Episode 131: When Titans Tussle (Tales of Suspense #53) - May 1964
In this episode:
Mike and Ed discuss the recent intense posturing by Senators and industrialists. Tony Stark has been accused of disloyalty by allowing a new weapon to fall into the hands of the Soviets. When Iron Man sets things “right”, Stark immediately claims that the weapon cannot be duplicated and that the US military cannot have it either. Is Tony Stark too powerful? OR is he trying to strike a fine balance between working with the government and acting as a bulwark against its power?
Behind the Comic
The second appearance of the Black Widow. She is back working for the Soviets. Any hint that she will one day become a hero is totally absent. Her defining traits seem to be sneakiness, beauty and charm - definitely not any fighting skills. Meanwhile, if Spider-man’s “human” issues center around being misunderstood and unlucky, Tony Stark’s issues seem to be being blamed by Senators every time the Soviets or aliens, or other civilizations do something to his company. Funny how billionaire corporate leader as government scapegoat has changed so little in 80 years.
In this issue:
Tony Stark invites an anti-gravity machine after months of work, arranging the circuits at random to the point that he could not recreate the invention if he tried (which is very odd). Black Widow, who is a Russian secret agent out in the cold, decides to steal the anti-gravity machine as a way to work herself back into the good gracious of her former spymasters. She ingratiates herself with Tony Stark and then steals the device from him. Iron Man tracks her down and ultimately destroys the anti-gravity weapon, which is preferable in his mind to letting the Russians get it.
Assumed before the next episode:
People wonder why Tony Stark did not at least keep notes.
This episode takes place:
After Tony Stark’s dedication to his country is weirdly questioned by the US government for a problem he did not exactly create.