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60: Tales to Astonish #42 (v1)

" The Voice of Doom! "
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Tales to Astonish #42 (v1)
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Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
Writers: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber
Pencilers: Don Heck
Inkers: Don Heck
Letterers: Artie Simek
Cover Date: April 1963
Release Date: January 1963
Story Arc: -
Pages: 13
Cover Price: $0.12
Times Read: 1,247                 Times Rated: 654
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #41 Go to Issue #43

Amazing Spider-Man #2b (v1)
Fantastic Four #13 (v1)
Tales to Astonish #42 (v1)
Tales of Suspense #40 (v1)
Journey into Mystery #92 (v1)
58: Amazing Spide...
#2b (v1)
59: Fantastic Fou...
#13 (v1)
61: Tales of Susp...
#40 (v1)
62: Journey into ...
#92 (v1)
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Issue Blurb
Radioactivity released from a atomic plant have implanted in Jason Cragg, a local radio personality, the power of persuasion. Jason throws down the gauntlet against Ant-man to prove his superiority and to take control of Center City!
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Character Appearances
Main Characters
Ant-Man last appeared in Tales to Astonish #41 (v1). Ant-Man next appears in Tales to Astonish #43 (v1).
  The Voice
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by The Voice in the mainstream continuity. The Voice next appears in West Coast Avengers #36 (v2).
Group Appearances
New York Police Department
New York Police Department last appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #2a (v1). New York Police Department next appears in Journey into Mystery #92 (v1).
Equipment, Items & Vehicles
Ant-Man Cybernetic Helmet
Ant-Man Cybernetic Helmet last appeared in Tales to Astonish #41 (v1). Ant-Man Cybernetic Helmet next appears in Tales to Astonish #43 (v1).
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Issue Notes
  There are no notes for this issue.

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Issue Synopsis
There is not synopsis for this issue.

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  thomassp74 Says:    
  2011-11-20 11:06:48  
  Is EVERY issue going to begin in the present for a page or two and then go to a flashback? How about some literary device variety?

Radiation traveling through microphones? In the form of "a tiny stream of electrified particle--ionized atoms?"

I did like the fact that people went to buy dog food--for themselves. haha

  Webslinger Says:    
  2012-04-01 20:32:04  
  So some nut comes to town and starts poisoning everybody against you with some powerful strange power, ah, who cares, I'm going to the police office get that award they owe me!

Now, about the way Crag uses his voice, well, some people are just dumb and overconfident, not every villain is intelligent....

  Dark_Knight93 Says:    
  2012-06-30 21:48:21  
  As the above poster stated, the dog food part was pretty funny. However one entertaining panel can not save this issue.

I noticed a lot of strange continuity errors in this issue like Ant-Man going to accept an award right after discovering a plot to turn the town against him. Or the part where he changes into Henry Pym only to be Ant-Man again in the very next panel.

Another thing I've notice is that I basically know Jason Cragg just as well as I do Henry Pym. That shows how little they are giving Ant-Man's alter ego any development.

  Ice Says:    
  2012-07-21 15:56:02  
  I was initially considering this the absolute low water mark for Silver Age Marvel, until I realized something. There's a duality between Ant-Man and Craigg. Ant-Man is to ants as Craigg is to humans. They both control others to get what they want. It's just that Ant-Man's army of slaves are ants and Craigg's are humans. There's a fantastic, if absolutely unintentional, question raised about Ant-Man's motivations, and a debate that can be raised about using (apparently sentient, as they still care about Ant-Man, when he doesn't have his helmet) slave labor to do good (or evil), in this issue.  

  Ice Says:    
  2012-07-21 16:00:49  
  Also, is NOBODY worried about there being "a nearby atomic experimental laboratory" with faulty dials? I'd think any facility with "atomic" AND "experimental" in the description would be fairly stringent on quality control issues.  

  deeplennon Says:    
  2012-07-22 21:47:38  
  I just can't figure out why Jason Cragg didn't just his powers to get laid.

More innovative panel work from Heck.

