Balladeer’s Blog continues its Top Twenty Lists for 2020 while simultaneously providing another item for this superhero-hungry world. It’s the first 20 Iron Man stories, beginning in 1963.
TALES OF SUSPENSE Vol 1 #39 (March 1963)
Title: Iron Man Is Born
Villains: Wong Chu and his Red Guerillas
Synopsis: Tony Stark is living the dream. He’s a multi-millionaire, women consider him very handsome and he has all the inventive genius of a new Thomas Edison but without the litigiousness. He has multiplied the fortune he inherited from his parents many times over through the value of his tech and weapons creations instead of through the ruthless big business savvy shown by his late father.
After Tony demonstrates his latest inventions for the Defense Department to an audience of Generals he is flown to Vietnam to watch his devices in action in the field. This will help him refine them for the front-line troops.
While accompanying a squad of soldiers through the jungle, Stark accidentally triggers a Viet Cong booby trap and the subsequent explosion kills his soldier escorts. Tony himself is left with a piece of shrapnel lodged dangerously near his heart and inching closer by the day.
Wong Chu, the North Vietnamese Warlord, is holding the injured millionaire captive in the village he rules with an iron fist. Wong Chu knows that Tony Stark has only days to live but lies to him and tells him he will set him free if he devises a high-tech weapon for him and his VC forces. Continue reading