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3: Tales to Astonish #27 (v1)

" The Man in the Ant Hill! "
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Tales to Astonish #27 (v1)
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Editor-in-Chief: Stan Lee
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby
Writers: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber
Pencilers: Jack Kirby
Inkers: Dick Ayers
Letterers: Jon D'Agostino
Editors: Stan Lee
Cover Date: January 1962
Release Date: September 1961
Story Arc: -
Pages: 7
Cover Price: $0.10
Times Read: 1,833                 Times Rated: 961
Plot Flags:    
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #29a

Fantastic Four #1 (v1)
Fantastic Four #2 (v1)
Tales to Astonish #27 (v1)
Fantastic Four #3 (v1)
Fantastic Four #4 (v1)
1: Fantastic Four
#1 (v1)
2: Fantastic Four
#2 (v1)
4: Fantastic Four
#3 (v1)
5: Fantastic Four
#4 (v1)
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Blurb
Henry Pym is mocked by the scientific community for his research on size-changing technology. In proving them wrong Pym finds himself in grave danger.
Issue Detail Divider
Character Appearances
Main Characters
  Henry Pym
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Henry Pym in the mainstream continuity. Henry Pym next appears in Tales to Astonish #35 (v1).
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Notes

Why Essential Notes

This is the first appearance of Henry Pym, prior to his becoming Ant-Man. It also shows the invention of his shrinking formula.
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Review
   March 24, 2017
The art in the Pym story is tops.

The mirror story is pretty stupid.

I couldn't even finish the talking horse story.

But "Dead Planet!" is delightful from start to finish. I'm glad I stuck it out to the end of the issue.
   March 7, 2017
Even knowing what this is leading to, still a very generic read. At least it's short
   April 26, 2013
Other than the fact it is Henry Pym, this is pretty much one of many "bad thing happens to a mad scientist" stories. It seems like nothing to write home about.

The other stories in the issue are better, with "Dead Planet" being sort of fun.
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Synopsis
Dr. Henry Pym has managed to develop formulas to shrink and then re-grow objects at will. While testing he flashes back to a few month prior. He recalls how the scientific community mocked him for his theories, and how he has spent months attempting to prove them wrong.

In the present he fantasizes about the potential uses of his creation, and decides that it's time to take the next step. He tests the shrinking formula on himself, but it proves too successful. He shrinks too fast to reach the growth formula, and is trapped on the floor.

Wandering outside he attracts the attention of a nearby colony of ants. They begin to attack him, and he is forced to duck into the ant hill to escape. He quickly stumbles into a store of honey and becomes stuck. Thankfully one ant is apparently friendly; it helps him out of the honey and lets him go.

Continuing through the ant hill he eventually becomes cornered. He spots a stray match that seems to have been collected by the ants. Heaving a rock at it he manages to ignite it, holding the ants back long enough for him to escape outside.

After several minutes he has come back to his house. But the horde of ants is quickly approaching him, and he is unable to continue his flight. He spots the ant who helped him previously at the front of the group. He attempts to signal it to carry him up the wall and to the window ledge and it does so. On the ledge sits the growth serum, which he quickly uses.

Returned to normal Henry Pym pours out the formulas declaring them too dangerous for anyone to use again, and announcing his failure to the scientific community.
Issue Detail Divider
  Borealis Says:    
  2012-10-01 21:02:09  
  Wow! I was not expecting this, since it's been stated so many times that this wouldn't be part of the list. Now it is, so I can comment on it.

My son loved this comic; as I mentioned in a forum post, this was the first comic (and so far, the only one) that he could talk about afterwards with good retention of the plot. He thought the character was interesting, and the battle in the ant hill had him riveted. The next day he still knew about the story, and mentioned a few things about it. And tonight, as we read TTA 35, as I mentioned in my comment there, he STILL remembered this story. To me, that is a truly great moment for him, and definitely his favorite character in Marvel, at least until we get to Amazing Fantasy 15.

  Wady Says:    
  2012-10-02 13:04:42  
  It was a weird story for the time but the opener for a great marvel super herogreat addtion to the list  

  Kez Says:    
  2012-10-02 17:02:40  
  Oh, those crazy honey ants!  

