Tag Archives: Giant Man

Tales to Astonish #69, July 1965

Tales to Astonish #69, July 1965

Edited with perfect control by: Stan Lee
Written with all bases covered by: Al Hartley
Drawn with the impact of a line drive by: Bob Powell
Inked with the beauty of a three-bagger by: John Giunta
Lettered with only a few errors by: S. Rosen

Hulking story by Stan Lee
Hulksome art by Jack Kirby
Hulkish inking by Mickey Demeo
Hulkable lettering by Art Simek

There’s an important announcement at the end of this Giant Man comic… he may be retiring! Unfortunately, we all know that it’s not going to be a permanent thing, but there is a wonderful, carefree period of time where Giant Man’s spot in Tales to Astonish is replaced by the Sub-Mariner, and he’s already out of the Avengers. He’ll eventually rejoin the Avengers, but it’ll be wonderful to not have to read about Ant Man at all for a while. Ooh, it’s going to be so great, I can’t wait!

Last time, the Human Top kidnapped the Wasp to use as bait to lure Giant Man to his final doom. He’s built a fake city over a pit trap that he’s going to use to flash-freeze Hank Pym, then cover his frozen body with epoxy so he’ll have a statue of his ultimate triumph. Damn. Unfortunately, Pym is able to shrink to ant size as soon as the frost starts to form, so he and the Wasp can cuddle up in the finger of the hollow, frozen statue, then bust out when it’s removed from the pit. Hank realizes that it just isn’t fair for him to be constantly putting his girl in danger, and he talks about retirement. YAYYYY!!

The Hulk has also been kidnapped, and is whisked away to the Leader’s secret lab, along with Dr. Banner’s latest invention, the Absorbatron. The Leader keeps the Hulk sedated with sleeping gas, but for some reason that just makes him turn into Bruce Banner. The Leader was in the basement at the time and didn’t see this, so when he gets back he thinks that the Hulk escaped. He pumps in twice as much sleeping gas, which for some other reason turns Banner back into the Hulk, but not asleep. The Hulk comes out, smashes some stuff, and the Leader runs away.

What the fuck kind of sleeping gas does every convenient thing EXCEPT putting a guy to sleep? I’ll accept that Bruce Banner has some weird reactions to things, but making this same gas turn him back and forth between forms and never actually working for it’s intended purpose… I dunno, it just seems lazy. But hey, who cares? Ant Man is going away! YAAAAAYYYYY!!!


Tales to Astonish #68, June 1965

Tales to Astonish #68, June 1965

Stupefying script by: Stan Lee
Stereophonic art by: Bob Powell
Stultifying inking by: Vince Colletta
Schizophrenic lettering by: S. Rosen

Story and art by Marvel’s modern masters: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Inking: Mickey Demeo
Lettering: Artie Simek

I have to admit, I got really angry while reading this issue. Ant Man does that to me, and so does the Hulk lately, since there’s just NO goddamn reason people shouldn’t know his true identity by now. In fact, everybody should know the alter-ego of BOTH of these damn clowns. Henry Pym invites a bunch of construction workers to remodel his home to¬†accommodate¬†a 35 ft tall guy for his “friend” Giant Man, and apparently it’s public knowledge that he lives there. Nobody’s stupid enough not to figure that one out, except maybe Ant Man himself.

El Hombre Gigante (as nobody calls him, because that is more the name of a cool Luchador wrestler than fucking ANT MAN) is out in a field practicing his size changing when a plane runs right into his big dumb face. He saves the pilot before passing out, and it turns out it was his old nemesis, the Human Top! The Top feels embarrassed that he was saved by Giant Man (I’m finally starting to understand this character) and designs a new costume with pockets he’s sewn in filled with helium so he can fly (aaaand it’s gone). Meanwhile, Giant Man decides that his new optimal fighting size is 35 ft instead of 12, and he still can’t turn back to Ant Man size since that convenient alien stole his shrinking powers last ish. After his lab’s remodeling is complete, he allows a reporter in for an interview… who turns out to be the Top, and he kidnaps the Wasp. Sigh…

