etragedy's Tales to Astonish #1 - We Found The Ninth Wonder Of The World review

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Overly Narrated


Tales to Astonish debuted as a comic anthology of science fiction, fantasy and horror tales in January of 1959. It featured four stories: 'We Found the Ninth Wonder of the World', a King Kong ripoff featuring a giant turtle instead of a giant gorilla; 'I Know the Secret of the Poltergeist!', a story about a supernatural investigator who is trying to debunk a supposedly haunted house; 'The Mystery Planet!', a story about an intergalactic businessman and the strange planet he discovers; and 'I Foiled an Enemy Invasion!', about a man who discovers the secret behind mysterious billboards that start appearing all over the nation.

These stories actually have some pretty good art in them. The weakness lies in the stories (uncredited, but likely all by the same person who was probably Stan Lee). It seems that Lee, or whoever wrote this quartet of tales, had yet to master writing for the visual medium. All four tales are told by protagonist narrators, and told primarily via large blocks of narrative text. Thus they are long on talk, and short on action. Not only that, the visuals themselves often seem to lack drama, since the action has already been stated in the text.

If this comic is any indication, most fans of Marvel Comics will probably want to skip ahead to issue 27 when Henry 'Hank' Pym first appears.

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