Characters Appearing: Henry Pym, Wasp
Tales To Astonish #62 (Giant-Man/Wasp)
Issue(s): Tales To Astonish #62 (Giant-Man/Wasp story only)
He starts by applying his growing formula to a plant, with the reasonable hope that if he's successful he'll double the world's food supply. Instead he creates a wildly growing monstrosity that threatens to take over the entire city.
Then he just straight up knocks himself out. Not because he was wrestling with the plant or anything. Just "even the best of us... can get careless sometimes" and Whoom, Thud! he's unconscious.
Pym couldn't even manage to pass out while the Wasp was around to help or at least while he was alone. Instead, his plant abomination dragged in a random jewel thief, who is able to discover Giant-Man's secret identity and steal his costume, including the cybernetic helmet that lets him grow and shrink.
This means the Wasp, in her spiffy new helmet...
...has to fight this imposter Giant-Man all on her own.
She does pretty well, though, leading the bad guy to think "She moves so fast! I can't think -- can't figure out how to stop her!".
She even has him convinced that she might kill him if he doesn't say what happened to Henry.
Pym wakes up in time to send a flying ant to finish the guy off, and then it's a trip to Ant City..
...to find the runaway plant's tap root.
To top it all off, Pym erases the jewel thief's knowledge of Pym's secret ID with some memory loss serum that he just happened to have lying around. "He doesn't even remember being a crook!". Heck, he can't even remember how to go to the bathroom by himself!
Later writers would take a more serious look at the idea of wiping out a criminal's evil instincts and memories, but i guess this type of thing was common in the Silver Age. It's interesting that Pym had developed(?) memory loss serums in light of his own lost episodes (the creation of Ultron & his initial time spent as Yellowjacket), but i suppose those incidents have other explanations.
Regarding the plant, it's a shame Pym didn't experiment on something more delicious than this viney leafy thing, considering it has completely covered the entire city. Pulling out the root may stop it from growing, but who's going to get rid of it?
Burgos' art is... not bad. I've seen him do worse at Marvel in the Silver Age.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Avengers #9-10 (earlier than publication date, but Wasp is wearing the new helmet in #10).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Ant-Man vol. 1
DC later in the JLA and Identity Crisis looked at the serious consequences of erasing a person's memories.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 30, 2016 5:52 PM
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