Tales to Astonish

Tales to Astonish began in 1959 as a monster/sci-fi title before Marvel reinvented the superhero genre. With contributions from legendary creators like Larry Lieber, Joe Sinnott, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Dick Ayers, Don Heck, and Stan Lee, the series continued in this vein until issue #35, where Ant-Man made his debut as the lead feature.

In issue #27, Henry Pym was introduced as a scientist who discovered how to shrink to insect size, a story titled “The Man in the Ant Hill.” This concept led to Ant-Man’s creation, making this issue highly valuable to collectors as it predates Pym’s transformation into a superhero by almost a year.

Ant-Man, alongside his sidekick and future wife, Janet Van Dyne (The Wasp), continued as the lead until issue #49, when Pym became Giant-Man. Marvel then introduced The Incredible Hulk as a co-feature in issue #60, fresh from his own short-lived title.

Giant-Man and Hulk shared the spotlight until issue #70, when Giant-Man was replaced by The Sub-Mariner. Created by Bill Everett in 1939 for Timely Comics (later Marvel), Sub-Mariner was reintroduced in Fantastic Four #4 after Johnny Storm revived him from amnesia. The bitter, human-hating Sub-Mariner quickly became popular and joined Tales to Astonish.

This duo continued until the series ended with issue #101 in March 1968, after which both characters received their own titles.

Pre-hero issues of Tales to Astonish are highly collectible, especially issue #27 and the Ant/Giant-Man issues. Issue #93, featuring a Silver Surfer cameo, is also notably valuable.

Tales to Astonish #27 (1962)


1st Appearance of Ant Man

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