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83: Tales of Suspense #44 (v1)

" Iron Man Faces the Menace of the Mad Pharaoh! "
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Tales of Suspense #44 (v1)
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Cover Artists: Jack Kirby
Writers: Stan Lee, Robert Bernstein
Pencilers: Don Heck
Letterers: Sam Rosen
Cover Date: August 1963
Release Date: May 1963
Story Arc: -
Pages: 13
Cover Price: $0.12
Times Read: 1,191                 Times Rated: 614
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #43 Go to Issue #45

Journey into Mystery #95 (v1)
Tales to Astonish #46 (v1)
Tales of Suspense #44 (v1)
Fantastic Four #18 (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man #4 (v1)
81: Journey into ...
#95 (v1)
82: Tales to Asto...
#46 (v1)
84: Fantastic Fou...
#18 (v1)
85: Amazing Spide...
#4 (v1)
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Issue Blurb
Tony Stark journeys to Egypt to help a friend at his archaeological dig site which is searching for Hatap's tomb. After discovering the long dead Egyptian's resting place; Iron Man must take a journey to the past as he realizes that the tomb was not a tomb at all!
Issue Detail Divider
Character Appearances
Main Characters
  Iron Man
Iron Man last appeared in Tales of Suspense #43 (v1). Iron Man next appears in Avengers #1 (v1).
Supporting Characters
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Cleopatra in the mainstream continuity. Cleopatra next appears in Strange Tales #124b (v1).
  Mad Pharaoh
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Mad Pharaoh in the mainstream continuity. Dies this issue.
Equipment, Items & Vehicles
Iron Man Armor, Mark I
Iron Man Armor, Mark I last appeared in Tales of Suspense #43 (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
There is not synopsis for this issue.

Issue Detail Divider
  thomassp74 Says:    
  2011-11-22 12:16:39  
  "Rolls across the desert on tiny wheels." A jet engine in his helmet? My how Iron Man has improved. haha

Cleopatra's in love with Iron Man? Didn't see that one coming.

  zweineuf Says:    
  2011-11-25 14:10:33  
  Easily the worst issue in the order thus far. This is just terrible.
Starting with the reporter who can't stop pestering Stark about whether or not he could bed Cleopatra (where does this reporter work, the 'Journal of Historical Slash Fiction'?), and continuing with Stark's eagerness to travel back in time even though we've just seen him desperately clinging to an A/C outlet after a couple hours as Iron Man, and Hatap's ridiculous scheme to save himself by travelling 2000 years into the future...just to travel 2000 years into the past. Not to mention Iron Man's insane caster wheel attack ... even go-go-gadget roller skates would have been cooler.
This issue is a travesty.

  Hertz1991 Says:    
  2012-01-09 22:01:11  
  I agree with zweineuf. This is for sure one of the worst issues thus far. It would have been cool for Iron Maiden not to be able to plug himself because plugs in Egypt must be different.  

  Redsvetz Says:    
  2012-01-10 07:55:44  
  Hmmm...I rated this issue 3*. Check out Cleo on the cover--You know she's sassified.  

  Webslinger Says:    
  2012-04-12 13:42:06  
  And look how badass is Iron Man on the cover!! But hapat woke up speaking english, as did Cleopatra and her folks also, and even the Romans, hapat actually knew how much time he has been sleeping. All this has sure only one explanation, someone put some hallucinogenic on Stark's drink, so he was dizzy, and dreamed all the thing, that's it!  

  Daredevil Says:    
  2012-07-02 11:50:14  
  just think if he went to Egypt but forgot his plug adaptor so couldn't plug himself in!
But aside from this long list of minor quibbles, everyone seems to think its their favourite issue so far

  Dark_Knight93 Says:    
  2012-07-03 21:06:22  
  zweineuf took the words right out of my mouth, except I disagree about this issue being the worst one so far. I can name a couple of Torch solo stories that compete for that infamy. Seriously, what is with that reporter? I could have taken him asking that question once, but not for a second time a month later.  

  aramina Says:    
  2012-07-08 04:41:52  
  Okay, in all seriousness, this isn't anywhere near as bad as some of the Antman stories. But there are just so many little details I can't stand, like the fact that the embalming would have killed the Pharoah before it ever preserved him.  

  Agrippina Says:    
  2012-07-19 12:29:46  
  I didn't really have an issue with the story itself but, as a Classicist, I basically HAD to take of a point for the complete lack of any attempt whatsoever at historical accuracy.