  Kez Says:    
  2012-10-02 17:05:56  
  The last panel on page 2 already gives a bit of insight into Henry Pym's unstable personality and inferiority complex. "You would only laugh at me as you've done before!" "You shall know I'm a greater scientist than any of you!"  

  cmp_doctor Says:    
  2012-10-02 18:58:05  
  It was nice origin story that should be included in the current marvel universe.  

  bigkat5582 Says:    
  2012-10-03 09:51:14  
  Part of me wants to just click this and say "read", but I know when I get home I'm going to have to go find it and actually read it.  

  sputnix Says:    
  2012-10-03 17:53:06  
  I guess it`s a good thing he was wearing unstable molecular clothes that shrunk with him, nitpicks aside it was an ok origin story glad it was finally included  

  gonzo Says:    
  2012-10-03 19:09:19  
  They should include "defense against man-sized ant attacks" in any commercials advertising judo training  

  pik.asso Says:    
  2012-10-05 02:33:02  
  Finally this one was added! Thank youuuuu! :) Now on my personal wishlist there only remains Sgt. Fury.  

  Anonymous Says:    
  2012-10-05 13:58:29  
  How would one obtain this issue? There isn't a link to Marvel's digital archive, and I don't see any collected volumes, so I see no alternative to buying the actual issue, which is likely too expensive for many...  

  TStarnes Says:    
  2012-10-05 14:16:23  
  The read online link has been added.  

  Phantasmagoria Says:    
  2012-10-05 17:53:40  
  I would like to note that my three star rating only applies to the Pym story in this issue, as I didn't read anything else but the short story that appears between parts of it, seeing as I'm pretty sure no other story in this anthology is related at all to The Marvel Universe, or at least the 616 one.  

  Dark_Knight93 Says:    
  2012-10-11 22:54:03  
  So you decided to put this in the order after all, eh? Well I read this issue a few years ago so I'm not backtracking just to reread it for my current run. Checked it as read and rated it two stars, based on my memory of it and quality of the other stuff at the time.  

  TStarnes Says:    
  2012-10-11 22:55:26  
  Yep, this is at its heart a community project. Another user put up strong supporting evidence that this title should be in.

I don't blame you for not going back and reading it..

  andyzh Says:    
  2012-10-14 14:21:06  
  good rock story :-D  

  Spider-Borg Says:    
  2012-10-15 00:51:21  
  This issue taught me that ants store honey for food and they are powerless against the judo chop! Lol  

  bejahu Says:    
  2012-10-23 17:38:39  
  It would have been awkward if the ant that carried him to the growth potion had crawled into the lab tube with him.  

  Spider-Borg Says:    
  2012-10-27 22:44:39  
  This issue was published without a letters page, for those keeping track of such things.  

  Redsvetz Says:    
  2012-10-29 11:54:31  
  So here it is--the infamous in/out TtA #27. I was all set to read this issue and then state my arguement against inclusion in The Order. And well-you know I guess it is the true origin of Ant-Man as referenced in the story...so alright. As for the honey, I think Stan must have owned or seen an ant fossilized in amber (which according to wikipedia, is actually tree resin) and made one of his classic "assumptions."  

  allenryals Says:    
  2013-01-11 17:28:23  
  Eh, It is the origin (in a way) of Ant-Man. I do like Pym, but no super hero in this issue, mostly a boring read.  

  Trebek Says:    
  2013-02-18 17:35:53  
  Why doesn't the shrinking potion shrink the sink?  

  skabeaters Says:    
  2013-05-02 13:53:00  
  I think "Honey, we Shrunk the Kids" was influenced by this comic. It's an interesting start and leaves me wanting more (which is good!).  

  leisch Says:    
  2013-07-11 15:40:57  
  The first item in the Order that I remember buying right off the spinner rack. As a kid, I loved the Kirby monsters and Astonish was a regular buy each month. Nice intro to the scientist Henry Pym.  

  marvelcomicslover Says:    
  2013-08-25 05:11:22  
  I like that this seemed to be a one shot story that they came back to and fit into the 616 continuity. Looking forward to learning more about Henry Pym.  

