Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Mad Master of Time!

I have no idea how many of Marvel's heroes have fallen victim at one time or another to attacks which age them to frailty--but what do you say we give Hank Pym a crack at it?

Heh heh--"isn't it time," get it? Because speeding up time is what this story is about. The perp responsible for Pym's predicament will even call himself the "Time-Master"--but when we first meet him, he's simply Elias Weems, research scientist for a prominent company and resident of Center City (which is where Pym also happens to live--who knew?) who's looking forward to his grandson's visit and plans to show him around the laboratory where he works. Unfortunately, Weems is going to have that particular rug yanked out from under him:

Too bad for Weems that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act is still about four years from being signed into law. But Weems isn't about to cool his heels waiting for the wheels of justice to spin. Worried about losing the love and respect of his grandson, Tommy, Weems decides to turn the tables on those who have wronged him:

And so Weems builds a portable device that will "increase the motion of the body's atoms" and thus cause the subject to age. No wonder Tommy is so proud of this guy--Reed Richards wasn't this good even on his best day. Successfully testing his aging ray on trees, Weems then arrives at the zoo, where we also find Hank Pym having a few disturbing delusions of his own:

(Causing this ticking bomb to prematurely age and taking him out of circulation might actually be a good thing, folks.)

Pym is as startled as everyone else to see the effects of Weems' tests:

Weems manages to slip away, to the center of, er, Center City, where he conducts his final testing on humans:

With his invention ready to go, Weems then delivers his ultimatum to the Center City authorities. In his current state of mind, I suppose we couldn't expect Weems to demand for his job back, or even money to retire on. Instead, he goes for broke, since his grandson will probably be impressed with a whole city to play in:

Naturally, these eavesdropping ants put Ant-Man on the case, which leads to the confrontation we've all been crossing our fingers for dreading:

Weems confiscates Ant-Man's cybernetic helmet and drops him in a flower pot to imprison him, knowing that Pym is now too frail and weak to climb out. But it looks like there's another tidbit about Ant-Man that isn't common knowledge:

And so Pym makes his way to City Hall, where Weems is already taking his revenge by turning his ray on those in the vicinity. But there's one pedestrian he hadn't counted on as collateral damage:

Startled, Weems loses his grip on his ray device, and it plummets down--but a quick-thinking Pym orders his ants to form a living cushion which keeps it from being damaged on impact. Not so great for the dozens of ants that were likely crushed on impact. But those that survive still seem to be in his corner when he instructs the crowd on reversing the effects of the ray:

As for Weems, Pym puts in a good word for him at his hearing, which his former employer also attends. When the dust settles, it looks like Weems will get to give his grandson that tour of his lab, after all:

But you didn't think you were getting out of this story without a teaching moment, did you?

Yecchhh! The only people missing here are Wally and the Beav!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if maybe a super-villain shot ME with an aging ray! Dang knees! Receding hairline! Yarggh! mp

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