“The Stronghold of Dr. Strange!”
Cover Date: May 1963
Plotter: Stan Lee
Scripter: Robert Bernstein (credited as R. Burns)
Penciller: Jack Kirby
Inker: Dick Ayers
Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What’s Going On?
The criminal Dr. Strange has devised a way to break out of prison…with help from Iron Man!
Dr. Strange built a device that would hypnotize Iron Man and make Iron Man break Strange out of prison. Once out of prison, Strange released his control of Iron Man and proceeded to take the world hostage, with the intent of becoming the ruler of the world.
Desperate to make up for his complicity, Iron Man must do what the rest of the world cannot: defeat Dr. Strange!
Is It Good?
Well, Kirby’s pencils are nice, but too much of this issue was spent on explaining how cool Iron Man is, instead of showing why he’s cool.
- Tony Stark’s scientific activities are more extensive that previously hinted at:
- Iron Man has also been quite busy between issues:
- Why does Dr. Strange do so much evil? To impress his daughter.
- Ultimately, after nearly sacrificing himself to cripple Strange’s base, Iron Man receives assistance from Strange’s own daughter to save the day. Dr. Strange escapes, to fight another day…or to drift into obscurity after a better character with the same name debuts in a year or two.
- This is the first time there is a clear connection between Tony Stark and Iron Man.
- The “Dr. Strange” in this issue is not Dr. Stephen Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts. This is just a one-off villain that doesn’t get mentioned again.
Comics Are Goofy:
- I like that Tony is enough of a playboy to make out with socialites in his car, but is chaste enough for them to not notice the armored chest plate that he wears at all times.
- That is one perceptive security guard!
- Two things: first, the world all dropped atomic bombs on Dr. Strange, and this is the only panel it gets? Second, you would think Strange’s nuke-proof shield would have been bigger news.
- It’s nice to see a villain really lean into villainy. Here’s Strange’s rationale for wanting to rule the world:
- Since when is Tony Stark’s body “attuned to electric energy”?