  Tarquinnff3 Says:    
  2013-09-23 08:01:03  
  Honey, I Shrunk the Ant-Man. It's a good think he had that convenient name. But seriously, I'm surprised this guy was chosen to make a series out of. From reading this first story with him in it, I have no desire to check out the rest of the series. I will, of course, because I'm a completionist. I just hope it gets better.  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2013-11-18 18:49:58  
  I'm giving this 2 stars for the 1st app of Dr Pym, and that's about it.

Cover Me Bad - A very striking cover, and the splash page ain't to shabby either.

Side Order - The Evil Mirror, and Dead Planet were both good.

'Nuff Said - “But I have one advantage! A human brain…which has learned the art of judo!”-Henry Pym

  Bramwell Says:    
  2013-12-04 21:32:11  
  1. I really like the cover art and page 1, also panel 1 of page 2.

2. Page 3 and 4 - I'm absolutely loving this book. I am not a fan of Ant Mam because the character is so weak but this original has grit. It makes me wish they had kept him as a gritty bad guy.

As I said, I have always disliked Ant Man, but I do lopve this story. It's almost a bridge between the pulpy end of the golden age and a glimpse into the future of the silver age. I think the tone of this story is much more impactful than the Ant Man stuff to follow within the next year.

5 stars

  dewey412 Says:    
  2013-12-18 15:25:10  
  The only things I can really say about this issue: For a fantasy anthology story, it worked....If this was written in current times, I really don't think it would have stood up on it's own...I read it like I was in the 60's, and it comes on a lot stronger....Also, it's interesting to think that they were able to turn this one shot story into something that not only lasts to this day, but has become an integral part of The Avengers mythos...  

  Schabenc Says:    
  2014-05-10 13:23:41  
  Interested in how this guy can be a good superhero  

  Spernst Says:    
  2014-08-26 23:06:22  
  And thus begins a long stretch of mediocre ant man mags ...yay!  

  Ryumit Says:    
  2014-09-08 15:30:06  
  3 starts for the introduction to Pym.

Good point about how he happened to be wearing his unstable molecule clothing - that was lucky :).

Only rating for the Pym story. Worth a read if you want the whole story from the beginning.

  mushroommunk Says:    
  2014-09-17 19:23:50  
  Eh, it isn't a bad read or anything, but I want a fan. I may just bee biased towards "super hero"comics and this read more like one of those newspaper strips.  

  UncannySteven Says:    
  2014-10-07 00:17:01  
  "If it's good enough for chair, it's good enough for me!"  

  Professor Chaos Says:    
  2014-10-26 17:34:27  
  Idk about you guys but the judo line had me bawling.  

  thedopeshow Says:    
  2014-12-19 04:20:55  
  I liked the art here, it was pretty dramatic at times. Henry Pym doesn't have the proportional strength of a human when ant sized but that's excusable since he was clearly meant to be a one shot character. As a side note, the cover art was done nearly.  

  olgamon Says:    
  2014-12-27 15:28:17  
  I surprisingly enjoyed this one. My only problem: if he knew he was gonna be tiny, why didn't he leave the enlarging serum on the floor?!  

  quartertwain Says:    
  2015-02-15 07:54:57  
  Pretty generic shrinking man story here. I find it strange that the writers were forced to use a freestanding match, and a traitorous ant to get Pym out of the anthill. Also find it strange that upon shrinking, Pym ran away from his growth potion, and upon being chased by ants, he ran into an anthill. I'm not sure where he gets off calling The Wasp "dumb". As a whole, this story is as short as it is non-sensical. Fortunately, the same issue contains a moralizing tale about beating talking horses.  

  Aldous Says:    
  2015-04-23 20:41:57  
  This guy's the dumbest genius scientist I've ever seen.  

  jfw1980 Says:    
  2015-05-25 05:32:32  
  The friendly ant was my favorite  

  Shintetsuken Says:    
  2015-07-21 21:35:37  
  Judo throwing an ant? I will never forget this moment. 3 stars. Other than that, nothing exceptionally great, especially since there is a recap that does an adequate job explaining this story in his next appearance.  

  jbb10499 Says:    
  2015-11-19 15:13:53  

  wingot Says:    
  2015-12-06 04:16:36  
  The creation of ant-man! You can sort of see why they went with Henry Pym being the old mentor guy in the movie though.  

