TALES OF SUSPENSE #53 (1964): The Black Widow Strikes Again and The Origin of the Watcher

The Black Widow debuted last issue, and she’s already back.

And she’s here to steal his anti-gravity machine.  She seduces Tony, gets this terrific new tech, and then uses it…To steal jewelry.

Seems kinda petty.

Iron Man catches up to her and gets his machine back, but she escapes again.

Iron Man diagnoses her real problem as just not digging Americans.

The main story may be Iron Man’s, but the real reason to read this is the Origin of the Watcher. Not because it’s a great story but because the character had been around for almost two years with no hint as to his roots.

Turns out, he was from a race of aliens who discovered the cure for everything, became immortal, but got greedy. Pretty standard. But as a result, they’ve chosen just to watch, as immortals, and never interfere.

(Except of course that they interfere all the time.)

I can’t imagine what it was about Black Widow’s first appearance that made fans want to see her again. She was basically a nonentity. But here she is, again, and this time she’s not a sidekick. She’s the main villain. And yet, it’s still a clunky, silly story. She gets a hold of an anti-gravity gun and Iron Man stops her but shows her compassion, leading her to wonder why an American would do this…

Creators: Stan Lee (plot), N. Korok (script), Don Heck (art) (Iron Man story)
Stan Lee (plot), Larry Lieber (script and art) (Watcher story)
Grade: C+

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

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