Tales Of Suspense #56 (Iron Man)
Issue(s): Tales Of Suspense #56 (Iron Man story only)
Plus, i mean, he's the Unicorn. That's not exactly the most ferocious creature of legend. Oh, no, it's the Unicorn! Did the Fairy Princess send you to take me to Rainbowland?
But i gotta tell you, having now finally read his first appearance, i'm actually kind of impressed. I mean, he's still goofy looking, and the name doesn't exactly inspire terror. But it turns out he's basically Iron Man, with a wide array of powers that don't necessarily have anything to do with the flashlight on his forehead.
We're talking forcefield...
...flight (although i'm probably misinterpreting this panel; see below)...
...and of course the force beam.
He's also physically very strong, throwing around former boxer Happy Hogan like a rag doll...
...and putting him in traction.
The Unicorn, whose armor was built by the Crimson Dynamo, plays the Commie saboteur role in this issue and manages to escape capture at the end. There's a weird bit where he's able to escape because Iron Man didn't realize he could fly, even though he clearly saw him hovering in mid air earlier.
Iron Man has a few extra gadgets of his own this issue, including a "black light tracer"...
...and a "wrist reverser-ray".
I love when Stark acts like a real CEO asshole.
I don't care that there's sometimes mitigating circumstances; he's just such a different character than the average super-hero alter-ego.
What i don't love is his crush on Pepper Potts.
It's probably because when i started reading comics, she and Happy were already married, so i consider this whole love triangle a big distraction. But also: he's a millionaire playboy!
The issue starts with Tony throwing a self-pity fit...
...and then blowing off an Avengers meeting.
And this is why you have to read all your Marvels in chronological order, people. Because in Avengers #7, he gets suspended from the team for a week thanks to this. If you're only reading Avengers or Iron Man stories, you are missing out on the full story. This is they way they were meant to be read and it is so much cooler this way.
The cover tells us that we will "gain an insight into Iron Man's character that you've never known before!", and i don't know if that refers to Stark's little tantrum or the way he tries to use money as a substitute for his inability to care for other people.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: As i mentioned in my soapbox speech above, takes place before Avengers #7.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: The Invincible Iron Man vol. 2
Inbound References (5): showHappy Hogan, Henry Pym, Iron Man, Pepper Potts, Thor, Unicorn, Wasp 1964 / Box 2 / Silver Age
1964 / Box 2 / Silver Age
The whole "unicorns are pretty and friendly" idea is of relatively recent vintage; until modern times, the legend was that the unicorn was an untamable beast, sort of a wild Bronco that could also stab you to death with its horn. The idea was that only a "pure" (virgin) maiden could induce a unicorn to calm down, allowing the big strong men to kill it.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | June 25, 2016 8:28 AM
One of the weird things I noticed that I'm chalking up to weird writing is the Unicorn seems to know that Tony is Ironman and Tony doesn't seem to realize it. On pages 13 and 14 the Unicorn is talking to Ironman and keeps referencing "your" factory, your life's work, your inventions. Is this just a meaningless continuity error or do they later make any reference to the Unicorn knowing who Ironman really is?
Posted by: Zansmo | October 23, 2016 11:11 PM
Your cute remarks about the Unicorn's name shows your youth. I agree that it is not a terrifying name but the remarks about the princess and rainbow land all point to things like My Pretty Pony and Rainbrow Brite from the 80's. There had been no such cutesy unicorn stories or cartoons at the time this was published.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 29, 2016 5:14 PM
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