Tales to Astonish (Vol. 1) #58

Credits:

Cover Date: August 1964

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky

“The Coming of…Colossus!”

Writer: Stan Lee

Penciller: Dick Ayers

Inker: Paul Reinman

“The Magician and the Maiden”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

Scripter: Larry Lieber

Penciller: Larry Leiber

Inker: Larry Lieber

What’s Going On?

In the first story, Giant-Man and the Wasp take on someone even larger than Giant-Man: the Colossus! How can they defeat someone that is just plain big?

In the second story, it is up to the Wasp to apprehend the villainous Magician, all by herself!

Details:

In “The Coming of…Colossus”:

  • Captain America stops by the official Giant-Man downtown lab to give Giant-Man and Wasp a mission. He wants them to head to Africa to investigate a giant —- nay, a 30-foot tall Colossus!

  • The duo head to Africa, only to have the mysterious Colossus stop their jet in mid-air with his bare hands! The heroes have to eject from the plane to survive.

  • The heroes recover from their near-crash and use teamwork to knock the gigantic creature off-balance.

  • The Colossus is too strong for Giant-Man to overpower, so Hank opts to trick the giant. He changes sizes quickly enough to make the Giant believe that the mountain is under some sort of magical spell.

  • It turns out that the Colossus is actually an alien, and his fight with Giant-Man has convinced him that Earthlings know magic and cannot be conquered, so he leaves the planet. The end.

In “The Magician and the Maiden”:

  • The evil Magician has broken out of prison, and is likely to strike against the heroes that put him in jail: Giant-Man and the Wasp!
  • Despite the danger of the Magician, Janet decides to visit a department store that is unveiling a line of Wasp-inspired fashions.

  • The Magician, assuming that the Wasp would appear at the fashion announcement, decides to attack the store.

  • It looks like the Magician is too powerful for the Wasp to defeat, until she gets his cape stuck in an escalator…

  • …and then she uses a remote-controlled robot to tie the villain up for the police.

Is It Good?

NO. This may be the single dumbest full issue Marvel has published to date. The plots are insultingly dumb, and the art is Marvel’s “house style.” Not much worth paying attention to here.

Continuity:

  • Hank can now change his size (when wearing his helmet) by thinking about it. He can also change Janet’s size with a thought —- but she still needs the size-changing pills to do it on her own.
  • The Wasp has a new costume. This is her first costume change.

  • The Colossus is from the planet Vega.  This is the first appearance of the Vegan alien race.
  • The Magician last appeared in Tales to Astonish #56.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Why shouldn’t you? Because your ability to change size comes from exposure to a chemical solution, which isn’t something you can do with your “mental energy.”

  • So…if he can’t leave his mountain peak, what’s the problem? Stay out of throwing distance, and you should be fine.

  • Where did Hank and Jan get a cross-continental jet?

  • The fastest way to climb a mountain is to…shrink yourselves, so the mountain seems even taller?

  • This is the explanation they’re going with, to explain why Giant-Man can’t grow past a certain size? They use a Stretch Armstrong analogy?

  • If the mountain is too steep to be climbed, how did the natives build a giant sculpture on it?

  • I really like the idea of the Wasp taking the time to get glamour photos of villains, so she can frame their pictures later.

  • Why is she using a toy robot instead of tying him up herself?

Well, That Aged Poorly:

  • The good news is that Marvel didn’t whitewash the native populace in this issue. The bad news is that they’re still shown as uncivilized tribesmen.

  • What’s worse, that the Magician is being a sexist jerk, or that Stan Lee makes him absolutely correct?

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