Bruce Banner and Major Talbot are falling off a cliff in Mongolia, but I guess Stan Lee decided he was done with that so he instantly turns into the Hulk and goes back to America. Talbot also survives (though he blacked out and didn’t know the deal with the Hulk) and asks the president to try Banner as a red spy. Lyndon B. Johnson is one of two other people who know the Hulk’s true identity, however, and doesn’t want anything bad to happen to the poor guy, instead ordering him to test his new defensive device, the Absorbatron. Unknown to anybody, the Leader has miniaturized his pink foamy Humanoids and sprayed them all over the Absorbatron. They grow like so much Shrinky Dinks and steal the machine, as well as the Hulk, which Banner turns into while under attack.

Okay, the Leader can see and hear things through his Humanoids, and Bruce Banner turns into the Hulk after a bunch of them doggie pile on top of him. THERE IS NO EXCUSE WHATSOEVER FOR THE LEADER TO NOT KNOW THAT BRUCE BANNER IS THE HULK. Everybody knows who the Fantastic Four really are, and it doesn’t matter, right? So just get it over with and “unmask” the Hulk. Otherwise, it’s completely impossible to believe that the Leader is supposed to be smarter than a normal person, or even really smarter than your average dog.

The Avengers #16, May 1965

The Avengers #16, May 1965

Dazzling script by… Stan Lee
Dashing layouts by… Jack Kirby
Darlin’ artwork by… Dick Ayers
Delicate lettering by… Artie Simek

Well hey, it’s about time the Avengers got their sophomore lineup! The original Avengers are great, of course, but they’re honestly just way too damn powerful. I think that was pretty much the idea behind this change, which is mostly just taking out Thor and Iron Man. Also Giant Man, but it’s not like THAT’S a bad thing. Hell, that’s basically giving them team a boost. FUCK YOU, GIANT MAN!

We start by ending the battle from the end of the last issue, where the Masters of Evil think they have the Avengers beat because they’re in the middle of a city, and the good guys are pledged to not hurt any innocents. To everybody’s surprise, Thor just spins his hammer around and transports them all (save the Enchantress and Executioner, who see what’s coming and run away) to another dimension, where apparently attacking hurts yourself. There, the Melter and Black Knight beat themselves up and are easily tied up and shipped back off to jail.

Thor leaves to go do his Trial of the Gods thing in his own comic, Cap’s still in Africa burying Zemo, and the remainder of the team sit down and decide they deserve to take a vacation. Lucky for them, Hawkeye just happens by and applies for membership, and they realize they can just convince some other guys to take their places and they can take a break! When Cap returns, there’s been a changing of the guard. Iron Man, Giant Man and the Wasp are all taking a hiatus, replaced by Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch. Thor, well, who knows how long he’s going to be doing whatever crazy god stuff he’s up to, so that’s pretty much the lineup for now.

Did I mention that I’m just super happy that Giant Man is taking a break from the Avengers? The less I have to read of that asshole, the happier I am. Really, this decision to change the team up makes sense from a publishing standpoint, because the members who are leaving are all well-established in their own books, and they’re constantly having to explain why they are or aren’t with the Avengers at any given time. It’s just annoying. Cap’s fine, since his standalone comic is currently taking place back in WWII, so there’s no overlap there. Also, I think it was mostly in reaction to fan mail saying that the three new guys aren’t really bad guys, and they should join up with one of the good guy teams. Of course, from a historical perspective, the three newbies are now thought of as original or classic members of the Avengers, so it can’t be that bad of a decision.

