Tales To Astonish #27:The Man In The Ant Hill

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Today I am focusing on reviewing the story the Man in the Ant Hill, From Tales To Astonish number 27.  Why would I pick out this story instead of one of the others in this volume? Well, that would not be apparent until 8 issues later when Dr. Pym, the star of our story returns.

At this point though, I won’t spoil who Dr. Henry Pym is, or will become. In this book he is just a scientist, no ambitions of being a super hero even hinted yet.  In fact I believe this tale was published as a one shot, it reads and stands on its own as a great short story.  I suspected no one was more astonished than the authors on Dr. Pym’s return and ultimate popularity. So if you’re a fan of what’s Dr. Pym is to become, or just of interesting classic Science Fiction, this is a good read.


The story is a short one, and I do not want to go into too much detail, I feel I may have been doing that a bit too much lately but I will supply a short synopsis  just the same.

Dr. Pym,  a scientist whom has been ridiculed by his peer’s finely develops the invention he has been working so hard on.  with its promise of being revolutionary after he tests it on a chair, he tries it on himself.  it works, but much faster than he expected as he shrinks down to the ground.

As the story goes he ends up under attack by ant’s and even in their ant hill.  Does Pym escape? if so how?  read this story to find out. Ok, his escape should seem obvious. even by the end of the story he is still not the Dr. Pym we will see in 8 issues, but he has learned a life lesson or two.

I would not call “the Man in the ant Hill” a master-peace of comic book literature. but I would call it a good and simple classic science fiction tale, Told in the fashion that a good short story should be. It is amazing that it turned out to be more.


The art was acceptable, but not great, or even good-by a stretch, while I wont call it bad, I do think the time and care was not put into it.  Again, I don’t think they thought this tale would be the beginning of a legacy even a few issues long.  but that’s not a great excuse for sub-par artwork.

The coloring is the one thing I liked the least, it might have been done for speed or effect, but it did not feel right to me. If this comic was of today’s standard, I would have been more critical of it, but given its time I do consider it sub-par but passable.

I did like the cover, a lot better than the art on the inside, but that vast difference is to its disadvantage in my opinion this time, the cover lets me see what it could have been instead of what it was.

Originality & Continuity

I believe this was built on the back’s of sci-fi stories from the 1950’s  such as The Incredible Shrinking Man From 1957. It may not have its roots in that movie, but there are other stories about size changing human’s from then.

This is not to say the story was not great, I feel it did have some originality of its own within its pages and still was a good story, there is nothing wrong with it being possibly inspired. If anyone knows or can give me a link of any proof of inspiration for this tale, I would love to see it though.

Characters & Development

While I believe fully there was no plan for follow-up stories,  Dr. Pym did learn lessons in this one, there clearly stated at the end and not assumed. I do think his insane experience has perhaps restored his sanity instead of taken it further away

but then I will know after I read tomorrows issue Tales To Astonish #35

Book Information:
Cover Date: Jan 1962
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Review Ratings:
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  • Ant-Man




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