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Quote1.png Poor Vanko! He sacrificed his life to prove his loyalty to our nation! He shall never be forgotten! Quote2.png
--Iron Man


Appearing in "The Crimson Dynamo Strikes Again!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales of Suspense #52.

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Other Characters:

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Vehicles:

  • Soviet Submarine

Synopsis for "The Crimson Dynamo Strikes Again!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales of Suspense #52.

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 Black Widow Strikes Again!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales of Suspense #53.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for "The Black Widow Strikes Again!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Tales of Suspense #53.

After months of working on an anti-gravity device to no avail, Tony Stark arrages its circuits at random out of exasperation, causing the machine to miraculously work. The device causes a gizmo to float above Stark's head, and Happy Hogan saves him from being crushed by its fall. As a result of being caught off-guard by Happy's rescue, Tony drops the anti-grav device, causing its wires to fuse. While it still works, he can't analyze its make-up to recreate it.

The following day, Stark tests the device in the Pentagon. A reporter that had gotten in the restricted area gets a scoop, and the existence of the anti-grav device is reported by a diary. Said news arrives in the USSR, and Nikita Khrushchev states stealing said weapon would have been a perfect job for the Black Widow, if only he could find her, following the frustration of her latest mission at the hands of Iron Man. However, the Black Widow, who is still hiding in America, acquires the information on the device by herself, and plans to steal it to get back in the USSR's good graces. She writes a letter to Tony Stark, hoping to reconcile with him.

A day later, Tony arranges a date with Madame Natasha. The genius inventor seemingly falls for Natasha's charm, and shows her the anti-grav device. After a little demonstration, Natasha uses a paralysing gas on Tony, and runs away with the anti-gravity machine. After Pepper finds him unconscious, Tony recovers from the assault and ponders that he had underestimated the Black Widow. He had merely pretended to trust her in order to learn of her plans, but he didn't think she was going to act so fast. Tony suits up as Iron Man and goes looking for Black Widow, while he recalls his past encounter against her and her late partner Boris.

After using the anti-grav device to steal jewelry, the Black Widow calls to Moscow and asks Khrushchev if she's forgiven. Khrushchev forgives her, and sends his men to track down Black Widow's call in order to help her. Meanwhile in Washington, a senator is interviewed by the press regarding the theft of Stark's invention, and he states Stark's behavior was borderline criminal negligence, generating negative press about Stark's loyalty to his country.

Back in his lab, Tony gives up on trying to recreate his invention and gets back to looking for the Black Widow. The villainess attacks Stark's factories, causing objects to float and destroy the facility. Iron Man returns to his plant and repairs the damage, but the Black Widow has already targeted another facility.

Later that night, the Black Widow is surprised by the arrival of three fellow agents who had been sent to help her. One of them is eager to try Stark's invention, and uses it on a car. The floating car catches Iron Man's attention, and the Golden Avenger picks up the car and throws it at the origin of the anti-grav ray. He easily takes care of Black Widow's fellow agents, but she uses a reverse mechanism in the anti-grav ray to pin him down while she escapes, and then raises the building and lets it fall, crushing Iron Man beneath it. In the time it takes for Iron Man to escape from the rubble, the Black Widow and her agents travel to Fort Knox.

She uses the device to lift an entire mountain, and neutralize the tanks and army forces charging at her. Iron Man arrives and slows the descent of the tanks, before moving on to Black Widow. He uses a proton electronic charge that destroys the ray's output, rendering the anti-grav device useless. With the ray out of action, the mountain begins to fall, and Black Widow takes her chance to escape, while Iron Man rescues her fellow agents that were about to be crushed.

Minutes later, Iron Man debriefs two soldiers about the fate of the anti-grav ray, and the two military men thank him for "correcting" Tony Stark's "bumbling mistakes."

Solicit Synopsis

Reprinting material from Tales of Suspense (1959) #52–53

See Also

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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