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Tales of Suspense #57: Review

Sep 1964
Stan Lee, Don Heck

Story Name:

Hawkeye, the Marksman!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Tales of Suspense #57 Review by (March 30, 2012)
Review: One of the great characters of the Marvel Universe makes an auspicious debut in spite of being, in the words of one wise guy, a hero “whose superpower became obsolete the day gunpowder was invented!” Nevertheless, we have the headstrong hero, battling feelings of inferiority and jealousy, crashing headlong into the hero game and making a mess of things. Add to that an eye for the ladies, which allows him to be easily duped by the Black Widow, and the modern Hawkeye is already in place. And the story works! Unlike some of the dumber tales in the early Silver Age, this one would require only some punching up of dialogue to be an Avengers Origins issue. And not to worry, he doesn’t stay a baddie for long.

Comments: Second story: Text story, reprinted from MYSTERY #26; part two appears next issue. Third story: Inker George Roussos credited as Geo. Bell.

Comments: First appearance/origin of Hawkeye. His real name, Clint Barton, would not be revealed until AVENGERS (1964) #65.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of Suspense #57 Synopsis by T Vernon

As the tale opens, Iron Man is rescuing a Stark factory worker from a vat of molten steel. Afterwards, Happy Hogan approaches the Armored Avenger and asks if Iron Man would ask Tony Stark to persuade Pepper Potts to go on a date with him. Tony complies but there is a misunderstanding and Pepper thinks Tony is asking her to go out with him. That night, to avoid seeming romantic, he takes Pepper to the Coney Island midway where they see a display of archery by Hawkeye, “the World’s Greatest Marksman,” though no one in the audience is impressed. At that moment the flying pinwheel ride goes out of control and Tony slips away to don his Iron Man armor and prevent a major disaster. Iron Man is hailed as a hero, which provokes Hawkeye to jealousy. He determines to become a popular hero as well and devises a purple costume and a set of trick arrows and heads off to fight crime. The fledgling hero spies a crook making off with loot from a jewelry store and fires an arrow to pin the hood’s coat to a telephone pole. The crook gets loose however and flees the scene. The police come upon Hawkeye with the recovered jewels and assume he is the thief. The misunderstood hero runs through the streets until a car stops and the driver offers him a ride; it is the Black Widow and she proposes to the smitten Hawkeye that they become allies (and the goof agrees without asking “Allies in what?”). She takes him to her secret lab provided by her Communist masters where she provides him with technology to improve his arrows—and asks him to destroy Iron Man to win her love. One stipulation: no harm must come to Tony Stark…and Hawkeye realizes he has a romantic rival….

Tony, meanwhile, is planning to make it up to Pepper for their disastrous date at Coney Island but he walks in on her and Happy and she exacts her own revenge by agreeing to go to the movies with the dour chauffeur. Outside, Hawkeye uses his arrows to sneak onto a truck heading into the Stark complex and he blows the lock off the factory door with an explosive arrow to bring Iron Man running. Sure enough, the Armored Avengers arrives on the sceen and the misguided archer bombards him with arrows containing a fast-acting rusting chemical. Iron Man quickly removes his boots and gauntlets and makes his way back to the office where he dons replacements; Hawkeye, meanwhile has recovered the abandoned boots and gauntlets with the idea of studying them to learn Iron Man’s secrets and is escaping by car. Iron Man flies overhead and uses a power ray to blast the front off the villain’s auto. He then uses his repulsor rays to deflect the hail of trick arrows coming his way. The battle leads to a pier where Iron Man tosses his foe into the water and pulls him out half-drowned and unconscious. As Iron Man heads to Hawkeye’s car to recover his stolen pieces of armor, the archer awakens and fires an explosive arrow at the hero’s back. The demolition blast ricochets harmlessly off the Golden Avenger’s shoulder but the Black Widow, who has arrived at the rendezvous point is seriously injured. Hawkwye panics, scoops up the beauteous spy in his arms and takes off in her boat. Iron Man starts to follow but realizes that he is near the airport and he might pose a danger to aircraft in the fog which has rolled in, so he reluctantly allows the villains to escape.

“The Runner [Part One]”
Writer: Unknown.  
Synopsis: A misfit kid named Hermy moves into the neighborhood and Mike stands up for him to a bully. Story continues next issue.

“The Watcher’s Power!” 
Writer: Larry Lieber. Plot: Stan Lee. Pencils: Larry Lieber. Inks: George Roussos. Colors: ? Letters: Art Simek.
Synopsis: A band of space pirates sets up their weapons on a planet inhabited by the Watcher, intending to destroy a neighboring world, knowing the Watcher will not interfere in the affairs of other races. But the Watcher destroys their weapons and transports them all to a savage world inhabited by metal beasts. The explanation? The world the pirates had targeted was the home planet of the Watchers, hence, not an “other race!”

Don Heck


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)


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