The Man in the Ant Hill

January 9, 2019

January 1962

Tales to Astonish #27 (vol. 1)

“The Man in the Ant Hill!”

EIC: 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

Pages: 7

Cover Price: $0.10

First Appearance of:

  • Henry “Hank” Pym

Origin of:

  • Henry Pym’s shrinking serum


Henry Pym is a scientist whose colleagues have always ridiculed him because his ideas seem too far-fetched to them. But he has created a shrinking serum and a growth serum which can reduce the size of objects and return them to normal once more.  

He imagines all of the ways this new technology could benefit mankind – reducing the cost of shipping, even transporting military platoons more efficiently. In order for this last to work, Pym has to test the serums on himself. But, the results prove to work too quickly…and too powerfully.

Before he realizes what has happened, Pym has shrunken to a size smaller than an ant. He is quickly spotted and pursued by an army of ants.

Before they can catch him, however, he falls down a shaft in one of their anthills. He lands in honey where he becomes stuck. But he sees one lone ant who considers him for a moment, and then for some unknown reason, helps Pym out of his predicament.

Almost at once though, he finds himself surrounded by the other ants which were chasing him earlier. With no escape in sight, Pym suddenly spies a wooden match sticking out of the ground, obviously some treasure brought down by the ants.

He picks up a rock and flings it at the head of the matchstick, striking it, causing it to burst into flame. Distracted by the conflagration, the ants allow Pym to slip past them, and he climbs out of the anthill. Outside, he spies the test tube containing the growth serum balanced precariously on a window ledge high above, too high for him to hope to reach. And the ants are pursuing him once more.

But when all hope seems lost, the lone ant that saved Pym before approaches him. Pym climbs on its back and motions up to the window ledge…and the ant begins crawling up the wall, carrying Pym to salvation.

Pym bathes himself in the growth serum and almost immediately begins to grow back to his normal size.

The first thing Pym does when he is back to normal is pour the serums down the drain, realizing how dangerous their use could be. He tells his fellow scientists that he has given up on his wild scientific pursuits and will furthermore stick to more practical experiments. But the most important thing Pym took away from his incredible adventure was a new respect for the tiny ants who live below, one who had saved his life, and he vowed he would never step on one ever again.

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