Episode 171: The Walls Are Closing In (Tales of Suspense #61 Part 1 + Journey Into Mystery #112) -- December 1964
In this episode:
Mike and Ed discuss the current situation with Tony Stark and Iron Man. Tony has been missing for over a month, and Iron Man is still in charge of Stark Enterprises, but the walls are closing in. Tony’s top lieutenants have quit the company, Iron Man is under a grand jury investigation, and Iron Man has also been suspended from the Avengers. Also: Why won’t the Avengers comment on the situation? When asked, Thor just went into a rant about how he was stronger than the Hulk. Is that is what is important right now?
Behind the comics:
Many of the comics in this era are in-universe responses to letters sent into Marvel. One of the common questions at the time was “who is stronger, Thor or Hulk?” Stan’s response was this issue, in which Thor tells the “previously untold story” of his battle with the Hulk in Avengers #3.
In These Issues:
Tales of Suspense #61
Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan announce they are quitting and are unhappy that Tony Stark is missing and Iron Man has basically taken over the company. They speak to the police about the matter, and the newspapers find out about it, finally noticing that Tony Stark is missing and that Iron Man is now a suspect in his disappearance. Tony Stark, who is actually Iron Man, decides to deal with the situation. He decides the best way to do that is to appear to Happy as a sick Tony Stark who explains that Iron Man is in charge of the company on his behalf. Happy then supports the perspective that everything is legitimate. Meanwhile, the Mandarin uses a killer ray to attack the Earth. Specifically, to attack Iron Man, who escapes, although the news report that Tony’s home has been struck by a deadly ray of unknown origin. Tony Stark’s closest friends realize that and accept that Tony Stark is dead and Iron Man has taken over the company. Meanwhile, Iron Man fights the Mandarin and ends up being captured. The episode ends on a cliffhanger.
Journey into Mystery #112
People in the streets are debating whether Thor or the Hulk is stronger. Thor descends into the crowd and explains that he had a secret battle with the Hulk and after a pitched battle, the Hulk disappeared. He seems unable to honestly answer whether he was stronger then the Hulk.
Assumed before the next episode:
People are dumping StarkCorp stock.
This episode takes place:
Before the world thinks Tony is deceased.