Wednesday, February 10, 2010

25: Tales to Astonish #38

Tales to Astonish #38
September 11, 1962

  • TtA #38 opens by declaring, "Since the appearance of the amazing Ant-Man, the bustling metropolis has offered slim pickings for the underworld!" Which, frankly, sounds a bit incredible. I mentioned earlier how odd it seems that Stan would have picked Hank Pym as a character to bring back as a superhero, and in a monthly feature to boot. When compared to hulking monsters, spider-men, and thunder gods, just how fantastic is a man who can shrink down and talk to ants? We really can take this as yet more evidence that these individual titles were never intended to be set in the same "world" ... although that would start changing, overtly and explicitly, very soon indeed.

  • This issue's bad guy, by the way, is Egghead - so named not only because he's a brilliant atomic scientist, but because of the very eggy shape of his cranium. He's not Ant-Man's first supervillain - technically, that "honor" goes to last issue's Protector, even if his disintegrator ray was shown to be mere illusion - but he would soon be Pym's first returning villain, as he surprisingly gets away at tale's end. In fact, Egghead would go on to be something of a nemesis for Hank Pym (until that role was filled far more effectively by a certain robot a few years down the line), even playing a prominent part in Pym's most notorious and controversial storyline from the mid-1980s....

  • For a supposed genius, Egghead comes off as hilariously, ridiculously dumb. After reading a book cleverly entitled ALL ABOUT ANTS, he declares that "Ants are unable to utter sounds and they don't use sign language... The only way that they can communicate is by electronic signals through their antennae!" (Does he think that ants evolved from some mid-Cretaceous robo-workers?) Then, after determining the wavelength in question, he concocts an elaborate plan to capture Hank Pym ... by attempting to sway the ants' loyalty from Pym to himself. Perhaps he'd have been better off watching University of the Air! (2:00 in)

    Perhaps it was an ironic nickname.  Like calling a big man "Tiny".

2 comments:

Matt Celis said...

Ants are known for their greed and vanity above all else.

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