Tales Of Suspense #71: "What Price Victory?"

Tales Of Suspense #71
"What Price Victory?"
November, 1965

A Study In Splendor By STAN LEE, Writer!

A Muse Of Majesty By DON HECK, Artist!

A Glimmer Of Glory By WALLY WOOD, Inker!

A Nice Lettering Job By ART SIMEK, Bon Vivant!

A Rapid Review Repast By STEVE CHUNG, Bon Appetite!

The Titanium Man is confident that no matter what device the American
hero's friend has brought him, it will not enable him to exact victory.
He is now ready to show the world that the follower from the Iron Curtain
will prevail, and Iron Man will soon meet defeat.  The armored Avenger
will not let Happy Hogan's sacrifice be in vain.  Shell-Head is ready to
confront his opponent and to battle him to the bitter end.

ZZZZT!  The Titanium Man begins his assault with his shatter-blast ray.
RRRRRRAKKK!  Thanks to his electronically operated flexible armor, Iron
Man is able to evade the attack.  TOK!  Seeing that his opponent's armor
has been able to endure his weapon, it is now Commissar Bullski who is
under attack.  FSSST!  The armored Avenger is able to dodge his foe's
attack, while the entire world sees him fly circles around him.  THHTTTT
Taunted by the American, Bullski loses his temper, while Iron Man tries a
new tactic.  The Titanium Man watches as the armored Avenger starts to
fall from the sky, and believes that his blasts have done more damage
than he had thought.

Before the titanic Titanium Man can make another move, Shell-Head
generates plenty of force from his miniature transistors.  Even Commissar
Bullski's titanium armor is unable to cope with many more blasts like
that.  In his bulky armor, the Titanium Man is unable to flee, but Iron
Man's demonstration has just begun.  Two armored hand latch onto either
side of the Iron Curtain despot.  KLANGG!  The armored Avenger flings his
opponent into the side of a rock wall.  Commissar Bullski had made the
mistake of thinking that he would exercise his muscles, and make his
enemy disappear.  He also made the mistake of picking the wrong enemy to
oppose.  The Titanium Man has challenged an opponent who has no fear of

THUP!  The transistorized power which safeguards his own life is being
used in the fight, but Tony Stark believes it's worth it.  His only
regret is that Happy Hogan is not here to see it.  The Commissar had
thought that his titanium armor was impervious to harm, but the negative
particles of ionic energy being fired off by Iron Man should erode that
protection rather quickly.  The Titanium Man hadn't counted on the array
of scientific weaponry at the Avenger's disposal.  The Red supporters
believe that the American is cheating, while Shell-Head's supporters urge
their hero to fight on.  An ambulance carrying the body of Happy Hogan
has left the scene, with Pepper Potts learning that the chauffeur is in a
coma.  As she wipes the tears from her eyes, Pepper prays for him.
Senator Harrington Byrd is upset that the millionaire industrialist has
not turned up.

Senator Byrd lends the secretary the use of his car to head for the
hospital, while he waits for Tony Stark to appear.  On the battlefield,
Iron Man has chased the Titanium Man towards a wall of boulders, where
his opponent pulls at one boulder in particular.  A modified rocket
launcher has appeared and is aimed at the armored Avenger.  FOOOM!  In
the next second, Iron Man takes to the air, followed by the deadly
rocket.  He is able to activate the device given to him by Happy Hogan.

The deadly rocket has been rendered harmless by the reverser, with the
resulting explosion proving to be a wake-up call for the Titanium Man.
With no more hidden weapons and traps to use, Commissar Bullski is now
caught in the iron grip of fear.  As he wonders what Iron Man's
transistorized powers will be capable of, the Commissar is caught in the
field of the reverser ray, and finds that his titanium armor is now
useless.  The Titanium Man has just been rendered powerless by the
Invincible Iron Man.

