Return of the Ant-Man

December 22, 2020

September 1962

Tales to Astonish #35 (vol. 1)

“Return of the Ant-Man”

EIC: Stan Lee

Writers: Stan Lee

Pencilers: Jack Kirby

Inkers: Dick Ayers

Letterer: John Duffy

Editors: Stan Lee

Cover Date: September 1962

Release Date: June 1962

Pages: 13 Cover Price: $0.12

First Appearance of:


Dr. Henry Pym created two formulas, one that could reduce the size of a object and another to return it to its normal size. Dr. Pym grew increasingly interested in ants learning everything he could about them.

In order to communicate with the ants Dr. Pym built a helmet that will pick up the wavelengths and translate them as well as translate his commands so that the ants will understand him. He also developed a suit to protect him from ant bites or stings.

This story begins with the government giving Pym an assignment to create a gas to make people immune to radioactivity and four assistants to help him. The communists learn of the research and plan to steal the formula.

When Pym refuses to give them the formula they threaten to get it from the assistants, but since each only worked on part of the formula they do not know the whole of it. The men decide to search the lab for the formula themselves and lock Pym into his office.

Realizing that he is trapped Pym decides to use his reducing formula and field test his suit and helmet. Pym uses a rubber band to launch himself to the window, climb underneath it and lower himself to the ground using a strand of thread. Once outside he heads to a nearby ant hill and immediately begins to feel the vibrations in his helmet.

While he works on adjusting the helmet to fully understand what the ants are communicating, they notice his presence and move in to attack him. Once Pym gets his helmet working he is able to stop all but one of the ants from attacking.

During the attack Pym realizes that he had retained all his strength at his normal size and easily lifts the ant and tosses it aside. The ant charges again and bites Pym but is unable to penetrate his suit and Pym strikes him with a judo chop knocking the ant out. He then sends a message to the remaining ants to follow him.

Once outside he runs into a beetle who Pym defeats by digging a deep hole and tricking the beetle to fall into it and bury it long enough to get away. Pym next rides an ant up the side of the building, with the rest following, and makes his way under the window.

Now inside Pym makes his way to his assistants, who are tied up and works to untie them. Pym then orders the ants to attack one of the communist, forcing him to drop his gun, and then sending honey ants into the gun to clog it up.

The ants make their way to the other communist and distract them enough for the lab assistants to overpower them. With things under control in the lab, Pym makes his way to his office and returns to his normal size and joins the others while they await the police to take the communists away.

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