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Tales of Suspense #84: Review

Dec 1966
Stan Lee, Gene Colan

Story Name:

The Other Iron Man!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Tales of Suspense #84 Review by (February 15, 2010)
It isn't clear how the Super-Adaptoid was able to generate a bow and arrow set when it couldn't create its own shield in issue #82. Conclusion of a three-part story.

Tales of Suspense #84 Review by (June 25, 2012)
Review (Iron Man): So Tony Stark finally stands before the Senate committee—then has a heart attack. The issue is devoted to Tony fighting for his life while Happy tries to cover up his secret identity, which backfires in the end, all given maximum impact by Gene Colan’s ominous art. Happy’s first flight is also a very nice sequence, again thanks to Colan’s dynamic pencils. The most important aspect of the story is the reminder that Senator Byrd is a good guy; he is shown expressing sincere concern for Tony’s health and puts our hero’s wellbeing before his inquiry, telling a reporter so. When we’re so accustomed to seeing everyone who opposes a comic book protagonist as a villain, it’s nice to recall that elected officials can be just as dedicated to serving the public interest as any superhero. Of course, both politicians and “heroes” have gotten shadier in these more cynical times….

Comments (Iron Man): Tony refers to his capture by the Mandarin as being “months ago;” the fast pace of the issues leading into one another places it more like a week or less.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of Suspense #84 Synopsis by T Vernon

Tony Stark finally appears before Senator Byrd’s Congressional Committee to reveal all of Iron Man’s secrets. Suddenly he collapses from a heart attack and is rushed to the hospital in critical condition. The nation, including Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts, is stunned to find that Tony wears a chestplate, indicating the wounds he received in Vietnam (issue #39, right?) were more serious than he ever let on. Awakening from his coma, Tony must deflect questions from the press that he secretly is Iron Man—which is when everyone realizes Iron Man and Tony Stark have never been seen together. Happy Hogan decides to take action….

The next day, while Stark is still hospitalized, Iron Man is seen flying over the city (though he appears to be having trouble controlling his boot jets). A teen motorcyclist challenges the Golden Avenger to a race, and, when rebuffed, pursues Iron Man anyway. Happy Hogan, inside the armor, radios Tony who gives him tips on flying so that he levels off and leaves the easy rider in the dust. At the hospital, Tony thanks Happy for his help in preserving his secret. Far away in China, the Mandarin has been monitoring the flight of Iron Man—and concluded that the Avenger is Happy Hogan. Back in the hospital room, Happy slowly fades from view, with Tony realizing he has been abducted via the enemy’s teleporter as he himself was earlier (in issue #76)….

Story #2

The Super-Adaptoid!

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

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America brings Hawkeye, Wasp and Goliath into the Avengers lab where he shows them the immobilized Adaptoid. The few seconds they spend examining the android is enough for it to adapt their powers and after they leave it begins to change. When Cap returns from seeing his teammates off, he is attacked by the Super-Adaptoid, a giant combining Cap’s fighting skill, Goliath’s size and strength, Wasp’s wings, and Hawkeye’s bow and arrows. The huge android pins Cap to the wall and offers to make him over into an Adaptoid and together they can destroy the other Avengers and turn all mankind into an army of Adaptoids. Cap refuses and the Super-Adaptoid carries him into the sky to drop him to his death. Cap manages to climb onto his foe’s back and immobilize its wings, causing them both to plummet to Earth, but the Super-Adaptoid catches hold of a bridge with the battle continuing at that dizzying height. The Super-Adaptoid hurls Cap far away so that he falls into the sea. Believing its mission has been accomplished with the death of Captain America, the Super-Adaptoid awaits further orders from A.I.M. Receiving none, it decides to find a place of refuge where none shall ever find it. In the final panels, Cap rises to the surface of the water, a victor over his enemy.

Gene Colan
Frank Giacoia
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (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)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Goliath (Hank Pym), Senator Byrd.

> Tales of Suspense: Book info and issue index

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