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64: Tales to Astonish #43 (v1)

" The Mad Master of Time! "
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Tales to Astonish #43 (v1)
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Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
Writers: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber
Pencilers: Don Heck
Inkers: Don Heck
Letterers: Ray Holloway
Cover Date: May 1963
Release Date: February 1963
Story Arc: -
Pages: 13
Cover Price: $0.12
Times Read: 1,233                 Times Rated: 648
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #42 Go to Issue #44

Journey into Mystery #92 (v1)
Fantastic Four #14 (v1)
Tales to Astonish #43 (v1)
Tales of Suspense #41 (v1)
Journey into Mystery #93 (v1)
62: Journey into ...
#92 (v1)
63: Fantastic Fou...
#14 (v1)
65: Tales of Susp...
#41 (v1)
66: Journey into ...
#93 (v1)
Expanded Order
Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1 (v1)
Universe Tag
Fantastic Four #14 (v1)
Universe Tag
Tales to Astonish #43 (v1)
Universe Tag
Tales of Suspense #41 (v1)
Universe Tag
Almanaque do Cavaleiro Negro 1963 #1
Universe Tag
Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1 (v1)
Fantastic Four #14 (v1)
Tales of Suspense #41 (v1)
Almanaque do Cavaleiro Negro 1963 #1
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Blurb
Elias Weems was fired from his job because he was too old. Disgruntled he creates a ray gun that can speed up the aging process in living beings. Threatening the city it is up to Ant-man to stop him but can he do so as a senior citizen?!
Issue Detail Divider
Character Appearances
Main Characters
Ant-Man last appeared in Tales to Astonish #42 (v1). Ant-Man next appears in Tales to Astonish #44 (v1).
  Time Master
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Time Master in the mainstream continuity.
Group Appearances
NYPD last appeared in Journey into Mystery #92 (v1). NYPD next appears in Journey into Mystery #93 (v1).
Equipment, Items & Vehicles
Ant-Man Cybernetic Helmet
Ant-Man Cybernetic Helmet last appeared in Tales to Astonish #42 (v1). Ant-Man Cybernetic Helmet next appears in Tales to Astonish #44 (v1).
Ant-Man's Catapult
Ant-Man's Catapult last appeared in Tales to Astonish #40 (v1). Ant-Man's Catapult next appears in Tales to Astonish #44 (v1).
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Notes
  There are no notes for this issue.

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Issue Review
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Issue Synopsis
Elias Weems was fired from his job because he was too old. Disgruntled he creates a ray gun that can speed up the aging process in living beings. Threatening the city it is up to Ant-man to stop him but can he do so as a senior citizen?!
Issue Detail Divider
  thomassp74 Says:    
  2011-11-20 18:29:01  
  Why didn't Weems just use his gadget to reduce his own age and go back to work? That would have made a lot more sense.  

  rebelmswar Says:    
  2011-12-03 14:39:25  
  Lol Thomas, but anyone who says "Well, now vengeance will be mine!" is a bit too far gone to think clearly.

"It's a pity that my eyesight is too poor to observe your tiny features clearly! When my task is done, I'll view you more closely thru a magnifying glass!" --- What a subtle threat to say to Ant-Man.

  rebelmswar Says:    
  2011-12-23 12:10:06  
  If I ever need a book of matches I am going to Ant-Mans' town, they seem to be lying around everywhere, either that or the little muppet "magnetically attracts" them.  

  lmcontaldi Says:    
  2012-05-14 16:17:50  
  Well... this is an interesting feel-good ending to one of the sappiest Ant-Man stories so far. That said, i enjoy the poetic revenge and plot changes Lee and Leiber are adding to the formula.

That said, the whole time I was wondering if he was so feeble, why not change his age? Even if he was going to enact his revenge, you think it would be easier if he was young.

  saschavikos Says:    
  2012-06-05 14:53:30  
  I think its funny the villains always seem to want to be made "masters of the town" instead of just getting revenge on the company that fired them.  

  Dark_Knight93 Says:    
  2012-07-01 10:53:12  
  How does one become boss of the town? Also, it's pretty easy to figure out the problem with these Ant-Man stories. First off, he's always fighting D list villains. Secondly, they devote almost no time to Henry Pym. It's obvious they weren't trying and just as obvious why this character never gained the popularity the other Marvel heroes surfacing at the time did.  

  Agrippina Says:    
  2012-07-14 01:44:30  
  Putting the completely bizarre science aside for a moment, I actually thought this was one of the better Ant Man stories. Although I suppose that's not saying much ;)  

  Ice Says:    
  2012-07-21 18:38:24  
  Lame story with a lame villain, but extremely important as we finally have an in story reason for Marvel's characters having adventures for 50 years and not aging! They're all using Weem's technology!
I always wondered...

  deeplennon Says:    
  2012-07-22 22:40:10  
  I believe Ice has just put it all together. Maybe that's why they're making an Ant-Man film? I can really think of no other reason.  

  specialque Says:    
  2012-09-14 23:27:55  
  As someone who really likes Ant-Man, it's damn-near impossible for me to defend this issue. Lame villain with lame motives and a lame ending. Weak as hell.  

