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Tales of Suspense #76: Review

Apr 1966
Stan Lee, Gene Colan

Story Name:

Here Lies Hidden.. the Unspeakable Ultimo!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Tales of Suspense #76 Review by (February 15, 2010)
There was no time or opportunity for the agent to have switched the cylinders, especially if the original was glowing, but then if they eventually managed to bring back Bucky anything is possible. Conclusion of a two-part story.

Tales of Suspense #76 Review by (May 28, 2012)
Review (Iron Man): Broken-backed issue features the end of one story, and the beginning of the next; at least they manage to link them, dramatically, if not logically. Here we see the major downside of Gene Colan’s spectacular artwork: an entire issue devoted to parts of stories that were crowded out of their homes. The biggest revelation of this issue: Tony Stark can be a real jerk. His pal is critically injured in the battle with Titanium Man. An attempt to save his life transforms him into a mindless rampaging monster. When he is cured, what is Tony’s biggest worry? Whether Happy remembers Tony’s secret identity, because of course he can’t trust his most faithful employee with the info, despite the fact that Happy already knew and never mentioned it until he thought he was dying. Well, good news, Tony! Happy may have irreversible brain damage! So there’s nothing for you to worry about! Unless, of course, you actually LIKE Happy Hogan or feel some sort of gratitude toward him for saving your life or something. Nahhh.

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


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of Suspense #76 Synopsis by T Vernon

As the murderous Freak approaches the weakened Iron Man, the feedback from the Enervator is heating the hero’s armor to deadly levels of intensity. Suddenly Iron Man’s scheme works, and the Freak quickly reverts to the form of the faithful chauffeur Happy Hogan. In the nick of time, Iron Man shuts off the Enervator and changes to Tony Stark. He awakens the unconscious victim, concerned about the fact that Happy knows his secret identity (because it’s all about you, Tony) from issue #70. To his relief, Happy has amnesia and doesn’t even remember his own name. Success! Senator Byrd then bursts in and serves Tony with a subpoena ordering him to Washington to testify before Congress about Iron Man’s secret identity. Leaving the helpless Happy in care of the perplexed Pepper, Tony Stark enters a police car. Suddenly strange lightning appears in the heavens and the car carrying Tony and Senator Byrd fades from reality….

In the remotest area of China, the Mandarin is using an artificial hailstorm to drive away Red Army officials who have been demanding the autocrat’s aid in fighting the West. Mandarin returns to his original task, sending the captured police car back where he found it—minus Tony Stark, who is now his prisoner. The Asian villain explains that his primary target was his archenemy Iron Man but since the Golden Avenger could not be located by scanner, his employer would have to do. Stark has been brought there to witness the birth of Ultimo, Mandarin’s greatest creation. To minimize distractions, the villain hurls Tony’s briefcase (which contains the Iron Man armor, remember) out of the castle window and into the moat. Now, as the Mandarin slowly moves a lever into place, a gigantic figure arises from a nearby volcano….

Story #2

The Gladiator, the Girl, and the Glory!

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: John Romita. Inker: John Romita. Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America and Batroc break through the hidden door and enter the SHIELD refuge in pursuit of the female agent carrying the volatile cylinder of Inferno 42. She is confused at seeing Captain America working side-by-side with an enemy but is determined not to give up the cylinder. She throws a switch opening a trap door which drops Batroc into the basement, then faints from exposure to the radioactive element. When she comes to her senses she realizes the danger and asks Cap to save himself, but he can’t leave her. Batroc breaks through the floor, defeats Cap and recovers the cylinder. The villain returns it to his employers who deactivate the explosive by putting it in a protective receptacle. At this point Captain America enters and demands the cylinder, having faked his defeat so he could follow Batroc. In the ensuing fight, Cap quickly gains the upper hand but the conspirators escape with the cylinder and Batroc makes his getaway to fight another day. Cap returns to the SHIELD refuge in search of the woman who reminds him of his lost wartime girlfriend and finds her being taken to the hospital with a hopeless case of Inferno 42 poisoning. She has time to whisper that she had switched cylinders again and the real one is safe in SHIELD custody, as Cap ponders whether he has lost his love a second time.

Gene Colan
Jack Abel
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
John Romita (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Batroc the Leaper
Batroc the Leaper

(Georges Batroc)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

Plus: Freak (Happy Hogan), Senator Byrd, Ultimo.

> Tales of Suspense: Book info and issue index

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