> Iron Man Masterworks Volume 1

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"The FBI wanted to catch you spies red-handed, so we baited our trap with a phony, hollow bomb containing 'yours truly!"

- - Iron Man, page 2

Iron Man on the prowl!


Iron Man from Tales of Suspense #42
June 1963 • 13 pages

Job Number: X-187

Publication Date: March 12, 1963

Letters Page: No letters page was published in this issue

I: Feature Story: "Trapped By the Red Barbarian"

Pages: 13

Plot: Stan Lee
Script: Robert Bernstein
Pencils: Don Heck
Inks: Don Heck
Letters: E. Thomas

First Appearance/Villain: Red Barbarian, The Actor, Gregori and his commie spy ring

Death: The Actor

Setting: Soviet Union

Synopsis: Commie agents think they've stolen an atom bomb from the United States, but as they check their cargo on board their ship, Iron Man bursts out of the container! The agents pull their guns out to fire at Iron Man, but he uses his magnetic transistor to magnetize a crane which pulls them up high in the air by the metal barrels of their guns. Iron Man helps American agents arrest them, then discusses with them that what they really need to do is take care of the mob's boss - the Red Barbarian!

He heads home to recharge his batteries, and then later in the day shows off his new disintegrator ray to military brass. He vaporizes a tank and a section of a concrete wall before their eyes. In the Soviet Union, an overbearingly large man called the Red Barbarian feasts on a leg of lamb. He beats up on his agents who come in with vague reports about Tony Stark and a new weapon he is working on....the Red Barbarian demands better information! After he chases them away with gunfire, who should enter the room but none other than Soviet leader Nikita Kruschev! For a moment, the Red Barbarian is shaking in his boots, but the man who is supposedly Kruschev takes off his disguise to reveal himself as "The Actor", a master of make-up and impersonation. The pair hatch a plan to invade Stark's laboratories, with the Actor disguised as the Tony Stark himself.

The Actor penetrates America's borders, disguised as a famous movie actor returning from a trip to Italy. Then he passes himself off in Washington as a US Senator and sends a telegram to Tony Stark requesting an audience with him. The Actor then meets up with his communist double-agents, all dressed up as US military brass and they set off for Stark's secret labs, with the Actor posing as Tony Stark. While Stark goes off on a wild-goose chase to the non-existent meeting with the US Senator, the Actor rummages through Stark's private files. He finds Iron Man's armor, and deduces that Iron Man and Tony Stark are one and the same! His commie compatriots discover the plans for the disintegrator ray, and the Actor takes the plans and returns to the Russian motherland while the double-agents stay behind to assassinate Tony Stark.

As Stark returns from his phony meeting, the agents lie in wait. They fire at him, but cannot penetrate his bullet proof vest. Stark turns the lights out and changes into Iron Man and easily dispatches his assailants. Under duress from Iron Man, they squeal on the Actor and the Red Barbarian, telling Iron Man everything they know, and Iron Man sets out to get his disintegrator ray blueprints back. He goes behind enemy lines in the Iron Curtain by way of a rocket ship, then stakes out the Actor at the airport where the chameleon spy's plane has yet to arrive. Iron Man upturns the Actor's car and regains his disintegrator ray plans from him, then gags him and leaves him behind.

His next move is to saunter into the Red Barbarian's compound, walking proudly with a briefcase. The Soviet villain is told by Iron Man that he's really the Actor posing as Iron Man, and declares that the disitegrator ray blueprints are inside the briefcase. However, according to "The Actor", the case has a four-hour time lock on it that cannot be opened, for doing so would set off a mini A-bomb booby trap. Iron Man, posing as the Actor, excuses himself to get out of his suit and return in four hours to open the case. The Red Barbarian is gleeful at having the plans delivered to him, and lets him go.

Iron Man hurries over to the Actor, still trapped in the mangled up automobile, and releases him. He then flies across the border to escape from the Iron Curtain. Not know anything that Iron Man has just done, the Actor returns to the Red Barbarian and apologizes for letting Iron Man outwit him, but tells his master that he has some very valuable information - the identity of Iron Man! The Red Barbarian has no clue what the Actor is talking about, and assumes he is trying to deceive him with his impersonations. He orders his men to shoot and kill the Actor, who is gunned down before he can reveal Iron Man's secret identity.

--synopsis by Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
Iron Man from
Tales of Suspense #39-50

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


TOS #39

TOS #40

TOS #41

TOS #42

TOS #43

TOS #44

TOS #45

TOS #46

TOS #47

TOS #48

TOS #49

TOS #50


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