Episode 167: Iron Man, Murder Suspect (Tales of Suspense #60) -- December 1964
In this episode:
Mike and Ed discuss the police decision to declare Tony Stark missing and Iron Man as a suspect. Did Iron Man kill Tony Stark? Why is Iron Man still in charge of StarkCorp. while he is under investigation? Why hasn’t the board of directors already acted, and how will they respond when they do? Is this the most exciting story since the founding of the Fantastic Four? Also: Pepper Potts, Tony Stark’s secretary, has been kidnapped by a masked villain using a bow and specialty explosive arrows. Is it all related as part of a conspiracy? Or is it just a distraction from the bigger issue of Mr. Stark’s disappearance?
Behind the comic:
Most Marvel comics at this time were monthly, in theory (X-Men was bi-monthly). But in practice the comics came out whenever the artists completed their work. This meant that Spider-Man comics were often delayed (Ditko started delivering in a more timely manner in 1965), it also meant that some of the storylines got a little mixed up. There WERE a number of issues released between Tales of Suspense #59 and #60 (Tales to Astonish #61, Fantastic Four #33, Journey Into Mystery #11, and Strange Tales #127) but, coincidentally, none of those issues had any publicly visible events. So from a Super Serious perspective it means Part 2 of this Iron Man drama follows immediately after Part 1. In the real world Part 3 does not come out until January 1965, but from a comic book continuity perspective it happens BEFORE Avengers #11 (which was on newsstands the same day as this issue), so we will cover in our next episode.
In this issue:
Tony Stark is frustrated because he feels he needs to wear his armour all the time, lest his fragile heart stop. This means as well that he has to remain Iron Man at all times and tell his closest friends that Tony Stark is away on a secret business matter. His friends call the police, who interrogate Iron Man, who draws suspicion and flees under a hail of bullets from the cops. Meanwhile, Hawkeye is convinced by the Black Widow to raid StarkCorp.‘s factory to steal plans for its newest weapons. Hawkeye kidnaps Tony Starks’s assistant Pepper Potts. This draws Iron Man back to rescue Pepper, whereupon he battles Hawkeye, chasing him off.
Assumed before the next episode:
StarkCorp.’s share price keeps going up and down on the uncertainties involving its founder and Iron Man.
This episode takes place:
After Pepper Potts has been rescued.