Tales to Astonish #67, May 1965

Tales to Astonish #67, May 1965

Way-Out Story by: Stan Lee
Ring-A-Ding Art by: Bob Powell
Swingin’ Inkin’ by: Chic Stone
Boss Balloons by: Artie Simek

Script by Stan Lee, who created the Hulk!
Art by Steve Ditko, who adopted the Hulk!
Inking by Frank Ray, who fears the Hulk!
Lettering by Art Simek, who looks like the Hulk!

It’s been a while since I’ve said this, so I’ll just repeat it again for posterity’s sake. I HATE ANT MAN. This is one of the stupidest stories I’ve seen in this magazine, and that’s really saying something. One time Hank Pym nearly got killed by a completely normal beetle, but this is even worse. God damn you, Ant Man.

There’s someone going around stealing the knowledge out of scientists’ brains with some sort of crazy green ray. When it’s directed at Giant Man, it only momentarily stuns him because he’s really big (for some reason), and this angers Supramor. He decides to strike back by… learning everything he can about bees. This is the kind of shit I’m talking about. The Wasp just domesticated a bee to ride around on, so the guy figures if he can understand bees, then he can… sabotage… her bee? In the end, he just uses his stupid green ray on the bee and it forgets everything it knew about being trained to be ridden, and it stings Jan. Instead of saving himself, Hank makes sure the stinger is removed from her, and in return gets his ability to shrink stolen from him! There’s a final climactic fight on a building, where it ends with aliens coming down and telling Supramor that it’s illegal for him to be messing with lesser species and they undo everything that happened. This is the worst story.

The Hulk, meanwhile, is still over in China, and an entire squadron of red tanks has finally caught up to him. Of course, he’s the Hulk, and he tears through tanks quicker than the Howling Commandos in a grenade factory. He manages to escape into Mongolia before falling asleep and turning back into Bruce Banner. Some random guys find him and ransom him back to the American government. Major Talbot travels to where he’s being held so he can bring the scientist back to the States to be tried for treason (they think he defected when he actually just turned into the Hulk). The issue ends with the two Americans running from a firefight and falling off a rocky ledge into a deep precipice, presumably never to be heard from again. I’m sure they’re dead. I mean, come on.

The biggest problem with only having half a comic book for your monthly feature is that sometimes it can take a damn long time to get anywhere. The Hulk’s been over in China for like, three months now, and there’s just only so much entertainment you can squeeze out of the Hulk smashing commies. Ripping a bunch of tanks apart was neat, I guess, I’ll give them that. Still, it’s so incredibly unfair.

The Avengers #15, Apr. 1965

The Avengers #15, Apr. 1965

Script: Stan Lee
Layouts: Jack Kirby
Pencilling: Don Heck
Inking: Mickey Demeo
Lettering: Artie Simek

Baron Zemo and his Masters of Evil are easily the best villains in these early Avengers issues. We’ve got most of ol’ Baghead’s team in this one, too; the Executioner, the Enchantress, the Melter and the Black Knight. All we’re missing is Radioactive Man, but that’s no big loss.

Zemo’s got the gang back together and he’s come up with the perfect plan to destroy the Avengers once and for all: Step one, kidnap Rick Jones, the young friend of Captain America. Step two, do the exact same thing they always do and just straight-on attack everybody. Step three, lose just like always. Wait, shit, there had to have been a better last step to this plan… Really, it ends up even worse than normal, because Zemo manages to get himself killed in a rock slide when he tries to shoot Cap with a ray gun. And, since this is a comic book, he is certainly dead and will always be that way forever. Poor guy. First he glues a bag on his head and now this…

I love this panel. The pretty girl that everyone’s looking at looks like a robot, the fat guy with the moustache and cop are just evilly leering unabashedly, and the other woman in the background just looks annoyed or upset for some reason. Meanwhile, Dr. Don Blake realizes that if this is really all it takes to keep people from noticing him turning back from being Thor, maybe he doesn’t even really need to bother with finding a back alley to change in. I mean, Superman changed clothes in a phone booth, and those things are like 60% windows.