Tales of Suspense #42 takes the series back to its communist espionage roots and opens with Iron Man foiling a plot by a communist spy ring of the Red Barbarian to steal an atomic bomb. Eventually, the Red Barbarian sets his sights on Tony Stark and his new mini disintegrator ray. Thus he sends in the master of disguise, The Actor, to impersonate Stark and get those plans back behind the Iron Curtain.
I’m not sure why they felt the need to create a new character rather than just going with the Chameleon, who has pretty much the same powers as The Actor (along with a much cooler name). In addition, the Red Barbarian is a pretty bland and generic communist villain, although it was pretty funny when he knocked out one of his soldiers with a ham. Still, the story was pretty fun, if not a bit convoluted at the end.
Tales of Suspense #42 is worth checking out, just don’t expect anything spectacular from it and you won’t be disappointed.
- Cover Artists: Jack Kirby
- Writers: Stan Lee, Robert Bernstein
- Pencilers: Don Heck
- Letterers: E. Thomas