Word is that Mr. Silver age will be hosting a Trivia panel at C2E2 this weekend and because of the movie this summer, some of the questions will feature my favorite Marvel super-hero, Ant-Man. By coincidence, I just finished reading DC's Atom archives. Here are some similar covers featuring the two characters.

Some of these are a stretch, but close enough. And good luck at the trivia panel, Craig!

--your pal, Hoy

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Alieog-laboid. It sounds like something you'd find in a nose. Gil Kane should have drawn that story. He might have even come up with more nasal powers for the guy.

The trailer for Ant-Man says when he's shrunken he'll have superhuman strength. I'm assuming they meant he'll retain his normal sized human strength, not that shrinking will make him somehow hulk out.

I bet his friends call him "Sparky."

Someone pointed out the Star Wars homages where characters in the Marvel movies get their hands cut off like Luke did (Klaw of course had to, and he predates Star Wars by about 11 years). So now fans are asking who's going to lose a hand in Ant-Man.

I'll bet the guy gets a lot of "Don't be nosy, bub!" and "Keep your nose out of other people's business!"

I am shocked--shocked!--to learn that you have such a monstrous gap in your collection, Cap! Fortunately, I don't have that same deficiency. Unfortunately, that means I pulled it out to see what the heck an alieog-laboid was.

And here's the truth: It means...absolutely nothing! It's an apparently made-up word that's never explained to describe three mystical henchmen he calls upon (shown at left) to help him take over the world, even though he boasts he could do it on his own if he wanted.

They go about their nefarious ways to rule the world while Fly Man and Fly Girl are too weak to fight back. But then Fly Man comes up with "one last-ditch, mad, wild, crazy chance to save our beloved Earth!"

SPOILER WARNING: He telepathically contacts The Iniquitous Bee Man, a member of Monsters Inc., who takes our Fly heroes to his HQ, where our heroes convince these villains to save their world for later evil-doing. They agree and immediately take away Phantasmon's powers, return the Fly heroes' strength and defeat Phantasmon and his alieog-laboid henchmen--in two panels!

It makes me wonder why Bee-Man couldn't defeat Fly Man on his own, but it's best not to leave your brain turned on (or even in neutral) when reading these classics..

-- MSA

I am dubious of the logic and/or specific weakness that makes Ant-Man the sole obstacle to a giant scarlet beetle taking over the world. Perhaps he was unaware of Thor, FF and Iron Man? Perhaps I'm thinking again and I should know better?

-- MSA

Yet Ant-Man did thwart him. And Thor, the FF and Iron Man did not.

I can't argue with the facts.

-- MSA

I think this was in the infancy of Marvel when they weren't being shown in a shared universe.

Mr. Silver Age said:

I am dubious of the logic and/or specific weakness that makes Ant-Man the sole obstacle to a giant scarlet beetle taking over the world. Perhaps he was unaware of Thor, FF and Iron Man? Perhaps I'm thinking again and I should know better?

-- MSA

Iron Man couldn't have stopped the Scarlet Beetle. He wouldn't exist until two months later.

It was also two months later that the FF met Spider-Man and the Hulk for the first time, making Marvel a shared universe. I believe before that the Thing saw the Torch reading a Hulk comic and commented he wasn't real.

That two months for the Marvel Universe to get going would have given Scarlet Beetle a lot of time to consolidate his power.

Iron Man couldn't have done it till three months(1) later. In the meantime the Scarlet Beetle and his minions would've marched into Washington and forced passage of all kinds of horrors, such as criminalisation of pesticides, bans on the disposal of decaying fruit and the renaming of Stag beetles Stud beetles.

I notice that Kirby shifts the perspective here between the foreground and background. The foreground is seen from above, and the background frontally. He did the same thing on Tales to Astonish #42. This reflects how you'd see a scene if you had to look down at what was in the foreground, and across at what was in the distance.

(1) In Tales of Suspense #40, since he first had to get back from Vietnam.

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