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Tales of Suspense #60: Review

Dec 1964
Stan Lee, Don Heck

Story Name:

Suspected of Murder!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Tales of Suspense #60 Review by (April 6, 2012)
Review (Iron Man): This story has one of the coolest splash panels in the series’ history: a giant sinister Iron Man trapping Tony Stark in a glass tube! It’s a symbolic picture of Tony’s situation but very effective. And the issue manages a balancing act that Stan Lee and the other Marvel writers of the era were good at: combining an ongoing subplot with a complete story that both the casual reader and the diehard fan could enjoy. The former would thrill to the story of the hero’s battle with Hawkeye (complete in this issue) without having to wonder where the “trapped Tony” plot was headed (part two of five) whereas the regular reader would see it played out as a chapter in the bigger story. Something for everyone, and a marked contrast to today’s era of decompressed comics, in which even the simplest plot takes four issues to tell and casual readers are locked out—those that were thinking of paying four dollars for the impulse purchase of a comic book anyway. Ah the good old days!

Comments (Iron Man): Second part of a five-part story in which Tony Stark is forced into hiding and Iron Man is suspected of foul play in Tony’s disappearance. Cameo by Wasp.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of Suspense #60 Synopsis by T Vernon

Tony Stark imagines himself as a miniature figure trapped in a glass tube by a huge menacing Iron Man. Snapping out of his daydream, he agonizes over the fact that he cannot remove the bulk of his armor since he needs its extra power to keep the chestplate charged—the chestplate which keeps his damaged heart beating. He lashes out, smashing equipment with his powered gauntlets, frustrated that he is a prisoner of Iron Man, his own creation….

Meanwhile, a worried Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan are unable to locate the "missing" Tony Stark and Pepper accuses Tony’s "bodyguard" Iron Man of dereliction of duty. Unable to devise an explanation that couldn’t be checked, Iron Man claims he doesn’t know where Tony Stark is, leading to the industrialist’s two faithful employees suspecting Iron Man of covering up some foul play. Tony is touched by their loyalty but is still unable to say anything. Later, he decides to put a note in his safe, "explaining" his absence but just as he is removing money from the safe, the police enter, accompanied by Happy and Pepper. Thinking quickly, Iron Man tells them that he has been entrusted with the combination to the safe and produces the note which he "found" inside. In it, Tony explains that he is on a top-secret mission for the government, and that Iron Man is in charge. The police examine the note and discover that the writing is shaky and there are no fingerprints on it (the result of Tony’s having written it without removing his gauntlets). When confronted with this anomaly, the frustrated Iron Man crashes through a window and flies off. He finds a solitary place to think and contacts the Avengers to say he can’t make the meeting and to assure Thor that he had nothing to do with Stark’s disappearance….

Elsewhere, the Black Widow decides to take advantage of the chaos surrounding Stark and Iron Man to seduce the reluctant Hawkeye into raiding the Stark factory to steal the latest weapon plans. That night, the masked archer enters the Stark premises by stealth but is caught by the guards; he barricades himself inside Tony’s office where he takes Pepper prisoner. Hawkeye learns from the secretary that Stark keeps all his plans and designs in his head—there is nothing to steal. The Avengers hear about the hostage situation on the police radio and contact Iron Man who asks to be allowed to handle matters his own way. The Armored Avenger crashes into the factory and dodges Hawkeye’s arrows while throwing a steel wall to create a barrier between Pepper and the villain. The hero pursues him into a lab where the archer fires a blast arrow which drops a massive new rocket on Iron Man, who has to use all his strength and dexterity to bring the craft down without damaging it. Realizing that Iron Man is too powerful for him, Hawkeye fires a flash arrow, blinding the hero and he makes his getaway. Outside, he fires a suction arrow and hitches a ride on a passing jet—which, unbeknownst to him, is carrying the Black Widow, who has been captured by Soviet agents for delivery to the Kremlin….

When Iron Man returns to the Stark plant, police prepare to fire an armor-piercing weapon at him, but Pepper stops them, reminding them that the hero has not been charged with a crime. Iron Man thanks her but must leave since Tony can’t look her in the eye; Pepper meanwhile, doesn’t know why but she feels she can trust the armored mystery man. When last we see him, Tony Stark is in his lab, searching for a way to remove his armor safely….

Story #2

The Army of Assassins Strikes!

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: Chic Stone. Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America is stalked through the jungle by a team of assassins whom he manages to elude until one, with an iron ram on his fist, overpowers him and presses a glove filled with Formula X over his face. Baron Zemo congratulates the team for a successful training exercise, revealing "Cap" to be a costumed subject for the test. The assassins are sent to the United States to capture the real Captain America for their leader. In New York, Cap is scheduled to give a demonstration of martial arts at a charity benefit, battling a group of athletes single-handedly. However, Zemo’s assassins have overcome the real athletes with sleeping gas and taken their places. Cap soon realizes that his foes are fighting for real so unleashes his own power, fending off the iron fist, eluding the Formula X knock out gas. Rick Jones manages to escape his captor and summons the police while Cap demonstrates his new magnetically controlled shield by rounding up the baddies. The villains have a final weapon—a sub-miniature missile—which is still no match for Cap’s shield. Cap turns the defeated killers over to the police and sends a special message to Zemo, calling him a coward and challenging him to single combat. An enraged Zemo shoots out the television. Cap explains his strategy to Rick: to cause Zemo to become careless and come out of hiding.

Don Heck
Dick Ayers
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)


Plus: Giant-Man (Scott Lang).

> Tales of Suspense: Book info and issue index

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