Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Why Essential Ant-Man is the Best Book Ever

I can't pick up my comics until Saturday due to scheduling issues, but I've passing the time with "Essential Ant-Man", which my roommate found and bought me.

It is, I firmly believe, the greatest Marvel Silver Age compilation ever.


1. Communists. Lots of communists. Often for no real reason.

2. Cross-dressing communists.

3. The fact that Hank's first semi-psychotic episode is mentioned way back in Jan's first appearance and 43 years later, he still hasn't gotten proper therapy.

4. How Hank and Jan's relationship is pretty much summarizable as:

Jan: Hank! Notice me! I love you! I'm hot, young, rich and throwing myself at you!
Hank: ...oh look, particles.

5. The fact that this exchange actually happens in the comic:

Jan: "MMM...It's WORTH being ill to have you hold me in your arms like this, Hank..."
Hank: "Poor kid...the fever's made you delirious!"

6. The fact that this exchange occurs while riding home on the back of an ant.

7. And that Hank's other forms of transports include a tiny catapult and rubber bands

8. And that the aforementioned exchange ends up followed by the best line ever: "You and your old ants! I'll bet if I had six legs you'd like me better!"

9. The fact that villains can pick up Ant Man when he's the size of a paperclip, reach down and take his helmet off. I find this the most amazing thing ever, as my hands shake, so if I tried it'd be *squish*.

10. For that matter, even when they pick him up, they always decide to kill him in silly ways like using mind control to make him walk into a river. They never just go squish.

11. Hank's former wife Maria and Janet Van Dyne only look alike if you're freaking delusional.

Oh wait. Right.

12. How in every issue after the first, they explain that Hank's clothes shrink with him because they're unstable molecules worn for precisely that reason.

But the very first issue? His first time shrinking? His clothes still shrunk. I think he's keeping those molecules for other reasons.




  • At September 29, 2006 11:50 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Oh Kalinara my dear. I don't understand this passion for crazy scientists! It never ends well, just look at poor old Reed. Stick to crazy Green Lanterns.

  • At September 29, 2006 12:52 PM, Anonymous Mark Engblom said…

    Yeah, the very early Marvel Age was all about the Commies. I'll probably do a "Cover to Cover" article on it soon.

  • At September 29, 2006 1:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I fricking told you people!

    I fricking TOLD you people!

  • At September 29, 2006 2:17 PM, Blogger Amy Reads said…

    2. Cross-dressing communists.

    There really is No Better Kind.

    Thanks for the giggle!

  • At September 29, 2006 4:45 PM, Anonymous Dan Coyle said…

    The Wasp's attitude gets even funnier if you imagine her being voiced by Grey DeLisle.

    But she has evolved into a strong leader, and a worthy hero in her own right.

  • At September 29, 2006 5:38 PM, Blogger R.Nav said…

    I have no idea why Ant-Man never goes *smish* At least the Atom had control over his density as well.

    Do Pym-Particles affect density? I'm curious now.

  • At September 29, 2006 11:15 PM, Anonymous chuck said…

    Kalinara mentions Hank's interactions with Jan and you ask whether the particles affect his density? Hmm...I wonder? :-p

  • At September 30, 2006 3:05 AM, Blogger Evan Waters said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At September 30, 2006 3:06 AM, Blogger Evan Waters said…

    I actually kinda liked 60s flirty Jan. Particularly in AVENGERS where instead of just hammering away at Hank she was hitting on Thor sometimes (and maybe the others).

    I'd like to see a solo book focusing on when she was back in her early debutante-superheroine days.

  • At September 30, 2006 5:57 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    sally: I can't help it! They're just so delightfully twisty! Like Lanterns!

    There's room in my heart for both!

    Mark: Can't wait!

    Mallet: You did!

    Amy: Indeed!

    Dan: Yep. Doesn't change the fact that it's still funny though. :-P Poor thing just wants Love!

    R.Nav: Not sure. He does have his normal strength when shrunken, but I'd still think he could be squished. Or smothered at least...

    Chuck: Heheheh

    Evan: I do like Jan, in both really, she's a bit...odd sometimes though. :-)

  • At September 30, 2006 12:39 PM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Ok, I can sort of understand Hank, but Jan is the one who is really nuts. You do realize that she's the one responsible for the whole "House of M" thing, mainly because she just can't keep her big mouth shut, when she lets slip the fact that Wanda had kids and then goes...oops. Which of course leads to the whole Avengers Disassembled, the New Avengers, and down down that slippery CIVIL WAR! Yes! It's all Jan's fault!

  • At September 30, 2006 11:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Everything is Jan's fault.

  • At September 30, 2006 11:31 PM, Blogger notintheface said…

    "10. For that matter, even when they pick him up, they always decide to kill him in silly ways like using mind control to make him walk into a river. They never just go squish."

    I read that story where a villain called "The Voice of Doom" made an ant-sized, mind-controlled Hank WALK THE LENGTH OF A PIER before reaching the river. Considering that to Ant-Man that distance was the equivalent of walking 4-8 miles, my questions were:

    1. Wouldn't this villain get bored out of his skull watching Hank zombie-walk toward the river for God knows how long?

    2. The story showed this bad guy staying where he was and not following Hank along the pier, and yet he still was satisfied that Hank plunged off the pier. What kind of eagle-eyes did this guy have?


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