Appearing in "The Crimson Dynamo Strikes Again!"
- Iron Man (Tony Stark) (Main story and recap)
- Crimson Dynamo (Anton Vanko) (Main story and recap) (Death)
- Nikita Khrushchev
- Black Widow (Madame Natasha) (First appearance)
- Boris (First appearance) (Death) (Impersonates Crimson Dynamo)
- Soviet agents
Races and Species:
- Humans (Main story and recap)
- Elephants (Mentioned)
- Fleas (Mentioned)
- Rats (Mentioned)
- Tigers (Mentioned)
- Inferno (Mentioned)
- Crimson Dynamo Armor Mark I (Main story and flashback) (Destruction)
- Iron Man Armor Model 2
- Iron Man's Briefcase
- Iron Man Armor Model 1 (Only in flashback)
- Black Widow's Suit (First appearance)
- Jet Paralyzer (First appearance)
- Soviet Submarine
Synopsis for "The Crimson Dynamo Strikes Again!"
In the Stark Industries Main Plant, the reformed professor Anton Vanko dons his Crimson Dyano armor to test if a "light laser" (a type of laser that difuses different from ordinary light) ray gun is safe for use. He's about to be blasted by the laser, but Tony Stark swings towards Vanko using a cable and pushes him out of danger. Vanko is disgruntled because his experiments (his way of repaying Stark's kindness) keep failing. Stark consoles him, and suggests Vanko apply additional lead coating in his armor for protection.
In Moscow, Khruschev orders two of his agents, the Black Widow and Boris to dispose of Vanko and Stark, and Iron Man if necessary. The two villains travel to America in a submarine. Once they arrive, Black Widow presents herself as "Madame Natasha" and Boris as her brother and teacher from Ukraine, who has allegedly travelled to America to see Stark's technology. Tony is captivated by Widow's beauty, and offers to take her to dinner while Boris explores the factory on his own. Boris waits for a guard to go on his round and enters a restricted area. Using a "special" spray, he corrodes the wall of Vanko's laboratory, and breaks in using his super-human strength, intending to kill Anton. After Vanko refuses to help sabotage Stark, Boris uses a "jet paralyzer," which incapacitates Vanko and wraps him in a sack. He leaves the factory with the sack, claiming it's a package being delivered for Professor Vanko.
Boris reunites with other agents, leaves Vanko in the submarine, and returns to Stark Industries. He slips back into Vanko's lab and steals the Crimson Dynamo armor. He begins to destroy equipment, in order to both slow down America's defense production, and catch Iron Man's attention. Stark is interrupted in the middle of his date with Black Widow and informed of an explosion in his plant. Tony returns to his factory with Black Widow, who is secretly rejoicing. Tony enters the plant, dons his Iron Man costume, and searches for Vanko, thinking his experiments with "laser light" started the chaos.
When he enters Vanko's laboratory, Iron Man finds the Crimson Dynamo. Iron Man thinks Vanko has donned his suit to guard his laser light machine, and offers to carry it outside. Crimson Dynamo strikes the unsuspecting Golden Avengers from behind with an electrical charge that damages his suit's circuits and drains his energy, knocking him out. Under cover of the thick blanket of smoke, Boris flees from the factory with Iron Man, and brings him to the submarine.
Iron Man is kept locked behind a steel door in the submarine, and Boris returns to soil to meet up with the Black Widow and finish off Tony Stark. Iron Man wakes up from his slumber, and recharges his suit using a lightbulb as a rudimentary power outlet. As soon as he tears down one of the walls holding him prisoner, Iron Man comes across the captured Vanko, and escapes with him after battering a way through the steel hull of the submarine.
When they return to the factory, Iron Man catches Boris by surprise and easily knocks him down. However, Boris recovers and strikes down Iron Man. Tony recovers and puts Vanko's ray machine out of harm's way before striking back. The Black Widow pretends to have been struck down, and calls for Iron Man's help, distracting the hero, and allowing Boris to blast Iron Man with an electric discharge. Vanko threatens shooting Boris with his laser light pistol, but the villain thinks he's bluffing. However, Vanko makes good on his threat, claiming America has been good to him, and shoots at Boris, causing the machine to explode and kill them both. Black Widow takes advantage of the confusion and escapes. Once the dust settles, Iron Man claims that Vanko sacrificed himself to prove his loyalty to America, and he shall never be forgotten.
The following day, Tony Stark is informed through a report of "Madame Natasha"'s true identity. Tony pities her, and the Black Widow is later seen on the run, lonely, abandoned, and in fear.
Appearing in "The Magician"
- Uncle Bart
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "The Magician"
A TV studio page and aspiring magician gets a lucky break when he meets a real sorcerer time traveling from the past.
Appearing in "The Seance"
- The Great Kamir (a false medium)
- Hugo (Great Kamir's assistant)
- Mrs. Wentworth
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "The Seance"
- Synopsis not yet written
Appearing in "The Failure"
- Kenn Bentley
- Valeria Reynolds
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "The Failure"
The Earth of the future is overwhelmingly materialistic, except for one idealistic young man and his lover. They are abducted by aliens, who have determined that he is the best suited to be absolute ruler of their empire.
- One of Professor Vanko's former assistants, Alex Nevsky constructs a new set of armor based on Vanko's plans and becomes the new Crimson Dynamo in Iron Man #21.
- Published only 4 years after the construction of the first working laser, Stan Lee added a note explaining "laser light" to the reader.
- Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation appears in this issue.