Appearing in "Trapped by the Red Barbarian"
- Iron Man (Tony Stark) (Impersonates The Actor)
- Gregori (First appearance)
- Gregori's band of spies
- Soviet Armed Forces
- Red Barbarian (Andre Rostov) (First appearance)
- Unnamed soldiers
- The Actor (Only appearance; dies) (Impersonates Nikita Khrushchev, Tony Stark, and numerous celebrities)
Races and Species:
- United States of America
- Soviet Union
Synopsis for "Trapped by the Red Barbarian"
Communist agents think they've stolen an atom bomb from the United States government, but as they prepare to load their cargo on a ship, Iron Man bursts out of the container! The agents pull their guns and fire at Iron Man, who uses his transistors to magnetize a crane, attracting the guns and pulling the agents high into the air. Iron Man then helps a pair of FBI agents arrest the spies.
Iron Man heads home to recharge his chest plate. Later that day, Anthony Stark demonstrates his new disintegrator ray to a group of military officers by vaporizing a tank, then a section of thick concrete wall. Elsewhere, in the Soviet Union, an overbearingly large man called the Red Barbarian feasts on a leg of lamb. He abuses his soldiers who make vague reports about Tony Stark and the new weapon he is working on. The Red Barbarian demands better information! After he chases them away with shots from his pistol, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev enters the room! For a moment, the Red Barbarian is shaken, but “Khrushchev‿ removes his disguise, revealing himself to be the Actor, a master of make-up and impersonation. The pair devises a plan to infiltrate Stark's laboratories, with the Actor disguised as Anthony Stark.
The Actor arrives in the United States, disguised as a famous actor returning from a trip to Italy. He passes himself off in Washington DC as a Senator and sends a telegram to Tony Stark requesting an audience with him. The Actor then meets with a group of communist double-agents, all disguised as military officers and, disguised as Tony Stark, sets off for Stark's secret labs. While Stark is off on a wild-goose chase to attend the non-existent meeting with the US Senator, the Actor rummages through his private files, where he finds spare components of Iron Man's armor and deduces that Iron Man and Tony Stark must be one and the same! His Communist partners soon discover the plans for the disintegrator ray. The Actor soon departs for Russia with the plans, while his double agents remain behind to assassinate Tony Stark.
As Tony Stark returns from the phony meeting, the double agents lay in wait. They ambush him, but his metal chest plate acts like a bullet-proof vest, causing their bullets to bounce off. Stark turns the lights out and quickly changes into his Iron Man armor, then easily dispatches his assailants. The agents squeal on the Actor’s plan, including the Red Barbarian’s involvement, telling Iron Man everything they know. Iron Man sets out to recover the disintegrator ray plans. He travels to the Soviet Union using an experimental rocket, arriving ahead of the Actor. Iron Man then ambushes the Actor outside of the airport, upturning his car and recovering the stolen disintegrator plans. He gags the Actor and leaves him behind.
Iron Man arrives at the Red Barbarian's compound, walking proudly in with a briefcase and telling the Red Barbarian that he is really the Actor posing as Iron Man, and that the briefcase contains Stark’s plans for the disintegrator ray. However, he explains, the case has a four-hour time lock on it that cannot be opened setting off a mini A-bomb booby trap. Iron Man then excuses himself and says he will return in four hours to open the case. The Red Barbarian, excited about having the disintegrator plans delivered to him, lets him go.
Iron Man returns to the site where he left the Actor and releases him, then flies to the nearest European country on the other side of the Iron Curtain. The Actor returns to the Red Barbarian’s headquarters and apologizes for letting Iron Man outwit him, and tells the Red Barbarian that he has learned some very valuable information for him (the identity of Iron Man!) The Red Barbarian, having no idea what the Actor is talking about, 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.
Appearing in "Discovery"
Synopsis for "Discovery"
Appearing in "I Speak of the Haunted House"
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "I Speak of the Haunted House"
Two friends make a bet about the existence of ghosts. One bets the other a hundred dollars he will see a ghost if he spends a night at a particular house and the other skeptical one accepts. He enters the house at night proceeds to look around areas like the basement and attic but sees nothing. Hours go by, and he is completely bored and eventually drifts off to sleep. When he wakes at dawn, he happily leaves the house to collect his hundred bucks. His friend tells him that he'd like to show him something before paying, and at first he gets mad thinking him a welcher, but when they drive back to house it is no longer there. His friend explains to his astonished convert that the house itself is the ghost appearing only one night a year for twelve hours.
Appearing in "Escape into Space"
- Conrad Zeno
Races and Species:
- Unrevealed future reality
Synopsis for "Escape into Space"
A convict believes that he escaped his captors on a strange planet, but the plan all along was for him to serve his sentence there, thinking that he is free.
- When Iron Man interrogates the Commies dressed like guards, the one that was confessing said that the Actor was impersonating him and stole his plans. But this is an error, because he is implying that he knows Iron Man's identity, but only the Actor knows it.
- This issue is reprinted in comics and books, see references for more info.
- A variant of this issue's cover art exists with the masthead for Tales of Suspense #41. This alternate version was presented in Essential Series Iron Man. The true reason as to why this alternate version exists is unknown.
- Write your own review of this comic!
- Discuss Tales of Suspense Vol 1 42 on the forums
- Images from Tales of Suspense Vol 1 42
- ↑ First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
- ↑ This issue is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:
- Essential Series Vol 1 Iron Man 1
- Marvel Masterworks: The Invincible Iron Man Volume 1
- Epic Collection Vol 1 Iron Man 1
- Invincible Iron Man Omnibus Vol 1 1
- Marvel Collectors' Item Classics Vol 1 5
- Spider-Man Comics Weekly Vol 1 54 - Part 1
- Spider-Man Comics Weekly Vol 1 55 - Part 2
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