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Tales of Suspense 94
"The Tragedy and The Triumph!"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND October, 1967

Look What's Happened! Once Again
STAN (The Man) LEE and GENE (The Dean) COLAN
Have Topped Their Previous Triumphs!
And Leave Us Not Forget The Able Assists Of:
DAN ADKINS (Inker), SAM ROSEN (Letterer),
and STEVE CHUNG (Reviewer)

His transistors, drained in battle against The Titanium Man, Iron Man is prone on the floor, playing possum in order to survive! Now, a much greater threat has arrived... The scientist known as Half-Face has a new mission for The Titanium Man... he is to leave immediately and utterly destroy a nearby peaceful village! (Holy McGoohan, Batman!) Under cover of night... he will cause such destruction that the American bombers will be blamed for the massacre! The Golden Avenger agonizes, for he knows he must stop them!! But... how? HOW?

KLANG! The two leave Iron Man sealed in the room behind a massive steel door! Thinking him powerless, Half-Face and The Titanium Man are unaware that Shell-Head can still do something! His transistors may be dead, but they can be recharged -- if connected to a power source! If only he can reach the power generator -- behind him! (Holy Deus Ex Machina, Batman!) The Golden Avenger must plug in his adaptor cable -- into the proper outlet -- for a proper recharge! (Holy D.C. Currents, Batman!)

He has enough energy left... to prop himself up...! It has taken Tony Stark years to design the prototype Quick-Changer... but now his investment has paid off! With the first section fully connected, Iron Man sees that there's no outlet... on the generator... and he must make a connection! (Holy Chuck Woolery, Batman!) The Golden Avenger manages...to strip away the insulation... and makes a field splice! ZAZZPP! Shell-Head's ... done it!!! All he needed was that one burst! His power is back at its peak once again! And now... if only he's not too late!

Before he can go another round with The Titanium Man, The Golden Avenger must get through the massive steel door! A regular blast of repulsor rays can't budge it...! Then, Shell-Head concentrates the force into a laser-like beam... and maintains the pressure at one single point... The door has an opening, and now it's Iron Man's power against The Titanium Man's once more... but now Shell-Head is aware of his foe's abilities! Iron Man's exit is noticed by Half-Face's soldiers, who seek to shoot him down before he can soar away! The Golden Avenger knows that their bullets can't penetrate his flexi-armor!

The next moment finds the soldiers blown backwards by the force of Iron Man's abrupt departure, and mere minutes later, Shell-Head sees Half-Face directing The Titanium Man to his target... a peaceful native village! Thanks to his built-in radar scanner, The Golden Avenger has arrived in the nick of time. (Holy Raitt of Speed, Batman!) Although the scientist has no desire to slay innocent people... he has his orders... and this is war! Half-Face commands The Titanium Man to strike!

Seeing the armored giant approaching, the villagers run for cover, but The Titanium Man tells them that all is hopeless... for they will die!

On the other side of the world, a mysterious visitor has returned to the gate of Stark Industries... once again... He wishes to see Tony Stark, and the guard tells him that the millionaire industrialist hasn't returned! The guards is stunned by the visitor's concealed weapon, then the mystery man climbs over the wall of Stark Industries... dismayed by the lack of security. In The Far East... Half-Face sees that The Titanium Man has halted, and the scientist looks... up in the sky...! It's not a bird... it's not an American plane... It's Iron Man! Shell-Head seeks to lure The Titanium Man away from the village, while Comrade Boris Bullski seeks only Iron Man's immediate destruction via his eye-beams... FTASSST!

The twin beams miss their fast-flying target, who is grateful that he is fully re-charged, and that he is still faster than a speeding Bullski! THAK! The beams strike a tree, which is about to fall onto a father and son below!! Both sense that it will be too late to evade it, but THUP! Shell-Head has managed to shove the tree aside! The two are aware of their savior, but wonder if he can defeat The Titanium Man?

