“The Day That Ant-Man Failed!”
Cover Date: February 1963
Plotter: Stan Lee
Scripter: Larry Lieber
Penciller: Jack Kirby
Inker: Sol Brodsky
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
What’s Going On?
An armored truck company keeps having trucks robbed; the guards are left without a memory of the crime, and no physical evidence is left behind. Ant-Man agrees to accompany the next payroll delivery, but at the last minute, he has to cancel due to appendicitis! How can Ant-Man defeat the evil Hijacker from a hospital bed?
Is It Good?
It’s almost the same plot as Tales to Astonish #37, where Ant-Man takes on a serial thief that wears a mask, only to discover that the first “victim” he met in the story is, in fact, the thief. Very Scooby-Doo. So, no, it’s not good. On the plus side, Jack Kirby got to draw Ant-Man navigating an automobile engine block, so at least that was novel.
- Henry Pym created a gas mask made of unstable molecules for the military, which is later used in battle against the Hijacker.
- This is the first appearance of the Hijacker.
- Henry Pym now wears a bracelet that senses when ants are trying to communicate with Ant-Man.
Comics Are Goofy:
- The Marvel Universe seriously needs a consulting detective. While he did fine with this one, armored car robberies don’t exactly fall in Ant-Man’s wheelhouse.
- There is no one around you. Who are you narrating to?
- I can’t wait for the issue where a bird gobbles Ant-Man, mid-air.
- By this logic, Ant-Man should be deafened by loud voices or trucks passing by, but he is not. Clearly, the guy has some sort of sound dampeners in his helmet, along with a microphone to speak to humans. It’s weird that these specifications haven’t been mentioned explicitly yet.
- That’s not a real thing. Stop telling lies, Ant-Man.
- Even when Ant-Man fails, he wins! Knowing that he later creates the genocidal robot Ultron and becomes an abusive spouse, I’m going to say that this isn’t true.