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Book Information:Cover Date: May 1963
- Ant-Man (Dr. Henry Pym)
- Time Master( Elias Weems)
- Center City
Today, my comic book review is of Tales To Astonish #43, where I review the story of “The Astonishing Ant-Man Versus The Mad Master of Time!“. this story is perhaps one of the ironic twists of fate. All that lead the ant-man down an adventure to face a villain like he never has before.
But this story is a great one, because of the meaning you can read into it, as well as the fact that the ‘villain’ is indeed one of the most easy for us to identify, in particularly as we age. It also in its own way, makes a statement, about the actions of companies and society. But I will get to all this in my review.
Our story begins with Elias Weems a scientist getting a message that his grandson will be coming to visit in a month. Dr Weems knows his grandson is quite proud of him for being a scientist and is looking forward to the visit.
All that is to change when Elias Weems is fired for being too old, his employer having the view-point of wanting new young scientist, saying Elias has become due to age “unimaginative and out-dated”
It is this, combined with his grandson coming that leads Dr. Weems down the route that will make him the Time Master. He develops a ray that will age any living creature, and can also restore it, with full intention of teaching society a lesson.
Will Ant Man be able to stop him? Will Dr. Weems message reach society? they are all good questions.
I wanted to get right to the point today, the deeper meaning in the story. This story is a story of Age Discrimination. In 1967 the United States government passed ADEA or Age Discrimination in Employment Act , as a step to stop cases like what happened to the fictional Elias Weems. But in 1963, when this story was written, such an act and legal protection was non-existent.
I feel that this issue, and story of ant-man was used to make the youth aware of the problem of age discrimination, in a way to help make them more sympathetic to those whom were subjected to it. This comic book was their soap box to the world on an issue they seen. something that we would see more of in years to come.
Comic Book Story Review
I liked it, and largely part of the deeper meaning. While I feel it was well written, and a good story over all, the fact that they made their point in a way that let us as readers understand and relate, took what would have been a good story and made it into a great story
i feel this Ant-Man Tale went well above and beyond anything i expected or hoped for in opening it up. It may make me think more now at 30 then it would have at 13 but none the less, a young adult reading this would still be inspired.
Don Heck did a good job on this issue. both in portraying ant-man aging and old, but also in showing how a kind heated looking man can snap, you can see it in his face, and most of all in his eyes.
As we first meet Elias Weems, he is smiling and looks gentle, and kind and trustworthy. Later, the looks is quite different. I have included 2 panels of him for you to compare with.
Originality & Continuity
I feel this story fits and flows nicely with the loose continuity we have for the ongoing Ant-Man stories. There is reinforcement of some of the things we have seen in the past such as “Center City”.
While I do not think the idea of an aging machine originally appeared here, I do feel this tale was original. His motives, the message, as well as how his downfall comes to be all string together to tell us a tale that is quite original and good.
Characters & Development
In the story we see a lot of meaningful development for Elias Weems, as he goes though his case of what I will call temporary insanity. he reacts much as any man would, whom has the knowledge and means that he did. I could see even myself snapping faced with what he was faced with.
Ant-Man also develops in this story, both facing with what it will be like to grow old, but also getting out of being trapped with a way that he could have done a few times before.
But what is most important, is how everyone, from ant-man to Elias to the unnamed cast of supporting characters behave at the end. it’s what makes the characters in this tale so great.
Comic Book Review Summery
Pick up this issue, read it. have your friends read it. this issue is one that is well worth reading, but also worth being used as a tool to educate. I feel it helps us understand what was, and in some ways still is a key social issue.