At least the instalove in this one can be explained away by Cleopatra being an extremely astute ruler who was more than happy to use men for her (and Egypt's) political benefit. Yeah, I know that's not what Stan was trying to do there, but it hurts my brain a lot less if I choose to believe otherwise.

  Ice Says:    
  2012-07-22 23:03:46  
  I wish they'd revisit this concept. Think about it!
Tony Stark Bangs The Women of History! It could be educational! Somebody call Public Broadcasting, pronto!

  Anonymous Says:    
  2012-07-24 14:43:04  
  Only entertaining part of the issue was Iron Man fighting a Roman army. Everything else... already been said.  

  specialque Says:    
  2012-09-16 10:44:48  
  The last panel confirmed my suspicion that this story was done just to jump on any hype for that Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra film that came out in 1963. Must have been something in the air, what with Ant-Man fighting a Greek mythological character in the last comic in the order. I just hope the FF don't battle Genghis Khan or some crap in their next issue. I don't typically like time travel stories, and this one was no exception. It was below average for Iron Man.  

  sputnix Says:    
  2012-09-20 18:15:34  
  Fun read, iron man owning roman soldiers, and villian who puts himself in frozen animation only to travel back in time. Also all Egyptians and Romans 2000 years ago spoke English classic  

  MX5 Says:    
  2012-09-26 14:17:00  
  I don't exactly know if I could say this is the worst in the order, at least of the ones that I'm reading but it' definitely one of the worst issues of Iron Man so far. With all these terrible older issues, it's really hard to believe that Marvel built such a strong following in the years to come..Still waiting for things to get better!  

  Phantasmagoria Says:    
  2012-10-27 18:04:21  
  I really don't get the hate for this issue. Yeah, it's not good, but it's not that bad either, considering the time period in which it was written, drawn, and published. It sure beats the hell out of "Iron Man versus Gargantus".  

  Maidel Says:    
  2012-12-09 17:27:21  
  Time travel. Check. Ancient people speaking English. Check. Ridiculous new powers for superhero. Check. Women falling for said superhero in 5 frames. Check.

It's pretty poor no matter how you look at it.

I'm basically reading for ironic camp value, not for any pleasure at the moment...

  Dopey Says:    
  2013-01-12 02:34:47  
Maidel said it.

"Poor Cleopatra! She knows nothing of modern science!" Stan Lee is such a hypocrite. Silly editor.

We've seen quite a bit of globe trotting in the last five issues or so of the Order, and again, it's nice to see the change of setting, but these Silver Age stories are really getting pretty bland.

A few bright spots:

Tony Stark being the ladykiller we all know and love.


The Mad Pharoah as a villain. I personally could've seen this guy a couple more times and not have minded. He's a pretty crafty guy, if you forgive the horrible plot holes that he was forced to fall into. The time travel aspect of his plan made no sense, the embalming discrepancies, the way his army acts like so many ten pins... Honestly though, this guy could've been a cool time-travelling villain, giving pencilers an excuse to go wild, and providing fresh settings every 15 issues or so. And his means of time travel was epic! A time travel chariot team!? Uhmmm, yes please! But then, he trips over his own foot and impales himself on a random sword that is sticking out of the sand. What the fuck.

With Doctor Strange (the electrical whizz from Iron Man, not the black magic hero), the indestructible construct that Don Blake created and was destroyed, and this here mad Pharoah, I'm kind of rattled that Stan keeps scrapping these ideas and replacing them with communist alien robots who hypnotize people.

I have to add my two cents here, I know it's been said enough, but... Iron Man attaches an outboard motor to his legs and becomes a boat? Four shopping cart wheels and a transistor powered jet engine on his head make him a dune buggy that decimates armies? Sheesh.

One star for Iron Man whupping the Roman legions.

  Spider-Borg Says:    
  2013-02-04 20:16:40  
  Tony Stark has no regard for the Temporal Prime Directive  

  rebelmswar Says:    
  2013-02-25 06:14:41  
  I thought Iron Man was going to abduct her....

Outstanding use of the casters from an ancient shopping cart.

Outstanding use of women as objects for mans prowess, no matter how powerful.

Could be worse to be honest.

  chrys Says:    
  2013-04-07 23:16:52  
  This was terrible all around.
It's ridiculous how long it took them to drop the "Iron Man is, er, a close friend" for the personal bodyguard cover.

