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440: Tales of Suspense #77 (v1) [A Story]

" Ultimo Lives! "
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Tales of Suspense #77a (v1)
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Editor-in-Chief: Stan Lee
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, John Romita Sr.
Writers: Stan Lee
Pencilers: Gene Colan
Inkers: Gary Michaels
Letterers: Sam Rosen
Editors: Stan Lee
Cover Date: May 1966
Release Date: February 1966
Story Arc: -
Pages: 12
Cover Price: $0.12
Times Read: 661                 Times Rated: 369
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #76a Go to Issue #78a

Tales of Suspense #75a (v1)
Tales of Suspense #76a (v1)
Tales of Suspense #77a (v1)
Tales of Suspense #78a (v1)
Tales of Suspense #77b (v1)
438: Tales of Sus...
#75a (v1)
439: Tales of Sus...
#76a (v1)
441: Tales of Sus...
#78a (v1)
442: Tales of Sus...
#77b (v1)
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Tales of Suspense #75a (v1)
Universe Tag
Tales of Suspense #76a (v1)
Universe Tag
Tales of Suspense #77a (v1)
Universe Tag
Tales of Suspense #78a (v1)
Universe Tag
Tales of Suspense #77b (v1)
Universe Tag
Tales of Suspense #75a (v1)
Tales of Suspense #76a (v1)
Tales of Suspense #78a (v1)
Tales of Suspense #77b (v1)
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Issue Blurb
Mandarin releases his titanic android upon the world, and the only man who stands a chance to stop this juggernaut is Iron Man, but how can he when Tony Stark is trapped in the clutches of the Mandarin without his armored suit?
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Character Appearances
Main Characters
  Iron Man
Iron Man last appeared in Tales of Suspense #76a (v1). Iron Man next appears in Tales of Suspense #78a (v1).
Supporting Characters
  Harrington Byrd
Harrington Byrd last appeared in Tales of Suspense #76a (v1). Harrington Byrd next appears in Tales of Suspense #81a (v1).
Mandarin last appeared in Tales of Suspense #76a (v1). Mandarin next appears in Tales of Suspense #78a (v1).
Ultimo last appeared in Tales of Suspense #76a (v1). Ultimo next appears in Tales of Suspense #78a (v1).
Group Appearances
Chinese Military
Chinese Military last appeared in Tales of Suspense #76a (v1). Chinese Military next appears in Tales of Suspense #78a (v1).
Equipment, Items & Vehicles
Iron Man Armor, Model 3
Iron Man Armor, Model 3 last appeared in Tales of Suspense #76a (v1). Iron Man Armor, Model 3 next appears in Tales of Suspense #78a (v1).
Mandarin's Rings
Mandarin's Rings last appeared in Tales of Suspense #76a (v1). Mandarin's Rings next appears in Tales of Suspense #78a (v1).
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Issue Notes
  There are no notes for this issue.

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Issue Review
There is no review of this issue.
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Issue Synopsis
The Mandarin tells his prisoner Tony Stark about his new creation, Ultimo, who will help him achieve his dream of world domination. Stark is helpless since the villain has thrown his attaché case and the Iron Man suit it contains at the bottom of the castle moat. The Mandarin explains how he created this new weapon and how it was so powerful that it caused the long-dead volcano it was concealed in to erupt.

While the Mandarin turns his back to activate his monitor, which shows him that the Red Army is attacking his castle, Tony Stark tries to sneak out of the place. However Stark is not quick enough and the Mandarin blasts him with one of his lethal power rings, hoping that Iron Man will come to avenge his master. The blast sends the playboy down the stairway to his apparent death, but his chest plate allows him to survive the shock.

The Mandarin, assuming the American is dead, feels he can now focus on more important matters. But as the Mandarin is busy controlling Ultimo to attack the Red Chinese soldiers, Tony Stark rushes outside and dives into the moat to recover his attaché case. Ultimo approaches steadily, each step shaking the ground like an earthquake. It does not take long for the gigantic machine to force the Red infantry to retreat.

