Tales Of Suspense #47
Issue(s): Tales Of Suspense #47
Iron Man shows up to stop him but gets his arm melted.
IM runs away and locks himself in his lab. Pepper defends Stark (which supports the placement of this issue after Iron Age #1) and helps him break his appointments, including one with the most famous Hollywood starlet (Looking at her, Happy thinks, "Man! Wouldn't I like to pinch-hit in that league!" Is that vulgar?). Then Happy and Pepper start bickering again. You know, i was going to say that those two are really dumb for not figuring out that Stark is Iron Man, but i'm going to give them a pass because they are so busy flirt/fighting with each other to pay attention to anything else.
Once again, (after the Saboteur and the Crimson Dynamo) Stark is in danger of losing his contracts because his factories are being sabotaged by super-villains. But in the rematch, Iron Man is able to drive off the Melter because he's built his new suit out of aluminum.
However, the Melter avoids capture.
Simple, straightforward. Guest (or fill-in?) art by Ditko. Not terrible.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showHappy Hogan, Iron Man, Melter, Pepper Potts, Senator Byrd 1963 / Box 2 / Silver Age
1963 / Box 2 / Silver Age
you would think this would have been a better time to introduce iron man's new armour, rather than next issues. i mean he melts it and tony makes a new one. instead they introduce the new armour when he fights Mr Doll, when it really doesnt matter which armour he was wearing.
Posted by: kveto from prague | September 25, 2011 3:24 PM
before fighting IM, the Melter conks Tony Stark on the head. when Tony wakes up, he oddly lies to Happy, saying he tripped and fell. why? Pepper notices Tony's pale (because his chest plate is running low on power), Tony gets all dodgy - "I....just want to be alone in here to rest! No doctor!". if i were Pepper, i'd be totally convinced he was locking himself in his office to shoot up or something.
Happy to Pepper: "Now what did I say to make those little pink eyes of yours to flash?"...is Pepper secretly a rabbit?
the Senator references Tony's "excellent past record" as a reason to give him another chance, so that's another point to support placement of this issue after Iron Age #1. and hey, at least this time they didn't accuse Tony of sabotaging his own equipment.
Posted by: min | February 26, 2012 6:40 PM
Not an impressive debut by the Melter. I'm waffling between a 2 and a 3 for this, and I'll give it a 2, just 'cuz.
Posted by: Dave B | January 17, 2013 9:33 AM
I'm not going to make a lame "Ditko's art went to Heck" joke, but MAN, those inks are overpowering. I don't see one trace of Ditko under there.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | August 29, 2013 2:27 AM
Ditko normally did all his own art (pencils and inks), so I'd guess his "pencils" here would have been very sketchy, maybe more like breakdowns, since he was used to finishing it himself in the inking stage. So here, Heck as the inker was probably required to do a lot of the finishing, which would account for the heavy hand. At least it kept the series' look consistent with the recent previous issues that were penciled by heck, and getting a firsthand look at Ditko's storytelling probably benefited Heck (likely Stan's goal here :) ).
Posted by: Shar | August 29, 2013 10:30 PM
Okay, just dug out my Essential Iron Man vol. 1 and the art credits for ToS #47 back up Ditko providing breakdowns/layouts and not full pencils. The art credits are "Interpreted by: Steve Ditko" and "Refined by: Don Heck." In general back then, Marvel used vague credits to indicate that the first-listed artist did breakdowns/layouts and the second-listed artist filled in the details in the inking stage.
Posted by: Shar | August 29, 2013 11:14 PM
Thanks, Shar. I've updated the credit labels. And thanks to Jay for one Heck of a good observation.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 30, 2013 8:41 AM
I often like to think of this issue as when the "classic" or "modern" Iron Man series in "Suspense" begins. By that I mean that previous to this, Stan was merely plotting and Bernstein had been doing most of the scripting duties.
Yes, I know that in the previous two issues under Bernstein, Pepper and Happy were created and more detail was given on the Long Island facility, But beginning here when Stan begins full writing duties, it truly becomes a serial.
I have similar thoughts on last month's Journey 97, the first Lee/Kirby (and Heck briefly) Thor.
Lee/Kirby FF and Lee/Ditko Spidey seemed to thrive on the "Marvel method" from day 1, but it seemed to me that Thor and Iron Man struggled under the Lee/Lieber or Lee/Bernstein plot/script arrangement until Stan firmly took the reigns with Kirby and Heck.
Posted by: Jeff | December 30, 2014 10:26 AM
This strikes me as a very Ditko story: Horgan doesn't invent his ray so much as does such a bad job making a radar unit that he accidentally discovers it.
So you end up with a guy who builds amazing stuff being attacked by a guy who's too incompetent to do so, and whose power is basically tearing down what other people create out of sheer envy.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | February 7, 2016 4:43 PM
One thing that strikes me funny is that when the Melter makes his next few appearances, he's called the "Mysterious Melter". I know Stan likes alliteration, but "Mysterious"? In his first appearance, by the fourth page no less, we know the Melter's real name, we've seen his unmasked face, we know his former occupation, we see why he has a grudge against Stark, and we see the source of his power! He is literally one of the least mysterious villains in the Marvel Universe at this point! I could write a biography on the Melter!
"Mysterious". Yeah, sure.
Posted by: mikrolik | April 3, 2016 11:08 AM
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