TALES OF SUSPENSE #81-83 (1966)

Following the last few issues, we get a great splash page of Red Skull clutching the Cosmic Cube over his head and doing an evil villain rant about it.  But by the end of the story, the Cosmic Cube has been sucked deep into the ocean and Red Skull has “died” trying to swim down after it.  Naturally, his body is not recovered.

We also get a little bit of a “dig” against the character Captain America spits this book with, when Jarvis offers to “draw him a bath” and Cap basically says that baths are for rich folk and he’d rather stand and shower.

Hmm.  The seeds of the Civil War?

On the Iron Man side of the book, Titanium Man returns.  And it takes Iron Man three issues to beat him.  Ho hum.  Great art, but the story is just meh.

Meanwhile, in issues #82 and #83 Captain America’s body is hijacked by “The Adaptoid,” a robotic villain who can shape shift. Then, we meet another new villain, The Tumbler, who crashes through Avengers Mansion’s window and meets up with the imposter version of Cap and loses a fight to him.

So a Cap knock off fights a Batroc knock off.


Captain America’s second story ends with The Adaptoid captured in Avengers’ basement, plotting a “plan” for revenge.

Score: Captain America beats three villains, including his arch foe Red Skull, and Iron Man farts around for three issues with the Russian version of himself.


And then, in the end, we get a letter from Marv Wolfman!

Creators: Lee and Kirby (Cap), Lee and Colan (Iron Man)
First appearances: The Adaptoid, Tumbler
Grade: Iron Man: C+ (the art makes it above average—if Don Heck drew it, we’d be looking at a D).  Captain America: A (for #81, wrapping the Red Skull story), C (for #82, which is mostly a WWII flashback), B (for #83, a solid tale, even if it’s once again got a villain dressing as a hero—which by this time has become a Marvel trope).
Letter Page Banners, Famous People Writing Letters To Comics, Iron Man, Cap, 1966, Complete

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

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