Tales to Astonish (Vol. 1) #56

Credits:

Cover Date: June 1964

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky (probably)

“The Coming of the Magician!”

Writer: Stan Lee

Penciller: Dick Ayers

Inker: Dick Ayers

What’s Going On?

Hank and Jan finally get serious with their relationship, but first have to defeat a master criminal to-be called…the Magician!

Details:

  • Giant-Man has bought an engagement ring for the Wasp. Now, all he has to do is propose!

  • Before Hank can do that, Janet intentionally tries to make him jealous, which causes him to doubt her feelings for him.

  • Not long after, Giant-Man gets an alert from his ants, warning him about a magician that is in the building where Janet is attending a party.

  • At the party, the Magician is the featured entertainment. After amusing Janet and her wealthy friends for a bit, he robs them all! Janet shrinks down to challenge him as the Wasp, but he captures her easily.

  • Giant-Man is too late to stop the Magician, and he can’t track the villain down afterwards. Instead, he hatched a plan to draw the Magician out.

  • Giant-Man sets up a fake gala, hoping that the Magician will show up and try to rob it. Well, the Magician took the bait.

  • The Magician almost escapes, but Giant-Man is able to lasso the villain’s escape blimp and climb aboard.

  • Giant-Man then fought the Magician…

  • …while the Wasp deflated the blimp.

  • The police take the Magician to jail, and Hank and Janet have their first legitimately romantic moment together (Hank doesn’t propose, though).

Is It Good?

Not really, but the bar is so low for Giant-Man stories that I actually don’t mind it. It’s nice to finally have Hank and Janet “officially” together instead of just flirting, even if it is very weird to me that Hank wants to jump right into proposing to her.

The rest of the story the same dumb stuff that you would expect from a Giant-Man story, only with a dumber-than-usual villain.

Continuity:

  • This is the first appearance of the Magician (Lee Guardineer, although his name is not given here).

  • It is still not common knowledge that Ant-Man and Giant-Man are the same hero. This is how the Magician reacted when, after seeing Hank ant-sized, Hank went big:

  • The Wasp is changing her look a little bit; she is letting some of her hair show from beneath her cowl.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • That’s quite the clever inscription. Did you come up with that all by yourself, Hank? You could be a poet!

  • First off, this is not a good look for you, Hank. Second, I think you misunderstood the story of Don Juan if you think you resemble him in any way. Third, when you’re angry with someone, try to use your words.

  • Why does Giant-Man have an ant sleigh?

  • Faking a party by using cardboard cutouts? Home Alone did it better.

  • I’m going to add “blue blimp” to my list of “shockingly stupid villain tricks that apparently work.”

  • If nothing else, I can honestly say that the Magician has fantastic eyesight.

  • In “The Wonderful Wasp Tells a Tale,” the hero of the story is suspiciously zen.

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