Then Iron Man arrives, hardly believing the amazing size of Mandarin's weapon. Knowing he won't be able to dodge Ultimo's attack forever, he hero tries to figure out some way to attack. Meanwhile in Washington, Senator Byrd tells his congressmen that due to Stark constantly ignoring his demands to appear before the Congress, he decided to cancel all his contracts with the government and to shut down all his factories. Unknown to him is the fact that on the other side of the world, Stark is fighting for his very life against Ultimo.
Issue Detail Divider
  andyzh Says:    
  2012-07-07 07:29:30  
  one panel of a close-up on the mandarin look childish.  

  bigkat5582 Says:    
  2012-07-25 17:32:10  
  What exactly is "Oriental patience"? I didn't know that was a thing.  

  spencer617 Says:    
  2013-04-18 11:31:12  
  And again with the amnesia. Time for a new plot  

  Safis Says:    
  2013-05-13 22:08:20  
  Yeah, the amnesia line is really getting old.  

  leisch Says:    
  2013-08-06 14:48:30  
  Cap is back in the 40s. They need to pick an era for his stories and stick to it.  

  Antifa Says:    
  2013-10-27 12:28:23  
  i thought the art in the iron man story was as good i've seen yet  

  duncanm Says:    
  2013-12-12 18:52:04  
  Really? Two stories with amnesia in the same book? Getting sloppy Staniel.  

  dpaone Says:    
  2014-01-17 16:36:43  
  I love you, but have never seen your face and don't know who you are! . I'm getting a little bored of the villian uses an giant/powerful andriod the threaten the world plot. Only 2 stars this time out.  

  Spernst Says:    
  2014-05-08 23:03:04  
  Any villain worth his salt knows how to build a massive android....day one stuff people  

  metasynthie Says:    
  2014-06-16 09:39:54  
  The timeline here is a little confusing. Last issue, the Mandarin started to kidnap Stark, then the Red Army attacked, then the volcano erupted and Ultimo came out. Now the Mandarin's telling us how he accidentally made Ultimo TOO powerful, and the volcano erupted, bringing Ultimo to life. Does the volcano just erupt whenever Ultimo gets up? I feel sorry for the Mandarin, who has to represent the hokiest of villain archetypes "hahah I'm going to tell you my plans while you stall" etc. I mean, someone actually CALLED him Fu Manchu in an earlier issue; some real lampshade action from the master of half-embarrassed lampshading, Stan Lee.  

  marvelcomicslover Says:    
  2014-07-19 19:36:51  
  Iron Man story is kind of dull, but I do like the new panel layouts.
Cap flashback story was pretty good. I'm liking Romita's art in this.

  gloomyharvester Says:    
  2014-07-25 22:48:19  
  The events of this issue should serve to illustrate to Tony Stark why his strategy of billing Iron Man as his body guard is the worst secret identity ever created. "I will abduct and kill Tony Stark to force Iron Man to come after me for revenge!" Not to mention how they attack Stark's factories and menace his employees to get to Iron Man. It all defeats the purpose of even having a secret identity. He'd be better off coming out to the world as Iron Man, at least then the Senator would be off of his back and his employees would all be on the same page about protecting him. And he'd be safer because he could wear his armor to work.  

  Durango55 Says:    
  2014-08-05 13:48:58  
  I really like Colans unorthodox panel layouts.  

  TheAmazingGatorMan Says:    
  2014-08-17 18:51:54  
  2 stars. There's barely any focus on how Stark recovers his brief case. There's amnesia in both stories. There are way too many android stories.

IM: Story was mediocre. It's borderline Giant Man bad. Byrd is a douche, if this is how politicians were in the 60s, I see not much has changed in 50 years.

Cap: it was a good flashback issue up until the amnesia portion at the end. So annoying that the couldn't cone up with at least some difference other than the timeframe of when the stories took place.


  arsenal009 @ TheAmazingGatorMan (original post):    
  2014-08-24 13:02:35  
  Who has amnesia in the Iron Man story?  

