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Marvel Masterworks Vol 1 59


Appearing in "The Man in the Ant Hill!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #27.

Featured Characters:

  • Henry Pym (First appearance) (Origin revealed)

Other Characters:

  • Various scientists
  • Ants (First appearance)

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Synopsis for "The Man in the Ant Hill!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #27.
Tales to Astonish Vol 1 27 Title

Doctor Henry Pym declares success! He has successfully used his reducing serum to shrink a chair to doll size and used his enlarging serum to return it to normal size. Pym had been ridiculed months ago by his peers for his outlandish theories but has now perfected a pair of serums capable of changing the size of any object. Confident that his serums work, Pym tests them on himself.

Henry Pym (Earth-616) from Tales to Astonish Vol 1 27 0001

Placing a few drops of reducing serum on his arm, Henry Pym quickly shrinks. Now ant-sized, he realizes that he left the enlarging serum on the window sill; it might as well be on the moon. He goes out into the yard. Ants sense his presence and move toward him. Pym, still not thinking clearly, runs into an ant hill. Fleeing blindly through the tunnels, he falls into a shaft and lands in a pool of honey. Hopelessly trapped, he spots an ant crawling towards him. To Pym’s surprise, the ant pulls him free from the honey and lets him go unharmed. More ants appear. Pym notices a matchstick set in the ground and, hoping to create a diversion, throws a pebble at it. His aim is true, and the match lights.

Henry Pym (Earth-616) from Tales to Astonish Vol 1 27 0002

Pym fashions a lasso and climbs up to a ledge. There, another ant grabs him in its mandibles. Pym uses judo to flip the ant over the ledge and scrambles upward. Once out of the ant hill, with the colony in hot pursuit, he sees the friendly ant who saved him earlier. He points upward to tell the ant where he needs to go. The ant climbs the wall with Pym aboard. He wades into the test tube with the serum and immediately returns to normal. Convinced that his invention is dangerous, he dumps his serums down the drain.

Appearing in "Return of the Ant-Man"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #35.

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Other Characters:

  • Henry Pym's research assistants
    • Tom

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Synopsis for "Return of the Ant-Man"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #35.

Doctor Henry Pym is a scientist who had invented two incredible serums, one to reduce objects, and the other to enlarge them back to their natural size. The reducing potion proved more powerful than he anticipated. It reduced him to the size of an insect and led him to the most frightening encounter of his life within a teeming ant hill. Frantically, Pym escaped from the ants and reached his enlarging serum. After he was restored to normal size, Pym destroyed his serums, which he felt were too dangerous to exist on Earth. However, weeks later he decided that such a great discovery should not melt into nothingness and concocted his serums again, this time locking them safely away in his safe.

After his experience in the ant hill, Henry Pym developed a growing interest in ants. Secretly, he made a thorough study of the ant world and determined that ants communicate electronically through their antennae. After long months of grueling work, he finally developed a helmet that would enable him to communicate with the ants by tuning into their specific wave length. Pym also designed a protective costume to shield him from accidental ant-sting or bite.

On the same day that he completed work on his helmet, the government gives Henry Pym a top secret scientific assignment to develop a gas to make people immune to radiation and provides him with four research assistants. Weeks later, the communists have learned of Pym’s work and have dispatched agents to steal the almost completed formula.

Communist agents burst into Henry Pym’s laboratory and hold him and his research assistants at gun point, demanding the anti-radiation formula. When Pym refuses to divulge the formula, the agents decide the search the lab and find the information themselves. Trapped in his lab, Pym decides that the only way to prevent the communists from getting the anti-radiation gas is to use his reducing serum. Donning his newly completed helmet and costume, Pym uses his reducing serum to shrink to insect size.

Now ant-sized, Ant-Man uses a rubber band as a slingshot to hurl himself to a nearby window ledge, where he slips through the window crack and uses a piece of thread to lower himself to the ground.

Part 2: An Army of Ants!

His destination is the ant hill, where he learns that his cybernetic helmet actually works, allowing him to communicate with and command the ants. He is attacked by a large worker ant. As he fights the ant, he learns that somehow, he retains the strength of a full-grown man at his diminished size. After defeating the worker ant, Ant-Man adjusts his cybernetic helmet and sends a command through the ant hill, forming a small army of ants.

As Ant-Man exits the ant hill, his colorful costume attracts the attention of a beetle. Using his full-size strength, he quickly digs a deep hole, uses himself as bait to lure the beetle into it and then fills in the hole, trapping the beetle.

Ant-Man then mounts the largest of the worker ants and leads his army up the wall and on to the window ledge near his lab.

Part 3: The Ant-Man's Revenge!

After observing the communist agents, Ant-Man slips into the lab and with the help of the ants, unties his assistants. He then commands the ants to attack the agents, distracting them long enough for Pym’s assistants to over power them.

With the communist agents defeated, Ant-Man heads for his laboratory, where he uses his enlarging serum to return to normal size and rejoin the others in the lab. Pym is left wondering if he will ever be forced to become the Ant-Man again?

Appearing in "The Challenge of Comrade X!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #36.

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Synopsis for "The Challenge of Comrade X!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #36.

Three bank robbers are trapped within the confines of a time locked bank vault and will suffocate unless the lock can be opened in time. Within the lock mechanism, the Ant-Man manually manipulates the tumblers into place, allowing the lock to be opened and the robbers apprehended by the police.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, behind the iron curtain, a communist leader hears a news report about the Ant-Man’s latest feat. He orders Comrade X, one of the Soviet Union’s greatest espionage agents, to capture Ant-Man and learn the secret of his size changing ability.

Several days later, in a police station in the United States, a young women is pleading with the desk sergeant to be put in contact with Ant-Man. She claims that it is a matter of life and death that only Ant-Man can help her with. The police explain it cannot be done – they don’t know how to locate the Ant-Man. He just mysteriously appears on the scene whenever there’s trouble. Unknown to the police, Ant-Man has established a vast network of tiny insects planted in police stations and newspaper offices throughout the city to alert him of emergencies.

