For today Comic Book Review I cover the Iron Man story from Tales Of Suspense #42 titled “Trapped By The Red Barbarian”. a tale that features a wonderfully expected communist plot to steal the latest weapons plans from Tony Stark, however in this tale, the menace working for the red barbarian known as the actor learns Iron Man’s secret identity as well as gets the plans. Can Iron Man learn of this and stop them in time?
The story I feel was well written, and in its own way helps to build iron man and tony stark’s characters at the same time, by building up the world around them. As this story is written, it is more often from the view-point of the antagonist’s then from iron man himself.
This works wonderful to build up both the suspense, and lets the authors build the compelling story from a different perspective, it would be quite different and less interesting in this case if it where from Iron Man’s viewpoint.
I feel that the artwork done by Don Heck was adequate in this issue, he in particularly did a great job on the red barbarian character. but he also had creative uses of lighting, using the dark’s and colors creatively, however I do feel in iron man’s first appearance there was better uses of this technique to show darkness while keeping us in the action.
The action panels in this issue however feel a little more static and less lively than I tend to enjoy, and have come to expect from my last several comic book reviews.
Characters & Development
in this issue I feel we have good growth of tony stark, the business man, scientific genius and military contractor. Much more so then we have character growth of him as iron man.
the whole plot of the story is around his latest development for the US military and the communist trying to steal the blueprints and take tony stark out. as a character he is well suited for this role, keeping the plot believable while letting the action come to our hero.
Originality & Continuity
The actor seems quite familiar, almost like I have seen this character before. In fact while ‘the actor’ has not been, it was not that many months ago that we seen a super villain built around the same concept. In Amazing spider-Man #1 we had the chameleon. I find there to be little difference between him and the actor, and even the basic concept behind both stories.
Comic Book Review Summery
I found this to be an acceptable and enjoyable story but I would not call it a masterpiece. it offered little in terms of long-term rewards or growth from what I can see, but did make a compelling one time filler type event.