Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Marvels: Tales to Astonish #51

"Showdown with the Human Top!" by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers
(January 1964)

Still smarting from not being able to capture the Human Top, Hank is still trying to improve his speed. But when he faces the Top again, it's the same story as before.

This power is so useless, Hank. Somehow it's way more useless than being Ant-Man.

Hank can catch the Human Top, but he can't hold onto him.

The Top has stolen strategic defense plans; they're outdated, but the Department of Defense offers to help Giant-Man. The Top contacts Soviet spies to sell them the plans, and Giant-Man and the DOD use that as a trap, blocking off a long city avenue with fences. Then the Human Top, trying to flee, tires himself out enough so that Giant-Man--glue on his hands--can stop the thief and apprehend him.

Glue on his damn hands, man.

Stray notes:

:: There's a little two-page interlude that happens here for no real reason except, I imagine, to pad the page count, where a cluster of students rush into Hank's lab and start taking pin-up pics of the Wasp for their school magazine. Apparently they're part of some Giant-Man fan club, which I have a really hard time believing is a thing that exists.

:: The Human Top might be one of my favorite villains so far just because he's such an overconfident dick to Hank. "If you're gonna catch me, catch me! It gets drafty spinning around this way!" "Are you sure you're not walkin' in your sleep, chum?" "Speed it up, will ya?? You're not the only guy I wanna make a fool out of today!"

:: God damn it, Stan.

You can be more, Janet. You can be more.

:: Hank's lab is in New York now. I wonder why he left New Jersey.

:: The Giant-Man stories are still running 13 pages, so Tales to Astonish is still running two back-up stories of five pages each. This issue has the first installment of "The Wasp Tells a Tale," which is pretty much the same deal as the "Tales of the Watcher" I mentioned in this month's Tales of Suspense: the kind of short sci-fi/horror twist-ending stories that have been in these books regularly, only these are narrated by the Wasp, telling her tale to orphans or wounded vets or whomever.

It is kind of neat to see Larry Lieber draw someone from the Marvel Universe...

...but unless they somehow affect the Marvel Universe, I'll be skipping past them.

Next time: Beware of the Blob!

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