In a secret room in Henry Pym’s laboratory, an electronic impulse is detected originating from the 14th precinct. Using his cybernetic helmet, Ant-Man translates the signal into an intelligible form and receives the girl’s plea for help. As he puts on the rest of his costume, Pym explains that he has developed his reducing and growth serums in a gas form to make them easier to carry with him. He releases the reducing gas and inhales it through his helmet’s filter, causing him to shrink to ant-size. Ant-Man exits the lab through a secret panel to a room containing a miniature electronically controlled catapult, which he uses to propel himself through the air to an alley near the police station, where he summons a horde of ants to catch him and break his fall.

Outside the police station, Ant-Man spots a girl getting into a cab and deduces that she must be the one who wanted to contact him. Using one of his ants, he sneaks into the cab and slips unnoticed into the girl’s purse. Minutes later, the cab arrives at the its destination, the girl's apartment. Once inside, Ant-Man slips out of the purse and reveals himself.

The girl explains her story to Ant-Man. Last year, while in Europe, she fell in love with a man, who she later learned was the deadly Red master spy known as Comrade X. At first, she didn’t care who he was, until he jilted her for another woman. Now she wants revenge on him for breaking her heart. That's why she contacted him, to warn him that Comrade X is in the United States on a secret mission to capture him and learn the secret of his size changing ability. She knows that he is hiding on a freighter docked at pier 89. Ant-Man mentions that he has heard of the mysterious Comrade X and races off to confront him.

That evening, Ant-Man arrives at pier 89. As he leads his small army of ants up the gang plank to the freighter, Ant-Man triggers a hidden electric eye that alerts the crew to his presence, allowing them to entrap him in a glass box with tiny pinholes that allow him to breath but are too small for an ant to escape through. Using his cybernetic helmet, Ant-Man summons more ants from the shore, who use bits of wood to traverse the harbor and board the ship. Once onboard, they attack the crew, causing one to drop his weapon, smashing the glass box entrapping Ant-Man.

Once free, Ant-Man evades the remaining crewmen and locates the ship’s radio room, where he uses his full-human strength to hurl a lamp at the radio operator, knocking him unconscious. He then uses his enlarging gas to return to normal-size and uses the radio to contact the authorities on shore. Meanwhile, his ants lock the red seamen in a room and crawl away with the key.

With his message sent, Ant-Man returns to ant-size and hunts down Comrade X. He soon comes upon Comrade X sitting at a desk with his back to him, but it is the Ant-Man who is surprised by Comrade X, who points a spray gun loaded with diluted DDT at him. Before Comrade X can fire, Ant-Man commands his ants to cover the ceiling light, plunging the room into darkness. Ant-Man uses the momentary distraction to tie Comrade X’s bootlaces together, causing him to trip and fall to the floor. His ants then uncover the light and pull a mask off of Comrade X, revealing “him" to be the girl from the police station.

Ant-Man reveals that he knew Comrade X was a woman all along. Earlier, while hiding in her purse, he discovered her rubber face mask and an instrument to make her voice sound masculine. Comrade X threatens Ant-Man, stating that he will never make it off this ship alive, but is subdued by the arrival of the US Coast Guard. Minutes later, Comrade X and her gang are taken into custody.

Appearing in "Trapped by the Protector!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #37.

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Synopsis for "Trapped by the Protector!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #37.

A jeweler named Gerald Marsh staggers to his feet. Outside, the screaming wail of an approaching police car can be heard. The police siren is detected by the tiny antennae of countless ants, dispersed throughout the city and relayed via electronic impulses to the secret laboratory of Henry Pym. Pym dons his Ant-Man costume and triggers his reducing gas, quickly shrinking to ant-size. Using his catapult, he launches himself towards the general area of 523 Elm Street. As the tiny warrior flies over the city, he uses his cybernetic helmet to contact the ants below, causing them to converge on the awning at 523 Elm Street and create a cushion for him to safely land.

As he lands, Ant-Man notices that the police are leaving. Seconds later, he makes his appearance known to Mr. Marsh, who tells him that it was the Protector who beat him up. He explains that the Protector is an inhumanly powerful criminal who has been terrorizing all of the jewelers in town and makes them pay for “Protection." The Protector came into Marsh’s store that day wanting money. Business had been bad, so Marsh couldn't pay. The Protector then yanked Marsh over the counter with one hand and then used his Electronic Disintegrating Ray to reduce his jewelry into dust. The Protector then knocked Marsh unconscious before leaving to ensure he would be obeyed. When he recovered, Marsh called the police, but like the other store owners, was too scared to sign a complaint.

As Ant-Man leaves, a large figure observes him through a pair of binoculars. When he reaches the curb, he takes out a lasso of thread and skilfully tosses at the bumper of a passing car and hitches a ride. The shadowy figure observing him muses that he got away, but next time would be different.

Later, back in his laboratory, Henry Pym uses his cybernetic devices to station ants in front of all the jewelry stores in the city and instructs them to respond to verbal stimuli such as the words “Protector" and “Disintegrating Ray". For two days, nothing happens. On the third day he receives a message.

Part 2: Face-to-Face with the Protector!

The Protector is at 600 Harley Avenue extorting money from a jeweler. Ant-Man uses his catapult to launch himself through the air towards Harley Avenue, but finds the street crowded, blocking his path to his cushion of ants. He manages to maneuver in mid-air in order to land in a baby carriage.

Safely on the ground, Ant-Man gathers a swarm of ants and rushes into the jewelry store where he finds the Protector attempting to extort money from the owner. Ant-Man commands his ants to climb the display case from where he confronts the Protector. As the menacing Protector comes towards the Ant-Man, the ants move a necklace from the display case and drop it on the floor. The string of pearls breaks and the pearls scatter when they hit the floor, causing the Protector to slip and fall. Ant-Man decides to lead the fight outside where he can find more ants to help him. As the Protector steps from the store, he grabs a water pistol from a passing boy and nearly manages to wash Ant-Man down a nearby storm drain. Ant-Man saves himself by commanding some nearby ants to drop a stick across the sewer grate. By the time Ant-Man recovers, the Protector has escaped.

