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Tales to Astonish #45: Review

Jul 1963
Ernie Hart, Don Heck

Story Name:

The Terrible Traps of Egghead!

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Tales to Astonish #45 Review by (October 18, 2022)

Review: Egghead’s plot is so dumb that I don’t know where to start, I’m just standing back and marveling at the whole. And note that Egghead has to keep talking his two dumb henchmen into going with the plan instead of just making off with the loot. My favorite bit is how the brainy baddie has installed small live wires across every crack in the room to electrocute ants and ant-sized men. Dude, caulk would have been cheaper and easier and even Ape could have done it. For sheer dumbth, this one is hard to beat. An anteater was an (obvious) act of genius but even then it failed!

Comments: Ant-Man story: Egghead was introduced in issue #38; this is his second appearance and he returns in issue #57. Only appearances of Twister and Ape. FANTASTIC FOUR #16 takes place after this issue, Ant-Man’s first guest appearance in another series. Writer Ernie Hart is credited as E. Huntley. Second story: Text story with one illustration, reprinted from MYSTICAL TALES #3. Fourth story: Replace the clown with a grandmother and you have Ray Bradbury’s “I Sing the Body Electric.”


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales to Astonish #45 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

After a lengthy recap of Egghead’s battle with Ant-Man, we pick up the baddie where we left him, in a skid row rooming house. There he overhears two crooks, Twisty and Ape, complaining about being defeated by Ant-Man and he (eventually) talks them into a scheme to destroy the tiny hero, using his new partner Wasp to do it. Egghead first establishes himself as entomologist Carl Striker, becoming famous enough through his lectures to be invited to build a wasp exhibit at the zoo—in the reptile house, no less. Then he sends Twister and Ape to steal the famous Middleton diamond, using his device that scrambles ant messages to prevent Ant-Man from learning about it. By the time Ant-Man and Wasp arrive at the jeweler’s, the crooks are long gone. After talking his henchmen out of fencing the diamond and leaving Ant-Man alone, Egghead baits the trap. Janet Van Dyne comes to check out the wasp exhibit and spots the diamond inside; she decides to catch the crooks and recover the diamond herself to prove to Ant-Man she’s not “a scatterbrained little girl.” That night, Wasp shows up, enters the exhibit and is trapped in a maze; so she contacts Ant-Man who arrives and is trapped in a glass cage with a huge iguana. Egghead provides Ant-Man with an ant and a straight pin to fight the iguana like St. George and the dragon and the hero wins. He frees Wasp and then Egghead releases his secret weapon, an anteater! Trapped by electrified wires around the room, Ant-Man lassos the beast and uses his full-grown strength to whip it around and hurl it at the baddies. The two heroes take down Twister and Ape while Egghead escapes. Hank scolds Janet about going off alone while she moons over him and Egghead vows revenge.  

“The Future”
Writer: Unknown. Art: Unknown.
Synopsis: A TV quizmaster accidentally steps into a futuristic world and when he returns to his own time, he is carrying a page of questions from the future!

“Bronson’s Brain!”
Writer: Stan Lee. Art: Steve Ditko. Colors: ? Letters: Artie Simek.
Synopsis: The smartest man on Earth grows so arrogant that he travels to a distant planet looking for intellectual equals and lands on a world so advanced that he is considered a helpless moron!

“It Walks Like a Man!”
Writer: Robert Bernstein. Plot: Stan Lee. Pencils: Paul Reinman. Inks: Paul Reinman. Colors:? Letters: Terry Szenics.
Synopsis: A little girl considers her robot companion Carlo the Clown to be her best friend, worrying her parents until the robot sacrifices itself to save her from harm! Set in 1973!

Don Heck
Don Heck
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Dick Ayers (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Plot: . Letterer: Art Simek.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank Pym)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Egghead (Elihas Starr).

> Tales to Astonish: Book info and issue index

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