The Mad Pharoah, really? It's pharaoh, Stan.

  spbailey9101 Says:    
  2013-06-02 20:37:13  
  After page 7 I couldn't finish reading it. Thank god pictures tell a better rest of the story than marvel can at this point. I'm gonna have to jump a few years ahead just to remind myself it'll get better.  

  leisch Says:    
  2013-07-21 18:28:12  
  Couldn't get into it. Nothing but Stan buying into the Hollywood hype machine back in the day.  

  rook420 Says:    
  2013-07-24 14:00:01  
  Wow! Ancient Egyptians and Romans spoke English. That's fascinating.  

  Anonymous Says:    
  2013-08-09 00:55:17  
  Well if we are to try to explain the English speaking ancient peoples it wouldn't be hard to believe that Tony Stark can speak latin and that, given the size and might of the Roman Empire, the Egyptian nobles would likely have known the language also.  

  wedgeskywalker9 Says:    
  2013-09-05 01:25:28  
  I fully expected to give this issue 1 star, but it surprised me an earned another one. It took its time getting to the ridiculous stuff, and the modern day stuff was good enough (particularly liked Tony having to be carried back to his room to recharge, that's a kind of vulnerability rarely seen in superhero comics) to lift it from "awful" to "barely worthy of a 2/5" in my book.  

  Psychopat Says:    
  2013-09-20 03:48:36  
  I kinda liked it and disliked it a the same time.... same old cliché but to choose ancient egypt as the background was different.... I'd rather it to be Iron Man fighting an awaken mummy than him going back in time  

  Tarquinnff3 Says:    
  2013-10-13 00:15:13  
  I know not to put much faith in these comic covers, but I expected Cleopatra to play a larger role in the story. After she was introduced she was barely seen again. Not the greatest Iron Man issue, by far.  

  marvelcomicslover Says:    
  2013-11-10 18:13:24  
  Transistor Powered!!! Aaaarrrrgh!!! And really...the wheels and the oil squirt at the end..?!?....ugh...  

  quidproquo Says:    
  2014-01-06 21:15:35  
  I gave it a two... but mostly because of the fantastic Heck art.  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2014-01-31 21:20:36  
  2 stars for the Mad Pharaoh who like Dopey said above could of been a good villain to have around.

Cover Me - I love how cool Cleopatra is at flying in the air with Iron Man. With a big smile and waving at her peeps!

Signature Move - At the dig, I'm surprised Tony pulled out Iron Man so fast. In past issues he had plenty of cool gadgets to use as Tony Stark.

Shake It, Don't Break It - Ahhh...now I know why Tony ran back to Cairo. Check out that Belly Dancer! Oooh la la!!!!

Convenient - Oh, this time Stark remembers his drill bit...

Time Passages - So, I guess Stark never uses the Chariot of Time again...

Extra - "One of Us must die!" is an stone cold story!

'Nuff Said - "It slipped out of my fingers! Before I could rub it!"-Mad Pharaoh

  GroovyGolem Says:    
  2014-02-23 22:37:09  
  The whole speaking English thing didn't bother me so much. I suppose if the Mad Pharaoh has magical powers, he was always speaking Egyptian and just gave Tony the ability to speak ancient Egyptian, and the story was just automatically translating it into English for us.

I was more interested in the whole electricity/recharging plot points, where the plugs in present-day Egypt could have posed a problem for Tony, and certainly no electricity in ancient Egypt would have posed a problem once his armor started to run down. That would have been a much more interesting story.

Iron Man seemed a bit like Inspector Gadget in this one though. "Go-go gadget transistor-powered shopping cart wheels!"

  Bramwell Says:    
  2014-03-05 21:32:33  
  1. From the cover I can tell that Don Heck is in the same slump that we saw in TtA 46. Ironman just looks wrong.
2. Also...the education continues...first Greece and now Egypt
3. Silly premise for the story with the waiting 2000 years
4. Silly premise for the villain who has infinite powers
Honestly I had trouble finishing this one. The street luge on page 12 was cool though.. 2 stars.

  rainbowsad Says:    
  2014-07-09 16:42:14  
  Oh boy, Cleopatra fell in love with Iron-Man? I'm going to go ahead and pretend this never happened...  