Returning to his laboratory, Ant-Man devises a plan to defeat the Protector by baiting him. One week later, Henry Pym rents a store front and sets up a jewelry store. The days pass slowly until one afternoon the Protector finally shows up. He lifts up a display case and then blasts it with his disintegrating gun, reducing it and its contents to dust. As he leaves, he tells Pym that if he doesn’t want these awful things to happen, he had better pay him three hundred dollars a week, and if he tells the cops about this, he would use his disintegrator on him.

As soon as the Protector leaves, Henry Pym rushes to the back of the shop, changes into his costume and uses his reducing gas to become ant-size. As he runs to the door, he passes drops of machine oil too small to be noticed by a normal-sized person, on the ground, right where the Protector had stood. Ant-Man says that “Now it all fits together!" and muses that it was a good thing that he was prepared. When the Protector had entered the shop, Pym had pressed a button which sent electronic impulses to all of the ants in the area. Following prearranged instructions, a few ants climbed onto the Protector’s boots as he left the store. While the Protector drove away, the ants emitted signals through their antennae, which were picked up by other ants in the street, allowing Ant-Man to follow the Protector’s trail using his cybernetic helmet.

An hour later, Ant-Man has tracked the Protector to a vacant, old tenement. Sending out another electronic message, he gathers together a few ants and enters the building. Suddenly he hears a loud Whirrrrrrr from above and is sucked up by a vacuum cleaner. Peering down into the vacuum bag, the Protector gloats about his success and seals up the opening of the bag with glue to prevent Ant-Man from escaping. Using his normal-sized strength, Ant-Man punches through the paper vacuum bag and escapes. Seeing a fan on a nearby table gives Ant-Man an idea. Moments later, the Protector returns and notices the hole in the vacuum bag. He removes his goggles so he can look for the ant-sized hero. Just then, Ant-Man turns on the fan, blowing all the dust from the vacuum bag into the Protector’s face.

A moment later, the police have arrived and apprehend the Protector. Ant-Man had sent an electronic message to the ants stationed at the nearby police station, commanding them to spell out a message leading the police to the vacant tenement. Ant-Man instructs the police to remove the Protector’s outer clothing, revealing him to be the jeweler Gerald Marsh. Wearing platform shoes and an mechanical exoskeleton that allowed him to perform his feats of strength.

Ant-Man states that he first suspected Marsh when he told him that the Protector had beaten him up even though his business was poor. He had guessed that the Protector would be too smart to try and shake down someone who didn’t have the money to pay. Later, when he found machine oil where the Protector had been standing, he guessed the secret of his great strength. As for the Disintegrating gun, it created a puff of dense smoke, under the cover of which the Protector would steal the jewels and replace them with grains of sand. Ant-Man tells the police that they would find the “disintegrated" jewels in Marsh’s safe.

Appearing in "Betrayed by the Ants!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #38.

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Synopsis for "Betrayed by the Ants!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #38.

A group of mobsters, afraid to commit crimes in fear of getting captured by Ant-Man come to the realization that they don't have the intelligence to defeat their foe. Days later they learn of a scientist known as "Egghead" who was discharged from the U.S. Government Atomic Energy Board under allegations that he was selling government secrets to the highest bidder. The mobsters then hire Egghead to find a way to defeat Ant-Man. Egghead agrees to do so for the price of ten grand.

Egghead begins by learning everything he can about ants and constructing a device that could communicate with ants via electrical impulses (much like Ant-Man's helmet). Using this device on a nearby ant hill, Egghead commands the ants there to lure Ant-Man into a trap that he has set for the hero.

Returning to the mobsters' hide out, he reveals to them that he plans on trapping Ant-Man on fly paper and tells them that while Ant-Man is being lured to the trap they can conduct the jewel heist they were planning.

Ant-Man, being led to the scene of the crime by his ants, is blown into a box lined with fly paper by Egghead using a bellows. Surprisingly, Ant-Man is not stuck on the paper and uses spring-loaded boots to hop out of the trap and attack the mobsters, whom he easily defeats with his human sized strength.

While the crooks are distracted, Ant-Man commands his ants to trap them by dropping a large sheet of fly paper that the ants carried up the ceiling and dropped on them from overhead. The escaping crooks find that their getaway vehicle has had the tires flattened and the keys stolen and are quickly rounded up by the police. Egghead manages to escape.

Overhearing Ant-Man's explanation to the police, Egghead learns that the ants did not betray Ant-Man and told him of Egghead's plot, allowing him to prepare for the trap by instructing his ants to sabotage the crooks' escape car and having the necessary equipment to overcome Egghead's traps.

Although Egghead escapes, his defeat causes him to go into hiding until he finally becomes a rambling derelict in a Bowery flophouse.

Appearing in "The Vengeance of the Scarlet Beetle!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #39.

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Synopsis for "The Vengeance of the Scarlet Beetle!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #39.

Receiving emergency impulses on his devices from his ants, Ant-Man decides to investigate what appears to be problems in the insect world. There he finds an irradiated beetle, able to communicate telepathically. The Scarlet Beetle, mutated by exposure to radiation, plans to destroy the human race with the help of all the insects in his thrall (beetles, wasps, grasshoppers, etc.).

Seeing Ant-Man as a potential obstacle in this plot, Scarlet Beetle orders his insects to capture him, remove his helmet and toss him in a pit that he cannot climb out himself. Stealing Ant-Man's size-changing gas, the Scarlet Beetle exposes itself to Ant-Man's growth gas and grows to human size. He then orders the insects on a campaign of terror, attacking humanity at all levels: knocking down hydro poles, stealing dynamite, and striking people ill with spider bites.

Meanwhile, although not on Ant-Man's head, his helmet sends out a signal that alerts his ants of his location. The ants arrive and help Ant-Man out of the pit. Regaining his helmet, he and his army of ants face off against the Scarlet Beetle's army of assorted insects, defeating them with honey, a water fountain and DDT spray.

