Happy Throwback Thursday Mavericks fans! This week we’re looking at the inspiration for the #1 movie at the box office, Ant-Man. While that movie features the second character to take on the mantle of Ant-Man as its protagonist, we’re going to examine Tales to Astonish #36, the third appearance of the original hero, Hank Pym, inventor of the amazing Pym Particles!
Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym first appeared in Tales to Astonish #27, dated January 1962, just two months after the “birth” of the Marvel Universe in Fantastic Four #1. Pym invented a serum that shrunk objects but accidentally shrunk himself to insect size while testing it. After barely escaping from an ant-hill with his life, Pym initially decided that the potion was too dangerous and destroyed it. He had second thoughts though, and after constructing a cybernetic helmet that allowed him to communicate with ants and a special suit that would protect him from ant bites, he decided to experiment with the serum once again. A run-in with communist agents intent on stealing his formula accelerated his plans, and he escaped and fought back with his new-found powers, becoming the Ant-Man! Soon Hank would be joined by his finance, the wealthy socialite Janet Van Dyne, aka the Wasp, and they would go on to become founding members of the Avengers alongside Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk! Hank would go on to experience many trials and tribulations with the Avengers, including inventing Ultron and divorcing the Wasp and losing his Avengers membership for a time due to a mental breakdown and spousal abuse. Eventually the Wasp forgave Hank and he is now once again a member of the Avengers in good standing.
This copy of Tales to Astonish #36 features only the 2nd appearance of Hank Pym as Ant-Man, and only his 3rd appearance overall. This great book includes many of the highlights of early Marvel Comics, including pencils by Jack Kirby, communist agents, and questionable pseudo-science! As an added bonus, this issue is written by Larry Lieber, Stan Lee’s brother!
You can find this issue on display in our new and improved Silver and Golden Age case at the back of the store, where this and nearly 1,000 other great Silver Age comics from Marvel, DC, Dell, and more publishers await. Check them out today and don’t miss our next Mavericks Throwback Thursday spotlight!