  Phantasmagoria Says:    
  2012-10-22 15:21:29  
  @Imcontaldi Personally, I justified that by inferring that part of his point was that there was nothing wrong with being old. He wanted everyone else to be his age so that there would be no reason to discriminate on the basis of age. Of course, I'm not sure that the writers thought about it that much, but it helped me to enjoy the story more.  

  Dopey Says:    
  2012-12-18 00:45:19  

"The Mad Master of Time had the one power which even Ant-Man was helpless against! The power of OLD AGE!" ...

""Hey! It's the Ant-Man [trapped under a telegraph slip!]"
"There he is!"
"[Awww,] look at his colourful costume! Isn't he adorable?" ...

"If I can create electromagnetic energy which will increase the motion of the body's atoms... Then I'll be able to quicken the activity of all living tissues... And thus cause them to age!" ...


I'm sorry, but HUZZAH! Mr. Lieber! Don't let the door hit you in the ass! Grab the piñata everyone! Let's have a gongshow, because the worst scriptwriter I've seen yet is no longer doing his thing in the Thor, Human Torch or Ant-Man comics that I will be reading for the next few years. Thank Heavens.

The art was nothing special here, my version's colour had bled through Heck's inking. I believe that this comic was released during a time when Marvel started to use a newer type of printing press, but I'm not positive, so we'll have to take note of that in the next couple mags.

Aside from this being the final Lieber script along with Ant-Man's final solo outing in Tales to Astonish, nothing else is really all that special either. An elderly scientist man goes loopy after getting canned for being old (ridiculous), calling himself the Time-Master and planning vengeance by raining arthritis, menopause, and colon cancer on the innocents of Center City. After accidentally causing his grandson to rapidly age, Time Master gets startled and drops his Aging-Ray/"Anti-Matter Age Reversal" gun. Never fear, for Ant-Man sacrifices an army of his friends to cushion the fall of the device, and the loopy scientist gets his job back.

  Dopey Says:    
  2012-12-18 00:47:37  
  For an Ant-Man comic, he really doesn't do much in this issue aside from finally realizing that he can become large again when stuck in sticky ant-sized situations.

One star for the end of Lieber's tyrannical scriptwriting reign and Ant-Man daydreaming of dictating his commands to all animals instead of just ants. One more star for Ant-Man's adorable costume and inability to give out autographs.

  edgar987 Says:    
  2012-12-24 11:16:12  
  2 Stars for the "Heck" of it.  

  Spider-Borg Says:    
  2013-01-09 09:03:16  
  I actually thought this wasn't too bad. It kept my attention long enough that I didn't fall asleep while reading it anyway  

  Redsvetz Says:    
  2013-01-09 10:37:11  
  Just noticed Trek's comment up on the big board, and decided to check out this issue. Impressed that as of 1/9/13, 213 Front-Facers have fought their way through 10 issues of Ant-man. No small deed--Congrats!  

  Robareid Says:    
  2013-01-26 14:37:21  
  Well I really hated the art in the, it really bugged me, especially the first few pages. The "villain" actually had a nice motivation, but his way of going about it was pretty flawed. Plus he'd be really easy to beat, just shoot him if needed. Not terrible, but not great **  

  TaoTaomona Says:    
  2013-02-14 08:24:22  
  Apparently, clothes made of unstable molecules age worse than civilian clothes (Ant-Man's suit looks shabbier than Tommy's).  

  duncanm Says:    
  2013-07-10 19:32:59  
  Officer that mad scientist molested my molecules!  

  leisch Says:    
  2013-07-20 11:32:39  
  Another decent story though nothing special. We're still a few issues away from Henry getting real honest-to-goodness costumed supervillains.  

  Psychopat Says:    
  2013-08-31 11:19:54  
  I actually liked this one (for an Ant-Man issue). I also wandered why he did not made himself younger but put it aside and it's not bad. Henry Pym realising he can make himself larger to get out of the flower pot and the villain shooting his grandson added some kind of dramatic effect!  

  dpaone Says:    
  2013-09-06 13:23:12  
  goofy story, villian, and that wacky 1960s comic book science. However, I actually made it through this ant-man story without wondering when the pain will end.  

  Tarquinnff3 Says:    
  2013-10-07 12:39:55  
  I thought this was a pretty cool idea for a villain even though the ending felt a little like a PSA. I like that a villain doesn't always have to be a bad guy. Sometimes a villain is just a victim of circumstance and bad decision making, especially under extreme circumstances.  

  marvelcomicslover Says:    
  2013-10-25 22:21:30  
  I actually liked this story. Art wasn't that great but the story was decent.  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2014-01-11 21:26:47  
  1 star for the crazy old coot.