Furious that his army was so easily defeated, the Scarlet Beetle is goaded into chasing Ant-Man into a nearby toy store. Inside Ant-Man manages to fight off the Scarlet Beetle long enough to secure a javelin from a toy knight and use it to pierce the shrinking gas canister that the Beetle wore around its body. Exposed to the gas once more, the Scarlet Beetle reduces back to his original size and is easily defeated by Ant-Man who traps the Beetle inside a deflated balloon.

The Scarlet Beetle, decontaminated of radiation, resumes its normal intelligence and abilities. Hank Pym releases it back into his back yard.

Appearing in "The Day That Ant-Man Failed!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #40.

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Vehicles:

  • Armored Truck

Synopsis for "The Day That Ant-Man Failed!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #40.

While Hank Pym has invented a new gas mask made out of unstable molecules, armored cars in the city are being besieged by a criminal dubbed the Hijacker, who is able to steal entire armored cars and make the drivers forget what happened. Heaviest hit by this is Howard Mitchell, owner of the Mitchell Armored Truck Company, who is losing clients every time one of his armored cars is stolen.

Hearing of Mitchell's plight via his spy ants, Ant-Man pays Mitchell a visit and agrees to help try and catch the Hijacker. Before leaving, Ant-Man takes note that Mitchell happens to have a collection of ancient Inca carvings.

Arriving on the scene, Ant-Man's presence gives the guards on site a sense of relief until Ant-Man is stricken with appendicitis and orders his ants to carry him to a hospital. Feeling as though Ant-Man had failed them, the guards continue on their armored car rounds anyway.

As expected the Hijacker attacks and uses a gas to knock out the truck drivers. As he is using a blow torch to access the money inside the truck, Ant-Man suddenly attacks! In combat, Ant-Man explains that he has a suspicion that the robberies were an inside job so he feigned illness to give the Hijacker the courage to make the theft, while Ant Man hid on the roof of the truck (using his gas mask to render him immune to the gas.)

Eluding his opponent in the interior and engine of the truck, Ant-Man manages to land on his foe's gas-mask and tear a hole in it big enough for the Hijacker to be affected by his own gas, causing him to pass out. Ant-Man orders his ants to unmask his foe, revealing him to be Howard Mitchell. When the police arrive, Ant-Man explains that he was tipped off that Mitchell was the crook because the statues in Mitchell's office tipped him off about what he knew about the Inca use of sleeping vapors that cause memory loss. Defeated, Mitchell reveals that the reason why he committed the robberies was because his company was losing money and his thefts would recoup the losses, however he never figured Ant-Man would ever get wise to his plot.

Appearing in "Prisoner of the Slave World!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #41.

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  • Imprisoned Scientists

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Synopsis for "Prisoner of the Slave World!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #41.

Dropping in on a fellow scientist, Henry Pym finds that his colleague's door is locked. Fearing that his friend has fallen ill, he shrinks down in size and dons his Ant-Man guise and investigates. He finds his friend's lab mysteriously empty, with no trace of anybody.

Returning back home, in his civilian identity, Pym hears reports of scientists in various fields that have recently gone missing. Figuring that he may potentially be next on the list, Pym decides to be at the ready in case Ant-Man should have to spring into action.

A few days later, Pym is visited by a window washer trying to drum up extra business by offering to wash windows free for the week. Accepting the offer, he invites the window washer in. However, when he turns his back on the hired hand, Pym finds himself doused with a chemical that paralyzes him.

Transported to another dimension, Pym finds out that the window washer is working for an extra-dimensional tyrant named Kulla. Kulla has plotted to use Earth's scientists knowledge of atomic energy in order to construct a death ray to use against his enemies. Pym, realizing becoming Ant-Man is the only way to free his fellow scientists rebels and soon finds himself subdued and locked in a dungeon.

Left by himself, Pym then uses his shrinking gas and becomes Ant-Man. He soon realizes that he can command the local insect life with his helmet and decides to use them in his plan to stop Kulla.

Freeing the scientists and fending off Kulla's guards with his human sized strength, Ant-Man is doused in paralyzing fluid again. Kulla storms in, attempting to smash Ant-Man with a hammer, but while immobilized Ant-Man commands the local insects to use Kulla's own weapon against him, striking the villain dead in one shot.

Just then, the freedom fighters of Kulla's dimension storm his base and capture the guards. With the scientists free, Ant-Man returns to his cell and resumes his identity of Henry Pym until he is freed. Deciding to keep the window washer as their prisoner until he reforms, the freedom fighters send all the scientists back to their home dimension.

Appearing in "The Voice of Doom!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #42.

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  • The Voice (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)

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Synopsis for "The Voice of Doom!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #42.

Soap Box preacher Jason Cragg used to be just an everyday crack pot until the day that his voice began influencing the thoughts of people. Appearing in the city, he begins telling people that Ant-Man is a crook that must be driven from the city. Passing by, Ant-Man hears this insane litany, and is shocked to find that the people around Cragg begin to believe him. Surprising still, it's something about his voice that's compelling people to agree with him, Ant-Man however, is shielded because his helmet shields him from the attack.

Flashing back a few weeks past, we learn that Jason Cragg came to the city from the Midwest in hopes of becoming a radio announcer. While giving a pitiful audition, a near-by experimental atomic laboratory has a million-in-one accident that causes an ionized atom to escape into the electrical system, and pass through the microphone that Cragg is speaking into. Cragg finds himself strangely affected, and his ability of voice suggestion becomes apparent when his voice being broadcast over the airwaves causes sales to jump three hundred percent at the radio station.

Realizing his voice could mean he would never have to work another day in his life, Cragg quits his job at the radio station and soon begins exploiting his powers for his own personal gain. Sometime later, Cragg witnesses Ant-Man busting up some criminals, and soon becomes jealous of the crime fighter's respect and adulation from the masses. This gives Cragg his inspiration to vilify Ant-Man in hopes that he can rule the city.

