Tales Of Suspense #69-71 (1965-1966)

These split books are weird–I guess Stan was trying to sell to fans of Iron Man or Cap, hoping the one would by the others’ book.  It’s hard because each of the stories are so short.  As a result, they’re not really developed well, and they’re rarely above average.

In these three issues, on the Iron Man side, we meet Titanium Man for the first time.  He’s basically a green Iron Man.  The significance of the main story is basically none, but Happy Hogan gets injured and tells Iron Man that he knows he’s really Tony Stark.  So from here on out, Tony should have a friend and a confidant.  And if he threw a party, he would see the biggest gift would be from Happy.  (Sorry, can’t resist a Golden Girls reference.)

It ends with Happy recovering in an intensive care unit, and Pepper pissed at Tony for not sitting at his bedside.

Of course, Tony’s can’t.  Because he’s Iron Man.

On the Cap side of these comics, we get a three part tale with some terrific titles (“Midnight in Greymoor Castle!” “If this be treason!” “When you lie down with dogs!”) and not-so-terrific content.  It’s still World War II stuff, so it doesn’t have any real impact on the shared Marvel Universe, which started over a decade after WWII ended.

Actually, I’m not even sure how canonical these tales are, since Captain America appears to be in the service undercover as Steve Rogers and then springing into action in costume, whereas more modern versions show him being Cap 100% of the time during the war.

On the upside, George Tuska shows with #70 and uses his real name instead of the pseudonym he was using for his work in Tales to Astonish.

Creators: Stan Lee and Don Heck (Iron Man); Stan Lee, Jack Kirby (layouts), Vincent Colletta (#69), George Tuska (#70-71) (Cap)
First appearances: Titanium Man
Grade: C- (Iron Man); D (Cap)

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.

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