Editors Note: Clothes composed of unstable molecules stretch and contract as the wearer's own body does!

  specialque Says:    
  2012-09-14 13:49:06  
  This story was dumb, even for early Marvel. If you could hypnotize everyone with your voice, you shouldn't care at all about Ant-Man. In fact, he'd probably be too busy throwing his back out from banging supermodels every night to care. He could also become absurdly rich by "legitimate" means by just hypnotizing random billionaires to give him phoney high-paying jobs. This is going through my head while reading a comic that I KNOW is ridiculous and has a ridiculous main character, so I think the fact that this stuff immediately popped into my mind shows that the story was largely a failure. Also, if Cragg had Ant-Man IN HIS HAND, why didn't he just crush him instead of doing that stupid "drown yourself! derp!" crap?


While this is probably the worst Ant-Man story yet, I was thinking the same thing that Ice said about Craigg's control of humans and Ant-Man's control of ants. This is actually some pretty deep stuff, even if it's entirely unintentional. Also, there's no way I could hate a comic that has, by far, the most idiotic origin story to date for a super villain...a radioactive microphone.

God bless you, Ant-Man.

  Phantasmagoria Says:    
  2012-10-23 10:38:22  
  Ugh. I really dislike the way that Larry Lieber wrote this, but on the bright side, more Don Heck art!  

  Spider-Borg Says:    
  2012-12-01 02:50:07  
  I didn't think this was as bad as others did. Yeah it is dumb but surprisingly I wanted to find out what happened at the end so it held my interest  

  Dopey Says:    
  2012-12-11 23:34:05  
  First and foremost, I believe that this is the first reference to Ant-Man/Henry Pym's home city. As I've just jumped into Marvel from the beginning of the Order, I don't know if this is cleared up later on, but I believe that Center City is in Philidelphia? It's good to know, because my obsessive compulsive mind does wonder... And wander.

As stated above, I love Mr. Heck's artwork in this comic. He has an attention to detail that was absent in his previous Ant-Man work, and it is good to see this quality from him. I find this strange break from Kirby quite refreshing.

Personally, I'm fine with Stan giving us a couple appetizer pages that take place in the thick of the story, and then dealing with the intro a couple of pages in. I think it is an effective device that has been proven and is still used today, not only in comics but also in television.

The story itself is no worse than most we've seen so far, and better than more than a few. Ant-Man having to lose his helmet was probably the highlight. I also find it strange that Mr. Cragg found it imperative to single out Ant-Man in order to 'test his power'. And the whole orator costume and soapbox thing was a bit much for some average joe. Up until now, I've viewed Ant-Man as some fascist dictator of ants and sometimes other insects, but my belief has been proven wrong in this comic with the ants making a conscious decision on their own to save his brainwashed hide.

I've had enough of unstable molecules, unexplained radioactive/gamma/atomic/cosmic phenomena, and MAGNETS. Yes, during the time of print technology was hitting it's exponential growth phase, but I mean, come on, Stan.

Also, bottles of laryngitis lying around in hospitals? And an incubation period of less than a minute?

Two stars, the second because Mr. Heck did an exceptional job.

  metsguy Says:    
  2012-12-17 16:33:55  
  Even though he was just bluffing, it was pretty stone cold of Ant-Man to threaten to shoot Cragg. A rather grim and gritty moment in fabulous four color.  

  edgar987 Says:    
  2012-12-23 21:15:56  
  Terrible! But I give it one star for the Don Heck art and his use of panel layouts  

  minicheddaz Says:    
  2013-03-29 16:02:09  
  this story is so deliciously and ridiculously awful that i absolutely loved it!  

  gonzo Says:    
  2013-06-12 23:49:58  
  "We don't even have a dog, we can eat it ourselves!" That line got me...  

  leisch Says:    
  2013-07-20 08:23:32  
  I'm ashamed of myself, but I actually enjoyed this one.  

  TheGrandIgloo Says:    
  2013-08-18 19:05:55  
  So ant man thinks that a power that completely strips people of their freedom could be used for good, eh? Some freedom lovin' 'merican he is! But as mister Ice said above Ant-Man's power's aren't so different. Maybe mister Pym is a deeper and more twisted character than i have previously given him credit for.  

