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Tales of Suspense #69: Review

Sep 1965
Stan Lee, Don Heck

Story Name:

If I Must Die, Let It Be With Honor!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Tales of Suspense #69 Review by (February 15, 2010)
First of a three part story. Jack Kirby does the layouts.

Tales of Suspense #69 Review by (May 9, 2012)
Review (Iron Man): A satisfying (if dated by its Cold War politics) wrap-up to the epic, ends on a bitter note, with Tony again mourning his cruel fate of being a millionaire playboy and a superhero, all because he can’t have Gwynneth Paltrow. Poor baby. Wait, I thought the device which Happy risked his life to give to Iron Man was the booster for the chestplate (which was certainly the impression we were given last issue); now it is revealed to be the “reverser” Tony was working on at the beginning of issue #69, apparently something with a weapons application. I’m confused.

Comments (Iron Man): First issue since #57 where Iron Man does not have to share the cover with Captain America.

Oops, I accidentally added the comments/review for issue #71. Ignore what's below.

Review (Iron Man): Things are about to get tough for Tony Stark, facing a humongous Soviet enemy AND a jilted ex-girlfriend! Don’t know about him but I’d rather face Titanium Man! Seriously, this is one of the better early story arcs, though a bit heavy on the Cold War plot, this comic has done worse. And the slugfest has barely begun! Tune in next issue, which, through the magic of the Internet, can be clicked on above!

Comments (Iron Man): First appearance/origin of Titanium Man. First appearance of Countess Stephanie De La Spiroza . Last issue with a split cover; after this Iron Man and Captain America alternate starring on full covers.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of Suspense #69 Synopsis by T Vernon

Tony Stark is in his lab working on the sub-miniature reverser to take his mind off his unrequited love for Pepper Potts and the health problems that are causing it. Meanwhile in Siberia, brutal prison camp commissar Boris Bullski fumes about how his unique gifts are not being appreciated by the Party leaders. He conceives a plan to gain attention by destroying Iron Man. Assembling the imprisoned scientists, he commands them to create a suit of armor out of titanium and he studies films of Iron Man in action, preparing to battle the American hero. The resulting armor is huge and full of the latest Soviet weapons technology, perfect for defeating the capitalist fighter. Bullski then issues a public challenge to Iron Man to face him in single combat. Health concerns make Tony reluctant to accept the challenge but the public, led by Senator Byrd stress the political importance of this battle. Tony works around the clock to design a device that will reinforce his chestplate and publicly accepts the challenge against Titanium Man….

Tony takes Pepper and Happy with him to the Eastern European nation of Alberia where a deserted World War 2 battlefield will serve as the arena. Arriving they find a carnival atmosphere and Tony is greeted by Countess Stephanie De La Spiroza, a former lover who is secretly plotting revenge….

At dawn the next day, the two nations’ champions face off. Titanium Man begins by trying to overwhelm Iron Man with heavy artillery but the smaller more agile American dodges and responds with his Repulsor Rays. The Russian’s strategy soon becomes clear as Iron Man is driven into a mine field and taken unawares by a sudden explosion. The Soviets are cheating….

Story #2

Midnight in Greymoor Castle!

Writer: Stan Lee. Layouts: Jack Kirby. Penciler: Dick Ayers. Inker: Dick Ayers. Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Midnight in Greymoor Castle finds Captain America and Bucky held fast in a huge machine suspended over a glowing pit. The turn of a dial intensifies the radiation and slowly the two figures shrink into forms small enough to fit in a jar. The experiment is a success and what Dr Rawlings did to the two plastic figures he can do to the real Captain America and Bucky. Rawlings’ Nazi contact is pleased and leaves for Berlin. Afterward, Rawlings’ sister Celia warns him against aiding the Nazis against his own country. Rawlings, bitter over his lack of recognition in England and the loss of a hand caused by Celia’s carelessness in the lab, sees this as the only true way to the rewards he thinks he deserves. Shortly thereafter, Steve Rogers is dispatched with a Ranger task force on a mission in France. While he is gone, Bucky is decoyed into a trap and taken to Greymoor Castle. In France, Steve uncovers some Nazi radio messages and discovers Bucky is in danger—but he misses the dispatch about a Nazi counterattack threatening his company. As Captain America, he hijacks a Nazi fighter and heads back to England, unaware that he’s walking into a trap.

Don Heck
Vince Colletta
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Don Heck (Cover Inker)
Mike Esposito (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes

(James Barnes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

Plus: Nazis, Senator Byrd, Stephanie De La Spiroza, Titanium Man.

> Tales of Suspense: Book info and issue index

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