Real Name: Perry Moore
Identity/Class: Human mutate (1950s era)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Unidentified fellow scientists (mentioned only)
Enemies: Ant scientists, various insects
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: His private laboratory in a scientific complex, somewhere in America;
temporarily trapped in an ant hill
First Appearance: Mystic#57/1 (March, 1957)
Powers/Abilities: Dr. Perry Moore was a brilliant scientist in the field of biochemistry. He created a shrinking serum which worked on any form of life, although the shrinking effect was only temporary.
When he accidentally spilled some of the serum in an open wound on his left arm, Moore (along with his clothing) was temporarily reduced to insect-size.
Height: 6' (by
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
(Mystic#57/1) - After creating a shrinking serum, Dr. Perry Moore tested it on four lab animals--the experiment was a success, and the creatures were temporarily shrunken to tiny size. But when Moore put one of the animals back in its cage, a ragged piece of wire caught and ripped the flesh of his arm--in quick reaction to the pain, he jerked his arm back, his elbow hit the bottle of serum, and some of it was spilled on his wound.
Moore immediately left his lab to go to the other scientists in another building of the scientific complex--he didn't know if the serum would affect him, but if it did, he wanted someone qualified to witness and take notes. He could feel a stirring in his being, so he knew the serum was taking hold, but he figured he'd only shrink a foot or so. But as he ran outside and across the grounds to the neighboring building, Moore shrank more than he expected--he was already down to half his height, and his size was continuing to dwindle (...and so we saw less of Moore (Sorry, couldn't resist.)).
Soon, the grass seemed to rise up on all sides, and Moore found himself reduced to the size of a bug, trapped in a "jungle" filled with menacing "giant" insects. Seeking a safe refuge, the shrunken scientist climbed into a hole in the ground, only to discover that it was a network of ant tunnels.
In the dimly lit tunnel, Moore heard a strange sound--a rhythmic clicking, almost like Morse code--and he watched a worker ant as it carried a pebble larger than itself upon its back--he was impressed by the creature's great strength in comparison to its size. But then Moore was seen by some soldier ants, and he had no place to go but to run deeper into the tunnel to avoid the formidable insects.
Moore escaped the pursuing soldier ants by darting into a large chamber, where he concealed himself behind a pillar of earth--he was exhausted, so he decided to hide until the serum wore off and he regained his normal size. But as he rested, he heard the strange clicking again, and realized that it was the ants' means of communication. Scientific curiosity got the best of him, so Moore peered out from behind the pillar--he was shocked to see what appeared to be two ant scientists conducting an experiment in a miniature laboratory!
Moore watched as the insects mixed a tiny vial of chemicals, then their clickings changed to a sound of frustration, and they angrily threw the vial on a pile of other such containers--judging by the size of the pile, Moore figured the ants must have tried their experiment thousands of times and failed. The ants went over to some charts hanging on the chamber wall--one of the charts featured a crude drawing of a man next a man-sized ant. When one of the ants pointed to the drawing of the man and let out an angry burr, Moore surmised from the insect's reaction that the ants hated mankind, and their experiment was tied to their hatred.
The insect next went to examine another chart with a drawing of a string of genes, and Moore finally understood the purpose of the ant scientists' experiment: They were trying to find a way to mutate their genes to make themselves the size of men!
But then Moore found himself surrounded by the soldier ants again, with not a chance to escape! Suddenly, he felt another strange stirring within himself, and as the serum finally wore off, Moore began to grow. The scientist shot up and returned to his normal size, bursting through the ground, and out of the ant hill.
Moore went back to his lab to discard the shrinking serum, and he intended to devote his work on a new solution that would kill ants--he figured that the ant scientists had failed in finding a way to grow to human-size, but they were clever, so why take a chance?
Perry Moore's subsequent fate is unrevealed (see comments).
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Syd Shores (artist).
And right now, the exasperated Perry is
probably thinking to himself: "Oh, why didn't I patent that shrinking
serum?! I could've been famous! The world would be calling those
size-altering agents 'Moore
Particles' instead of 'Pym
A few years after this 4-page story--Trapped in the Ant Hill!--was published, it would kind of be reworked into The Man in the Anthill in Tales to Astonish I#27/1 (January, 1962), which featured the first appearance of Henry Pym (later Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, etc.).
