Tales of Suspense (Vol. 1) #67

Credits:

Cover Date: July 1965

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Mike Esposito

“Where Walks the Villains”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Don Heck

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Don Heck

Inker: Mike Esposito

“Lest Tyranny Triumph”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: Frank Giacoia

What’s Going On?

Iron Man travels to Ireland and sleeps a lot. Somehow, a villain is involved.

Elsewhere, Captain America has been brainwashed into becoming a Nazi. Can Bucky keep Cap from fulfilling his evil mission?

Details:

In the Iron Man story:

  • Unbeknownst to our hero, the villainous Count Nefaria has developed a weapon to attack Iron Man in his dreams!

  • Iron Man, under Nefaria’s influence, dreams about old enemies attacking him. He doesn’t realize that his dreams might become deadly; luckily, he wakes before any damage is done.

  • Count Nefaria keeps at it, and continues attacking Iron Man through his dreams. Iron Man instinctively fights back, eventually shorting out Nefaria’s dream machine.

  • Meanwhile, Happy Hogan —- who quit Stark Industries last issue and left for Ireland —- is convinced by Pepper to return to his job.

In the Captain America story:

  • While Captain America was being brainwashed by the Red Skull last issue, Bucky was imprisoned with some POWs. The Nazis weren’t very nice to their prisoners, either, trying to psychologically torture them.

  • When he sees an opening, Bucky fights back and sparks a rebellion.

  • Bucky uses this as a distraction and sneaks away, commandeering a Nazi uniform and going undercover to find Cap.

  • When he finds Cap, he figures out the Red Skull’s plan: make Cap assassinate an Allied general! Unfortunately, Cap is so brainwashed that Bucky can’t snap him out of it.

  • When it ultimately comes time for Captain America to kill his target, though, he hesitates and fights back against his mental programming. That’s when a Nazi forces Cap to pull the trigger!

  • To be continued…!

Is It Good?

The Iron Man story was pretty awful. I don’t understand why they decided to give Count Nefaria a new villainous identity (and appearance), but the Dream Master was a poor choice. The villain was dumb, Iron Man acted dumb in the story, and the subplots were dumb. The artwork was…fine. Don Heck isn’t a spectacular penciller, but at his art isn’t the problem here.

The Captain America story was much more fun. It’s interesting seeing Bucky portrayed as a more adult character in this issue; I had always thought of him as a useless teen sidekick, but he’s kicking some serious Nazi butt in this story. Kirby’s artwork is energetic, and he knows how to make Nazis look unsympathetic. The story is kind of trite, but there was enough action in this issue to keep things interesting.

Continuity:

  • Count Nefaria last appeared in Avengers #13.
  • Count Nefaria is calling himself the Dream Master in this issue. I wonder how long that will last?

  • Several Iron Man villains appear in this issue as dream images. The last time they actually appeared was in Avengers #16 (the Black Knight and Melter), Tales of Suspense #40 (Gargantus), Tales of Suspense #45 (Jack Frost), Tales of Suspense #52 (Crimson Dynamo), and Tales of Suspense #56 (the Unicorn).
  • The Iron Man armor needs charging again.

  • Happy Hogan quit Stark Industries last issue. He returns in this issue.
  • Captain America was hypnotized/brainwashed/drugged by the Red Skull last issue into becoming a Nazi.
  • Bucky last appeared in Tales of Suspense #65.
  • It was mentioned last issue, but this is the first time we’ve seen evidence that Hitler feels threatened by the Red Skull.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Did people keep frames portraits of workplace friends at their desks in the 60’s? This seems very weird from a modern perspective.

  • Why did they even bother making the Dream Master into an existing character? They clearly aren’t trying very hard to make him look like Count Nefaria, even though Don Heck is drawing them both. To the left is Nefaria as the Dream Master in this issue, to the right is Nefaria in Avengers #13.
  • At least they didn’t make Happy’s grandfather into an alcoholic. That would have completed his Irish Stereotype Bingo.

  • Well, if you know this is a dream, Iron Man, maybe you can dream up a quick recharge?

  • Yes, that is exactly how nightmares work. People just give up and die, they don’t wake up just before they lose.

  • The evil Red Skull’s final test to prove loyalty is to shoot…a photograph? I have to admit, I was expecting something more morally questionable.

  • It’s never not funny seeing Hitler get hurt.

Well, That Aged Poorly:

  • It’s weird that, in an issue with an honest-to-goodness “faith and begorra” Irish stereotype, there are characters with even more blatant phonetic spellings.

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