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Tales of Suspense #87: Review

Mar 1967
Stan Lee, Gene Colan

Story Name:

Crisis—at the Earth’s Core!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Tales of Suspense #87 Review by (February 15, 2010)
The Planner is renamed the Master Planner in some reprints, including ESSENTIAL CAPTAIN AMERICA. It isn't explained why everyone thinks a criminal wearing Captain America’s uniform can only be the real Cap like no one else can put on a costume. It also isn't explained how Cap knew where to find the Planner’s hideout.

Tales of Suspense #87 Review by (July 2, 2012)
Review (Iron Man): Though the Mole Man shows up at the end, the bulk of the issue is devoted to Tony’s drilling experiments and the accompanying disaster. Beneath all the apocalyptic action we discover that Tony Stark is a real self-absorbed lunatic. Testing nuclear-powered devices in a populated area? Because the lead shielding is perfectly safe? Tony has clearly ruled out the possibility of an explosion. And he considers himself ethical because he “wouldn’t dare risk anyone’s life but my own” so he conducts these experiments while the whole plant is operating? What’s hardest to take is Stan Lee’s dismissive attitude toward the rightly-concerned crowd. People who don’t want to die for the sake of someone’s else’s science project are ignorant philistines? The “of course I can do this, I’m a good guy” ethos is one relic of the olden days that has mercifully been abandoned. In a modern comic, Iron Man would be fighting against a scientist who conducted potentially dangerous research in an urban area. Just sayin’

Comments (Iron Man): The Mole Man is the first Marvel villain of the Silver Age, debuting in FANTASTIC FOUR #1 in 1961.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of Suspense #87 Synopsis by T Vernon
The story opens in mid-disaster as Tony Stark is testing his new atomic-powered earth-borer. The reactor is heading toward critical mass and Tony orders Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts to evacuate the factory. He dons his Iron Man armor in order to hold the pressure down even though it won’t protect him from the release of deadly radiation. Exerting all his strength he manages to get the reactor under control and continues with his experiments in drilling to the Earth’s core. Suddenly all over the New York area, holes open in the ground and swallow building—even huge ones—and the concerned crowd which has gathered outside accuses Tony Stark of creating the chaos. Speaking of chaos, three American hoods working as spies for Red China see this as the perfect opportunity to break into the Stark plant an sabotage the operation. They encounter Iron Man in the drilling room and try to bribe him into helping them; the Golden Avenger responds to the offer by clobbering the punks. The building begins to shake frantically and the saboteurs flee in terror; moments later the plant is sucked into a hole in the Earth. Protected by his armor, Iron Man survives the seemingly endless fall and when the building settles in its new location he leaves to investigate the trouble. He discovers the Mole Man who is overseeing the use of a giant missile gun, manned by his Subterraneans. Spotting the hero, Mole Man gives the order to fire. Iron Man dodges the blast but it creates a massive earthslide which buries him alive….

Story #2

Wanted: Captain America!

Writer: Roy Thomas. Penciler: Jack Sparling. Inker: Joe Sinnott. Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

In a secret base in a subway tunnel beneath the streets of New York, a villain known as The Planner is testing his wrist-mounted proton gun while wearing a copy of Captain America’s uniform. The Planner and his men pull off a series of robberies framing Cap for the crimes. The Planner’s goal: gaining possession of Cap’s shield and the Stark technology it contains. Steve Rogers tries to convince the police of his "friend" Cap’s innocence but it doesn’t work. Cap tracks the Planner to his underground hideout, easily takes down his henchman and engages the mastermind. After a struggle that takes them through the underground complex, Cap finally captures his enemy and reveals that he had removed the Stark technology from his shield some time ago.

Gene Colan
Frank Giacoia
Gene Colan (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

> Tales of Suspense: Book info and issue index

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