Comic Browser:


Tales to Astonish #62: Review

Dec 1964
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Story Name:

Enter... The Chameleon!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Tales to Astonish #62 Review by (February 21, 2023)

Review and Comments by Peter Silvestro

Review: And the thrills keep coming: Hulk is captured and at this point in his career, he cannot break out of those bonds. Meanwhile, the mysterious Leader (wait for him) is revealed to have been behind the spy who stole the robot; now he dispatches Chameleon as his agent. Now Chameleon (introduced in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1) is a bit hard to believe, that a brief look at General Ross enables him to not only create a mask that looks like Ross (with what equipment?) but also mimic his voice and mannerisms. At least they don’t try to have him fool Betty or someone else who knows him well; note how quickly Betty twigs to fake Bruce. Anyway, bringing Rick Jones back to the series gives Bruce an ally for a change and Chameleon running around with a bomb offers some suspense. Ross takes the presence of an impostor rather casually while also arguing that Hulk threw himself on the bomb to save himself, which isn’t the way that works, proving his characterization still needs some work. Again, the startling bit is that Talbot agrees with him! Anyway, the tale is fast paced and exciting, helped by the headlong rush from one issue to the next.

Hank Pym defeats a giant plant with karate! That’s just one odd moment in a typically goofy yet entertaining chapter in the saga of Ant-Man and Wasp! In a move which could make Plantman (and Norman Borlaug) envious, Hank Pym creates giant endlessly growing plants—and that’s the problem. Beating the plants with martial arts, Hank falls prey to a burglar who just happens by (via plant). Ant-Sammy mixes it up with Wasp and is no match for either hero. Good thing as the plants are still growing; not to worry, violence solves the problem once again! And Hank calls a press conference to relate how he defeated the mad plants. So, uh…what is the likelihood that Hank didn’t tell them why the plants were growing out of control? There’s no hint of anyone realizing Hank was solving a problem he caused himself. And, in a move that is certainly illegal, Hank wipes the mind of Second-Story Sammy, removing his memories of being a criminal—then sending him out into the cold cruel world to live his life over, having lost several years’ worth of his life. Not to worry, I’m sure Sammy has friends and police who will remind him that he is a criminal. Otherwise he’d be helpless to start a new life. 

Comments: Hulk story: First brief appearance of the Leader (though his face is not shown). Captain America has a cameo at the beginning of the story saying goodbye to Rick JonesRick calls Betty Ross, “Miss Brant,” no doubt after reading too many Spider-Man comics; Glen(n) Talbot has no excuse for doing the same on the final page. Inker George Roussos credited as George BellGiant-Man story: Wasp has another costume change. Only appearance of Second-Story Sammy; burglars were once referred to as “second-story men.” According to GCD, the story is inked by George Roussos though Dick Ayers is credited. Issue includes a pin-up of Hulk by Jack Kirby and George Roussos.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales to Astonish #62 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
The Hulk feels the unbreakable chains starting to loosen up, as the tension triggers his transformation into Banner.

Right before the change, the Chameleon, master of disguise, and currently under the command of another villain called the Leader, is disguised as Thunderbolt Ross. The Chameleon gives orders to the soldiers to leave the area.

As Banner, he easily frees from the large chains, and hides with the help of Rick Jones.

The Chameleon cannot find the monster, so he disguises as Bruce Banner, kidnaps Betty Ross, and threatens everyone with a gamma hand grenade.

Banner turns into the Hulk, rescues Betty and absorbs the bomb blast with his body. The Chameleon escapes in the confusion.

Giant-Man Versus the Wonderful Wasp!”  Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Writer: Stan Lee. Pencils: Carl Burgos. Inks: Dick Ayers. Colors: ? Letters: Art Simek.

Synopsis: Hank Pym discovers a means to accelerate the growth of plants as a means of increasing the world’s food supply but he soon discovers a problem: the growth comes much too quickly, constantly doubling and threatening the city. He shrinks down to Ant-Man size to destroy the tap root with a karate blow….

Elsewhere, a burglar named Second-Story Sammy discovers that the jewels in his victims’ hotel room are fake and makes it out onto the window ledge when he hears them returning. A huge leaf from one of the fast-growing plants scoops him up and deposits him on Hank Pym’s ledge. Inside, Hank’s reactor explodes, hurling him across the room and knocking him unconscious. Sammy enters and recognizes Giant-Man by his outfit; a little bit of searching yields the name Henry Pym and Sammy now knows the hero’s secret identity. He dons the Giant-Man costume and quickly discovers how to control his size changes mentally. Janet Van Dyne arrives but the crook pushes his way out past her and on to a scheme…

…at a downtown jewelry store. He sneaks in at ant-size but an accidental growth triggers the alarms so he shrinks down again to hide among the gems in the window. Wasp tracks him down via the cybernetic helmet and quickly realizes that this isn’t Hank Pym. With a combination of judo, thrown objects, and threats, Wasp forces Sammy to tell her what has happened to the real Ant-Man….

Meanwhile, Hank recovers and learns that the plant is still spreading and filling the city. He contacts Wasp and the baddie takes the opportunity to shut her in a jewelry box and escape. But Jan has already summoned a flying ant which scoops up Ant-Sammy and delivers him to Hank’s lab; Sammy tries to grow to giant-size but Hank punches him out before he can grow too big. Hank marshals the ants and has them locate the main root of the fast-growing vine; he heads out there and as Giant-Man, he tears up the root, sending the ants to chew up every last vestige of it, ending the menace of the plants. Giant-Man gives a press statement telling how he defeated the giant plant menace, introducing Sammy as a friend who had stopped by. Later, he tells Jan that he used some memory loss serum to wipe Sammy’s mind of Hank’s identity—and his own criminal career.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Steve Ditko
George Bell
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Chic Stone (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank Pym)
Betty Ross
Betty Ross

(Elizabeth Ross)
Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Hank Pym)

(Bruce Banner)
Thunderbolt Ross
Thunderbolt Ross

(Thaddeus Ross)

(Janet Van Dyne)

> Tales to Astonish: Book info and issue index

Share This Page