Tales to Astonish (Vol. 1) #42

Credits:

“The Voice of Doom!”

Cover Date: April 1963

Plotter: Stan Lee

Scripter: Larry Lieber

Penciller: Don Heck

Inker: Don Heck

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky

What’s Going On?

Jason Cragg was an ordinary radio announcer until accidental radiation exposure gave him the ability to make his vocal commands irresistible. As The Voice of Truth, Cragg tells the people of Center City to hunt Ant-Man down; when Ant-Man is captured, the Voice tells Ant-Man to drown himself!

How will Ant-Man survive?

Is It Good?

It is not. I was surprised that they actually went through with the cover tease of Ant-Man being compelled to attempt suicide, but this is an otherwise bland issue.

Sub-Plots:

  • The Voice of Truth targets Ant-Man so he can take over the city.

  • With his helmet on, Ant-Man is not affected by Jason Cragg’s commands.
  • Ant-Man is forced to remove his helmet and growth canisters to avoid detection from a crowd that was using magnets to search for him.
  • Without his helmet, Ant-Man is vulnerable to Cragg’s commands. Luckily, Ant-Man’s ants are loyal with or without his helmet, and they come to the rescue.

  • Ant-Man defeats the Voice by giving him laryngitis.

Continuity:

  • This is the first appearance of the Voice, Jason Cragg.
  • Ant-Man’s home city is named for the first time: Central City. This is odd, since the rest of Marvel’s heroes are living in New York City.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Sick burn, random bystander.

  • What kind of sponges are convincing?

  • He’s not explicitly telling these people to buy dog food. I think they may just have a fetish.

  • This is how the Voice used his powers? The man needs inspiration!

  • The Voice literally had Ant-Man in the palm of his hand. He wanted Ant-Man to die. Does he try to crush Ant-Man? No, he tells Ant-Man to walk off a pier and drown himself. That seems like a missed opportunity.

  • Apparently, when Ant-Man exposes you to laryngitis, you get sick within moments.
  • I see the point here —- the Voice’s super-power was the result of an unlikely accident —- but it’s not like laryngitis typically makes a permanent change to people’s voices.

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