Thursday, December 11, 2014

Marvels: Tales to Astonish #55

"On the Trail of the Human Top!" by Stan Lee & Dick Ayers
(May 1964)

Once again, Hank and Jan face the Human Top. Once again, he's too fast for them. Once again, Jan actually has very little to do.

Sorry, but I'm a bit jaded with these Hank Pym stories.

So, the Human Top escapes from jail and goes right back to robbing banks. Giant-Man and the Wasp arrive too late to do anything about it, so they--get this--take a leisurely stroll back to Hank's lab. The Human Top, having spotted them, tracks them and busts in, stealing Hank's belt, which has all of his size pills in it. Are we doing something about the pills? It just seems incredibly inconvenient to have to carry those around.

The Top traps Hank in a closet, captures Jan in a jar, takes a giant-size pill and spins off to wreak havoc. Hank has to contact the ants so they'll bring him his spare belt and pass an ant-size pill under the door. Able to escape, he becomes Giant-Man, fights the giant Human Top, and captures him by having the ants cave in the roof of an abandoned building.

And that's the end.

Stray observations:

:: Once again, Hank Pym is hanging out with his fan club. Dude, I'll give you that there could possibly be a fan club for Giant-Man with an incredible amount of access to your HQ if you'd just stop hanging out with your admirers. It's pretty vain and a little desperate.

:: I actually hadn't noticed until now that they took the point off of Jan's headpiece.

I miss it. It was kitschy in a Space Age way.

:: There's so little substance here that Stan & Dick can devote an entire two pages to showing us how Hank has rigged a pulley system outside the window so that, as Giant-Man, he can just leap out the window, grab onto it, and just lower himself to the ground to save time. Then, like a jerk, he sits on a city bus and waits for the Wasp to catch up so he can do the whole "what took you so long, slowpoke?" brag. How about some respect for public transit schedules, mac?

:: Once again, Giant-Man's giant size is an impediment to doing anything; he actually has to shrink down to Ant-Man in order to get through the city crowds.

:: Hank has a way with compliments.

Um... thanks?

:: The Human Top has it right: "Being big is for the birds!" It really hasn't been as useful as Hank thinks it has been.

:: "How does it feel to see your name in print?" "Wonderful, dream man! Although I'd much rather see it on a wedding license, you big, blind, wonderful goof." Oy.

:: My favorite thing about this issue is Dick Ayers' art. I didn't love his Giant-Man stuff at first, but this is the first time I haven't missed Don Heck.

Well... let's move on.

Next time: the Evil Mutants again.

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