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Tales of Suspense #74: Review

Feb 1966
Stan Lee, Gene Colan

Story Name:

If This Guilt Be Mine--!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Tales of Suspense #74 Review by (February 15, 2010)
It isn't clear exactly how the flamethrower caused the Sleepers to explode but thank heavens, it did. Conclusion of a three part story. Layouts by Jack Kirby.

Tales of Suspense #74 Review by (May 21, 2012)
Review (Iron Man): The premise is familiar—a hero must fight a monster who is a morphed version of a friend—has been done a number of times, most notably for Marvel with Spider-Man and the Lizard (and the DC equivalent, Batman and Man-Bat). Here Iron Man takes the plunge with the usual conflict over hurting a friend; the interesting thing is that Happy Hogan is only the first Freak; there is a second, Eddie March in IRON MAN (1968) #67. Happy runs into this problem several times but Eddie only the once; all the tales are pretty similar though (not unlike Spidey and the Lizard). Gene Colan is very effective at bringing out the Frankenstein look and theme but the plot is too drawn out, leaving it to end on a less than dramatic note as Iron Man, what, goes out looking for his frenemy? That’s it.

Comments (Iron Man): First appearance/origin of the Freak. Penciler Gene Colan is credited as Adam Austin; inker Jack Abel as Gary Michaels.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of Suspense #74 Synopsis by T Vernon
Iron Man, alone and powerless in the Black Knight’s castle, realizes he has just enough energy for one radio call, so he contacts his lab. Fortunately, Pepper Potts is there and she quickly rushes to the address the dying hero gives her. On the way, she contrasts Iron Man’s heroism with Tony Stark’s perceived selfishness and decides she really loves the armored hero. She drives the damaged Iron Man back to the lab where he can be fully recharged. As they work, she updates him on the fate of the critically injured Happy Hogan (blasted by Titanium Man back in #70). He is now in surgery and they are about to use the untested Enervator developed by Tony Stark to save his life. Meanwhile, Senator Byrd interrupts via phone to threaten Stark with a subpoena to force him to divulge Iron Man’s secrets. Iron Man rushes to the hospital where the worst does indeed happen. The use of the Enervator saves Happy’s life but, as the medical personnel watch in horror, the affable chauffeur transforms into a huge brutal freak. The Freak goes berserk, destroying the operating room, and comes face-to-face with Iron Man who has just arrived. The Golden Avenger tries to subdue the rampaging monster, pulling his punches, but the now super-strong Freak has no qualms about bashing the hero to the floor. His mind full of regrets and guilt and worried about the limited charge he just received, a conflicted Iron Man heads out into the night in pursuit of his transformed friend….

Story #2

The Final Sleep

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

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America rushes onto a NATO base and explains the situation to the commanding general, as the first two Sleepers continue to cut a deadly path across the countryside. The Army launches a full-scale attack against the Nazi robots but they are unable to stop them. The last agent awakens the third Sleeper—a giant metal head that resembles the Red Skull himself—and it joins its two compatriots, anchoring itself to the top as a guidance system. Cap speculates that the purpose of the Sleepers is to destroy the world by igniting a chain reaction at the Arctic which would tear apart the Earth’s core. Cap, armed with a flamethrower, leaps from a plane onto the Sleepers below and sets up the weapon at an angle that causes the Sleepers, now over the sea, to explode. Cap parachutes to safety, having won a great victory for freedom.

Gene Colan
Jack Abel
Gene Colan (Cover Penciler)
Sol Brodsky (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: Freak (Happy Hogan), Senator Byrd.

> Tales of Suspense: Book info and issue index

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