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Tales of Suspense #44: Review

Aug 1963
Robert Bernstein, Don Heck

Story Name:

The Mad Pharaoh!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Tales of Suspense #44 Review by (February 29, 2012)
Review: “Iron Man, Iron Man, does whatever a skateboard can…” The image of the Golden Avenger hurling himself at the enemy like an armored go-kart is a particularly silly one, especially when it graces the story’s splash page. Otherwise it’s a typical time-travel tale and Cleopatra has nothing to do in the story other than afford Don Heck the chance to draw another beautiful woman; on the plus side, that was one of the things Dashing Donnie was best at.

Comments: Second story: Text story with one illustration, reprinted from STRANGE STORIES OF SUSPENSE #11.

Comments: This is Cleopatra’s second appearance in a Silver-Age Marvel comic; the first was STRANGE TALES #124, wherein she is sent to the future by an evil wizard and sent back by Dr. Strange. By no coincidence, this issue was published shortly before the release of the big-budget film CLEOPATRA with Elizabeth Taylor.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of Suspense #44 Synopsis by T Vernon

Tony Stark goes to Egypt to help an archeologist friend of his explore a newly-discovered pyramid. The Professor wants Tony to create a device to help them locate the burial chamber within, Tony suggests that Iron Man would be more helpful. Returning to Cairo to recharge his chest plate overnight, he returns as Iron Man and uses a fluoroscopic viewer to pinpoint the tomb inside and his diamond drills to tunnel into the chamber. There they discover the sarcophagus of the Mad Pharaoh, Hatap. Iron Man leaves and returns as Tony Stark to the news that the mummy has been stolen. Not quite—Hatap is alive and well and reveals himself to Tony, explaining that he had been at war with Cleopatra’s forces all those centuries ago and put himself in suspended animation for 2000 years under the guise of drinking poison. Hatap infects the local workers with a plague to force Tony to agree to go to the past and help him defeat Cleopatra. Tony agrees so Hatap cures the workers and uses a golden charm to summon the Chariot of Time, which whisks them back twenty centuries. Arriving among the dunes, Tony seizes the opportunity to escape and change into Iron Man, frightening Hatap. Shellhead zooms off to find Cleopatra and discovers her palace under siege by the Roman army. He destroys their mighty engines of war and drives them off and is directed by the defenders to the Queen’s barge. There he sinks a Roman galley and is ushered into the presence of the great Cleopatra. He fills her in on the return of Hatap and offers to help her. Meanwhile, the mad usurper has reassembled his army and is heading toward the palace. Iron Man affixes casters to his back and propels himself at the approaching chariots like a super-powered go-kart. He smashes them to bits causing Hatap to panic. The villain attempts to use his golden charm to escape into the future but he stumbles and falls on an upturned sword and dies. Cleopatra declares her love for Iron Man but he must return to his own time using the magic device. Back in the present, Tony and his archeologist are amazed to discover a hieroglyphic in the tomb that resembled an armor-clad figure. Tony just smiles….

“The Tree”
Writer: Unknown. Artist: Unknown.
Synopsis: A boy discovers that a weird looking tree in the yard grants wishes and convinces his parents not to cut it down!

“One of Us Must Die!”
Writer: Larry Lieber. Plot: Stan Lee. Pencils: Larry Lieber. Inks: Paul Reinman. Colors: ? Letters: Artie Simek.
Synopsis: A space pilot is flying a ship with five millionaires aboard when an accident damages the air supply, requiring one man to die so the other five can live. The pilot then says that there is only enough air for one man to survive and a rich guy pulls a gun and forces his way into the oxygen chamber only to discover he has ejected himself into space, having proved he was the one who least deserved to live! Set in 1998!

“I Come from the Sky!”
Writer: Stan Lee. Art: Steve Ditko. Colors: ? Letters: Artie Simek.
Synopsis: A Communist agent in Africa convinces a lost tribe that he is a god—so they send him out to slay the monster that has been terrorizing them for generations!

Don Heck
Don Heck


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Cleopatra, Hatap.

> Tales of Suspense: Book info and issue index

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