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Tales to Astonish #47: Review

Sep 1963
Ernie Hart, Don Heck

Story Name:

Music to Scream By

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Tales to Astonish #47 Review by (November 1, 2022)

Review: A villainous jazzman? But of course. One who just happens to find the mystic Ant-Man and Wasp were talking about at the beginning of the story and learning how to hypnotize people with some hot riffs. Janet digs the jazz scene though Hank is strictly from Dullsville. And Trago must have some influence: his scheme will only work if everyone in New York City is listening to his music on TV, which means said show must have been the highest rated TV program in history with all 7.7 million New Yorkers tuning in, even the deaf, non-music fans, and people who were working at that hour of the day. And the story implies a full audience as Trago doesn’t worry about police or superheroes or even bank tellers who are too busy to watch television because they are at, you know, work. Trago must be one hep cat! Not to worry, Ant-Man defeats him by messing around inside his trumpet and no harm is done—unless you count the people who were robbed in Connecticut but New Yorkers don’t care about those people anyway. And I shall refrain from mentioning the story’s ending comparing a dead ant to Jesus Christ.

Comments: Ant-Man story: AVENGERS #1 takes place after this issue. First and only appearance of the ant Korr and his brother Foss. First appearance of Trago; he makes an unlikely return in ANT-MAN (2022 series) #1. Hank Pym has never heard of Count Basie and Wild Bill Donovan; he really has been shut up in his lab. The final quote is from the New Testament: John 15:13. Writer Ernie Hart is credited as E.H. Huntley. Second story: Text story with one illustration, reprinted from UNCANNY TALES #41.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales to Astonish #47 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Ant-Man and Wasp defeat a gang of crooks led by Raymond Theis and save the Star of Ghana, “largest precious gem in the world” to the gratitude of its owner, Mr. Nehradu. They start chatting about the powers of Indian mystics; Nehradu admits that many are fake but one Ghazandi wields music with real hypnotic powers. Later, after changing into their civvies, they visit a jazz club; Janet is a jazz fan though the music has no appeal for the serious-minded Hank. The club’s star attraction, Trago the trumpeter, is caught robbing the owner’s safe; Hank and Jan quickly don their superhero outfits and capture Trago. He says it was an impulse crime and the money was returned so the owner decides not to prosecute—on the condition that Trago leaves the country for India….

In India, Trago finds Ghahzandi and becomes his pupil, learning how to play music that hypnotizes. Some time later, he returns to America with a band of musicians who have been hypnotized into serving him. At a small club in Connecticut, he plays his trumped sending the audience into a trance and orders his band to steal their valuables. When finished, Trago brings them out of the trance and no one, band or audience, remembers a thing. The test successful, Trago sets his sights on New York City….

Trago hypnotizes a New York TV station director to get his combo on TV so his sinister music is heard by the entire city, including Hank and Janet. They shrink to avoid the music and before he passes out, Hank summons his right-hand ant Korr. Korr and the other ants carry Ant-Man and Wasp into a burrow to get them away from the music. Korr dispatches his gang to loot banks and also sends reptiles to find and kill Ant-Man and Wasp. A snake slithers down into the burrow after Hank and Janet but Korr fights him, dying of his injuries. Ant-Man uses his reducing gas to shrink the snake to worm size. Ant-Man summons Korr’s brother Foss to fly him along with Wasp to the TV station. They encounter Trago’s henchmen and Wasp puts them to sleep with her sting. Ant-Man enters the studio and discovers he has no more enlarging gas and so he must dodge Trago between the keys of a piano; recalling that Nehrandu said that if Ghahzandi played the wrong notes he would hypnotize himself, Ant-Man enters Trago’s trumpet and causes enough damage that the villain indeed puts himself into a trance. All evil is wiped from Trago’s mind and no one in the city remembers what happened. Trago goes on to be a regular jazz man and Hank broods about the heroic sacrifice of his ant Korr….

“The Disappearance”
Writer: Unknown. Art: Gene Colan. 
Synopsis: Sick of the modern world, an old man becomes a hermit in the mountains; then his grandson sends him a Geiger counter and the old man becomes a successful uranium miner!

“The Smiling Gods!”
Writer: Larry Lieber. Plot: Stan Lee. Pencils: Larry Lieber. Inks: Matt Fox. Colors: ? Letters: Artie Simek.
Synopsis: A general takes over a rural village in Southeast Asia and demands that the peasants supply him with increasing amounts of crops. The villagers pray to their idols and the crops grow so fast they trap and smother the general!

Writer: Stan Lee. Art: Steve Ditko. Colors: ? Letters: Artie Simek.
Synopsis: The Warlord of the planet Klang sends their greatest warrior Sagar to scout out Earth for invasion. He lands his ship in a remote area, scopes out Earth’s defenses, and is trapped because he landed his ship on quicksand! Not hearing from him, the Warlord calls off the invasion!

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank Pym)

(Janet Van Dyne)

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