TALES TO ASTONISH #35 (1962): First Appearance of Ant-Man!

TtoA was an anthology series, kind of a like short “Twilight Zone” stories.  We already met Hank Pym in Tales #27, which had a neat little story about a scientist who learned how to shrink.  Now, in this comic, he becomes a full-fledged superhero.

In this issue, Pym creates his ant-speaking helmet…

 …and puts on a costume made of “unstable molecules,” which were a Reed Richards discovery in Fantastic Four #6—which hit the stands around the same time.  Then, in Fantastic Four #7, Richards would use a “shrinking gas.”  He wouldn’t give credit to Pym, but it’s interesting synergy there—the beginnings of a shared universe, even if it’s not explicit.  I know there’s a story later on where they actually say that Reed gave Hank his costume, but it’s not clear here.

As for the story, it’s pretty bad.  Like many early Marvel characters, he fights Communists in this issue.

Creators: Stan Lee (plot), Larry Lieber (script), Jack Kirby

First appearance: Ant-Man

Grade: C.  The story isn’t very good, but the importance and the ideas elevate it.

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.

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