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168: Tales of Suspense #52 (v1) [A Story]

" The Crimson Dynamo Strikes Again! "
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Tales of Suspense #52a (v1)
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Editor-in-Chief: Stan Lee
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, George Roussos
Writers: Stan Lee, Don Rico
Pencilers: Don Heck
Inkers: Don Heck
Letterers: Sam Rosen
Editors: Stan Lee
Cover Date: April 1964
Release Date: February 1964
Story Arc: -
Pages: 13
Cover Price: $0.12
Times Read: 1,037                 Times Rated: 554
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #51c Go to Issue #52c

Tales to Astonish #54 (v1) [A Story]
Tales to Astonish #54 (v1) [C Story]
Tales of Suspense #52a (v1)
Tales of Suspense #52c (v1)
Tales to Astonish #55a (v1)
166: Tales to Ast...
#54a (v1)
167: Tales to Ast...
#54c (v1)
169: Tales of Sus...
#52c (v1)
170: Tales to Ast...
#55a (v1)
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Issue Blurb
Russia sends two agents to America, Boris and the Black Widow. Their mission is to eliminate Tony Stark, Iron Man and the Red traitor Professor Vanko. The Crimson Dynamo returns when Boris kidnaps Vanko and uses his mechanical suit to defeat Iron Man!
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Character Appearances
Main Characters
  Iron Man
Iron Man last appeared in Tales of Suspense #51a (v1). Iron Man next appears in Tales of Suspense #53a (v1).
Supporting Characters
  Crimson Dynamo (Anton Vanko)
Crimson Dynamo (Anton Vanko) last appeared in Tales of Suspense #46 (v1). Crimson Dynamo (Anton Vanko) next appears in Tales of Suspense #56a (v1). Anton Vankos dies in this issue. While he does appear again, it is as a dream version.
  Happy Hogan
Happy Hogan last appeared in Tales of Suspense #51a (v1). Happy Hogan next appears in Tales of Suspense #53a (v1).
  Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts last appeared in Tales of Suspense #51a (v1). Pepper Potts next appears in Tales of Suspense #53a (v1).
  Crimson Dynamo (Boris Turgenov)
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Crimson Dynamo (Boris Turgenov) in the mainstream continuity. Boris Turgenov replaces Vanko as the Crimson Dynamo in this issue.
  The Black Widow
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by The Black Widow in the mainstream continuity. The Black Widow next appears in Tales of Suspense #53a (v1).
  Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev last appeared in Tales of Suspense #46 (v1). Nikita Khrushchev next appears in Tales of Suspense #53a (v1).
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Notes

Why Essential Notes

The Black Widow is introduced in this issue.

Anton Vanko, the 1st Crimson Dynamo, dies in this issue and is replaced by Borris Turgenov.
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Issue Review
There is no review of this issue.
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Issue Synopsis
There is not synopsis for this issue.

Issue Detail Divider
  thomassp74 Says:    
  2011-11-27 11:51:24  
  It’s lucky Iron Man carries a spare extension cord. Hope he carries international adaptors.

Glad to see Black Widow show up. The roster is starting to expand.

Was that Boris and Natasha thing ripping off Bullwinkle, or was it just a common coupling at the time that both comic and cartoon used?

  darkdragonne Says:    
  2012-06-27 11:23:39  
  WIDOW!!! I was waiting for her to make an appearance!

Natasha and Boris. Couldn't they have picked less stereotypical names?

  Agrippina Says:    
  2012-08-09 20:43:26  
  The best Tales of Suspense yet, in my opinion. An interesting plot, good conclusion, and the introduction of the Black Widow.  

  Dark_Knight93 Says:    
  2012-09-21 13:20:48  
  I agree with Agrippina, this was the best Tales of Suspense so far. I also think this was by far the best "commie" storyline and was actually tolerable.  

  pik.asso Says:    
  2012-09-23 16:11:11  
  Wow, the second death in Marvel! Seems like it's evolving into a more adult comic. I like that!  

  chrisWhite Says:    
  2012-09-24 15:57:24  
  Third death if you count the heart attack of the Fixer in Daredevil. I greatly enjoy this trend toward a little darker, more mature Marvel universe.  

  specialque Says:    
  2012-09-25 08:19:33  
  Noooooo! Not Vanko!

