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Tales of Suspense #47: Review

Nov 1963
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Story Name:

Iron Man Battles the Melter!

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

Tales of Suspense #47 Review by (March 7, 2012)
Review: He’s a villain with a simple gimmick but it’s a devastating one: the Melter can melt iron! What can Iron Man do to protect himself? As it turns out, quite a bit, since this is the only story where Melter presents anything near a threat to our hero—and even then it’s a stretch. The story is drawn out a lot longer than it needs to be and Steve Ditko’s pencils are unrecognizable beneath Don Heck’s inking (the next issue will present a different look). But the big question is: when did Tony build the Aluminum Man armor? As we see in the story, he is still at a loss for how to defeat his foe as he suits up for the final confrontation but he faces the Melter minutes later already wearing the protective armor. Did he throw something together on the two-minute walk from his office to the sabotaged area? Man, that Tony Stark is smarter than we thought!

Comments: First appearance/origin of the Melter who would become a perennial second-string foe of Iron Man, both singly and in the Masters of Evil. He is murdered by the Scourge of the Underworld in CAPTAIN AMERICA #319. Aluminum has a lower melting point than iron—don’t tell me the Melter’s weapon only melts iron?



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of Suspense #47 Synopsis by T Vernon

At a US military base, Army tanks collapse, their vital joints having melted mysteriously. When word reaches Tony Stark, whose company built the tanks, he visits his lab to investigate and is surprised by a villain called the Melter, who knocks him unconscious. The Melter is Bruno Horgan, a one-time competitor of Tony Stark’s, whose use of inferior materials in military contracts was exposed by Stark. Horgan had accidentally discovered the secret of dissolving iron and designed a portable raygun to fit on his chest as part of a super-villain costume; objective: revenge! So now the Melter leaves Tony unconscious where he is discovered by Happy and Pepper. They help him to his office where, in private, he recharges his batteries. An alarm goes off and Tony heads to answer it as Iron Man. He finds the Melter destroying one of his main generators and confronting him discovers that the villain’s weapon also dissolves Iron Man’s armor off as the covering on his left arm melts away. Shellhead runs off and splits an overhead steam pipe (with hovering magnets!) to prevent his foe from pursuing. Over the next several days, Tony tries to come up with a way to stop the Melter but draws a blank. He is summoned to Washington where officials accuse him of making up these absurd stories about a saboteur to cover up his company’s poor performance. During this tense meeting, Tony receives a call about an emergency at the plant. Donning his Iron Man armor, he rushes back to his New York lab to try to repair the latest massive damage. There he is confronted by the Melter—who finds that his beam no longer works on his armored enemy. To cover his escape, the villain melts a crane, dropping a heavy load on Happy and Pepper; Iron Man is able to prevent it from hitting them and pursues his foe. Trapped, the Melter burns away an iron drain cover and leaps into the sewer system and is quickly whisked out of sight. Iron Man changes back to Tony Stark to get back to business as usual.


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Steve Ditko
Don Heck


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Happy Hogan, Melter (Bruno Horgan), Senator Byrd.