  J-hat Says:    
  2016-03-25 08:45:41  
  I do enjoy a good ant-man comic. I still think they find a costume and name themselves awfully quick.  

  Billstar2 Says:    
  2016-04-06 16:45:00  
  Apparently Pym's formula predates Dr.Doom's attempts to shrink the Fantastic Four. Also, if you are attacked by ants hide in their home for safety.

  Murphynator42 Says:    
  2016-10-16 22:39:11  
  Hellooooo, Henry Pym! Welcome to the slowly expanding Marvel family, I'm so, so sorry that you're about to have an obnoxiously awful run of solo stories. You've always deserved better.

Or maybe not, with the sheer amount of camp you're going to be carrying around for awhile after a surprisingly gritty origin.

  hawkeye64 Says:    
  2016-10-22 18:17:10  
  This was an OK story for me. Nice first appearance of Hank Pym. Considering the other stories he(Ant-Man) will be in this was one of the better ones.  

  skalchemist Says:    
  2016-11-17 08:36:46  
  Other than the fact it is Henry Pym, this is pretty much one of many "bad thing happens to a mad scientist" stories. It seems like nothing to write home about.

The other stories in the issue are better, with "Dead Planet" being sort of fun.

  spb Says:    
  2017-01-11 15:35:15  
  not a bad story, it's kinda neat to see this character outside of his typical role as a super hero

  Zaktks32 Says:    
  2017-02-09 04:37:55  
  For good or for worse, Pym makes it to the MU. 3 stars!  

  Nenriel Says:    
  2017-02-13 04:44:28  
  Pretty unremarkable other than being Hank's first appearance. It is interesting to see the other stories in these issues. It's a bit of a time capsule of story-telling.

I just can't even start to comment on the "science" issues in these earlier comics. Just...nope.

Two stars because I mostly reserve the one-stars for things I actually regret reading.

  yert1981 Says:    
  2017-04-13 18:13:07  
  Well, I read it. That's about all I have to say.  

  Allencthulhu Says:    
  2017-06-10 20:56:06  
  Let me begin by saying that men and anthills have played a role in science fiction throughout history.

That said, Henry Pym is the dumbest one ever.

As a mad scientist, his heart is in the right place, he wants to shrink food supplies and armies and whatnot. Being MAD he is utterly irresponsible on at least a 8.5 on the Reed Richards scale.

Smooth Move, Knucklehead #1: Leaving the antidote on the window ledge when you're going to be shrinking?

"Nobody can even HEAR my small, weak voice now!"

Do You Science? #1: Ants don't have ears.

Do You Science? #2 Ants can only see 1-2 feet at the most.

Smooth Move, Knucklehead #2: Pym's great survival plan? Hide from the ants inside their anthill because...there won't be any more ants inside?

Do You Science? #3: Ants don't make honey. Not even honeypot ants.

I've decided to give the friendly ant a name: Hugo.

Smooth Move, Knucklehead #3: Pouring the growth serum into the drain? It was the giant rats and cockroaches that ate New York...

With three Knuckleheads and three Sciences, you only get one star Dr. Pym.

  SamScrolls Says:    
  2017-06-12 23:41:57  
  3/5. Covert introduction of Ant-Man.  

  beerzerked Says:    
  2017-10-08 17:29:18  
  So is being ridiculed by those Science Society jerks what drove Hank mad in the first place?  

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Date User Name Update
   July 16, 2015 rubixcube60 Added synopsis for this issue.
   July 16, 2015 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   September 30, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   September 30, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   June 9, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   March 13, 2014 Spider-Borg Changed comic details.
   May 24, 2013 TStarnes Updated the listing for Henry Pym.
   May 24, 2013 TStarnes Updated the listing for Henry Pym.
   May 24, 2013 TStarnes Updated the listing for Henry Pym.
   May 24, 2013 TStarnes Updated the listing for Henry Pym.
   May 24, 2013 TStarnes Updated the listing for Henry Pym.
   May 24, 2013 TStarnes Updated the listing for Henry Pym.
   May 24, 2013 TStarnes Updated the listing for Henry Pym.
   May 3, 2013 rubixcube60 Added synopsis for this issue.
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