Tales to Astonish #38:Betrayed by the Ants!!

Review By:


Sometimes when I sit down to write the comic book review’s I find myself with a loss for words; this is one of those times. that is not to say that Tales to Astonish is lacking anything to talk about, just a good point to start.

This story like the ones before it, I feel is another of feeling out and finding Ant-Man’s niche. His 2nd and 3rd story’s featured communist plots, and the 4th was more based on common crime.

This, the 5th story, is based on the idea that he has been a crime fighter, and crime is now deciding to fight back. The real question is, can they succeed.


Our story starts out with a bit of background of our tales astonishing antagonist’s. The first two panels focus on a meeting of the mind’s of the city’s key criminal’s.  THe next Three focus on a government inquiry into the behaviors of one of their brilliant scientist. where he is quickly dismissed for his attune and the likelihood of planning to sell secrets. By the end of the first page, we have Egghead (The Scientist) accepting an offer to work for the city’s criminals to put an end to Ant-Man

Egghead, being a brilliant man in his own right, decides he is going to do this by turning the ant’s against our hero.  he constructs a messaging device of his own, and makes the ans an offer that he feels they can not refuse.

I am your friend… I have come to free you from the Ant-Man’s rule! help me to capture him and then you shall be the masters and he the slave!

So how does our hero deal with this, you will just have to read the story to find out. But for a hero that relies on the aid of little ant’s this makes a great plot for our adventure.


Is it any wonder how a Villain named Egghead, will not only be smart, but truly look like he has an egg head! while the character design is not one of my favorites, and I feel the curvature of his head is inconsistent at times,  this is a good design that is true to comic’s of the day.

beyond that, I feel it was artistically a fairly standard story, using the element’s I have come to expect as norm in the last few issues of Tales to Astonish! this issue did little to push the ever-increasing level of my expectation’s.

Originality & Continuity

As so far Ant-Man had dealt with communist more than criminals I do feel that another crime fighting story before this tale would have been good. However I feel it plausible and acceptable to believe that Ant-Man has had several heroic days between issues that are just not print worthy.

I do feel that it meet’s continuity with a minimum level, most comics in particularly of that day, I feel are designed as such to allow new comers to easily pick up from any issue. I feel someone new to Ant-Man would not be at a loss to follow this story.

Characters & Development

This story is told, more so from the perspective of our antagonist instead of our hero; that is in part what allow’s it to be as astonishing and compelling story as it is.  it is though this that we are able to truly see the real development of the story. the motivation of the Ant’s

Egghead tries to sway the ant’s to his time, by the end of the story, we learn he has failed even though it seemed otherwise. this is because as Ant-Man puts it.

Egghead tried to appeal to their sense of greed, of vanity! But insects have no such emotions! unfortunately, it is only we humans who possess such primitive traits!

Deeper Meaning

While I know in past issues I have talked about the deeper meaning of some of the topics discussed, this is the first time I truly call attention to it by letting it have its own section. Our story, by the end is reviled to have a fairly thought provoking concept to it.

Only human’s are Greedy and vain? Egghead is shown to be both Greedy and vain in the first page of the story, it takes the whole issue to reveal that the ant’s are not the same way. that a relationship between them and ant-man can be built on trust instead of servitude.

We often view ourselves as the most advanced species on the earth, but do we express undesired traits that the animal kingdom does not? food for thought.

Book Information:
Cover Date: Dec 1962
Read At:
  • Stan Lee
  • Larry Lieber
  • Jack Kirby
  • Dick Ayers
  • Johnny Dee
Review Ratings:
Originality And Continuity&#9733&#9733&#9733½&#9734&#9734
Character And Development&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9734&#9734
Astonishing Ants:&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9734&#9734
  • Ant-Man
  • Egghead



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