Tales to Astonish (Vol. 1) #38

Credits:

“Betrayed By the Ants!”

Plot: Stan Lee

Script: Larry Lieber

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Dick Ayers

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky

What’s Going On?

Apparently, Ant-Man has been extremely successful ridding New York City of crime. The criminal element comes to realize that they need to target Ant-Man before they can possibly resume their business.

The crooks hire a cocky astrophysicist with dubious morals, known only as Egghead, to plan a way to defeat Ant-Man, once and for all! His plan: to turn the ants against Ant-Man!

Is It Good?

It’s not bad. I disagree with the choice to make Ant-Man a well-known threat to crime, but aside from that, this issue has enough silly bug-related moments to make up for an otherwise generic plot.

Sub-Plots:

  • Egghead correctly deduces how Ant-Man communicates with ants, and then builds a device to replicate the process.
  • The ants do not betray Ant-Man because they see themselves as equal partners in his missions.

Continuity:

  • This is the first appearance of Egghead.
  • We have a diagram of Ant-Man’s new spring boots! SPOOIINGG!

Comics Are Goofy:

  • If a guy can learn everything someone named “Ant-Man” knows about ants from a book that is obviously aimed at children, then “Ant-Man” deserves what he gets.
  • Ah, yes, the famous weaknesses of ants. Hilariously, this becomes a plot point at the end of the story.
  • I guess criminals are a cowardly, superstitious lot.

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