[And for the record, Hank Pym was also preceded by another "ant-man": Harvey Comics' Alarming Tales#6/5 (November, 1958) King of the Ants - Jack Flaherty was doused with chemicals and found himself shrunken to insect-size. He befriended a colony of ants, then helped them fight off an attacking rival colony. At the end of the story, he returned to normal size, but was left wondering if the whole experience was just a dream.
...But since I'm on the topic, Pym's first heroic identity did precede another character of the same name: DC's Batman#156/1 (June, 1963) The Secret of the Ant-Man - Mobster Jumbo Carson fell into a river near a research laboratory, where he was saturated with chemical waste--as a result, his stature was reduced to 12 inches. Clad in a scarlet costume, Carson dubbed himself "Ant-Man" and pretended to be a new hero while he committed crimes, until he was apprehended by Batman's sidekick, Robin. Without a known cure, Carson remained permanently in miniature form.]
Although this would be the only time we ever saw Perry Moore, he made an "appearance" of sorts in recent times: Young Avengers I#10 (March, 2006) - When the team was searching for recruits, the name "Moore, Perry" showed up on an alphabetical listing; but since we don't know if it was actually intended to be this character, I didn't include it in History--possibly it was this character's son...or grandson...or nephew...or maybe it was somebody unrelated who just happened to have the same name...
In regards to those ant scientists: I think they need a catchy name--they're INTELLIGent ANTS, so how about calling them... The Intellig-Ants (a pun on "intelligence" (OK, enough with the lousy puns, already!)).
Anyway, no explanation was given for their advanced intellect--perhaps (much like Grottu) they were mutates created by Warlord Kro and the Deviants.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Perry Moore has no known connections to:
Four creatures used by Moore to test his shrinking serum, they
included a cat, a dog, an unspecified animal (maybe
another cat?), and a chimpanzee.
A chemical created by Moore, it was usually administered
intravenously with a syringe. It could shrink the cells and tissue of all
life-forms, but the shrinking effect was only temporary.
They were just ordinary insects inhabiting the grounds of a
scientific complex; but when Perry Moore was accidentally reduced in size
by his shrinking serum, the tiny scientist found them to be menacing
Two incredibly intelligent ants, their origins were
unrevealed (see comments); they
communicated with each other by making a series of clicking sounds, and
they hated humans.
The ant scientists were attempting to find a way to mutate ant genes--they
had already succeeded in making the worker ants prodigiously strong. In an
attempt to make ants grow to the size of humans, they were mixing
chemicals in a vial; but their many attempts were unsuccessful, for the
chamber was littered with a pile of thousands of vials from the failed
images: (without ads)
Mystic#57/1, p2, pan1 (Main Image - Perry Moore, immediately after spilling shrinking serum on his open wound)
Mystic#57/1, p2, pan4 (Headshot - shrunken Perry Moore, in grass "jungle")
Mystic#57/1, p3, pan3 (Perry Moore shrunken to half his size, running across grounds to neighboring building)
Mystic#57/1, p4, pan6 (as shrinking serum wears off, Perry Moore returns to normal size and bursts out of ant hill)
Mystic#57/1, p4, pan7 (returned to his normal size, Perry Moore returns to his lab with a new agenda)
Mystic#57/1, p1, pan1 (Perry Moore (holding syringe) looks down upon shrunken lab animals on tabletop)
Mystic#57/1, p1, pan2 (while putting chimpanzee in cage, Perry Moore accidentally cuts his arm and knocks over bottle of shrinking serum)
Mystic#57/1, p1, pan3 (shrinking serum spills into wound on Perry Moore's arm)
Mystic#57/1, p2, pan5 (shrunken Perry Moore encounters a beetle)
Mystic#57/1, p2, pan6 (shrunken Perry Moore running from various insects)
Mystic#57/1, p3, pan6 (shrunken Perry Moore watches ant scientists mixing chemicals in vials)
Mystic#57/1, p4, pan1 (shrunken Perry Moore watches ant scientists discard vials on pile)
Mystic#57/1, p4, pan2 (ant scientists looking at chart, as Perry Moore realizes they hate humans)
Mystic#57/1, p4, pan3 (ant scientists looking at chart of ant genes, as Perry Moore figures out their plans)
Mystic#57/1 (March, 1957) - unidentified writer, Syd Shores (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)
First Posted: 06/26/2020
Last updated: 06/26/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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