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Tales of Suspense #77: Review

May 1966
Stan Lee, Gene Colan

Story Name:

Ultimo Lives!

Review & Comments

Rating:
5 stars

Tales of Suspense #77 Review by (February 15, 2010)
A later retcon makes Peggy Carter the aunt, rather than the sister, of Sharon Carter. Layouts by Jack Kirby.


Tales of Suspense #77 Review by (June 4, 2012)
Review (Iron Man): Again, an epic action issue with fantastic art that throws off the pacing of the story, leaving it to end with Senator Byrd’s attack on Tony Stark, with a single panel to remind the reader that Iron Man is fighting a giant monster.

Comments (Iron Man): First full appearance/origin of Ultimo. It was revealed in IRON MAN #298-300 that Ultimo was an android created by aliens and merely reprogrammed by the Mandarin to serve him. The Mandarin’s blast that would have killed Tony leaves a huge dent in his chestplate—a dent that has disappeared moments later when he appears as Iron Man. Penciler Gene Colan is credited as Adam Austin; inker Jack Abel as Gary Michaels.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of Suspense #77 Synopsis by T Vernon

Tony Stark is a prisoner of the Mandarin at the villain’s fortress in China, and what’s worse is that the Mandarin has hurled Tony’s briefcase—containing his Iron Man armor—out of the window and into the moat. The mastermind is full of glee as he describes how he brought the giant android Ultimo to life in the bowels of a volcano, and now he is preparing to use his creation to conquer the world. Suddenly the villain is distracted by the viewscreen showing Red troops preparing to attack his castle; having lost interest in Tony, Mandarin executes him with a power blast that hurls the captive American out of the room and down a flight of stone steps. Saved from death by his iron chestplate, Tony hears the footsteps of the giant Ultimo approaching the castle and hurriedly leaps into the moat to retrieve his briefcase. Not far away, the Red Army is locked in combat with the massive monster and is unable to harm Ultimo or stop his deadly eye-beams. Iron Man arrives to engage the enormous enemy but must play a defensive game against Ultimo’s quick-moving eye-beams….

Meanwhile, in the United States, Senator Byrd announces that Tony Stark is being cited for Contempt of Congress in his refusal to cooperate with the Senate hearings on Iron Man, and that all of Stark’s government contracts have been cancelled and his factories closed…just as Ultimo grabs hold of the armored hero in far-off China….


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> Tales of Suspense: Book info and issue index


Story #2

If a Hostage Should Die!

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

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Steve Rogers watches a TV documentary on the Liberation of Paris in which Captain America is the central player. The narrator is puzzled that Cap’s expression seems to be one of near-panic rather than jubilation and has no answer. Steve, however, knows the circumstances: it was the loss of his wartime love, whose name he never knew. He recalls the aftermath of the D-Day invasion, with the desperate Nazis fighting back against the advancing Allies, and Cap himself arriving to lead the French partisans to victory. Cap meets up with his beloved Agent Thirteen, and they confess their love for one another. When duty separates them, they vow to each other that they will not be separated in the end. But further missions intervene, and Thirteen is captured by the Nazis and she is marched before a firing squad. The French underground attacks at this point allowing prisoners to escape and Thirteen leaps on a Nazi officer to prevent him from shooting at the fleeing partisans. A shell lands in the courtyard at that moment, knocking her unconscious. As the Nazis are being driven from Paris, Cap learns that his beloved was captured and races to Gestapo headquarters, where he is unable to find her. As the Allies celebrate the liberation of the city, a distraught Captain America masters his fear and hopelessness and allows himself to be honored as a hero. It is revealed that the explosion has rendered Thirteen amnesiac, and in the present we find Steve brooding, having never learned her fate.

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Gene Colan
Jack Abel
?
Gene Colan (Cover Penciler)
Jack Abel (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Nazis, Peggy Carter, Senator Byrd, Ultimo.