E194: Kidnapping Week (Tales of Suspense #64 + Fantastic Four #38) -- April/May 1965
What's more ridiculous, a wingless-wizard or a super archer?
In this episode:
Mike and Ed discuss two recent kidnappings: Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan by the Black Widow and Hawkeye, and Sue Storm by the Frightful Four. How senior do you need to be at StarkCorp before you are at risk of being kidnapped? Is a bow and arrow an effective weapon in the modern age? Should a wizard be defined by a lack of wings? Isn’t lack of wings a common trait we all hold? All this and more - just don’t call us silly!
Behind the issues:
As we get further into 1965, more and more issues are multi-part stories. Tales of Suspense #64 re-introduces Hawkeye as a villain, only to have him switch to being an Avenger next month in Avengers #16. Fantastic Four #38 ends with the heroes being at the epicenter of a nuclear bomb, and the after effects of that conflict continue for the next two issues. This pattern of moving beyond “supervillain of the month” becomes more regular with all of the titles over the next few months.
In this issue:
Tales of Suspense #64
In the first story, Black Widow meets up with Hawkeye again. She explains how she has been pressed into service for the USSR, and that they have designed her fancy new costume replete with weapons and gadgets. She enlists Hawkeye with her task, to destroy Iron Man. To that end, they kidnap Happy and Pepper in an effort to attract Iron Man to their trap. Iron Man shows up, and Hawkeye and Black Widow nearly take him down. Fortunately, Iron Man rescues his friends, as the supervillains (soon to be superheroes) flee.
The second story is a Captain America tale from WWII, when he had a secret identify as a first class screwup in the US Army. In this tale, Cap and Bucky battle a team of Nazis who have set up an innocent man who shows American audiences on a large crystal ball showing the awful future that awaits the US if it joins in the war. Cap and Bucky are able to break this propaganda show up. In the course of this story, we meet Agent Thirteen for the first time.
Fantastic Four #38
The Wingless Wizard (formerly the Wizard) argues with his teammates in the Frightful Four, the Trapster (formerly Paste Pot Pete), Medusa, and Sandman, and ultimately establishes why he is their leader with his mastery of gravity (basically he can fling things around with his anti-gravity tech). The Frightful Four kidnap Sue Storm, and the world takes notice. They take her to a small atoll in the ocean, and the Fantastic Four give chase, tracking them down and attacking the other foursome. The Human Torch is captured but then rescued by Reed and Ben, and the battle between the two foursomes then begins in earnest. Ultimately, the Frightful Four leave the atoll, leaving the Fantastic Four on the island moments before it is to be blown up by a bomb. The bomb detonates, but fortunately Sue protects her teammates in a force field, floating unconscious on the water’s surface.
Assumed before the next episode:
People are wondering what the deal is with these superpowered people and the number 4.
This episode takes place:
After the Frightful Four have bested the Fantastic Four, and assume they have been blown up.
Edward: Mike, it is kidnapping week here on the show, ,
Michael: and I didn't even mark it in my calendar, but you're right. Every year it creeps up on me every year. Kidnapping week, you know, I just think really it's kidnapping week. It's been that long. Oh gee.
Edward: Yeah. Yeah. It's time for the friends and family of our heroes to be put at risk where the villains come in and, use them as leverage to. I dunno, I guess to get the heroes to fight. Why, they couldn't have just got them to fight before, it feels like most of these heroes won't turn down a chance to fight with these villains. Like I think the kidnapping part is a little unnecessary.
Michael: It does seem unnecessary and maybe that's why we're taking a little jaunty view of it, where yes, they're being kidnapped, but it usually works out , no one's really injured. It makes it seem almost like a juvenile game between the super villains and the superheroes.