  TheAmazingGatorMan @ arsenal009 (original post):    
  2014-08-24 18:19:06  
  Hope I'm not giving away any spoilers, but Happy got amnesia.  

  arsenal009 @ TheAmazingGatorMan (original post):    
  2014-08-26 17:00:04  
  I know they discussed his amnesia in a previous issue but not this one. Or did u mean the story arc in general?  

  TheAmazingGatorMan @ arsenal009 (original post):    
  2014-08-26 17:20:42  
  Yeah, in general. Seemed to be a somewhat common theme... Sort of like alien invasions and androids.  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2014-09-03 21:58:47  
  2 stars for the ultimate Ultimo!!!

Cover Me - At least the Mandarin put a loincloth on Ultimo!

Keebler - Since when did the Mandarin become a elf? Take a look at those ears!!

'Nuff Said - "Who in Sam hill is Ultimo?"-Stark

  MattzLadd Says:    
  2014-09-21 09:14:10  
  Why would Mandarin even need to bring Stark to him, instead of just waiting for Iron Man to show up?  

  CosmicCostello Says:    
  2014-11-02 06:18:07  
  IM story dull as dishwater with exciting, forward moving leaps in comic book art storytelling. Great to see. Dull to read.

Cap story just beautiful to look at and a very nice read. A roller coaster of emotions. For my nickel, or my franc, I guess, Stan did a much better job with Steve Rogers as a character with real drama going on inside him than any other character, even Peter Parker.

All of Cap's emotions flow from who he is or his situations rather than the typical Stan melodrama that always seems drummed up (like love triangles,etc.) And I love seeing the two sides of the man - the stalwart, patriotic symbol of heroism and freedom existing right beside the frail human being tossed out of time with lost friends and lovers and unsure of his place in the modern world.

  Bramwell Says:    
  2014-11-23 14:55:46  
  I had the opposite experience from most of you. IM was standard stuff but Cap was boring. I'm just not into these WWII stories.  

  Imperator Says:    
  2015-01-07 17:29:00  
  I love idea of non-perpendiqular panels :)  

  GroovyGolem Says:    
  2015-05-08 05:33:05  
  I agree about Gene Colan's panel layouts, especially when you just view the entire page as a unit, the layouts really help to frame the action, set the drama, and tell the story. Again, the contrast between those and the Kirby layouts are like night and day.

I'm surprised I've never heard more praise for Colan's style. It is unlike anything I've seen in the Silver Age at this point.

Those shots of Ultimo attacking the Red Army reminded me of Dr. Manhattan attacking the Viet Cong in Watchmen. I wonder if Dave Gibbons was doing a purposeful homage there or was it just coincidence?

The choice of a loin cloth on Ultimo was a bit strange... why would an android need a loin cloth? Either Mandarin built him a tallywhacker or he didn't... if he didn't, there's no need for the loin cloth. If he did (which would be a bit weird, from a design standpoint, but an artist must sculpt, I suppose) then you would think he'd want to show it off to the world if he took the time to build it, especially considering how proud the Mandarin is.

  kungfufan Says:    
  2016-07-24 23:42:32  
  @GroovyGolem: Hahahahahahahahaha...!

Ultimo seems awesome, I like Senator Byrd, nice shake-up of the traditional panel layout, and love that front cover!

  Allencthulhu Says:    
  2017-06-21 23:19:09  
  So, let me get this straight...the Mandarin actually put genitalia on his android, which is why it has to wear shorts (come to think about it, it seems to be the case with Dragon Man, too) but the Silver Surfer can fly all over the galaxy naked as a jay-bird? And they HAD to put pants on Howard the Duck? Really?  

  Johnny Darkness @ Allencthulhu (original post):    
  2017-06-22 00:46:48  
  Don't get me started on Silver Surfer's genitals.  

  Wolverstone Says:    
  2017-11-20 03:01:31  
  Maybe the first time Mandarin uses a power ring for something other than pushing a button across the room...?  

  RobinHoodMtl Says:    
  2018-01-04 13:21:21  
  • That's my line – "...for only a long-dead volcano could conceal his gigantic bulk..." (Mandarin) – ?!!!... Really?!?... Man, this is bad!!! I can think of a hundred other places he could fit in!

