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Tales of Suspense #91: Review

Jul 1967
Stan Lee, Gene Colan

Story Name:

The Uncanny Challenge of the Crusher!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Tales of Suspense #91 Review by (February 15, 2010)
No explanation of why the Red Skull needed the sub to threaten the world if he had his bubble technology, or why the bubble technology isn't even mentioned in this issue. Or why he couldn't think of anything better to do with Captain America for 24 hours than asking him for the location of a submarine. Even super-villains have bad days. Conclusion of a four-part story.

Tales of Suspense #91 Review by (July 16, 2012)
Review (Iron Man): Another epic (if too brief) battle is the highlight of this issue, which introduces a short-lived villain known for massive strength. There really wasn’t much more than that to the Crusher despite his having been a top scientific genius. Iron Man’s clever (if contrived) means of defeating him was cool and the second go-around is even better—and final.

Comments (Iron Man): First appearance/origin of the Crusher, whose only subsequent appearance will be in IRON MAN (1968) #6. A second Crusher, created using the same formula, appears in DAREDEVIL #119. Pepper and Happy are married in this issue; long honeymoon: they do not appear again until IRON MAN #3.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of Suspense #91 Synopsis by T Vernon

As the story opens, Tony Stark is successfully testing his new transistorized centrifuge machine, which can generate the greatest gravity force ever harnessed. And he’s made a portable version too (rather conveniently for this story)….

Meanwhile on an unnamed Caribbean island (don’t tell anyone…it’s Cuba), a scientist has perfected his new formula and is taken before El Presidente. He holds out a beaker of liquid and claims that if the leader drinks it, he will become the most powerful man on Earth. The distrustful Presidente (any resemblance to Fidel Castro is purely coincidental) orders the scientist to drink it first. Almost immediately, the scientist grows into a rock-hard seven-foot-tall giant—the Crusher. The guards soon discover that the Crusher’s skin is impervious to gun- and cannon-fire so the leader makes a deal with his powerful former lackey: if the Crusher will destroy Iron Man, El Presidente will make him Generalissimo of the army. Crusher accepts, plotting to destroy the American hero then return to seize power in [Cuba]….

Shortly thereafter Iron Man is in the Stark lab when the Crusher crashes through the wall, bent on smashing the armored Avenger to pieces. After some furious fighting that destroys a lot of lab equipment, Iron Man discovers that even his repulsor rays have no effect on his solid foe. In desperation the hero grabs his portable centrifuge device and increases the Crusher’s weight so that he falls through the floor and disappears into the bowels of the Earth. A short time later Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts show up to announce that they have just gotten married, while Tony makes plans to weld shut the hole in the floor.

Story #2

The Last Defeat!

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Gil Kane. Inker: Joe Sinnott. Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Having pledged allegiance for 24 hours to the Red Skull in order to save New York, Captain America is branded a traitor in the US. The Skull keeps Cap in suspense over his service and, when the time is nearly up, asks for the location of the top-secret atomic submarine XPT-1. Cap reluctantly gives him the coordinates and just as the 24 hours is up, the Skull obligingly straps Cap into an electronic chair, which moves the Avenger under a heat ray. Cap executes a flip which causes the ray to burn through his bonds and leaps from the airship. Cap lands in the ocean and swims to the sub, hoping to warn the crew of the Red Skull’s plans but he is too late: the Nazi villain has already put the officers and crew of the XPT-1 under his hypnotic control. Cap enters the sub and fights his way through the enslaved crewmen to reach the ship’s reactor where he adjusts the energy output to cancel the Skull’s hypnosis. The Red Skull’s orders to the crew convince them not only that they were briefly hypnotized but that Cap is not really a traitor. Cap and the crew abandon the ship to the Skull and board his aircraft. Cap then contacts the Skull with the information he didn’t volunteer: the XPT-1 was an experimental craft and was on its final voyage and the self-destruct system is set to go off in 45 seconds. The Red Skull attempts to defuse the explosives but is too late; the ship is destroyed while he is aboard. The sub captain radios in his report that Captain America is not a traitor but a hero.

Gene Colan
Frank Giacoia
Gene Colan (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)
Red Skull
Red Skull

(Johann Shmidt)

Plus: Crusher, Fidel Castro.

> Tales of Suspense: Book info and issue index

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