  Psychopat Says:    
  2013-08-28 21:28:54  
  Why does it always have to start with something radiocative...  

  marvelcomicslover Says:    
  2013-10-05 19:08:26  
  Ok, I'm back from my hiatus to try and continue this reading order. Nothing really good to say about this story. Art was ok. Apparently The Voice will be back to battle the West Coast Avengers and Captain America. Hopefully the story will be better.  

  Tarquinnff3 Says:    
  2013-10-06 10:29:29  
  I like the villains with super powers are starting to show up in the Marvel universe now. I do not like that Ant-Man resorted to germs as a weapon to make the villain sick. That somehow seems wrong to me. Otherwise I like the comic.  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2014-01-11 15:40:05  
  Just 1 star for Voice. He reappears years later with a crappy outfit with speakers!

Cover Me - Is that the Baxter Building in the background?

Stinger - That's a funny panel of Ant-Man stabbing that crook in the keister and yelling bullseye!

'Nuff Said - "He sounds as convincing as a wet sponge"-Radio Manager

  Bramwell Says:    
  2014-01-17 02:23:48  
  1. Pretty flat. The villain is not compelling and the way he gets his powers doesn't make a lot of sense.
2. I'm still not sure why he hates Antman.
3. How did the bad guy know that the helmet was protecting AM from the voice?
4. Why did AM remove the helmet when he could just run?
5. I'm still a sucker for the schematics
6. Silly method of losing his power
I'm short...Men...2 stars.

  GroovyGolem Says:    
  2014-02-03 20:39:19  
  Why the orator costume? That just sees like such a bizarre move for Cragg to make. He discovers this crazy voice-activated mind-control power, and he goes out and gets an old-timey orator get up?

And yet another issue where the police are just so darn happy to see Ant-Man.

  danberado Says:    
  2014-02-14 15:20:09  
  Its interesting that Mr. Cragg can control human minds like Ant-man controls ant minds... No wait, the ants are loyal to him for some reason.  

  slewis880612m Says:    
  2014-04-12 18:51:53  
  The Ant Man story was fairly standard and I would have rated it lower but one of the backup stories was really enjoyable.  

  Spernst Says:    
  2014-05-09 22:47:34  
  Ahahaha! How lame is "rabble rouser"?  

  rainbowsad Says:    
  2014-07-06 12:19:05  
  Honestly, as far as Ant-Man comics go, I'd say this one was above average. It was pretty goofy but I actually liked the way the Voice lost his powers. Laryngitis? Really? It's actually really amusing.  

  rook420 Says:    
  2014-08-06 20:58:22  
  Laryngitis permanently alters the voice?  

  MattDog37 Says:    
  2014-11-21 12:33:15  
  Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the third story about the robot that tries to be human and learns that humanity isn't so great after all. Since he didn't need to rest, he was able to work a lot harder at his jobs and make all his coworkers look bad.  

  jbb10499 Says:    
  2015-11-23 10:49:15  
  This sucks  

  yack Says:    
  2015-12-23 08:10:58  
  This series just does not get better  

  RobinHoodMtl Says:    
  2016-03-12 14:26:12  
  • That’s my line – “We don’t even have a dog, but we can eat it ourselves!

  • This is the BEST STORY EVER! The Voice said so!

  • Hu-hrum! Well despite a few lot of over-the-top details here and there, I must admit the episode was indeed a page-turner. Very strong villain here.

  • Just imagine if the Voice went into religion or politics! Yikes!

  • Again, the quality of the artwork is impressive. Long live Don Heck! He really should do Spider-Man.

  • Totally agree with the post Ice made a while ago. There is some interesting parallel between the Voice’s control over people and the Ant-Man’s over ants. The little critters do have some form of sentience because they chose to save him. What makes it OK then for the Ant-Man to use them that way? Are they obeying of their own free will? Food for thought!...

  Billstar2 Says:    
  2016-04-14 13:50:07  
  I thought this was an old episode of Star Trek. Abe Lincoln is controlling people. No it's just his evil twin the Voice.  