  • Good. Lord. What's with the pointy ears on the Mandarin? I did not notice in last issue (yet they were there), but here it's striking. Did the creators suddenly decide he may have Atlantean blood or something?

  • As other readers noted in previous issue, a muscular Mandarin does not agree with me either.

  • The Mandarin saying he created a machine and made it his slave is a bit like being all excited because I bought a toaster and I make toasts with it. It's a goddam machine! It's supposed to be your slave!

  • I can understand, in part, how a serious politician like Byrd could lose patience, if I look at things from his perspective, and given what he knows. So I can't totally disagree with his moves. He did try to speak man to man with Stark from the beginning.

  • This story is pure Silver Age corniness. It has everything: the megalomaniac villain who wants to take over the world, the ultimate robot weapon with deadly rays in his eyes, the endless self-gratifying monologues, the helpless hero, etc. Too bad the storytelling does not match the quality of the artwork. 3 stars.

  RobinHoodMtl @ GroovyGolem (original post):    
  2018-01-04 13:38:14  
  Indeed, Colan's panel layout is very creative and way ahead of his time. Some of it is still being used today.

Your hilarious comment on Ultimo's loin cloth totaly cracked me up!

Issue Detail Divider
Iron Man Omnibus, Volume 1
This collection includes Tales of Suspense #39a (v1), Tales of Suspense #40 (v1), Tales of Suspense #41 (v1), Tales of Suspense #42 (v1), Tales of Suspense #43 (v1), Tales of Suspense #44 (v1), Tales of Suspense #45 (v1), Tales of Suspense #46 (v1), Tales of Suspense #47 (v1), Tales of Suspense #48 (v1), Tales of Suspense #49a (v1), Tales of Suspense #50a (v1), Tales of Suspense #51a (v1), Tales of Suspense #52a (v1), Tales of Suspense #53a (v1), Tales of Suspense #54a (v1), Tales of Suspense #55a (v1), Tales of Suspense #56a (v1), Tales of Suspense #57a (v1), Tales of Suspense #58a (v1), Tales of Suspense #59a (v1), Tales of Suspense #60a (v1), Tales of Suspense #61a (v1), Tales of Suspense #62a (v1), Tales of Suspense #63a (v1), Tales of Suspense #64a (v1), Tales of Suspense #65a (v1), Tales of Suspense #66a (v1), Tales of Suspense #67a (v1), Tales of Suspense #68a (v1), Tales of Suspense #69a (v1), Tales of Suspense #70a (v1), Tales of Suspense #71a (v1), Tales of Suspense #72a (v1), Tales of Suspense #73a (v1), Tales of Suspense #74a (v1), Tales of Suspense #75a (v1), Tales of Suspense #76a (v1), Tales of Suspense #77a (v1), Tales of Suspense #78a (v1), Tales of Suspense #79a (v1), Tales of Suspense #80a (v1), Tales of Suspense #81a (v1), Tales of Suspense #82a (v1), Tales of Suspense #83a (v1)
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Issue Letters Page

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Story Locations
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Date User Name Update
   January 31, 2018 TStarnes Added Mandarin[appost]s Rings listing.
   January 31, 2018 TStarnes Added Iron Man Armor, Model 3 listing.
   January 31, 2018 TStarnes
   January 31, 2018 TStarnes
   January 9, 2018 RobinHoodMtl Added synopsis for this issue.
   January 9, 2018 Urgat
   November 21, 2017 TStarnes
   April 21, 2016 fragsel Added Chinese Military to the issue.
   April 21, 2016 fragsel Added Harrington Byrd to the issue.
   July 13, 2015 Drax Deleted listing of Captain America.
   July 13, 2015 Drax Deleted listing of Peggy Carter.
   July 13, 2015 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   April 15, 2015 sewixo Changed comic details.
   June 7, 2013 TStarnes Moved this issue.
   June 5, 2013 Robareid Changed blurb for this issue.
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