Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Things I've Learned from Tales of Suspense

As has probably been evidenced by the last two posts, I've been devoting my time reading ancient Tales of Suspense comics. A lot of them. Way, Waaay too much of them.

Which means that this post was a necessity.

Things I've learned from Tales of Suspense:

1. Tony Stark is incredibly emo. Dear lord. Almost every issue that's not a cliff-hanger ends with him feeling sorry for himself

In response to: "Boy, whoever Iron Man realy is, he's the luckiest guy in the world! He's got everything!"
Tony says "Perhaps! But sometimes a person can seem to possess all that anyone could ever want, and still have...nothing!"

He says that OUT LOUD. And when he doesn't end up saying things out loud, he has thoughts like "So why is my heart so heavy? Why does the night seem so bleak and endless...??"

I'm playing the world's smallest violin for you, emo-Man. Yeesh.

2. Steve Rogers gets the best lines ever, like:

"So That's why you've been fighting me! You thought I was the Chameleon!! Come to think of it, that's not very flattering to me!" (After this, Tony angsts about it of course.)


"Who taught you amateurs karate? Millie the Model?"

or the best catchphrase ever. When asked how he defeated a bunch of assassins:

"With great relish!"

3. Iron Man angsts about keeping the secret about being Iron Man from his closest trusted friends and the Avengers. As to why he does got me.

3b. Iron Man is emo.

4. When Steve is incredibly cheerful and happy, it means he is seekritly depressed. Except all of the Avengers actually know this immediately. Literally it goes:

"I've never seen Cap so cheerful!"

"Poor guy must be incredibly depressed!"

5. Stan Lee can't seem to keep straight whether Steve Rogers actually has a secret identity from one issue to the next. Ultimately he settles on "no". Which is probably good, seeing as how apparently everyone knew it anyway. And if they didn't, they're morons.

6. Iron Man's got an Olsen-esque sidekick/foil named Happy. That's how emo he is.

7. Alfred might be the cooler butler in general, but Jarvis can carry an unconscious Captain America. You gotta give him props for that.

7b. Okay, it was really the Adaptor. But it was a really funny scene.

8. Hawkeye's a dick. Paraphrased: "It was over twenty years ago since Bucky died. Shouldn't he be over it?"

9. While she was the only good part of the utterly abyssmal Iron Man animated movie, comic!Pepper Potts is the most annoying female love interest I've seen in a long time.

10. In contrast, Sharon Carter is the most kickass woman Stan Lee's ever written.

10b. And I'm actually counting She-Hulk.

10c. Seriously, mini-skirt, short blond bob, and slightly swoony Lee-patented love-struck behavior aside, she's incredibly awesome. There are entire stores that are essentially: *Steve fights badguys*, *one last badguy gets the drop on Steve and gloats*, *girlfriend kabonks last badguy*. It's really cute. Also, I find her ruthless streak appealing.

10d. I wanna see Sharon Carter get into a fight with Pepper Potts. Shortest fight ever. But there will be much bitch-slapping of the annoying girl and rejoicing from me.

10e. The whole wartime romance with her sister is a bit weird though. I'd imagine that's been retconned into mother/grandmother to suit the timeline. Still kind of weird.

11. Nick Fury is always awesome.

12. Steve can be an incredible moron and astoundingly clever in the same issue. He's stupid enough to wonder why he's been asked to "demonstrate how he would act during a jail break", but smart enough to slip gum wrapper into the lock of his cell door when he's getting dragged off.

12b. For the record, I was more startled by the fact that apparently Steve Rogers chews gum.

13. You'd think Tony Stark would invent a portable charger for his breastplate considering how often he's "Oh! I need a charge! Whew! Only a few minutes more and I'd be a gonner."

13b. Yes. He angsts about that too. Emo.

14. While it's perfectly understandable that he can wear his uniform beneath his clothes (with boots and gloves folded and hidden in the belt), apparently he can also strap the shield on his back beneath his shirt as well.

14b. The shield on his back normally is wider than most of his back, I might point out.

14c. Maybe he borrows Hank's pym-particles.

15. The Red Skull's mask looks incredibly, incredibly stupid. Just for the record. But STILL not as stupid as Baron Zemo. Just sayin'.


  • At July 21, 2007 9:19 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    All very pertinent observations. and yeah, I'll believe that Steve can carry around his shield on his back, the same way that I can believe that Angel can hide his wings with a 15' wingspan under his jacket.

    Oh comics, how I love thee.

    Of course Cap has the best lines. He's a HERO. Stark is just a big crybaby. Wouldn't you love to have an intercompany crossover again and see Guy Gardner settle his hash? It would be...epic. And short.

  • At July 21, 2007 9:32 AM, Blogger Rob S. said…

    The sister thing HAS been retconned, but I can't remember which relative offhand. I'm thinking great-aunt, but I'm probably wrong.

  • At July 21, 2007 10:56 AM, Anonymous david brothers said…

    The (newly widowed) Pepper Potts is showrunning the team over on Matt Fraction and Barry Kitson's The Order. She's playing the Oracle role, more or less.

    Fraction writes her as pretty witty and cool under fire, but still kind of doofy with regards to love/dating things. Way, way better than she used to be. And wow, Barry Kitson's art!

    ...she's also got red hair. Huh.

  • At July 21, 2007 12:33 PM, Anonymous buttler said…

    On #14 I thought at first you were still talking about Tony. Now, him wearing his armor under his clothes is somewhat less believable.

  • At July 21, 2007 7:38 PM, Blogger Rich said…

    Rob - I think Cap #25 referred to Peggy Carter as Sharon's aunt. As far as I know, Peggy hasn't been seen in comics - or even mentioned - since her stint as a civilian aide to the Avengers in the early 90s.

  • At July 22, 2007 3:23 PM, Anonymous Dan Coyle said…

    Tony Stark is ridiculously emo in those early stories. I like the one where he Gives Up Iron Man Forever, but finds that for the sake of the good ol USA and to defeat those godless Commies, There Must Always Be... AN IRON MAN!

    Contrast that with, say, one of the most beloved Iron Man issues, #78, where IM flashes back to Vietnam and Stark swears he'll Never Make War... AGAIN!

  • At July 22, 2007 3:24 PM, Anonymous Dan Coyle said…

    Rich: Peggy did make an alternate universe cameo in Ed Brubaker's excellent House of M tie-in.

  • At July 23, 2007 3:54 PM, Blogger David C said…

    Silver Age Sharon Carter really *is* awesome. Sure, there's the fact that no one ever even contemplates the notion that she might marry Steve *and* remain a SHIELD agent, but instead of the usual silliness, the "hitch" in their relationship is that Sharon takes her work seriously, and that Nick Fury can't spare her!

    Emo Tony is pretty annoying, and seems to me the perfect illustration of why the "standard secret identity template" for superheroes doesn't always make sense. Happy and Pepper so regularly and constantly display almost unbelievable levels of dedication to their boss that it makes Tony look insane for NOT confiding in them. It's a case where telling them would fairly obviously make Tony's life much simpler, not harder.


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