  Murphynator42 Says:    
  2016-10-27 14:46:54  
  As is becoming typical of Marvel's lesser titles, there was some strong potential for some good, thought provoking ideas here, but presented in such a Silver Age-y way that they lose their bite. It' easy to see, though, how this laid the groundwork for the modern superhero comic once these solid ideas and iconic characters entered more capable hands  

  ScottG12 Says:    
  2016-11-21 15:12:04  
  Would've been so much better if the guy didn't have superpowers and he had Ant Man go to trial and stuff. But nah  

  philvt101 Says:    
  2017-03-24 11:59:19  
  Cragg is kind of like a prototype purple man.  

  RobinHoodMtl @ philvt101 (original post):    
  2017-05-13 11:21:41  
  And very analog with other mind-controlling villains like Ringmaster and Puppet Master, just to name a few. Hypnotism and mind control was quite overrated back in the days!  

  noahsell Says:    
  2017-06-07 08:16:50  
  A nice precursor to the Purple Man, and at least Stan used magnets properly this time.  

  Allencthulhu Says:    
  2017-06-11 19:25:26  
  I gave this 3 stars because the concept leads us to Killgrave.  

  jennychan Says:    
  2018-01-12 12:15:37  
  The Voice of Doom was way too powerful and wasted his Preacher God-like power on convincing a city to hound Ant-Man..lol

Similar to Purple Man also in that he lacks the imagination to really take over the world. I am glad that Dr. Doom used Purple Man to his fullest potential in Emperor Doom.

Issue Detail Divider
Essential Ant-Man, Volume 1
This collection includesTales to Astonish #35 (v1), Tales to Astonish #36 (v1), Tales to Astonish #37 (v1), Tales to Astonish #38 (v1), Tales to Astonish #39 (v1), Tales to Astonish #27 (v1), Tales to Astonish #40 (v1), Tales to Astonish #41 (v1), Tales to Astonish #42 (v1), Tales to Astonish #43 (v1), Tales to Astonish #44 (v1), Tales to Astonish #45 (v1), Tales to Astonish #46 (v1), Tales to Astonish #47 (v1), Tales to Astonish #48 (v1), Tales to Astonish #49 (v1), Tales to Astonish #50 (v1), Tales to Astonish #51a (v1), Tales to Astonish #52a (v1), Tales to Astonish #53a (v1), Tales to Astonish #54a (v1), Tales to Astonish #55a (v1), Tales to Astonish #56a (v1), Tales to Astonish #57a (v1), Tales to Astonish #58a (v1), Tales to Astonish #59 (v1), Tales to Astonish #60a (v1), Tales to Astonish #61a (v1), Tales to Astonish #62a (v1), Tales to Astonish #63a (v1), Tales to Astonish #64a (v1), Tales to Astonish #65a (v1), Tales to Astonish #66a (v1), Tales to Astonish #67a (v1), Tales to Astonish #68a (v1), Tales to Astonish #69a (v1)
Marvel Masterworks: Ant-Man/Giant-Man, Volume 1
This collection includesTales to Astonish #27 (v1), Tales to Astonish #35 (v1), Tales to Astonish #36 (v1), Tales to Astonish #37 (v1), Tales to Astonish #38 (v1), Tales to Astonish #39 (v1), Tales to Astonish #40 (v1), Tales to Astonish #41 (v1), Tales to Astonish #42 (v1), Tales to Astonish #43 (v1), Tales to Astonish #44 (v1), Tales to Astonish #45 (v1), Tales to Astonish #46 (v1), Tales to Astonish #47 (v1), Tales to Astonish #48 (v1), Tales to Astonish #49 (v1), Tales to Astonish #50 (v1), Tales to Astonish #51a (v1), Tales to Astonish #52a (v1)
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Date User Name Update
   December 3, 2017 TStarnes Added Ant-Man Cybernetic Helmet listing.
   November 22, 2017 TStarnes
   November 20, 2017 TStarnes
   May 15, 2015 Neskit Added New York Police Department to the issue.
   June 18, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   June 18, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
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