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Tales of Suspense #63: Review

Mar 1965
Stan Lee, Don Heck

Story Name:

Somewhere Lurks the Phantom!

Review & Comments

2 stars

Tales of Suspense #63 Review by (February 15, 2010)
As the title says, the origin of Captain America (and Bucky as well), in a revised retelling of a story by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon that appeared in CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1, March 1941. Writer Stan Lee changed the last name of the doctor who devised the super soldier formula from Reinstein (set by Joe Simon) to Erskine. First direct appearance of Bucky Barnes. This issue begins a series of stories set during World War 2.

Tales of Suspense #63 Review by (April 13, 2012)
Review (Iron Man): ZZZZZZ…oh right, I have to write a review. The “doomed Tony” plot is resolved as though it is a nuisance that Stan Lee wants to get out of the way, the Tony-Pepper-Happy triangle turns into the sappiest soap opera this side of Matt-Karen-Foggy (running in DAREDEVIL at this time), and the Phantom is an exceptionally lame villain—the guy doesn’t even have a stupid gimmick, he just wears a mask and cape—to sabotage Stark’s facility, like a dozen other bad guys with more to offer. Even the mystery falls completely flat: masked villain? Named character we’ve never seen before? Hmmm. Z.

Comments (Iron Man): Conclusion 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 Phantom returns in IRON AGE: ALPHA and IRON AGE: OMEGA in 2011—a very long hiatus for such a lame villain.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of Suspense #63 Synopsis by T Vernon
Iron Man returns to Stark’s Long Island factory where he finds Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan still in a somber mood, believing that Tony Stark is dead (issue #61). Tony races to his lab where he goes to work on his latest inspiration: a modified transistor which will enable him to finally remove his armor without dying. Completing the advanced device, he puts it to the test…and waits long anxious minutes before concluding his plan was a success. He then reveals himself to Happy and Pepper—but realizes she is as in love with him as he with her—and that Happy also loves her. To avoid complications, he claims to be engaged to a Boston debutante and explains that he had been incommunicado aboard her parents’ yacht and didn’t know he was believed dead. Now that he’s "alive" again, the business quickly gets back to normal, namely, a mysterious saboteur begins planting bombs and damaging technology. Iron Man is unable to catch the cunning villain. Leaders of the workers’ union confront Stark and threaten to strike unless the Phantom is caught quickly. That night, as the hero patrols the factory, his radar detector picks up a presence nearby—Happy Hogan, who is also hunting the bad guy. The Phantom reveals himself and throws a grenade, which the hero catches and crushes. He trails the Phantom to a control room where the saboteur threatens to destroy the facility. Iron Man, his hands raised seemingly in surrender, lets off a repulsor blast that disarms the Phantom but the villain escapes. The Phantom climbs to the top of a new rocket hoping to launch the control capsule and get away but Iron Man simply tears the capsule off and lowers it to the ground where the Phantom is unmasked as Donald Birch, a disgruntled scientist who resented all the attention Tony Stark was getting. Tony goes back to brooding about his loss of Pepper.

Story #2

The Origin of Captain America!

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: Frank Ray. Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

During the early days of World War 2, several US general and intelligence men are gathered at a secret lab underneath an innocent curio shop to witness the test of Operation Rebirth. A 4-F volunteer named Steve Rogers is brought forward and given a chemical mixture to drink. Immediately his body grows in muscle mass and agility creating a hero before their eyes. Suddenly, a Nazi agent appears and shoots Dr. Erskine, who was the only man who knew the Rebirth formula. Steve leaps into action, taking the gun from the killer, who, in trying to escape, runs into machinery and is accidentally electrocuted. Christened Captain America and outfitted with a red, white, and blue uniform, Steve becomes the heroic defender of freedom against the Nazi menace. In his off-hours Steve adopts the persona of a bumbling GI at Fort Lehigh. When camp mascot Bucky Barnes discovers his secret identity, he becomes Cap’s partner, aiding him in capturing a gang of Nazi saboteurs. Thus a heroic team is born!

Don Heck
Dick Ayers
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Don Heck (Cover Penciler)
Dick Ayers (Cover Inker)
Sol Brodsky (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes

(James Barnes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

Plus: General Chester Phillips, Nazis, Phantom (Donald Birch), Professor Erskine.

> Tales of Suspense: Book info and issue index

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