Episode 34: Insect Attack (Tales to Astonish #39) -- January 1963

  
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In this episode:

Mike and Ed discuss who or what could be behind the insect attacks that have overwhelmed the city, and whether this should have been the responsibility of Ant-Man. Also: if there is a red beetle the size of a house, is his color really his defining feature?

In this issue:

A beetle is accidentally irradiated by atomic experiments. In a matter of moments, the beetle gains sentience, develops mental telepathy, and feels an overwhelming antipathy towards humanity. He battles Ant-Man, steals his growth gas, and becomes as big as a house. Now known as the Scarlet Beetle, he controls all manner of insects and directs them to attack humanity as he plots to take over the world. Ant-Man rejoins the fight and battles the Scarlet Beetle, ultimately prevailing by (cruelly) counteracting the effects of the irradiation. The Scarlet Beetle, now deprived of intelligence, sentience, and telepathy, and returned to a normal size, is left to live out his short life in Ant-Man’s front yard.

Assumed before the next episode:

People are feeling fortunate that they have Ant-Man as their guardian, but may be asking whether there is a connection between their favourite anonymous vigilante named after an insect, and an insect army that nearly took over the world.

This episode takes place:

After the city was overrun by insects and a giant beetle.