Tales Of Suspense #45
Issue(s): Tales Of Suspense #45
Review/plot: Iron Man rollerskates to a gala car race event that Tony Stark is scheduled to drive at. He's going 200 mph, too fast for the police to catch, and they assume he's going after a criminal, not to some rich playboy's fun & games.
Using all that energy to get there used up all his batteries and Stark starts having heart problems while he's racing, and gets into an accident. He's rescued by an onlooker...
...and bribes the man to take him to a motel, where he plugs himself into a wall and charges his armor. The man turns out to be Happy Hogan, who Tony hires as his permanent driver/bodyguard. He takes him back to SI where they run into Pepper Potts, who Happy immediately falls for.
She acts like she is in love with Tony but based on Iron Man: The Iron Age this can't be true. Possibly just a ruse to get under Happy's skin, or maybe she is briefly enamored with Stark now that he is acting more responsibly. While Happy and Pepper bicker, Stark notices an alarm and investigates as Iron Man where he finds one of his scientists trying to break in to his vault. He fires the scientist but doesn't press charges. The scientist comes back as Jack Frost, who is trying to gain eternal life by keeping himself frozen.
He fights Iron Man, but IM defeats him using his heated chest lamp.
This issue teaches the valuable lesson that when CEOs show mercy they just get screwed.
Jack Frost will eventually change his name to Blizzard, a recurring member of Iron Man's rogue gallery.
Also in this issue, a man who loves nothing but money is banished to a planet with all his money but nothing to do with it.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: There's nothing here to dictate context, but the MCP has this placed after Avengers #1.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): show
he can design transistors that power his skates enough to go 200mph. he designed collapsible armor. he made a chest plate that keeps his heart going. he can fashion miniature furnaces in seconds while wearing fat-fingered armor. but he can't come up with a portable charger so that he doesn't end up having to rely on strangers to drive him to motels where he can plug in?
Posted by: min | December 22, 2011 8:53 AM
It's his ice breaker at parties. People always assume that Stark is this suave Lothario, but obviously he's got crippling social anxiety.
"Oh, you mean Happy? Yeah, he's my best friend."
"Oh really? How did you two meet?"
"Well, I paid him $1000 to take me to a motel room where he could leave me alone with a light socket all night instead of taking me to a hospital after a car crash. That's a bro, right there: incurious and irresponsible."
Posted by: James N | December 24, 2011 10:44 AM
Previous issues of Iron Man were filled with generic superhero plots that would have fit in any DC comic. Only with this issue do we begin to get the classic run of Iron Man that brought in distinguishing IM traits such as corporate espionage, politics, and a supporting cast based around Stark Industries. Not a great issue, but a dramatic improvement, and the new stories will get a lot better.
Posted by: Chris | August 1, 2012 12:22 AM
The art is a bit too angular (sylized?) for my taste, but still pretty good. Heck does a good job drawings Happy Hogan's cauliflower ear. I like Happy Hogan & Pepper Potts. OK villain (Jack Frost). At least they acknowledged that it's a corny name. This thing with Stark trying to hide his secret identity despite Iron Man always popping up is straining the credulity. The way Iron Man whipped up a micro-furnace from part in his belt in a matter of seconds also strains the credulity. I guess I'll give it a 3/5 for the first appearance of a couple of pretty good supporting characters, plus, as Chris points out, the stories start to get better, though Tales of Suspenser #48 is pretty bad and #49 isn't that great, either.
Posted by: Dave B | January 17, 2013 9:27 AM
I love Frost's look here.
Posted by: Thanos6 | September 2, 2014 1:35 AM
I kind of miss Pepper being less of a supermodel secretary/CEO and Happy looking like a thug instead of a handsome man who just can't smile.
Posted by: david banes | September 2, 2014 1:39 AM
When the strange millionaire refuses medical help and only wants to lock himself in a room saying he can 'medicate' himself one thought comes to my mind. Drug addict!
Posted by: Leves | April 14, 2015 4:39 AM
Oddly Happy Hogan was modeled on the appearance of the old character actor Nat Pendleton and Pepper was modeled on Ann B. Davis who was known at the time for playing the housekeeper Schultsy on the Bob Cummings Show way before she played Alice on the Brady Bunch. in #50 she went to a spa for the weekend and came back as the red headed knockout we all know and lust after.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 24, 2016 10:27 PM
Pepper was based off Alice? Yeah can see that now...though suddenly now I wonder if that's how she was able to keep the Brady household that clean that easily.
Posted by: Ataru320 | October 25, 2016 8:13 AM
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