That death scene was great. I'm glad the Black Widow's here, even if she didn't do much in this issue. Iron Man recharging via a lightbulb was delightful.

That Watcher story was the worst one yet.

  Ben Reilly Says:    
  2013-06-08 23:13:36  
  It's hard for me to believe that's the origin of the Black Widow. Well at least the first appearance. She's so badass in current comics and so throwaway in this one. Gonna be interesting to see her change over time. Most likely it'll happen when Stan lets go of her.  

  leisch Says:    
  2013-07-30 20:41:41  
  As a fan of spy stories, the Widow is one of my favorite characters. Great to see her debut here. Looks like Stark is letting Little Tony do his thinking for him. "Let's you and me go on a date. Your hulking brother from an Eastern Bloc country can tour my munitions factory by himself".
Hope she was worth it, Tony.

  duncanm Says:    
  2013-08-13 21:20:21  
  Was kind of disappointed that that was how Widow was introduced, though in the Stan Lee era I think she's the strongest female character yet. I also like the Watcher story this time out, though it was a little on the predictable side.  

  Durango55 Says:    
  2013-11-13 16:44:39  
  Man, that Black Widow is a looker with a GREAT costume! No way they could improve on that!

Despite all the slagging we give Stan's writing, I'm staggered by the amount of incedible characters he's introduced between 1961 - 1964. Simply amazing!

Looking forward to the evolution of Black Window as we progress through the Order...

  Durango55 Says:    
  2013-11-13 17:02:36  
  And Pepper is still her enchanting self. Is there a more loathsome female supporting character than her in the Order?  

  Spider-Borg Says:    
  2013-11-18 22:00:56  
  Wow a tolerable issue for a change! Hopefully they stay more like this one :)  

  Psychopat Says:    
  2013-12-20 06:21:45  
  Introduction of Black Widow yay! Hope she gets better with time I only know the movie version it's kind of a shock. And I think Crimson Dynamo is the first chracter to give his identity to someone else am I right?  

  marvelcomicslover Says:    
  2014-01-25 16:41:04  
  Iron Man stories are getting better. It was good to see the introduction of Black Widow. Pretty decent Iron Man story. Not really liking the Watcher stories.  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2014-03-23 16:57:39  
  4 stars for the 1st app of the Black Widow!!!

Splash - Nice image of Crimson Dynamo II taking out Iron Man,

Foreshadowing - I wonder if Vanko working on lasers is a stepping stone for the Living Laser.

Mall Cops - If I was Stark, I would fire all security and start over!

Extra - I like the Seance better than the Watcher Tale.

'Nuff Said - "I bring you a message from our glorious leader!"-Boris

  Tarquinnff3 Says:    
  2014-04-20 16:49:31  
  This was a very average issue. I was expecting Black Widow to have a more important role in the story, but she was just used as a distraction to Tony. Hopefully she is developed a little more in future issues.  

  Bramwell Says:    
  2014-04-30 20:56:41  
  1. This issue was more subtle than most. I like it more for the set up than the story itself. Crimson Dynamo is a great villain for Iron Man and I particularly like that they are really blurring the good/evil lines. And introducing Black Widow but not using her was cool.
2. That being said....Tony mist carry around a ton of different power adapters and patch cables.

  GroovyGolem Says:    
  2014-05-23 22:59:59  
  Boris and Natasha? Really? Where's Moose and Squirrel when you need them? But seriously folks...

So this was the first appearance of the Black Wisow, eh? I'll be curious to see how her character evolves. I've never really followed it before.

I did like how the art broke out of the frame on P11P2, as Iron Man lays a haymaker on the Crimson Dynamo. That seems to still be a rarity, even this far in to the Silver Age.

  J-Smack Says:    
  2015-08-26 22:00:42  
  Keel moose, forget squell.

Oh, stereotypes.

  wingot Says:    
  2015-12-30 02:12:50  
  A commie/red storyline that didn't actually feel stupid.

Really hope that Natasha becomes more Black Widow very quickly, the whole "lady of love" story presented in this issue makes her a drop in replacement for him chasing a skirt every other issue. Was good seeing the Crimson Dynamo back for another fight without spoiling the heel-face turn of Vanko.