Edward: And in this particular case, two of the top people at, Stark Corp, pepper Pots and Happy, I'm sorry, I don't know Happy's last name. Happy Hogan. Happy Hogan. Yeah. Happy Hogan. We're kidnapped. Everyone can, Breathe easy. They have all been rescued. Iron, Man has rescued them from the kidnapping. So they're back at home. Happy is now happy. And meanwhile, Sue Storm from the Fantastic Four, the actual superhero Sue Storm, has also been kidnapped by the Frightful four. And she's not yet been returned. So that the case is still out. Although with her powers, she's gonna be much easier to protect herself than Pepper and happier.
Michael: I guess, we'll see how it all shakes out, but on a more serious note there is a concern about these connections with these superheroes that leave them exposed to risk. You gotta wonder about what they're doing to protect themselves in the case of Iron Man, no one knows who he or she is. It's just that there's a person in a suit of armor and they just associate, but
Edward: he's associate, yeah. He's associated with Stark Corp. And so That's right. People know that Iron Man is Tony's Stark's bodyguard more than that. He's like the bodyguard for the company, the face of the company. And so, clearly if one of the top people at the company is kidnapped, Iron Man is gonna come to the rescue. And that's exactly what happened.
Michael: But I think sometimes about say a royal of family or a distant relative of say the president,, if your cousins with the president, are you worried about getting kidnapped? And do you get a security detail? And the answer is no. And if you're 20th and line of the throne. Do you need a security detail because somebody kidnapped them, then it would be news. But I guess there, there is some cold comfort for people that work at Star Corp is that they're that far removed and they're not really at risk, but then again, maybe their career's not going so well, if they're not, if they're not exposed to kidnapping.
Edward: That's right. This, this, you've been promoted and also kidnapped.
Michael: Yeah. And they're like, thank God. Finally, you know what? They gave me a corner office and that was great and all, but it wasn't until I actually was reporting directly to Tony Stark that I was kidnapped. I was kidnapped by a Russian spy
Edward: I've made it. I've made it. Mike . My career is finally taking off, and I'm a prisoner in Russia.
Michael: Keep my bonus kidnapping and take me Siberia. .
Edward: Is that like, I wonder if that's like a bullet on their resume for their next job was kidnapped four times. Therefore, it must be important.
Michael: rescued by Iron Man three times and once by Thor. It was great. You know, recommended five stars.
Edward: Yeah so this time, I dunno, we should probably cover both these kidnappings, but the first kidnapping of, pepper and Happy, was I guess a former Russian agent called Black Widow. And, someone called Hawkeye. And, Hawkeye apparently dangerous cause he did significant damage to Iron Man's Armors, Iron Man, managed to recover the two kidnappings. Black widow and Hawkeye did escape, but in the process, Iron Man's Armor was severely damaged. So this was a real threat.
Michael: It is, but it's super weird, right? So Ironman's basically a living weapon. He's a rocket gun, you know. The way I understand Hawkeye is he fights with a bow and arrow and while I accept the fact that he somehow used the bow and arrow to get acid on costume. I don't think the operative part was the bow and arrow. I think it was the acid that just could eat through the suit. And my question,
Edward: The arrow was a delivery vehicle for the.
Michael: You could get a water gun for that , you know, especially,
Edward: I'm pretty sure the wa like, I dunno if you, so I have some young children and they use water guns. Water guns do not shoot water very far. Okay. Whereas a bow and arrow, you could shoot that very far. Like maybe not as far as a sniper rifle, but a solid bow and arrow. You can shoot that thing a long wave.
Michael: I know. Okay, I get that point. But I guess what I'm saying is that it seems like the only thing he's got is a bow and arrow so if he's truly the marksman, why is he not using a gun? Not that I wanted to use a gun cuz he's a bad guy. But wouldn't it be more effective in a fight if you had a gun and an earring? Accuracy
Edward: Depends who you're, you're fighting against. I think if someone brought a gun to fight Iron, Man, those bullets would just bounce off his armor. But instead, well, he fired an acid arrow at him that melted his armor and practically took him.