Poetic Justice - It would of been a short story if the tree that he casued to grow old topped over crashing into the house killing him instantly.

Seriously - Ant-Man wonders how an scientific mind could turn to crime....uh, how about the Egghead!

Old Timer - If Weems wasn't so old and feeble maybe he could of held on to his ray gun better.

Ulterior Motives - Yeah, I bet his boss would be honored to have him back. He going to confuse the elderly Weems into signing over the rights to the ray gun!

'Nuff Said - "Is this--the end of Ant-Man?"-Ant-Man

  Bramwell Says:    
  2014-01-20 00:30:43  
  1. OK, dumb question...why doesn't Weems just make himself younger?
2. I didn't know his size changing ability was a secret
Standarfd Antman issue...2 stars.

  opusaug Says:    
  2014-02-05 21:45:12  
  Wow, this is better than average, and off the charts for Ant-Man. Entertaining story with limited cheese and a great moral. To get any better he'd have to give up being Ant-Man entirely.  

  GroovyGolem Says:    
  2014-02-08 20:18:48  
  I loved the very last panel... "In a way, we've ALL learned something!" So great. Ironic that Stan Lee, in his 90s, has lived long enough to see the Marvel characters finally make it from the Silver Age to the silver screen, and has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts, appearing in cameos in every film (and the Lego Marvel game, to boot!).

  skerit Says:    
  2014-06-01 16:45:05  
  Elias Weems created a device that could alter our civilization greatly, in less than 30 days no less!

Not only can his device make crops grow in seconds (ending world hunger), he can reverse ageing enabling humans to live forever...

This story can't be canon, can it?

  rainbowsad Says:    
  2014-07-06 22:36:48  
  Geeze, there sure are tons of genius scientists who can build fantastic machines just like that, aren't there? Seriously though, this was a decent comic. Better than the average Ant-Man comic.  

  rodyoungerblood Says:    
  2015-05-26 07:33:33  
  We haven't gotten an old fashioned moral in our comics for a while. Thanks Stan!  

  jbb10499 Says:    
  2015-11-23 10:51:07  
  This is actually all right  

  yack Says:    
  2015-12-23 08:18:43  
  Lame villain ..... lame hero!  

  RobinHoodMtl Says:    
  2016-03-13 09:39:15  
  • That’s my line – “It will be a poetic revenge!” (Time Master)

  • The man should have stopped whining and start his own business. Everyone wants to stay young. An invention like this could have made him zillionaire… and young.

  • Apart from that, this could be the best least worst of Ant-Man’s story and the artwork is wonderful. So not a total loss.

  Billstar2 Says:    
  2016-04-16 13:45:11  
  At least no Scooby Doo ending or unmasking for once. It was interesting if not a bit bad science and logic. I liked it on the whole for once.  

  kent18 Says:    
  2016-11-06 19:31:17  
  Schmaltzy and emotionally manipulative as any "AfterSchool Special"...? You betcha.

Compared to virtually any *other* story in the Ant-Man's laughable, lamentable canon, on the other hand...? Practically the comic book equivalent of CASABLANCA. ;)

Three stars, because me likey Don Heck.

  Murphynator42 Says:    
  2016-12-07 14:29:08  
  Decent idea, some good twists, and an unfortunate ending, this may have been one of the better Ant-man titles so far  

  spb Says:    
  2017-01-16 13:15:11  
  it's been mentioned before but why didn't he weems just make himself younger to get his job back?

or he could have made a fortune making people younger and with that money built his own private lab or started his own his own company or bought the company he used to work for and fire the people who fired him

i'm unclear on how the age gun works

if he ages people by speeding up the movement of their atoms causing their tissues to age, then how does he make people younger again?

i think he would have been a more threatening menace if he didn't have the ability to make people younger

if ant man's outfit is made from unstable molecules that can change to match his size, why is it that when he gets old and skinny his costume starts to sag?


  noahsell Says:    
  2017-06-07 21:53:22  
  I gave it an extra star for a cool story idea  

  UncannyAddiction Says:    
  2018-01-25 17:23:20  
  Maybe if Elias put the same effort into his job as he did creating evil schemes, he would have kept his job.  

  ScottG12 Says:    
  2018-03-16 16:01:45  
  I don't know if it's because I haven't read an Ant Man issue in a year and a half, but for some reason I don't think this was as bad as the others..  

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[appost]s Catapult listing.
   December 3, 2017 TStarnes Added Ant-Man Cybernetic Helmet listing.
   November 22, 2017 TStarnes
   November 20, 2017 TStarnes
   August 1, 2014 Neskit Added NYPD to the issue.
   August 1, 2014 Neskit Added Time Master to the issue.
   June 18, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   June 18, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
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