As The Titanium Man prepares his eye-beams once more, Iron Man swoops in, and evades the open-handed slap from Comrade Bullski! Shell-Head seeks to drive The Titanium Man from the village, while the natives watch The Golden Avenger lead him towards the river's edge!! They wait and watch... with their faith in the one known as... Iron Man!

As Half-Face prepares to transmit more power to his living weapon... he wonders if he can truly believe what his eyes see before him?!! It is his wife and child!! He hadn't known... couldn't have suspected... that they were here in this doomed village!! If it hadn't been for The Golden Avenger.. they would have died... with the others! And he would have been their executioner! But all is not lost! He still has time to save them! His wife and son are determined to share the villagers' fate! Near the bank of the river... Iron Man swoops in, determined to topple The Titanium Man!! Comrade Bullski waits for the moment when his foe's speed will fail so that he can seize him! With speed enough to spare, Shell-Head fires twin concentrated blasts from his repulsors... at Titanium Man's weak spot... an act which will defeat his foe... or signal the end of Iron Man! ZAP!

SKRIK! A direct hit on the spot where Titanium Man's armor is welded, and splitting the power center at the back! FTIKK! Iron Man swiftly snaps the main contact cable... causing The Titanium Man to lose his balance, but not before Bullski delivers an open-handed slap to knock The Golden Avenger back! The Titanium Man's limbs begin to weaken... he begins to fall... and the bridge he's standing on... is crumbling beneath his great weight!! He is...helpless!

KRASHH! The Titanium Man has fallen! Now all that is left to do is for Iron Man to deal with ...Half-Face! As Shell-Head turns towards the adoring crowd of villagers... The Titanium Man is determined to fire his Disinto-Ray... while his foe's back is turned... which will wipe The Golden Avenger from the face of the earth... forever! ARGHHH! A villager warns Iron Man that The Titanium Man has risen once more, but then collapses.. as if by magic!! It was science, not magic, which has destroyed Half-Face's greatest creation! No longer will the scientist serve the oppressors! From this moment... he will fight for freedom... as do those whom he loves! His wife knows that her husband was called Half-Face by those who would enslave them, but it matters not to her! He has redeemed himself... and once more she'll call him... husband! Iron Man tells them that he'll report that The Titanium Man and Half-Face are gone! For in truth... they are!

Seeing Iron Man on the splash page, I can appreciate Shell-Head's struggle to revitalize himself, even as I've put off the flu in time for this review. Hope you all enjoy this one as much as I did.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then Tony Stark must be the favorite son, as I'm constantly impressed by his ability to adapt to the threat, and use his knowledge of the situation to succeed in defeating his foe.

In this story, The Titanium Man is an automaton, designed and used for one purpose... destruction! No man of steel he.

The mysterious visitor at Stark Industries doesn't quite sit well with the security guard, who is catching an unexpected forty winks.

A bald-headed scientist vs a flying hero! Who'd ever thunk it?

Even in a fight, Iron Man has his eyes peeled for trouble when it comes to innocent bystanders, and he is willing to use his armor in their defense.

For the frightened villagers, hope has arrived in the form of a man in shining golden armor. Gene Colan and Don Heck's versions of Iron Man would have to be my absolute favorites, with honorable mention to John Romita Sr and Bob Layton.

Half-Face is reunited with his family, and must prove himself to them, while Iron Man fights a desperate battle against a massive foe.

Seeing what might have happened if not for Iron Man's intervention, the scientist is given another chance to redeem himself in the eyes of his family, and prove worthy for them, and his fellow citizens as a force for good.

I really miss stories like these, where the characters are well-rounded, and you can undestand their motivations, as well as sympathize with them.

Half-Face reappeared in the Atlantis Attacks Iron Man Annual , in a pin-up drawn by Gene Colan, featuring him and The Titanium Man.

This Review Is Dedicated To Kevin Grady, Marty McKee, Tom Orzechowski, and Corrina Lavitt

Steve Chung
"The Tragedy And The Triumph of The Review!"