  J-Smack Says:    
  2015-01-27 20:41:52  
  So, we have some belly exposed for the first time in the list, and Cleopatra's lookin' pretty sexy. I rate this two woodies--er, stars. It really wasn't awful to me. The stories with less pages tend to not bring as much attention to their short-comings, as opposed to Fantastic Four.  

  quartertwain Says:    
  2015-03-02 22:50:10  
  1 star for Marvel's first sexy lady. 1 star for time travel. .5 star for nary an alien or commie to be seen. .5 star for an ironic enemy death. All things considered, I think this was a relatively good issue. I don't understand people who say this was the worst comic in the list. We are talking about a lineup so weak, that it has had to re-use Paste Pot Pete.  

  Firebathero Says:    
  2015-03-05 09:47:16  
  This story was not very good, I read the first half of it only to get a better sense of Tony Stark before his next appearance in The Avengers #1.  

  rodyoungerblood Says:    
  2015-05-31 12:52:07  
  Even when you're the most powerful woman in Egypt, you still succumb to men.  

  jbb10499 Says:    
  2015-11-23 11:02:33  

  yack Says:    
  2015-12-23 12:31:41  
  Wow I hate travel in the past stories...no wonder I'm not a great X-men fan.  

  RobinHoodMtl Says:    
  2016-03-20 16:16:09  
  • That’s my line – “How amazed the world would be to see me lying on the floor like this… clinging to life by an electric current!” (Tony Stark)

  • That… is a very annoying reporter.

  • Anchor transistors? Hahaha! Good one!

  • I don’t think these small wheels would be of any use on desert sand.

  • This issue has so many more plot holes that I don’t even want to get started. The artwork and the trip to another time and place on a chariot (cool!) are the only reasons I did not give it 1 star.

  Billstar2 Says:    
  2016-04-24 00:15:30  
  I'm surprised no one mentioned Tony left his briefcase in the past along with his clothes from the 60's as well. I honestly thought they would turn up in the dig. Tony would say something like I wondered where I left that.  

  SuperCat Says:    
  2016-08-01 11:35:24  
  So why were hardly any Egyptians in the past or present black?  

  KnuckIfYouBuckley Says:    
  2016-09-14 22:22:57  
  Again we see the disappointing dichotomy of Tony Stark as an interesting character but lame enemies/stories for Iron Man...many have already pointed out the inconsistencies (Egypt would be on a different kind of power grid, so outlets would be different than in America, the Mad Pharoah couldn't possibly have survived being embalmed and entombed, ancient Egyptians and Romans speaking English, etc.) but let me also pose this question: Isn't Stark screwing up history by interfering in an ancient conflict between the Egyptians and Romans? About the only useful thing about this issue was making me spend some time reading up on Cleopatra as I feel I didn't know enough about her.  

  nickeyelysse Says:    
  2016-10-31 09:54:09  
  I am very disappointed by how white-washed all the Egyptians were. What were they thinking?  

  kent18 Says:    
  2016-11-05 03:29:58  
  At this point, I've all but surrendered even the faintest hope that these early IRON MAN stories will ever be anything but unremittingly lousy.

When non-fans use the phrase "comic book" derisively, as an insult: this is precisely the sort of thing they're talking about.

  spb Says:    
  2017-01-26 03:50:33  
  5 stars for a fun and super over the top story
-2 stars because of white people

  Allencthulhu Says:    
  2017-06-11 20:51:50  
  I would have given this three stars if either a) the Pharaoh turned out to be Rama-Tut or 2) Iron Man didn't use the stupid roller skates on his back.  

  jennychan Says:    
  2018-01-12 22:20:00  
  Bad art, plot, script, editing.....looking forward to seeing when Marvel turns the corner and gets more consistent in all of its titles or if Sturgeon's Law applies.


Issue Detail Divider
Essential Iron Man, Volume 1
This collection includesTales of Suspense #40 (v1), Tales of Suspense #39a (v1), Tales of Suspense #42 (v1), Tales of Suspense #41 (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)
Iron Man Omnibus, Volume 1
This collection includesTales 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)
Marvel Masterworks: Iron Man, Volume 1
This collection includesTales of Suspense #40 (v1), Tales of Suspense #39a (v1), Tales of Suspense #42 (v1), Tales of Suspense #41 (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)
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Date User Name Update
   January 14, 2018 TStarnes Added Iron Man Armor, Mark I listing.
   November 24, 2017 TStarnes
   November 21, 2017 TStarnes
   November 21, 2017 TStarnes
   May 18, 2015 Neskit Added Cleopatra to the issue.
   May 18, 2015 Neskit Added Mad Pharaoh to the issue.
   June 18, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   June 18, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
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