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Tales of Suspense #64: Review

Apr 1965
Stan Lee, Don Heck

Story Name:

Hawkeye and the New Black Widow Strike Again!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Tales of Suspense #64 Review by (February 15, 2010)
A revised retelling of a story by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon that appeared in CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1, March 1941. First appearance of Agent Thirteen (Peggy Carter).

Tales of Suspense #64 Review by (April 17, 2012)
Review (Iron Man): The big story this issue is Black Widow’s new look: like a comic book villain, all fishnets and a pointy mask. The parallels to Spider-Man’s powers will be emphasized in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #86 when she gains her familiar costume as though they were making her a female Spidey—and then as quickly dropped. This story otherwise offers nothing we haven’t seen before, including a climax where Hawkeye abandons the mission to rescue Natasha (issue #57). Meanwhile she would go on to the Avengers, SHIELD, and the Champions, DAREDEVIL in the 70s and 80s, most recently SECRET AVENGERS and Brubaker’s run on CAPTAIN AMERICA. For a slinky femme fatale who showed no initial promise, she probably guests in more titles and team books than any Marvel character besides Nick Fury.

Comments (Iron Man): First appearance of Black Widow in her fishnet and mask costume.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of Suspense #64 Synopsis by T Vernon

As Tony Stark stays up late in his private lab working feverishly to upgrade his Iron Man armor, a lithe female figure climbs the side of a tall building and swings on a silken line to the building across the way. Inside an apartment, fugitive archer Hawkeye is testing new arrows when the black-clad woman crashes through his window. She reveals herself to be his long-absent lover, Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow. When last they were together, she was kidnapped by Soviet agents and returned to Russia to face the penalty for her failures (issue #60). Instead, Premier Khrushchev forced the reluctant spy back into service by threatening her captive parents. Scientists gave her a black costume with suction-soled boots to enable her to walk on any surface and bracelets which shoot a nylon line to allow her to swing through the air. Khrushchev then ordered her back to New York to destroy Iron Man by any means. And now she is trying to persuade Hawkeye, who no longer wants to be a traitor, to aid her in her mission. He refuses at first but can’t overcome his love for the beauteous spy….

Later, Happy Hogan proposes marriage to Pepper Potts, but she asks for time to think it over. On their way home, they are waylaid by Hawkeye and the Black Widow, who hold them as hostages, contacting Tony Stark to order him to send Iron Man to a rendezvous at a railroad yard. The villainess and her gang are surprised when Stark himself arrives and not the Armored Avenger. Claiming that Iron Man was away, he offers himself as a hostage in place of Happy and Pepper…but it is a ruse. He drops a smoke bomb and under cover of the cloud, he changes into his armor and as Iron Man defeats the Black Widow’s gang. The hero then faces off against Hawkeye, who fires an arrow that emits an ear-splitting shriek, and he responds by sending an electric current through the track Hawkeye is standing on. The Widow tries to crash a flatcar into him and the archer sends another arrow, this one filled with metal-dissolving acid. Iron Man strikes Hawkeye at his weakest point: his love; he sends a shock through the spy and the worried Hawkeye scoops her up and rushes her to safety. Iron Man switches back to his Stark identity and rescues Happy and Pepper; her reaction to seeing Tony convinces the big lug that she will always love the dashing millionaire—to Tony’s dismay.

Story #2

Among Us, Wreckers Dwell!

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: Frank Ray. Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

While America is still at peace during the early days of the war, a popular stage act comes to town: Sando and Omar. Sando, a hypnotist, puts his partner Omar into a trance, and in that state his visions of the future are broadcast on a large screen on stage. When his prediction of a tank explosion at Fort Lehigh comes true, Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes take an interest in the act. That evening they attend the show and snoop around, spotting a female reporter who seems equally interested in the mystic duo. The two soldiers don their Captain America and Bucky costumes and invade the projection room where they discover that Omar’s "visions" are movie images. They then leap to the stage and break up the act but a woman’s scream leads Cap to a dressing room where he is confronted by a gang of armed hoods. Sando reveals himself to be a Nazi agent, in America to spread panic with "predictions" of disasters, which his henchmen then bring to pass. Cap, Bucky, and the reporter (actually a government agent) explode into action, taking down the Nazi and his gang. Cap thanks the woman for her help, and, when Cap asks who she is, she gives her name only as Agent Thirteen. Cap and Bucky then race back to camp to avoid getting in trouble with their sergeant.

Don Heck
Chic Stone
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Chic Stone (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes

(James Barnes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

Plus: Nazis, Nikita Kruschev, Peggy Carter.

> Tales of Suspense: Book info and issue index

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