Tales Of Suspense #68 (Iron Man)
Issue(s): Tales Of Suspense #68 (Iron Man story only)
Review/plot: Tony's ne'er do well cousin Morgan allies himself with Count Nefaria and together they try and drive Iron Man crazy, making him think that aliens are invading the earth. But then aliens really do invade the earth...
...and Iron Man stops them. Oh brother.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel's Greatest Comics #26
The alien names--"Edam" and "Gouda"--are actually types of cheese.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 2, 2011 4:27 PM
this comic is insultingly bad. stan lee's early iron man comics werent good but this shows what happens when somebody else takes over the writing.
Posted by: kveto from prague | September 24, 2011 3:13 PM
Count Nefaria shows up for the first time in Avengers #13 in February 1965, illustrated by Don Heck. He then appears in Tales of Suspense #67-68 in July-August 1965, also illustrated by Don Heck. Since the main appeal of Count Nefaria at this point is his aristocratic look, and Lee's plots for these issues were pretty uninspired, I figure he's largely (solely?) the work of Don Heck.
Silver Age mafia guys are pretty undignified. When Count Nefaria isn't playing on his murder-organ, he's inventing Dream Machines and weird illusions about aliens.
The Green Goblin thinks that the mob can be led by a cackling maniac who throws pumpkin bombs.
The Kingpin is a goofy guy with a laser-tipped cane.
The Enforcers are a tap-dancing kung-fu expert in a zoot suit, a cowboy, and a circus strongman.
Just as Silver Age circuses are apparently one of the most dangerous sub-cultures in America, organized mobsters are these whimsical goofballs. I totally want to see a Silver Age gang war led by Paste-Pot Pete against Batroc ze Leapair, with the Scarlet Beetle as the kingmaker. It could not possibly be more ludicrous than Count Nefaria.
It's kind of a pity that this gets botched so badly. When you think about vigilantes, the only circumstance where taking the law into your own hands is if you don't trust the larger social institutions to act justly. In other words: when our institutions have become corrupted, such as by organized crime. Depicting a society where civil servants are afraid to do their job because of mob reprisals would be (a) really old-school, and (b) help explain why the city needs costumed crime-fighters with secret identities.
Instead: Count Nefaria and his Dream Machine. Don't get me wrong, I like it. But it's a missed opportunity.
Posted by: James Nostack | September 25, 2011 1:08 AM
Part of why you don't see "serious" mobsters much in early Silver Age comics is apparently because the Mafia controlled a lot of the distributors, and the publishers didn't want to tick them off.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | February 20, 2016 5:50 PM
Sorry, James but your comment on the Kingpin is ludicrous.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 1, 2016 10:09 PM
Morgan is the worst cousin ever! No moral what so ever.
Posted by: Roy Mattson | May 17, 2017 4:25 PM
From Yancy Street Journal #9(7/65)
"The latest Iron Man episode was the biggest fiasco since the new Avengers. I must admit that I never thought that Stan Lee would stoop to such a thing as green men from the moon invading earth. Don't ever let that happen again..."
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 17, 2018 7:57 PM
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