Michael: But I guess. Up your game, Hawkeye bring a rocket launcher. You know, or like, it's not gonna get bone arrow. It just the acid arrow. How it seems like the only thing that might've helped again, and in a fight between Hawkeye and Iron Man, like what else, what other arrow could he have?
Edward: Maybe he has,, I could imagine many arrows, right? I can imagine. Many imagine he had like an emmp arrow that knocked out electronics. Clearly he didn't have one of those. Cause if he did, he could've taken out Iron Man with one. But he even, but maybe he should get one for next time.
Michael: A projectile, like a gun. He could use, he could shoot like a little disc or something.
Edward: Don't arrow guns don't. Guns don't have e emmp blockers. They don't have, there's no such arrow bullets. There's no acid bullets. These arrows do. These arrows do. Why not? Why not? ,
Michael: I just think it's, Silly. I just think it's silly. It seems like he's committed. He's like, you know what? I like, I like being an archer. And they're like, hold on a second, the 17 hundreds called, they want their weapons back. And they're like, yeah, forget it. I'm sticking with it. No, it's not even the 17 hundreds, like the 14 hundreds, there's been advances in technology Hawkeye. And if you're really good at aiming things and shooting things, invest in a little. You know, gun work
Edward: Well, here's my theory is that Hawkeye has some sort of incredible superpowers that'll, that give him the ability to shoot these things the same way we talked about the green goblin being able to balance on that, right? On his, on his hoverboard. I feel like Hawkeye has some sort of advanced superpowers on firing arrows. And he's combined that with incredible technology that provides these arrows that do incredible things. And I think, just because it seems silly to you, Mike, doesn't mean it's not.
Michael: No, I, acknowledge that. I just, I guess I'd like to, again, like many of these superheroes I like to talk to and say, just so I understand this, have you thought about something different? Just like, explain to me why this is the process, if it's not just a shtick that you have because you like looking like, a bad Robinhood Halloween costume.
Edward: I think, this is a case, Mike, where you are sitting here being the critic, right. Going and arguing against these guys, whereas he's out there risking his life actually doing this stuff and, and like I, the bad guy, I'm, I'm gonna, well he's doing evil, but at least he's doing something. He's, he's stepping up and he's, and he's taking action and he's making things happen in the world. And I, feel like sitting back and critiquing it. We should be trying to understand it and let's understand what he's doing and why he's doing it that way. But to, wave your hands and say what he's doing is dumb and stupid, man. I wanna see you go out there and fight Iron Man with your rocket launcher .
Michael: I'm not, but I guess, okay. I guess I was, I just still find it silly. But no, I'm ed you've really made it, you've made some headway in this discussion. Yes. Okay. Iron, Man, keep it up or no, Iron Man haw. Keep it up. Keep it up. See how, see what happens. But I'm just saying to you right now, in a year's time, he is in jail, , and it's like, and I'd be curious. And they take away his arrows. . Yeah. I'd be curious. He says like, yeah, you know what, you know what my mistake was? I used a bow and arrow in a modern world to commit crimes instead, I should have. A gun or a rocket launcher, or a flame thrower, or even a water gun. that shot.
Edward: Hey, speak. Speaking of other options, let's, let's move on to our second kidnapping of the week. So Sue Storm, kidnapped by the frightful four. All four of them, I guess, got together and took her out. Usually the fight for four are battling the entire Fantastic four. And this case they focus their efforts on one individual, on the team, kidnapped her, are now demanding the other ones come and fight them. So far nothing really exciting in the news, but I think what's interesting, maybe interesting is that, two of the dreadful four, are, if not new then rebrand.
Michael: I think they're definitely rebranded, and I find it, again, I guess the theme I'm having is that it just seems kind of silly. So like, do you know what the name is?
