Reviews for Tales to Astonish 5
Lorendiac chapter 1 . 2/3/2007
I believe this happens to be the first story of yours that I've read, so I blinked when I saw that Maria Pym, Hank's first wife, was still alive and well and calling herself the Wasp in your version. I'm not sure yet why you felt the need to substitute Maria for Janet, but I rolled with the punch and moved on. (After I go back and read some previous stories about these two, I may get a better understanding of why you made this particular change.)

By and large, I liked the story. Although to be perfectly frank, I've never been a big Ant-Man fan, any version of Ant-Man. (Granted, this one was more about the Wasp, with Hank not wearing his costume this time around.) As I suggested above, I do intend to go back and read the rest of whatever you've done with your versions of Ant-Man and the Wasp.

And now for a Shameless Nitpick, just to prove I was paying attention!

You said:

* “So, you escaped from my trap? Pity. Now I shall” his mental words were cut off as the sticky stick flew through the air and struck one of the creature’s eyes. *

A while back, I had occasion to open up a book on punctuation and double-check how we're supposed to handle that situation, when a character's spoken dialogue abruptly gets interrupted in mid-sentence by something else, before the speaker had properly finished his intended speech. The answer was that we're supposed to have the stuff inside quotation marks end with an "em dash." (A lot longer than a hyphen or an "en dash.")

In Microsoft Word on my computer, if I type

"Now I shall-"

and hit space after the closing quotes, then those two hyphens automatically become consolidated into one much longer "em dash." (As near as I can tell, comic book letterers normally settle for "-" with two short little dashes together when they want to show the same thing happening. That's the way it's often done on the Internet, too, when people are typing things out directly into a browser window and there isn't a really easy way to get the keyboard to produce an "em dash." So it also seems to be acceptable.)

But I don't think you're supposed to just type "Now I shall" without using punctuation to vividly alert the reader that his speech ended "ahead of schedule."

And I think that since his spoken sentence got abruptly terminated, the next bit in that paragraph should say "His mental words" with a capital H to mark the start of a new sentence describing what's going on. (There could be flexibility in the rules on that point; I'm not totally positive.)

Come to think of it, I'll throw in another nitpick on the same passage. In it, you refer to the Scarlet Beetle as "he," but in many other passages you refer to that character as "it." You probably ought to pick one pronoun or the other and stick to it.

Yes, these are tiny nitpicks, but I wanted to persuade myself I was offering some sort of "constructive criticism." :)