Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Marvel Flashback: Tales of Suspense #87 (1966)

Tales of Suspense #87 (Marvel Comics)

Iron Man: Stan Lee (w) Gene Colan (a) 

Captain America Roy Thomas (w) Jack Stirling (a)

One of the comics I used to read from the mid sixties was Tales of Suspense which had a "double feature" line-up of Iron Man and Captain America. This format was also used in the companion titles Tales to Astonish (Sub-Mariner/Hulk) and Strange Tales (Doctor Strange/Nick Fury Agent of Shield) which helped make the "Marvel Age of Comics" something to remember.

These early days of Marvel Comics were held back by a disastrous distribution contract which led to restriction of Stan Lee's efforts by their main rival. Hence the use of split formats to feature more characters.

This particular issue sees Tony Stark/Iron Man conduct an experiment in his factory frightening the locals and attracting the criminal element leading to a confrontation below the Earth. The disappearance of buildings is blamed on Stark when in fact the sinister Mole Man was the real culprit. Iron Man heads towards an ambush.

Meanwhile The Peerless Planner impersonates Captain America in a short story which sees our hero being blamed for a series of bank robberies. Doesn't end well for the villainous one.

Eventually a new distributor allowed Marvel Comics to expand with Captain America taking over the Tales of Suspense title along with the numbering whilst Iron finally gets his own comic with a brand new number one.



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