Tales of Suspense (Vol. 1) #70

Credits:

Cover Date: October 1965

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Joe Sinnott

“Fight On! For a World is Watching!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Don Heck

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Don Heck

Inker: Mike Esposito (credited as Mickey Demeo)

“If This Be Treason!”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby (layouts), George Tuska

Inker: George Tuska

What’s Going On?

Iron Man continues his battle against the Titanium Man, which leads to one of the supporting cast being seriously injured!

Meanwhile, Captain America walks into a Nazi trap to save Bucky.

Details:

In the Iron Man lead feature:

  • Last issue ended with Iron Man unwittingly stepping into a minefield, as the Titanium Man had set up several booby traps to tilt their fight in his favor.
  • Iron Man escapes the mine field, but his armor was damaged in the process, hindering his flying ability.

  • The Titanium Man spots this weakness and attacks with his ridiculously named radar rings.

  • Iron Man is able to overcome this weapon, but his suit lost a lot of power in the process. He needs a recharge.

  • Meanwhile, while everyone else was watching the fight, Countess Stephanie de la Spirosa was feeling slighted by the fact that Tony Stark wasn’t fawning over her. She decides to take her revenge by sneaking into Tony’s room and stealing his new transistor invention.

  • As the fight continues, Iron Man decides to end the fight quickly, so his suit’s power level doesn’t become a key factor. All he needs is his new transistor invention…which he left in his hotel room! Whoops! He’ll have to stick it out until the end of this round of fighting!

  • Luckily, the Titanium Man also needs a break. He is confounded by Iron Man’s ability to take his best shots and keep coming.

  • The first round of fighting comes to an end. The Titanium Man spends the break strategizing. Iron Man opts to rush to Tony Stark’s hotel room. Instead of finding the transistor, he finds the Countess’ handkerchief; he correctly assumes that she stole it.

  • But Iron Man can’t waste time looking for her without forfeiting the fight. Instead, he asks Happy to track her down.

  • Happy is able to find the Countess relatively quickly, but when he returns, the fight has already resumed. Knowing the high stakes of this fight, Happy decides to enter the battlefield to get the transistor to Iron Man.

  • Happy reaches Iron Man, but appears to be critically injured by a ricochet. Could Happy be dead?!?

  • The issue ends with a vengeful Iron Man looking to end the fight. To be continued…!

In the Captain America back-up feature:

  • Captain America has rushed from France to rescue Bucky from Greymoor Castle. He knows he is heading into a trap, so he doesn’t bother with stealth.

  • His suspicions are confirmed when he finds Bucky in a suspiciously prominent location in the castle.

  • Sure enough, the Nazis spring a surprise attack. Cap is warned by Celia Rawlings, and holds his own against the Nazis…

  • …but they soon resort to a gas attack, and Cap is captured.

  • The Nazis plan to load Cap, Bucky, and Celia Rawlings on a missile that will be fired at London. Dr. Cedric Rawlings is finally realizing that the Nazis are not great allies.

  • To be continued…!

Is It Good?

No, it is not. It’s not the art or story in particular that make this issue seem weak; even the basic construction of this issue feels below the average issue. For starters, the Iron Man story begins with a full splash page; this is typically where any recap information is provided. However, the entire next page is spent recapping last issue, and doing so with artwork taken directly from that issue —- its a weird choice to spend two pages of a twelve-page story not moving the plot forward.

The same thing basically happens in the Captain America backup (except this is only a ten-page story). The previous issue ended with Captain America approaching Greymoor Castle in a stolen Nazi plane. This issue spends the first two pages showing him capturing the plane again. At least there is an editor’s note that tries to explain this choice away:

As for the stories themselves, we get yet another cliffhanger ending from one issue completely dismissed at the beginning of the next. This time around, it is Iron Man being caught in a minefield, only to escape relatively unscathed as soon as the recap was finished. I’m genuinely curious whether or not Happy Hogan was actually killed in this story —- it would fit the recurring themes of people sacrificing themselves for Tony, and people that learn his identity dying —- and whether or not he will remember Tony’s secret identity. Aside from that, this is a silly story with ridiculous stakes, and if Happy actually dies, it will feel cheap.

The Captain America story is apparently discarding the mad scientist shrink ray plot from last issue. Instead, Cap and friends will be somehow attached to a rocket, which seems like a poor strategy.

The art in this issue is fine in the Iron Man feature, but I wasn’t impressed with George Tuska’s finished art over Kirby’s layouts. I know Tuska was a Marvel mainstay in the 60’s, so I just hope his work improves when he isn’t forced to follow Kirby’s lead.

Continuity:

  • The Titanium Man’s demonstrated weapons include his remote-controlled constructing “radar rings,” a “power sapper” beam that I can only assume drains battery power, and a “molecule scrambler” ray.
  • Senator Byrd still has an unnatural grudge against Tony Stark. He also unnaturally raises both his fists when speaking.

  • Happy Hogan has figured out that Tony Stark is Iron Man!

  • This credit might make you think this was George Tuska’s first Marvel work of the Silver Age; it wasn’t. He drew a Watcher back-up story in Tales of Suspense #58. I didn’t review that one because those stories are not on Marvel Unlimited.

  • We’ve known for a while that Cap can fly a plane. This is the first time, however, Captain America has been shown as an ace pilot, capable of outmaneuvering fighter pilots.

  • Steve Rogers’ absence from his army squad has been noticed by his sergeant. Will he be officially accused of desertion?

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Yeah, that was my reaction, too, Iron Man. Radar rings???

  • The world-televised fight between guys in robot suits that will prove the superiority of either Capitalism or Communism has…rest breaks?

  • Happy will die happy because Pepper apparently cares for him? This guy has self-esteem issues.

  • I’m sure losing your hand and replacing it was a badass metal one is traumatic. I’m still not sure how he can blame his sister specifically for the accident, but also his entire country.

  • Since when are Nazis masters of the booby trap? Cap, I’d like to see a citation here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s