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Tales of Suspense #73: Review

Jan 1966
Roy Thomas, Gene Colan

Story Name:

My Life for Yours!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Tales of Suspense #73 Review by (February 15, 2010)
Second of a three part story. Layouts by Jack Kirby.

Tales of Suspense #73 Review by (May 15, 2012)
Review (Iron Man): With this issue the great Gene Colan takes over as penciler, a position he will hold for the rest of the TALES OF SUSPENSE run. While Colan’s trademark dark, shadowy style—seen to best advantage in DAREDEVIL and his magnum opus TOMB OF DRACULA—may not seem an appropriate choice for the bright and shiny Iron Man, his art lent the series a gravitas which it had been lacking. The serious aspect allows even the most absurd plot developments to go by unnoticed—such as the fact that no one witnesses a knight on a flying horse abducting a man from a downtown hospital room. Another of Colan’s major contributions to comics is his genius at portraying fluidity of motion; again this was a major factor in his success with Daredevil and makes his action sequences very distinctive. On the down side, these great action scenes—with large panels and drawn-out details—tend to crowd out the story. Case in point; the current issue in which a very skimpy plot is stretched to fill the issue: Iron Man goes to the hospital, is lectured on vigilantism by stereotyped cops for a page and a half, searches an empty castle for three pages (including a full-page picture of Iron Man’s back!), battles the bad guy for five minutes (four-and-a-half pages), and crowds the only suspenseful sequence in the story—the hero’s brush with death—into the last page. It is the Colan’s credit that his art makes the story more enjoyable than the equally pointless issue #72, but this early example of decompressed storytelling will become rather frustrating very soon.

Comments (Iron Man): Penciler Gene Colan is credited as Adam Austin; inker Jack Abel as Gary Michaels. Final appearance of the second, villainous, Black Knight. As revealed in AVENGERS #48, the Black Knight was fatally injured in the fall at the end of this issue; on his deathbed he passes the Ebony Blade and winged horse Aragorn on to his nephew Dane Whitman, who becomes the third, heroic, Black Knight. The hoofprint on the window sill is facing outward, as though the flying horse had entered the room via the window; this is absurd, though if you can accept a winged horse to begin with….

Tales of Suspense #73 Review by (May 20, 2012)
Roy Thomas's partial writing credit for the Iron Man tale is only his 2nd appearance, after a story in Modelling With Millie.

Gene Colan had been working in comics since 1948. Recently he'd been doing cowboy, war and romance stories. But he entered modern Marvel proper with Sub-Mariner in Tales to Astonish. And now he adds Iron Man to his portfolio. So it only makes sense that in a few issues time they'll do a crossover.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of Suspense #73 Synopsis by T Vernon

Iron Man rushes to the hospital to be met by police with the news that the gravely ill Happy Hogan has mysteriously disappeared; Shellhead spots a horse’s hoofprint on the window sill and concludes that the Black Knight (flying horse, remember?) has kidnapped Happy. The hero follows a too-obvious trail to an ominous-looking castle several miles away. Wary of the obvious trap, Iron Man cautiously explores the building when he is attacked by the Black Knight—who turns out to be an illusion. When the real Knight appears he zaps the hero with his electronic lance, shorting out Tony’s transistors and putting a strain on his heart. The villain then lifts the fallen hero onto his flying horse and prepares to drop him from a great height. Iron man exerts some of his meager strength to topple them both and uses the last of his power to jet into the nearby river….

Here the comic interrupts the action to show Senator Byrd arriving at Tony Stark’s office and demanding a meeting. When Pepper explains that the boss is away, Byrd reveals his plan to force Stark to turn Iron Man’s secret identity and the technology behind the armor to the public….

Back at the castle, Iron Man drags himself out of the water but sees no sign of his foe. He makes his way into the castle where he finds Happy Hogan; calling the Washington police, the hero drags Happy to the doorway so he can be rescued but then collapses. The police arrive and take Happy away but do not see Iron Man, weak and helpless in the next room. They unwittingly leave the dying Avenger in the dark….

Story #2

Where Walks the Sleeper!

Writer: Stan Lee. Layouts: Jack Kirby. Penciler: George Tuska. Inker: George Tuska. Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America does what he can to try to stop the first Sleeper from a rendezvous with the other two, even creating a massive avalanche but nothing stops the rampaging robot. Meanwhile, in the forest, another Nazi agent awakens the second Sleeper: a giant flying wing that resembles a demonic bat and it takes to the air. Cap arrives in the area in time to spot the flying monster and can barely stand against the updraft it causes along the ground. Cap allows the winds to carry him to the top of the Sleeper where he tries to discover some way to stop it. The two Sleepers meet and the first is drawn upward by a massive magnet and secured to the wing’s underside, where it continues to fire its deadly bolts at the ground. (In another town, the third Nazi agent prepares to awaken the final Sleeper and fulfill the Red Skull’s plans.) NATO planes attack the Sleepers and Cap leaps to safety to avoid a missile launch—which fails to hit the Sleepers—and he wonders if anything can stop them.

Gene Colan
Jack Abel
Gene Colan (Cover Penciler)
Jack Abel (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Black Knight (Nathan Garrett), Nazis, Senator Byrd.

> Tales of Suspense: Book info and issue index

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