Two Kirby/Ayers stories in this issue, both reprinted from TALES OF SUSPENSE #24 (1961).
First up is “The Insect Man”, an excellent example of the big monster sub-set of these stories. In this one, a man is sent in a capsule deep into the bowels of the Earth in an experiment to test how astronauts will react to being cut off from humanity. After several days he’s on the verge of cracking when he hears a knocking outside the capsule, which turns out to be a giant insect. He’s taken to the insect city, and given to a young insect as a plaything.
The adult insects then decide to examine him, but he’s able to escape, back to his capsule, which is raised back to the surface. Everyone assumes he was hallucinating, not noticing the giant insect hair that the janitor sweeps out of the capsule.
Kirby has an interesting style of drawing the giant insect men, which look suitably creepy in this story.
Next is the issue is “Beware… The Ticking Clocks”, about a beloved King who has a room filled with elaborate clocks. A rival King hires an assassin, who attempts to kill the good King, but is mysteriously foiled at the last minute in the clock room. The evil King ends up deposed by his people, while the assassin has become a figure on one of the clocks.
A simple enough story, the real highlight is probably the very detailed clocks that Kirby and Ayers drew. Insane monstrosities with dragons, gargoyles, soldiers and the like. Very cool.