Tales To Astonish #64 (Giant-Man/Wasp)
Issue(s): Tales To Astonish #64 (Giant-Man/Wasp story only)
Leon Lazarus (August 22, 1919 - November 28, 2008) was an American writer-editor for publisher Martin Goodman's Magazine Management Company, as well as for Goodman's Timely and Atlas comic book companies, the two predecessors of Marvel Comics. The uncredited author of countless comic-book stories from 1947 through at least 1965 -- with his name long considered a possible pseudonym on the rare occasions it appeared -- the 85-year-old Lazarus was located in 2005 by comics historians who then initiated efforts to document his credits and fill some of the many gaps in the medium's record.
It seems he was mainly a writer and editor for Goodman's non-comic book publications but previously wrote comic stories during the Golden Age. Regarding this issue, Wikipedia quotes an Alter Ego interview:
[Goodman] started pressuring [editor-in-chief and head writer] Stan [Lee] to have other writers do some of the stories. He wasn't sold on [the Marvel Method] of doing stories [in which writers would supply artists with a plot synopsis, rather than full script, allowing artists to tell the story's visual narrative with their own pacing and details]. He became concerned that Stan would have too much leverage over him, and he worried about what would happen if Stan ever decided to leave the company. Goodman wanted other writers as a back-up in case he needed them, so he ordered Stan to use other writers. ... Goodman told Stan to, 'Have Leon write stories.' Stan called me and up and asked if I was willing to come in and work there again. ... I didn't want to say 'no' because I was working for Goodman's men's magazines, and didn't want to lose the account. ... I only did this one story, because I wasn't comfortable with the way Stan wanted writers to work with the artists, though I see now how right he was.
This is his only credit at Marvel.
Lazarus clearly got the memo on Pym, though, because this issue has Henry building a robot, having a psychotic episode, and passing out.
His emotional breakdown is due to the Wasp leaving him, because she can't handle his sniping and complaining, even though she understands that he is "overworked, strained to the snapping point".
When the Wasp is incidentally kidnapped by Attuma (along with all the passengers on the plane she was on), he grows to 50ft - well past his safe, optimum, height of 12ft, so that he can "feel important".
Pym does a lot of shrinking and growing in this issue, something that will eventually prove to be a strain on his body. But for now it works, letting Giant-Man trounce Attuma and his troops.
Attuma plays a secondary role in this story, but he's pretty cool. I like how even the barbarian outcasts of Atlantis have high tech weaponry.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between Avengers #11-12.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Ant-Man vol. 1
The implication that Attuma just learned of the surface world makes no sense since the Atlanteans have known of the surface world for decades. Why did Attuma think Namor was pink?
Posted by: Michael | November 28, 2012 8:11 PM
Michael, maybe word of the surface world never reached Attuma from Atlantis, since he was a barbarian. We should also remember that Atlantis - meaning a state of civilized homo mermanus - has actually moved in the Marvel Universe.
Originally located in the North Atlantic, it was moved by Namor's grandfather to Antartica after attacks by barbarians (probably ancestors of Attuma). It was there in Antartica where Namor was born. Then we know that site of Atlantis was destroyed by atomic testing (around FF#4), and Namor refounded the kingdom back in the North Atlantic (around FF Annual #1).
Attuma, assuming he is one of the northern Atlantic barbarians, would have been completely ignorant of Namor's origin and therefore of the surface world. Of course, he would have learned of it when he encountered Namor and the FF which is likely what the word balloon of his goon is referring to.
Posted by: Chris | November 30, 2012 8:39 PM
Good point. One correction though- Atlantis wasn't destroyed by atomic testing- that was what Namor mistakenly believed. It was destroyed by the original Destiny.
Posted by: Michael | November 30, 2012 9:07 PM
Good correction. I was thinking only of the early FF issues, and not the retcon that came in Submariner #1.
Posted by: Chris | December 1, 2012 2:46 PM
In this period you so often see Jan drawn with her mask off. It's like they knew she was good looking enough to generally have the mask off and it was stupid for her to have such a ridiculous mask that hid all her hair.
Granted, we also see Hank with his mask off a lot. Maybe just a function of so much of these stories being in the lab - these two are drawn with their costumes on but their masks on far more than any other character at this point.
Posted by: Erik Beck | December 28, 2014 8:21 AM
Just wanted to say how awesome a job those researchers did in locating Mr. Lazarus before time swept away some irreplaceable history. Kudos!
Posted by: Thanos6 | April 27, 2015 5:00 PM
I was familiar with Lazarus as well but only as a name with no details about his career.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 30, 2016 10:39 PM
Comments are now closed.
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