Returning to the present, we find Ant-Man at a local police precinct being awarded for his meritorious service. As Ant-Man is receiving his commendation, Cragg barges in demanding that the hero be arrested, and the police suddenly start trying to capture Ant-Man.

Ant-Man manages to escape the police and attempts to seek refuge in a near-by park, but when Cragg's enslaved thralls attempt to find him by using magnets, he is forced to remove his helmet to avoid being captured. Cragg finds Ant-Man and forces the tiny hero to listen to his voice. Without his helmet, Ant-Man is helpless against the vocal effects and is ordered to walk off a pier to drown in a near-by harbor.

Ant-Man is saved by his ants at the last minute, shaking off the effects of Cragg's voice he manages to escape. Returning to his home, and back in his civilian identity Henry Pym, Ant-Man learns that Cragg plans on addressing people on national television. Realizing the damaging potential of Cragg's voice on national TV, Ant-Man formulates a plan to foil Cragg's scheme.

Arriving at the TV studio, Ant-Man interrupts Cragg's television address, and tells the villain that his ants are pointing a loaded gun at him. Fearing for his life, Cragg agrees to tell the people that Ant-Man is not a crook, but an upstanding hero. Ant-Man then tells Cragg that the gun wasn't really loaded and it was all a trick. Trying to sway the viewing audience to his will again, Cragg attempts to re-convince the people that Ant-Man is a crook, but finds that his powers no longer work. Ant-Man reveals that he covered the microphone with Laryngitis microbes and that they have taken effect and affected his voice, rendering its suggestive properties useless.

The crowd, thinking Cragg's some crazy nut, tosses him out onto the street.

Appearing in "The Astonishing Ant-Man Verses the Mad Master of Time!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #43.

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  • Center City (See Notes)

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Synopsis for "The Astonishing Ant-Man Verses the Mad Master of Time!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #43.

Our story begins with Ant-Man rushing back to his lab. Along the way he crosses paths with a young boy delivering a telegram and is almost flattened by it. After addressing the public, Ant-Man makes his exit. The boy delivers his telegram to Professor Elias Weems. Opening the envelope, Weems finds that the telegram is from his grandson Tommy who is coming to visit him on vacation. Excited that his grandson is coming to visit Weems hopes to show him the many things he is working at at his job at Modern Scientific Research Company. However, as fate would have it, a week later, Weems is let go because company policy does not allow anybody to work for them past age sixty-five.

Angered by the fact of being fired only because of his age, Weems plans revenge against society for being so cruel and constructs a device that speeds up the aging process. Completing the device, he tests it out on a tree, a baby elephant, and a young woman before finding that it is perfect.

Calling himself the "Time Master", Weems sends a letter to the police demanding control of the entire city or else he will prematurely age the entire population. Learning of this through his spy ants, Ant-Man manages to track down and confront Weems at his home. Weems uses his aging gun on Ant-Man and attempts to trap him in a flower pot. Weems then leaves to start aging the entire city, not suspecting that Ant-Man can free himself by growing back to his normal height.

Tracking Weems down, he finds the scientist on a rooftop aging the people in the crowd gathering below him. Ant-Man rushes to stop Weems, but Weems stops himself when he realizes that his grandson Tommy is in the crowd and has been prematurely aged as well. Attempting to reverse the process, Weems fumbles and drops the device off the side of the building, but it is caught by Ant-Man's army of ants. Ant-Man then instructs somebody in the crowd to use the device to change everybody back to normal, and Weems surrenders to the police.

Pleading to the judge, Ant-Man and the owner of Modern Scientific Research Company convince any charges to be waived, and Weems is given his job back. Weems' first order of business is to show his grandson around the lab where he works.

Appearing in "The Creature from Kosmos!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #44.

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Synopsis for "The Creature from Kosmos!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #44.
Tales to Astonish Vol 1 44 page 01 Janet van Dyne (Earth-616)

Returning from another mission, Ant-Man dwells on his loneliness and the loss of his late wife: Maria Pym. Flashing back to the past we learn that on their honeymoon, Henry and Maria Pym visited Maria's native Hungary, in spite of Henry's fears that her history as a political prisoner would make her a target. Shortly upon arrival in Hungary, Maria is captured by armed men and Henry is knocked out by the butt of one of their guns. Recovering at the American Embassy, Pym is informed that his wife has been murdered, as a lesson to those who wish to leave the Iron Curtain. Angered, Pym attempts to track down his wife's killers but only lands himself in jail. He is freed by Embassy officials and sent home. There, Pym uses his late wife's uncle's old saying "Go to the ants, thou sluggard!" as the inspiration for devising his size-changing formula and becoming Ant-Man.

His reflection over, Ant-Man realizes that he cannot continue his crusade against crime alone and needs a partner to aid him in his work. He begins working on a new set of abilities for his future partner utilizing wasp biology, but is interrupted by the arrival of Professor Vernon van Dyne and his young daughter, Janet.

Pym immediately realizes that Janet bears a striking resemblance to his late wife, Maria, but dismisses any attraction due to her age and apparent ditzy personality. Meanwhile, Janet also dismisses any attraction to him, due to the stereotype that scientists are boring individuals. Vernon asks Pym to look at his Gamma Ray Beam device which would allow him to make contact with another galaxy. While Pym finds it interesting, he explains to van Dyne that his area of expertise is in biology, not astronomy. Realizing Pym isn't interested in the project, van Dyne and his daughter leave.

Later that day, van Dyne attempts to use his Gamma ray beam and inadvertently transports a creature from the planet Kosmos. The creature states that it is an escaped criminal. It uses its powers to kill Dr. van Dyne and then flees. Janet stumbles upon her father's body. In a panic she calls Henry Pym, who dismisses her once again as a bored ditzy girl and hangs up, but later learns his error when he finds out the truth from his ants.

Donning his Ant-Man identity, he travels to the van Dyne house and finds that Professor van Dyne was killed by pure fear. He tells Janet to report her father's death to F.B.I. agent Lee Kearns, and tells her to go see Henry Pym right after. On his way back to his lab, Ant-Man learns from his ants that there were large traces of an alien form of formic acid, which frightens his ants.