Shell-Head is now ready to give a benefit demonstration for his viewing
audience.  WHRRRRRR  The armored Avenger performs a feat worthy of the
plate-spinners on the Sullivan Show, with Bullski as the plate.  KRAK!
Iron Man makes a pitch and the Titanium Man becomes an unstoppable fast
ball, with his harsh impact splitting an entire boulder in two.  WOOM!
Grabbing onto his opponent once more, Iron Man uses the powerless
combatant as a jackhammer against the ground.  In order to clear his
head, the armored Avenger decides to give the Titanium Man a bird's-eye
view of the battlefield, and a chance to surrender.

Thanks to the radio circuitry built into his armor, Shell-Head has just
transmitted his opponent's surrender to the entire world.  Luckily for
Bullski, Iron Man does not believe in attacking a defenseless foe.  He
removes the helmet from his defeated opponent and leaves him wedged
between two rock formations.  Commissar Bullski dreads what his superiors
will do to him, but the American is unimpressed.  Senator Byrd is on hand
to personally congratulate Iron Man on his victory, and accepts the
Titanium Man's helmet as a trophy.  After learning that Happy is still
alive and at the Interpol Hospital, the armored Avenger hurries on his
way.  Waving after the departing hero, the Senator wonders why a real
hero like Iron Man couldn't be the head of Stark Industries, instead of
the spoiled playboy, Tony Stark.

At the hospital, Pepper Potts and the Countess De La Spirosa has been
waiting for the millionaire industrialist.  A specialist has been sent
for from Vienna, but the secretary cannot believe that the boss would not
be here for Happy.  The doctor informs Pepper that the patient has not
responded to treatment, and it's up to the specialist now.  She is upset
that the Countess had stolen the device from Mr. Stark's hotel room, so
that Happy would have had to bring it to Iron Man.  The Countess places
the blame on the shoulders of the man who had jilted her.  Turning
towards the window, Pepper wonders what kind of mine Tony Stark really
is.  The man in question has won the fight and is now resting in bed, as
the recharger restores power to his lifesaving chest device.

Not willing to delay any longer, the millionaire industrialist gets ready
to head for the hospital.  The Reds are trying to claim that the
Americans had something to do with the Titanium Man's defeat.  When the
entry of Happy Hogan with a weapon is mentioned, the Reds are reminded
that their champion had stocked the battlefield with illegal traps and
concealed weapons.  Not willing to face the truth, the Iron Curtain
representatives are not eager to return to their respective countries
anytime soon.  The portable charging unit will enable Tony to fully
charge his chest device until he has arrived at the hospital.

At the hospital, Mr. Stark learns about the extent of Happy Hogan's
condition.  When Pepper embraces him in her concern for their friend,
Tony wonders about the depths of her feelings for Happy.  The Countess
demands an audience with the millionaire playboy, but is verbally
rebuffed by her old flame.  Naturally, money is no object when it comes
to their friend's welfare, but it is up to the doctors now.  In the
waiting area, Pepper asks her boss where he had been during the battle.
He tells her that he was in the middle of an important business deal.
The secretary cannot believe that her boss would think of such a thing
while two men had been risking their lives.

The secretary wonders how she could have possibly fallen in love with
such a man.  Doctor Schiller has arrived to take care of the patient,
with the operation continuing into the night.  At dawn, Tony and Pepper
learn that Happy Hogan is still alive, thanks in large part to his will
to live.  In the event of any changes, they will be notified.  Pepper
cannot bear to walk out of the hospital with her boss, while Tony Stark
knows that she will blame him for what's happened.  He has gotten what
he's wanted, but is it what he wants?  The girl he loves now hates him,
but Tony Stark has no right to think of himself with Happy in the
hospital.  His damaged heart must remain as cold as the chestplate he
wears -- forever.

On the cover of Tales Of Suspense #71, the Invincible Iron Man delivers a
delicious right cross to the jaw of the Titanium Man.

The glimmering gold of Wally Wood's inks carries the majesty of Don
Heck's art to new heights.

The artful Simekian sound effects makes this a battle to remember.

Shell-Head struts his transistorized stuff and makes the Titanium Man
take a fall.

With the life of his friend in the balance, Tony Stark must play the part
of a cold executive, as well as the knight in shining armor that is Iron

Steve Chung
"What Price Review?"