Tales to Astonish (Vol. 1) #27

Credits:

“The Man in the Ant Hill!”

Cover Date: January 1962

Writers: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Dick Ayers

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers

What’s Going On?

Scientist Henry Pym has created a chemical compound that can shrink objects, and another that restores them.

He opts to make himself the first live subject, but he shrinks down further than he expected. Instead of being doll-sized, he is smaller than an ant! He must navigate through an anthill on his way back to the chemicals that will restore him to his natural size. If he has to ride an ant to get there, so be it.

Is It Good?

Uh…no. To be fair, this is a seven-page story (including a splash page), so it has to move quickly. Still, Pym is dangerously stupid several times in this story. Kirby has some fun drawing giant ants, but that’s about all that’s good here.

Sub-Plots:

  • Henry Pym has a chip on his shoulder, and he wants to prove his value. As this story shows, he is willing to take stupid risks to do so.

Continuity:

  • This is the first appearance of Henry Pym, who will eventually become Ant-Man. Just not in this issue.
  • Pym pours his shrinking/enlarging potions down the drain, never to be used again.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • In what is becoming an alarming trend with Marvel scientists, Pym experiments on himself for absolutely no reason at all.
  • I don’t know if Stan Lee or Jack Kirby knew anything about judo, other than it involved flipping stuff
  • Why didn’t the sink shrink/grow?

Note:

  • This issue has several stories, but they are all science fiction. I am only reviewing this story because Marvel eventually brings the character back as a super-hero.

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