Edward: Like we talked about the silliness, . Let's give these guys some credit. They're battling the Fantastic Four. These are not clowns,
Michael: not silly people. Okay. Okay, let's go through this. Okay, so we know about what's his, um, what's his real name, the Wizard's real name, uh, bent. Whitman Bentley Bettman? Yes, that's correct. Okay. Okay. So he goes from Bentley Whitman very intelligent person knowing the world over to calling himself the wizard cuz he's like super smart and he wants to out Fox the Human Torch who's a teenager. And then he's rebranded himself as a Wingless wizard cuz he's using is, he's still using his anti-gravity suit, which he had before. And my first. Who are you talking to about the branding? Like boy, the wingless part is not the interesting part of this. We already know you're the wizards so you're flying, but you and I Ed are wingless. This isn't the win the Wingless radio show. You know what I mean? I'm not the wingless lawyer. You're the winless dad of your children. The Thing.
Edward: If he was, if he was armless, maybe he should call that out. But you're right, a human who is Wingless doesn't seem to be The Thing that you care about.
Michael: No, it's not. It's not like, woo. I'm really intimidated. He's wingless. Watch out. He's wingless. .
Edward: You can imagine all these other characteristics he does not have . The claws.
Michael: Claws, you know. I don't know, like the finless, like, I guess you wouldn't be good swimming. Like it's just dumb . So it's not just, it's not just silly, it's kind of dumb.
The guiltless, the guiltless wizard. , what I hope, what I hope, because he's a bad guy, he's doing bad things and he kidnapped somebody recently is, I hope that he paid a lot of money to some consultant to say, what am I missing? Why, why are people thinking I'm a bad guy, just cause I do bad things? They're like, you know what it is? It's because, you know, the wizard is so intimidating. Let's just say, to soften you up and say like, here are things you, you aren't, you're, you don't have wings, so we're gonna call you wingless and that, and everyone likes alliteration. You're the. You're the wingless wizard now. That'll be $5,000 here. Thank you very much. Goodbye, Lee. I just think it's not very good.
Edward: Okay. I think we can agree the Wingless wizard was a misfire when it comes to branding. But. The other member of the team who's come up with a new name for themselves, paste Pot, Pete, which I always have a hard time saying, and yeah. Frankly, might be the worst name in the superhero business, . And it was about, it was about time he changed and he did change to what I like. Well, it's not a worst name.
Michael: The Trapster. The Trapster. You know, I think the irony here is that they're on the same team and the Wisher goes to a worst name with alliteration and Pace Pot pete goes to a better name, and eliminates the alliteration. . Yeah. So it's no longer Pace Pot Pete, which is kind of like, again, pace Pot is not like, Ooh. Oh no. They might. Something sticky on me. The trapster is a little more, nefarious, right? And I think it's more intimidating if that's what you're going for as a super villain. And it just seems that maybe. Pete Trapster should go over talk to Wing Wizard and say, you know what, ,
Edward: as much as we all love the alliterations, it's, they're unnecessary these days. You can, like, they're, yeah, don't, you don't need to li you don't need to put yourself in that box wizard. You could call yourself the box less wizard.
Michael: Yeah, but he should say something like, Hey, I was like you before where I thought what people needed to know was have in my name was have descriptions like Pace Pot. You know, Pete wasn't enough, had to be Pace Pot, and you had to be winless, but you don't need it at all. Just go right to the name, the Wizard, and I'm the Trapster and you're Wizard. So you're smart and you're devious, and I'm. I'm gonna trap you with my pace Pot , but I'm not gonna say that part because it's just gonna happen. It's just like I'm gonna trap 'em,
Edward: talk, talk, talk, talk about what you achieve, not how you achieve it.
Michael: That's right. And I won't be tied down to the PACE pod cuz I have more than glue, not much, but I have more than glue I might have like genius plans.
Edward: I can trap you with whatever methods I choose. .
Michael: Yeah. And I might just talk to my friend, the Wizard who's super smart. He's gonna help me figure out how to do these plants and I'll just, I'll do it. Sometimes it'll evolve pace, but I'm not tied down to it. And you know what, you might just float away. But no one needs to know why. just do listen. Just do.