Janet van Dyne arrives at Dr. Pym's lab, where Henry reveals to her his identity as Ant-Man and asks her to become his sidekick, the Wasp. Agreeing, Janet is implanted with wasp wings and antenna that she can use while shrunken down by Ant-Man's shrinking gas. As Ant-Man and Wasp, the duo arrive on scene where the creature from Kosmos is on a rampage. Before going into battle, Janet announces that she's in love with Hank, which he immediately dismisses, due to her age and his fear of a second tragedy in his love life. Even with the aid of the military, and Ant-Man's army of ants they are unable to stop the monster's rampage.

Realizing what he must do, Ant-Man and Wasp return to base where Ant-Man devises a compound to counteract formic acid. He then puts the compound into shotgun shells and, with the aid of his ants, succeeds in dispersing the creature by shooting it with a number of shells of the compound.

With the monster defeated, Ant-Man and Wasp return home, where Ant-Man calls F.B.I. agent Kearns to tell him that the menace has ended. When Kearns asks to be Ant-Man's partner, Ant-Man declines, telling the F.B.I. agent that he already has a partner. Janet thinks to herself that she'll certainly soon make him fall in love with her, and will stay with him so that he does.

Appearing in "The Terrible Traps of Egghead!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #45.

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  • Ape (Only appearance)[1]
  • Twister (Only appearance)[1]
  • Anton Myers (diamond cutter) (Mentioned)

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Synopsis for "The Terrible Traps of Egghead!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #45.

Recapping Egghead's first battle with Ant-Man (In Tales to Astonish #38), we find that Egghead is still living in the Bowery flophouse where he ended up after his first defeat. There he is stirred out of his rantings when he overhears some crooks talking about Ant-Man and the Wasp. He approaches them asking them who the Wasp is, and after being informed on his old foe's activities, Egghead talks the two thugs into helping him devise a plot to defeat Ant-Man, using his partner the Wasp as bait.

Egghead builds a device that scrambles the messages that Ant-Man's ants transmit and then develops the disguise of Professor Carl Striker, a Zoologist that specializes in insects and begins giving lectures to rouse the interest of Ant-Man and the Wasp. Later, after hearing about a local diamond cutter being given the Middleton diamond to turn into a pendant for Princess Elisabeth, Egghead formulates his plan. Planning a wasp exhibit at the local zoo for the next day, Egghead has the thieves steal the pendant (using his device to scramble the ant's impulses so that Ant-Man doesn't learn of the theft until later).

The next day, Egghead stashes the pendant in the wasp nest he has on display in the hopes that the Wasp -- intrigued by the exhibit -- will visit the zoo and hopefully discover the pendant and attempt to get it back. Doing so by herself (because she wants to show Hank that she is a woman, "A woman in love!"), the Wasp is easily kidnapped. As per Egghead's plans she sends out a distress to Ant-Man who comes to her rescue.

Lured into Egghead's trap, Ant-Man battles a lizard, an anteater and Egghead's hired thugs, and manages to free the Wasp and the two of them defeat the crooks. However, during the battle Egghead manages to escape to plot his revenge anew.

Appearing in "...When Cyclops Walks the Earth"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #46.

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Synopsis for "...When Cyclops Walks the Earth"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #46.

With a lull in crime, Henry Pym and Janet Van Dyne decide to take a vacation. Traveling to Greece, they hear stories of a giant monster that has been reported to be stealing ships from sea, which makes them unable to get someone to take them to the island. However, one man later lends them one. Renting a boat and assuming their guises of Ant-Man and the Wasp, the two heroes seek to solve the mystery of this apparent sea monster.

While out at sea, they are attacked by what appears to be a Cyclops of Greek myth. Shrinking down to ant-size so as not to be noticed by the giant creature, the heroes allow the monster to capture their boat. The monster brings them to an island where they find all the missing people are being held captive by the monster Cyclops.

While exploring the island, they discover that aliens are plotting to take over the Earth (believe it or not), and that they've captured the fishermen and sailors in order to study them. They too learn that the cyclops is actually a robot the aliens created to capture their specimens. The aliens, known as A-Chiltarians, surmise that the Human race is inferior to themselves and, thus easy prey for global conquest. The invaders order the Cyclops to destroy the Humans on the island.

Ant-Man sends the Wasp to free the sailors while he tries to find a way to stop the Cyclops. Entering into its mechanisms through the robot's mouth, Ant-Man realises that he can control the Cyclops by adjusting the frequency of his helmet. He then uses the Cyclops to free the sailors, and scare away the aliens, leaving them to believe that Humans are more powerful than they had originally posited.

With the aliens defeated, and the sailors free, Ant-Man commands the Cyclops to walk to the bottom of the ocean to be lost at sea forever. Ant-Man and Wasp return to the mainland where they enjoy their vacation for a few days before returning home.

Appearing in "Music to Scream By"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #47.

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Synopsis for "Music to Scream By"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #47.

After preventing international criminal Ramond Theis from stealing the diamond known as "The Star of Ghana", the grateful owner tells Ant-Man and Wasp a tale from his native India about a man named Ghazandi whose music could hypnotize people and that his only weakness is playing the wrong note and be subject to hypnosis himself.

On their way back home, Ant-Man and Wasp fly past a club where musician Trago is featured playing Jazz. The Wasp convinces Ant-Man to go back there with her in their civilian guises of Henry Pym and Janet van Dyne. After the show they happen to witness Trago robbing the club owner's cash box. Donning their identities of Ant-Man and the Wasp, the two heroes easily stop Trago and return the money. The club owner decides not to call the police if Trago promises to return to his native India. Trago complies.

Two months later, in India, Trago manages to find the home of Ghazandi. Recalling the stories of Ghazandi's musical powers he manages to convince the aged wise man to teach him how to play hypnotic music. Many months later Trago returns to the United States and begins performing in clubs again.

