Unfortunately Tales to Astonish #46 continues the backslide back into mediocrity that has plagued this series since the initial appearance of Ant-Man. With the appearance of the Wasp, I was hoping that the series would continue to maintain its momentum with the introduction of a new character. Sadly that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. In this issue, lacking crime to fight, Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne head off on a vacation to Greece, where they stumble across a cyclops and aliens abducting ships and their crews.
This issue really highlights the three main issues that have been plaguing this series. The first is a lack of compelling villains. Most of the villains in the series so far have been either generic criminals or generic aliens wanting to conquer the earth for some reason. This ties into the second problem with the series, which is a lack of stakes. Because the villains are laughable at best nothing ever feels at stake. Finally the third issue is there zero character growth. In many ways Hank Pym has been a stagnant character that is pretty much the same since his first appearance. In issue #44 Pym was given some back story and I thought maybe that would’ve lead somewhere, considering how the Wasp reminds him of his wife, but sadly that has not been the case.
Once again, in addition to the Ant-Man story, there are two backup stories, which I think are demonstrating they are running out of Twilight Zone like twists. The first one, “The Secret of the Swamp” centers on a cursed swamp, while the second one, “The Most Dangerous Weapon,” concerns the theft of the most dangerous weapon.
- Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
- Writers: Stan Lee, H.E. Huntley
- Pencilers: Don Heck
- Inkers: Don Heck
- Letterers: Sam Rosen