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Tales of Suspense #59: Review

Nov 1964
Stan Lee, Don Heck

Story Name:

The Black Knight!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Tales of Suspense #59 Review by (February 15, 2010)
First episode of Captain America’s solo series.

Tales of Suspense #59 Review by (April 2, 2012)
Review: On the face of it this is yet another armored villain breaks into the Stark factory and challenges Iron Man but this time there’s a twist: the armor is medieval rather than high tech—and there’s a flying horse. Most comic stories can be improved by adding a flying horse. But this Knight is a bit dim: he attacks Stark Industries because he doesn’t know where to find Giant-Man or Captain America. Er, have you tried Avengers Mansion? They might show up there sooner or later. Shortly Marvel would decide that a flying horse was too cool to waste on a second-rate villain, so they will bring down this Knight’s curtain and introduce his good guy nephew as an Avenger. Anyway, the real point of interest to this tale is how, after a few early issues, Stan finally remembers that Tony Stark wears the armor because he is a seriously ill man—and makes the situation a central part of the plot, rather than wringing it for some cheap drama (“Can I recharge my batteries in time?!?”). Stan is starting to think these things through—and Iron Man will be the better for it.

Comments: First of a five-part story in which Tony Stark is forced into hiding and Iron Man is suspected of foul play in Tony’s disappearance. The first Black Knight was Sir Percy of Scandia who appeared in BLACK KNIGHT #1-5 in 1955. This issue’s villain is his descendant, Nathan Garrett, who was introduced in TALES TO ASTONISH #52 as an enemy of Giant-Man; he then appeared in AVENGERS #6 as a member of the Masters of Evil. The present story marks his third appearance. He will subsequently appear in AVENGERS #14-15, again with the Masters of Evil, and meet his doom against Iron Man in TALES OF SUSPENSE #73. Later (AVENGERS #48) it will be revealed that on his deathbed he passes the Ebony Blade and winged horse Aragorn on to his nephew Dane Whitman, who becomes the third, heroic, Black Knight.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of Suspense #59 Synopsis by T Vernon
While the other Avengers leave to participate in a charity fundraiser, Iron Man remains behind in case of an emergency. This proves to be a good idea as the Black Knight escapes prison (sent there in Avengers #6) and attack Stark’s factory. This is his first stop on his revenge campaign against the Avengers.

Tony arrives and is horrified to learn that his chest device is malfunctioning. Happy and Pepper both notice that Stark is ill, but are told to leave him alone. He quickly locks himself in his office to recharge. He is only able to complete a quick charge before he must confront the Black Knight on his flying steed. After a brief battle, the Black Knight is captured and turned over to the police.

Once inside his office, Tony realizes that his chest device is now completely dependent upon the additional power from his armor in order to function. He’s afraid that if he removes the armor, he’ll die.

In what proves to be a failed effort to calm Pepper and Happy, Iron Man emerges from Stark’s office and tells them that Stark has left through a secret entrance and has put him (Iron Man) in charge of the factory. Neither Pepper nor Happy believe this, but are unable to do anything without proof.

Story #2

Captain America

Writer: Stan Lee. Plot: Stan Lee. Plot: Jack Kirby. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: Chic Stone.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America is on night duty alone at Avengers Mansion. After the butler Jarvis leaves for the evening, Cap settles in for a lonely evening leafing through his scrapbook. Elsewhere, a gangster named Bull explains to his henchmen his scheme for attacking Avengers Mansion: strike when Captain America is alone because, lacking superpowers, he is the weakest link of the team. Learning from the kidnapped Jarvis that Cap is alone that night (“Why didn't you just phone?” asks the shaken butler), they head on over and catch Cap as he is in a melancholy mood, thinking about Bucky. Taken by surprise, Cap manages to dodge bullets and baddies until a shot grazes his skull and an armored thug knock him down. The crooks tie Cap up and try to open the mansion safe. The Star-Spangled Avenger slips his bonds and turns into a whirlwind of action, defeating all his foes, and thanking them for helping him while away a lonely evening. Tired, Cap wonders if he’s getting soft in his old age.

Don Heck
Chic Stone
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Dick Ayers (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Black Knight (Nathan Garrett), Giant-Man (Scott Lang).

> Tales of Suspense: Book info and issue index

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