on a growth formula.
Besides water pistols, you also have to look out for vacuum cleaners.
Poor guy. It's kind of hard to call yourself a super-hero when you can barely handle children's toys and household objects. What's weird is that he never grows back to human size to get himself out of these predicaments.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Ant-Man vol. 1
DC's Atom got into even more embarrassing jams at the same time, all prominently depicted on the front cover.
They never explained where all the post-"disintegration" sand came from.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 21, 2012 8:26 PM
Maybe they were glass jewels, since glass is basically fused sand...
Posted by: Lys | May 29, 2014 11:13 PM
"What's weird is that he never grows back to human size to get himself out of these predicaments."
I'm suddenly reminded of the episode of The Tick where they meet the Civic Minded Five, and the Carpeted Man keeps passing out because his only power is wearing a suit entirely made of carpet, and he constantly overheats in it.
"Why don't you just take off the suit, Gary?"
Hank's gimmick is being ANT-Man, so he's going to be the best damned Ant-Man he can be. And if that means never growing back to normal size, no matter how convenient it would make things, THEN SO BE IT.
At least until he winds up on a team with Thor and the Hulk, at which point he totally doesn't completely overcompensate and turn into GIANT-MAN out of some weird sense of super-hero penis envy. No sir.
Posted by: ParanoidObsessive | July 22, 2014 10:59 PM
The Protector (or "Protecter" if you wish to be cute) looks like a hybrid of DC's Golden Age Sandman and a minion from the "Despicable Me" film franchise. I must admit, though, I really dig his purple chapeau and scarf combo. Very fashion-forward.:-)
Posted by: Brian Coffey | January 18, 2018 10:41 PM
Oops,sorry, that wasn't a scarf, that's an overcoat. 'Scuse me while I wipe thew egg off my face!
Posted by: Brian Coffey | January 18, 2018 10:43 PM
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