Tales To Astonish #55:On The Trail Of The Human Top!

Review By:


In tales To astonish #55 we have Hank Pym as both Giant-Man and Ant-man using his skills along with the assistance of Janet Van Dyne to stop the Human Top for the second time. The first time was in Tales To Astonish #50 and #51.  But what does their second encounter have in store for us?  and what of the words on the cover “How can the Human Top be beaten when he too can grow as big as Giant-man??” but then, the real question I have going in to read it, is this issue a Giant Tease or Giant Success.


I was quite pleased with the artwork on this issue; feeling that Dick Ayers did a good job bringing life and emotion to our hero’s and the surrounding characters. but perhaps just as important, I feel he did a good job of capturing the quick pace, and motion that would make the human top feel like a real threat.  The Panel I wish to share to demonstrate this is from early in the issue with the human top robbing a bank.

Characters & Development

while seeming to happen behind the scenes, in the dark gaps between issues and stories, it seems clear to me now that our two hero’s are indeed in a relationship, much like Janet had hoped for right from the beginning.  Sometimes it may be nice to have these things spelled out; but that just does not seem to be the way of the comics of the day.

That said, I do feel that I can see them developing as characters; both in and out of costume, and that is good.  We see Giant-Man / Ant-Man learning more and more how to leverage his different sizes, and skills into the battle together; not so much sticking with being one hero for the fight, like he did the first time we seen The Human Top.

On the downside we see the wasp playing the role of captive a bit too much, two issues in a row is a lot; even if this is not the era of strong female characters in comics. But that is a topic that could be discussed for pages in general about the comics of those times, one I may take on writing about at some future point.

Originality & Continuity

What is with super villains being on good behavior until the security in their prisons gets relaxed?   You would think that the government would learn that the criminal’s with powers need that extra security, even when they are being good, and not take the chances.

Once I get past that annoyance, I feel the tale is quite Original, and fits in well with the ongoing continuity.  working in a bit of the background in the first few pages as well for new readers, and I feel it remains up and up until almost the end.

It is at the end that I feel a boundary may have been crossed, but I would love to hear what you think? Ant-man using his helmet employees the help of not ant’s but termites? what is with this?  I look at this as a unwarranted increase in his ‘powers’  but please, tell me what you think?


The story did keep me captivated as I read it;  and even up until the end I wondered just how our hero’s would come out on top. while I would not call this a must read, it was well worth picking up.

Book Information:
Cover Date: May 1964
Read At:
  • Stan Lee
  • Dick Ayers
  • Art Simek
Review Ratings:
Originality And Continuity&#9733&#9733&#9733¼&#9734&#9734
Character And Development&#9733&#9733&#9733¾&#9734&#9734
Referenced In:
  • Giant-Man
  • The Wasp
  • The Human Top



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