Tales to Astonish (Vol. 1) #47


Cover Date: September 1963

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers

“Music to Scream By”

Plotter: Stan Lee

Scripter: H.E. Huntley

Penciller: Don Heck

Inker: Don Heck


What’s Going On?

Trago, a jazz trumpeter, once tried to steal money from a nightclub, only to be fouled by Ant-Man and Wasp. The club owner decided to not press charges, as long as Trago left the country.

Trago visits India, and becomes apprentice to a wise man. There, he learns how to hypnotize people and snakes, and learns the musical notes that can be used to control the minds of humans. He returns to New York City and tries to hypnotize the entire city. What can Ant-Man and Wasp do Against such an enemy?

Is It Good?

Nope. Trago’s origin story is stupid, the portrayal of Indians is offensive (but oddly not the typical stereotypes), and the challenge is minimal. On the bright side, Henry and Jan do a little bit of gentle flirting, and that added a tiny bit of charm to the story. Not nearly enough, though.


  • Henry and Janet attend a jazz club, which is where they foil Trago’s robbery attempt.
  • When Trago returns from India, he takes over a television station to broadcast his hypnosis notes as broadly as he can.
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp barely avoid being hypnotized by shrinking down and using the ear flaps on their headgear to block the music. In their rush to do this, though, they left behind their enlarging gas canisters. Normally, this would not be an issue, but for the first time ever, Ant-Man’s plan involves handling a problem at his normal size.

  • Ant-Man climbs into Torgo’s trumpet and warps the inside with his strength. This changes the notes played by Torgo; the new notes wiped his memory and changed his personality. Since Torgo has not stolen anything yet, Ant-Man and Wasp agree to not turn him into the authorities.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • All of the Indians in this issue are Caucasian. While not impossible — we only see two men, and there are no crowd scenes — that seems unlikely.
  • Get it? Henry doesn’t like jazz!

  • How many chances does Torgo get? He robbed a jazz club and got busted by a superhero. He comes back, hijacks a TV station, hypnotizes many people, is the mastermind in an attempted robbery plot, and again gets busted by the same superhero!

Well, That Aged Poorly:

  • “Just like a woman” to ignore when you give her menial chores that you could just as easily do yourself.

  • Um, these are not things that come to mind when I think about India.

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