  Urgat Says:    
  2015-12-30 16:17:34  
  i never thought, The Black Widow would appear so "early" in the Marvel Universe, i always thought she was a modern age addition/invention...mind blown...TIL  

  RobinHoodMtl Says:    
  2016-04-28 00:51:17  
  • That’s my line – “Americans are not murderers!” (Iron Man) – Well… If I try real hard, I might come up with one name,… or two… dozens…!

  • After Boris and Natasha, don’t miss next month’s Tales of Suspense with Rocky and Bullwinkle!

  • Whoah! That’s what the Black Widow looked like when she first appeared? Interesting! I cannot wait to see how she develops into who she is now, because I have not idea.

  • At first glance, that Boris doesn’t look like Russia’s brightest asset!

  • Funny that the Jet Paralyzer looks exactly like Marvin the Martian’s gun!

  • Ooh that foreign visitor with a soviet accent and carrying a human size package on his shoulder arouses no suspicions at all, now does he? Good going, pal!

  • Can anyone explain why would Vanko give his lectures in English in Moscow?

  • I find extremely odd that no one thought of removing Iron Man’s mask while he was unconscious.

  • Despite all these details, this was one of the best in the series. 4 stars, for the arrival of Black Widow.

  Calion Says:    
  2016-06-02 10:17:51  
  1. Oh…no…we're only just now seeing lasers? Well, look for everything to be "laser-powered" soon…
2. So lead protects against lasers (which it might), but we've never heard of it as protection from radiation.
3. "I've altered my frequency wave length!" You've…what now?
4. So this new suit is water-permeable, whereas the old one could go underwater? Sounds like a move in the wrong direction.
5. Nice to see Black Widow. Nice to see a female villain. Nice to see a woman with some character.

Everyone's wondering how Iron Man connects his suit to a light socket or whatever, but it's simple: He wires it in directly. One end of the cord is a plug for his suit, the other is bare wires.

  RobinHoodMtl @ Calion (original post):    
  2016-07-13 12:38:07  
  Lead shielding is still commonly used as protection against x-ray and gamma radiation. Lead aprons are present in every hospital's radiology units and every dental clinic.  

  Calion @ RobinHoodMtl (original post):    
  2016-09-02 15:52:12  
  By "we" I meant Stan Lee in 1964, mainly. He didn't seem to realize that lead protected from radiation. Sorry for the confusion.  

  kent18 Says:    
  2016-11-14 16:59:53  
  Four automatic stars for the dazzling debut of my second favorite Marvel character of all time (behind only Captain America)... the one, the only BLACK WIDOW!!! *Woot-Woot*!!! ;)

Don Heck's pencils and inks on this feature are, as always, polished and professional; Vanko's selfless sacrifice, at story's end, was genuinely heroic and affecting; and who *doesn't* the ongoing pre-domestic drama of Happy and Pepper, anyway...?

("If there's a MOON out, lady," Tony murmurs to 'Tasha at one point, "you'll find out how I feel about YOU, too!" Evidently, in the early '60s, men were only allowed to aggressively make passes at women in the complete and utter absence of our sun's ultra-violet rays... so: now you know, then. AND KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE -- !!!) ;)

  Billstar2 Says:    
  2016-12-21 23:39:02  
  Much like others, not the worst commie story by the orders standards. Black Widow emerges.  

  Jobbertrev Says:    
  2017-03-08 10:21:58  
  Black Widow! Already looking forward to her next showdown with somebody else.  

  Jobbertrev Says:    
  2017-03-08 10:21:59  
  Black Widow! Already looking forward to her next showdown with somebody else.  

  hendrica Says:    
  2017-03-20 08:40:45  
  An absolutely great story plot that gets brought back down to Earth with horrible, terrible science, even for 1960's standards.  

  anetella Says:    
  2017-03-27 08:51:24  
  "This is a job for the Black Widow and a man known as [long pause for a dramatic effect] BORIS!"  

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Issue Detail Divider
Date User Name Update
   March 19, 2016 fragsel Added Nikita Khrushchev to the issue.
   February 28, 2015 Drax Changed comic details.
   February 27, 2015 TStarnes Deleted listing of Uatu the Watcher.
   April 22, 2014 TStarnes Moved this issue.
   April 3, 2014 fragsel Updated the listing for Crimson Dynamo (Anton Vanko).
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