Successfully using his hypnotic music to enthrall people, Trago manages to get himself into a radio station where he broadcasts his hypnotic music all over the city. There he calls on the people to try and find Ant-Man and Wasp, who are also affected and stunned by the music. Ant-Man's ants carry the two heroes deep into an ant-hill in an attempt to shield them from the music. Realizing his current plan isn't working, Trago commands local snakes to start searching for Ant-Man and Wasp.

In the ant-hill, the duo are attacked by a snake and use their shrinking gas on it, but not before Ant-Man's faithful ant Korr sacrifices its life to save him. Traveling to the radio station, Ant-Man gets inside Trago's trumpet, and while his ants distract Trago he bends part of the instrument out of shape. This causes the next note to effect Trago instead of his audience, causing him to forget his criminal intentions and become a legitimate musician. Ant-Man and Wasp decide to let Trago go because he had not committed any real crime.

We end with Hank and Janet both listening to Trago, as he now has no memory of the incidents. Hank is still saddened by the loss of his ant, Korr, so Jan and he both walk home together.

Appearing in "The Porcupine!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #48.

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Synopsis for "The Porcupine!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #48.

Streaking off on another adventure, Ant-Man points out to the Wasp the location of a local army ordnance plant. Inside the plant we meet Alex Gentry, a scientist who works for the ordinance plant. Having designed combat armor based on the quills of a porcupine, he has become frustrated with the lack of recognition and pay that he receives from the military for his inventions. Seeking fortune, he decides to use his porcupine armor to rob a new bank that has opened that has been boasting a burglar proof safe in the newspapers.

The next day, Ant-Man and Wasp (in their civilian guises of Henry Pym and Janet van Dyne) visit the bank to see a demonstration of the bank vault. Pym notices that Janet is coming down with a cold and tries to talk her into going home, which she refuses. Just then, Gentry (in his combat armor and calling himself "The Porcupine") arrives and uses his liquid cement quills to disarm the guards and then fills the room with sleeping gas. As Pym tries to drag Janet out of the sleeping gas, the Porcupine uses a built in acetylene torch to burn through the vault. While our two heroes seek refuge and fresh air in one of the bank's offices, the Porcupine manages to steal the bank's money and uses his jet pack to escape. Donning their guises of Ant-Man and the Wasp, the two heroes find that they are too late. When the Wasp starts to get really dizzy, Ant-Man takes her home and confines her to a bed, telling her not to leave it until she gets better.

Meanwhile, the Porcupine robs another bank, which allows Ant-Man's spy-ants to track his movements. Learning that the Porcupine is hiding out at the military ordnance plant, Ant-Man travels there alone to confront his foe. Getting into Gentry's lab, Ant-Man is easily taken down by the traps that the Porcupine had set up for him. Removing Ant-Man's control helmet, the Porcupine leaves Ant-Man to drown in a filled bathtub while he commits another crime.

Worrying about Pym, Janet learns where Ant-Man had gone from the ants and resumes her guise of the Wasp to rescue him. The two devise a trap using one of the Porcupine's own gimmicks: liquid cement.

Taking a bunch of containers of the compound and putting them in bags, the two heroes wait for the villain to return. When the Porcupine finally arrives, they have their ants squeeze the bags, shooting jets of liquid cement that coats the Porcupine's quills with the glue, rendering his offensive capabilities useless. Finding himself overwhelmed by Ant-Man's human-sized strength the Porcupine manages to escape via his jet pack (which wasn't affected by the glue).

Taking the visibly distraught Wasp home (she was afraid that he would've drowned), Ant-Man promises to have something for her when they get there, but what Janet figures might be a monetary gift of jewelery or a ring, turns out to be plain old cough medicine. "Henry Pym, I HATE you!"

Appearing in "The Birth of Giant-Man!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #49.

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Synopsis for "The Birth of Giant-Man!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #49.

Our story opens with a giant Henry Pym (in a new costume) smashing through his own home and frightening off one of his own neighbors. We learn that he has developed a new type of formula that allows him to grow in size, and is now taking on the identity of Giant-Man. The Wasp helps him free himself from the house and Giant-Man explains that he was testing his new size-changing capsules. Giving her a demonstration, Pym grows to the height of 12 feet.

Meanwhile, Pym's frightened neighbor arrives at the police station to make a report about a giant man. The police tell him that they're too busy looking for a "pixie" that is apparently erasing people. Later, at a local park, a police team is searching for a being they're calling "The Eraser." The Eraser is hiding in the woods until he's discovered by a hot dog vender. Not wishing to have his presence alerted, he "erases" the hot dog vender. Later the Eraser travels to the home of Dr. Ebbhart, explaining that he's been "erasing" atomic experts, and that his next target is Henry Pym.

Back at Pym's residence, Henry is explaining how the size-changing capsules work and fits himself and the Wasp with belts that dispense different size-changing capsules for easy access. Wasp takes a size-changing pill and shrinks down to wasp size and lands on Pym's finger. Just then the Eraser arrives and erases Henry (and unintentionally the Wasp), who finds himself in "Dimension Z." The Eraser follows him shortly.

The Eraser explains that their world is in a different universe that shares the same space with Earth and that they have been monitoring the people of Earth for years. When they learned of mankind's ability to create the atomic bomb they sought to claim the technology to do so and invented their "erasers."

Refusing to aid them, Henry Pym tries to escape but is ensnared in "clinging bands." At this point the Wasp comes out of hiding inside Henry's coat and feeds him a shrinking capsule to escape the trap. In their diminutive size, Pym and the Wasp escape the guards and their hunter hounds. Donning his Giant-Man costume, the two heroes travel through the air ducts and find the scientists and alert them of their presence and intentions to free everybody.

Taking a growth capsule, Giant-Man storms the city, easily defeating the guards and their weapons. He captures one of Dimension Z's scientists and forces him to bring them to the lab where the erasers are kept. There Giant-Man is trapped in a unbreakable glass cage by the Eraser, who tells him that he has the only eraser on the planet. Too busy boasting over his victory, the Eraser doesn't notice that the Wasp has triggered the device to free Giant-Man. Giant-Man easily defeats the Eraser and takes his devices. Returning to the prisoners, Giant-Man uses the devices to send them all back to Earth's dimension.

