Issue: Tales to Astonish #41
Name: Prisoner of the Slave World
Published: March 1963 by Marvel Comics
Writer: Stan Lee and Larry Lieber
Artist: Don Heck
Letterer: Artie Simek
The Good: Ant-Man
The Bad: Kulla
The story starts out with Henry being asked to visit a fellow scientist at his lab, but when he arrives, the place is deserted. All the windows and doors are locked from the inside but there’s no one there. As we head back to Pym’s lab, we hear on the news that a bunch of scientists have gone missing and no one knows what’s happened to them. A few days later, a new window washer arrives at Henry’s lab and offers to clean his windows…it turns out he wanted to paralyze Pym instead and zap him into another dimension. Well, that’s one way to find the other scientists…a warlord named Kulla has them in this other dimension.
He’s demanding they build him an electro-death ray to kill off the peace loving inhabitants of his world so he can achieve ultimate power.
Henry manages to get to a secluded room where he changes into Ant-Man and he quickly realizes the insects in this dimension talk a bit differently than those at home. They attack but since he still has human strength, he easily knocks them aside. A few adjustments later and he’s communicating with the bugs without problems.
As Ant-Man sets out to rescue the scientists, he inadvertently trips an alarm and the guards try to step on him.
He gets away but the scientists have finished their gun and Kulla is ready to start using it. As the aliens recognize that Ant-Man is still on the loose, Henry dodges a number of attacks but then is splashed with the same paralytic liquid the window washer used on him…he can’t move.
That doesn’t stop him from commanding his insect friends from shooting Kulla with the death ray. Without their leader the guards quickly surrender the fortress and when the window washer brings a new prisoner, Ant-Man traps him and forces him to use the dimensional transporter to get all the scientists back to Earth.
What did I learn:
- Henry has started wearing clothes made of Unstable Molecules so they can stretch and contract as he get smaller or larger.
Not a bad little tale. It does follow a common theme of a bad guy wanting to get even more powerful by killing the people he wants to command. The main twist here is that we’re in a different dimension and the insects talk on different frequencies. The results are just the same though…Ant-Man fights through some adversity and saves the day. Not bad, but not very memorable, though I did like the fact that Ant-Man was able to hide in the ridges of the guard’s boot.