I remember ‘Man in the Anthill’

Yeah, I’m that old.

I remember holding the comic in my hand.  I remember reading it over and over again.  I also remember wearing the cover off and tearing pages with wear.

Then, sadly, the comic vanished (as many do) into obscurity.

TALES TO ASTONISH #27; MAN IN THE ANTHILL was the origin story of hero known as Ant-Man.  If you have one in mint condition and graded high enough, you can pull over $60,000.  I try not to whine about comics past, but that makes me shudder at times.  But I’ve never been much of a comic collector.  I’ve been much more of a comic consumer.   I can’t stand to have comics for just looking at the cover.  I have to read.  That’s why I’d rather buy a comic with the cover torn off and the story intact than to pay massive amounts of money for a nice cover and/or investment.


And what kills me is I don’t know what happened to it.  Did it suffer the fate of the comics thrown away by mom?  I know some of my comics were confiscated at school; never to be returned.   Who knows, really.  All that’s important is that I remember and it had a lasting effect on my life.


This was the age of giant insect movies and dinosaurs coming back from the tar pits.  And I ate them up like candy.  Seeing Hank Pym (the original Ant Man) standing next to a towering ant reminded me of my favorite weekday afternoon scifi movie: THEM.  Strange chemicals, radioactive spills, atomic bomb testings and man’s inexhaustible curiosity spawned all sorts of weird science movies.  Comics were no different.  Ant-Man himself was the result of experiments with a strange gas; the Pym Particles.

Our fascination with the scientific unknown haunted us even in our dreams and seeped into our movies.  And, as a young boy, I devoured every inch of film; every second of story.  And I grabbed every comic I could get my hand on or get my mom to buy.  I could NOT get enough…and still can’t.  My only enemy now is time.  I envy that kid who had the world by the tail and plenty of time to travel his imaginative worlds.

No, if I could, I would travel back and spend some time with that child and, maybe, borrow TALES TO ASTONISH #27.  Not so I could pawn it for the cash so much.  No.  I would just like to enjoy the leisurely stroll into the imagination of the child; maybe capture some of that wonder lost.


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