“The Astonishing Ant-Man Versus the Mad Master of Time!”
Cover Date: May 1963
Plotter: Stan Lee
Scripter: Larry Lieber
Penciller: Don Heck
Inker: Don Heck
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky
What’s Going On?
After being fired from his job for being too old, Elias Weems vows revenge on society.
Weems creates a ray gun that accelerated the age of living creatures. When he tries to force Central City into making him the city’s boss, Ant-Man strikes to protect the city. But when he is aged by Weems’ ray gun, can he still be a hero?
Is It Good?
It’s a little more fun than the averageAnt-Man story, but it’s still not very good. I enjoyed this issue more than usual because the villain was a victim of straight-up discrimination, which made him much more relatable than your average villain. I was also pleased by Ant-Man solving a problem by returning to his normal size; it’s about damn time that happened.
- Ant-Man is a celebrity, but he is uncomfortable with fame.
- One reason Weems was so upset about losing his job was because he wanted to impress his grandson. When he accidentally makes his grandson age (along with the rest of a crowd), he realizes the error in his ways.
- Ant-Man is still in Central City, not the New York City where the other superheroes are.
- Weems unmasks Ant-Man, but doesn’t learn his secret identity; Weems has bad eyesight, and Ant-Man’s Head is tiny.
- This is the first issue where Ant-Man makes the simple observation that using his growth formula can solve a lot of his Ant-Man problems.
Comics Are Goofy:
- Eww, gross! An attractive middle-aged woman! How embarrassing!
- Weems removes a helmet from an ant-sized man, without crushing it or damaging Ant-Man’s head. Those are some sensitive fingers.
- Ant-Man wears a purple trench coat over his costume to avoid attention. That’s not likely to work.
- The after-school special quality of this ending is adorable!