Tales To Astonish #56 (Giant-Man/Wasp)
Issue(s): Tales To Astonish #56 (Giant-Man/Wasp story only)
I think possibly introducing a stage magician with a top hat in the same universe that already had a real mystic in Doctor Strange was just a recipe for disinterest, unless he had some other unique hook. Which he doesn't.
He does have a pet rabbit, though.
The really big news this issue is that Henry nearly proposes to Jan...
...but can't work up the nerve and then Jan ruins everything with her usual attempts to make him jealous.
Pym also thinks that "so long as I remain a member of the Avengers, I must be on call 24 hours a day!", so he shouldn't marry anyway. Tony Stark and Thor would probably be interested to hear that, and you would think that being married to a fellow Avenger would actually reduce that kind of stress rather than complicate things.
Other developments in this issue: Ant-Man has an ant chariot...
...but that doesn't mean he gives up his bizarre flag pole...
...and the Wasp modifies her costume.
Also, something i didn't think was possible: the Magician seems to be under the impression that Ant-Man and Giant-Man are separate people.
They have the same costume, right down to the antennae! I suppose Ant-Man might be too small to see clearly, but the Magician obviously can see him, and if you're fighting a tiny guy wearing a vaguely red and blue costume and you suddenly find yourself facing a giant guy wearing the same color scheme, wouldn't your reaction be "How did you do that?", not "How did you get here?". I thought this was a problem unique to the Magician but it will turn out to be an ongoing thing.
In the Wasp back-ups (which are now being told only to Henry and are increasingly focused on the subject of marriage), Giant-Man finally admits to the inadequacy he feels regarding the Hulk's strength.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: See the note in Avengers #5 for more on this, but according to the MCP and the Marvel index, TTA #54-56 take place during that issue. While i'm avoiding that, i am keeping these three TTA issues close to each other and before the run from FF #25 - Avengers #6. The gap may relate to the Wasp's costume change but, much like Henry Pym, i am far too busy to notice the constant variations.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Ant-Man vol. 1
Giant-Man's lack of strength compared to the Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man ends up becoming a point around this time. As a kid, it never mattered to me if a hero wasn't absolute best in an attribute. Giant-Man was more than strong enough to count, and I always thought his height advantage was a keen psychological advantage. My first introduction to the character was as part of the montage in Cap # 255, and my first reaction was "Whoah, who is that?" It never occurred to me that it was the same character as Yellowjacket who I also thought looked cool.
Ultimately, the failure of Pym as a character is at Stan Lee's doorstep, and a good reminder how much he really needed a collaborator like Kirby or Ditko to generate concepts and plots.
Posted by: Chris | November 27, 2012 11:26 PM
A top-hat magician can be awesome if used right...but then again I was thinking Baron Dino from the manga "Sakigake! Otokojuku" when writing this.
Posted by: Ataru320 | September 10, 2013 4:27 PM
At one point in the story (in panels not shown here), the Magician robs the party of a guy who hired him. Hank ask the party host what he knows about the Magician, and the guy says he knows nothing about the Magician- he just showed up and the party host hired him on the spot, saying "I don't know how to contact him... I don't even know his name!"
Hank teases him a little, but then thinks "I shouldn't blame him; it's not his fault!" Ummm, actually, if you're hosting a party, and you hire a guy without knowing his name, having no references, and not even a phone number; and said guy robs the party, I would argue it is (at least partially) your fault. I wonder if the robbed party guests could sue the party host for negligence?
Posted by: mikrolik | August 30, 2016 6:20 PM
Again I believe this issue fits into the gap in Avengers#5.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 28, 2016 9:05 PM
Looks like Stan Lee was reading the Flash on the side.The first swipe from the Scarlet Speedster's Rogues' Gallery was the Human Top/Whirlwind (from Roscoe Dillon, a.k.a. The Top), now the Magician, who resembles that refugee from the 64th. century, Abra Kadabra.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | November 5, 2017 12:05 AM
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