Tales to Astonish #39 features another Ant-Man story. This time there is unrest in the world of insects, as the Scarlet Beetle convinces them to go to war against human kind. The only thing standing in their way is Ant-Man and his legion of ants. And, yes, the Scarlet Beetle is an actual beetle that has been imbued with super intelligence due to being exposed to radiation. Thus the Scarlet Beetle is able to steal Ant-Man enlarging and shrinking gas and cause himself to become a huge beetle, will huge relative to the normal size of a beetle.
I have to admit this story is a little weird, and by a little I actually mean a lot. I mean we are talking about a super smart beetle trying to take over the world. However, the fight scenes between Ant-Man and the ants and the Scarlet Beetle and the other insects is pretty entertaining, especially when it moves into a toy store. Although, through the benefit of hindsight, using all that DDT might have unexpected consequences later on down the line.
Keeping with the series tradition this issue also features two other stories, once again very Twilight Zone-like. The first story, “Ozamm the Terrible,” which features a seemingly all powerful alien bent on conquering the world and is a pretty serviceable story. The second story, “The Toy Soldiers,” features a visitor from the sixth dimension trying to take three dimensional prisoners, which has an unexplained twist that doesn’t work for me
- Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
- Writers: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber
- Pencilers: Jack Kirby
- Inkers: Dick Ayers
- Letterers: Artie Simek