Tales of Suspense #45 opens in an almost James Bond-like way, with Iron Man jetting along the highway on his rocket skates because he late to participate in a racing event as Tony Stark. I have to admit, I’m still not used to see Iron Man skating every where versus, you know, flying. Anyways, eventually Iron Man reaches Tony Stark’s car out in the middle of the woods for some reason and is off to the race track. Unfortunately, in the middle of the race Stark realizes that his battery is winding down on his life-saving chest plate, which causes him to crash his car somehow. Naturally, Stark the car then catches fire and is endanger of blowing up, Hollywood style.
Lucky for Stark, Happy Hogan was on the scene to yank him out of the car before it’s too late. Naturally, facing the dilemma of having to explain his chest plate to any medical responders, Stark offers to pay Hogan off to take him to his hotel room, no questions asked. While some people may have a problem with the plausibility of this part of the plot, this actually makes sense given Stark’s social economic class. Anyways, instead of accepting payment, Hogan is able to convince Stark to give him a job, and this where things get weird, because, really, a really long way of introducing the supporting character of Hogan, this part of the story really does not relate in away to the other part of the story.
Anyways, the story eventually picks back up at Stark’s lab, where we’re introduced to Pepper Potts, who at this time is pretty much a carbon copy of Jane Foster, which means that she, of course, has an unrequited love for her boss. Really, one thing that stands out to me at this point in the reading order is that Lee is an inability to write a strong and interesting female character. In addition to introducing the reader to Potts, the reader is also introduced to Professor Gregor Shapanka, who is caught trying to break into Stark’s vault and thus is fired and removed from the premises. Naturally, after a very oddly written interaction between Stark and Shapanka, he vows vengeance on Stark.
This of course leads to a bizarre origin sequence and the creation of Jack Frost, which makes no sense, but at least it ends with one of Iron Man’s better villains thus far. Jack Frost, aside from the horrible name, has interesting powers, which is basically a suit that allows him to produce and manipulate ice, as well as preventing aging, for some reason. From here on the story issue is pretty entertaining, paint-by-numbers affair, which includes another trapdoor. I seriously think Lee must have had some weird kind of fascination with trapdoors.
In the end, Tales of Suspense #45 is an average issue that is also worth checking for the first appearances of Potts and Hogan, who are two important supporting characters in the Iron Man series.
- Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Don Heck
- Writers: Stan Lee, Robert Bernstein
- Pencilers: Don Heck
- Inkers: Don Heck
- Letterers: Sam Rosen
- Editors: Stan Lee