Appearing in "The Human Top!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #50.

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Synopsis for "The Human Top!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #50.

Our story begins with the origins of the Human Top: Growing up as a young man, David Cannon found that he had the uncanny ability to spin really fast, almost like a top. He would then use his powers to bully his peers and cheat in sporting events and cash in on betting money. Soon this wasn't enough and Cannon became a criminal that the papers would call the Human Top, and his crime sprees would continue over the sucseeding years.

In the present day, Henry Pym reads about the Top's most recent robbery and dismisses him as a simple hood that is beneath the notice of Giant-Man. He then calls the Wasp in for duty. The two check their spy-ant monitoring device for any leads on crime in the city. They learn that the Human Top is plotting to rob Danly's Department store the next day at 10:00 am. They decide to intervene, and Giant-Man begins his plan to capture the Top.

Meanwhile, the Top in his civilian guise is practising for an ice show, and is sent home early. He scoffs at the pittance he gets working as an ice skater, and dons his newly design top-inspired, Human Top costume and begins plotting how he will rob the Danly's payroll the next morning.

The next day, Henry Pym and Janet van Dyne take up jobs at Danly's Department store in order to spring a trap on the Top. However, when the Top arrives and the two heroes take on their guises of Giant-Man and the Wasp, the Top proves to be too fast for them and gets out of the store. Even after attempting to throw the Top's balance off by having an army of ants chew through the pavement, Giant-Man is incapable of capturing the villain due to his large size and his opponent's fast speed. The Human Top then manages to lose Giant-Man by escaping through the subway.

The next day, David Cannon gloats over his victory against Giant-Man. Meanwhile, Giant-Man puts himself through a barrage of physical and chemical tests to increase his speed so that he can better fight the Human Top. While he feels confident that he can defeat his foe, he is unaware that the Wasp had really put his device on at half-speed, making him not at all ready for the upcoming battle. Janet admits to not having the heart to tell him.

While Giant-Man continues to prepare for his next battle with the Human Top, the Top himself is stalking through the city with a bundle of dynamite.

Appearing in "Showdown with the Human Top!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #51.

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Synopsis for "Showdown with the Human Top!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #51.

Continuing from last issue, Giant-Man continues his training in order to be fast enough to catch the Human Top. Meanwhile, the Top travels to the pier and uses dynamite to blow up an abandoned tug boat. While the police are busy investigating the explosion, the Top initiates phase 2 of his plan in the west end of the city.

Alerted to the explosion, Giant-Man devises that it is probably a diversion and is about to check out the west side of the city when the two heroes are interrupted by the untimely arrival of the Giant-Man and Wasp fan club. Giant-Man bombards the crowd with a giant shout so that he and the Wasp can leave to tackle the Human Top.

Later, Giant-Man spots the Human Top leaving the Federal Building, and attempts to stop his foe. During the battle the Top makes a fool of Giant-Man, eventually causing the hero to step into a manhole and injure his leg. In spite of the aid of the Wasp, the Top manages to make his escape.

Returning to his home, the Top reveals that he had stolen civil defense plans which he intends to sell to Communist agents. While at a meeting with top-level military officials, Giant-Man learns that the plans are already obsolete, but they decide to use the sale of the plans as bait to catch both the Communist spies operating in the country and the Top.

When the Top calls to make arrangements with the Communists, the heroes are listening via a wiretap and learn the meeting place where the exchange will take place. Giant-Man easily captures the Communist spies and then goes to the meeting place to confront the Top.

When the Top tries to escape Giant-Man, he is shocked to find that the entire neighborhood has been fenced off by the military. With nowhere to go, the Top is easily knocked out by Giant-Man and is taken into custody.

Appearing in "The Black Knight Strikes!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #52.

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Synopsis for "The Black Knight Strikes!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales to Astonish #52.

Our story begins with Giant-Man busting up a sale of top secret information between scientist Nathan Garret and Communist spies. Giant-Man easily captures all involved, and later in court, bail is set at one hundred thousand dollars. Garrett's bail is paid by his Communist contacts, and he flees the country to a remote Balkan kingdom in the Alps. There he is inspired by a winged horse statue, buys a castle and begins genetically engineering a horse to have wings.

Weeks later, back in America, the Wasp arrives in Henry Pym's lab to tell him a fantastic story: While she was on her way to meet him, she saw a black knight on a flying horse fly through the city and attack an armored car. After using his lance to melt a hole in the side of the car and grabbing the money, he made a quick escape.

Using his ant communicator, Giant-Man finds that the Black Knight is going to attack a helicopter in mid-air next. Commissioning an aircraft to aid him, Giant-Man jumps onto the helicopter that is being attacked, and battles the Black Knight. Overcome with the many scientific gadgets the Black Knight has at his disposal, the Knight gloats revealing that he is Nathan Garrett and boasts over his achievements in inventing a lance with many devices and a paralyzer pistole.

Caught up in a bolo, Giant-Man is forced to let go of the helicopter when the Knight blasts him with an itch ray. Falling, Giant-Man takes a shrinking capsule and is rescued by the Wasp, who lands Giant-Man on the back of the Knight's horse. Resuming his giant size, Giant-Man knocks the lance out of the Black Knight's hands. During the struggle, the Knight manages to knock Giant-Man off his horse, but Giant-Man saves himself by grabbing onto a nearby amusement part ride.

The Wasp pinches the Knight's horse, causing it to buck him off, and he and Giant-Man battle it out on a roller coaster, while the Wasp tries to get the Knight's horse under control. The horse bucks her off, and Giant-Man is forced to abandon his fight with the Black Knight to save her.

While Giant-Man is preoccupied with the Wasp's safety, the Black Knight tries to shoot him from behind with the paralyzer pistole. Sensing someone behind him, Giant-Man takes a shrinking capsule allowing him to shrink below the blast. Thinking he has gone mad, the Black Knight stumbles off the roller coaster, but is saved by his horse and makes his escape.

Notes

See Also

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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