|Tales of Suspense|
|Publication date||January 1959 – March 1968 (becomes Captain America)|
|No. of issues||99|
|Main character(s)||Iron Man|
Tales of Suspense is the name of an American comic book anthology series, and two one-shot comics, all published by Marvel Comics. The first, which ran from 1959 to 1968, began as a science-fiction anthology that served as a showcase for such artists as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and Don Heck, then featured superheroes Captain America and Iron Man during the Silver Age of Comic Books before changing its title to Captain America with issue #100 (cover-dated April 1968). Its sister title was Tales to Astonish. Following the launch of Marvel Legacy in 2017, Tales of Suspense was once again resurrected at issue #100, featuring the Winter Soldier and Hawkeye in a story called "The Red Ledger".
Tales of Suspense and its sister publication Tales to Astonish were both launched with a January 1959 cover date. Initially published under Atlas Comics, the 1950s forerunner of Marvel, it fell under the Marvel banner with issue #19 (July 1961), the first with a cover sporting the early "MC" box. It contained science-fiction mystery/suspense stories written primarily by editor-in-chief Stan Lee and his brother, Larry Lieber, with artists including Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and Don Heck. Issue #9 (May 1960) introduced Chondu the Mystic as an anthological-story character; he would be reintroduced as a supervillain in the 1970s.
Issue #39 (March 1963) introduced the superhero Iron Man, created by editor and plotter Lee, Lee’s brother scripter Lieber, and artists Heck and Jack Kirby. He starred in generally 13-page but occasionally 18-page adventures, with the rest of Tales of Suspense devoted to the anthological science fiction and fantasy stories the comic normally ran.
After debuting with bulky gray armor, Iron Man was redesigned with similar but golden armor in his second story (issue #40, April 1963). The first iteration of the modern, sleek red-and-golden armor appeared in #48 (Dec. 1963), drawn by Ditko (though whether he or Kirby, singly or in collaboration, designed it, is uncertain). From #53-58 (May-Oct. 1964), the cover logo was "Tales of Suspense featuring The Power of Iron Man". Two months before the debut of the sorcerer-hero Doctor Strange, Lee, Kirby and scripter Robert Bernstein, under the pseudonym "R. Berns", introduced a same-name criminal scientist and Ph.D., Carl Strange. Making his sole appearance in the Iron Man story "The Stronghold of Dr. Strange" in Tales of Suspense #41 (May 1963), the character gained mental powers in a freak lightning strike. The Mandarin debuted in issue #50 (Feb. 1964) and would become one of Iron Man's major enemies. The Black Widow first appeared in #52 (April 1964) and Hawkeye followed five issues later.
The first Marvel superhero work by future company editor-in-chief Roy Thomas was his scripting the Iron Man story "My Life for Yours" in #73 (Jan. 1966), working from a plot by editor Lee as well as a plot assist from Marvel secretary-receptionist Flo Steinberg.
From #49–58 (Jan.–Oct. 1964), one anthological story each issue acquired a framing sequence and ran as "Tales of the Watcher," narrated by the namesake cosmic witness introduced in The Fantastic Four #13 and used as a Marvel Universe supporting character since. The final "Tales of the Watcher" story introduced veteran artist George Tuska as a Marvel regular. Four years later, Tuska would become one of Iron Man's signature artists.
Beginning with issue #59 (Nov. 1964), Iron Man began sharing the now "split book" with Captain America, who had guest-starred in the Iron Man feature the previous issue. Jack Kirby, Captain America's co-creator during the 1940s Golden Age of comic books, had drawn the character as part of the superhero team the Avengers earlier that year, and was now illustrating his hero's solo adventures for the first time since 1941. Issue #63 (March 1965), in which editor-scripter Stan Lee retold Captain America's origin, through #71 (Nov. 1965) featured period stories set during World War II, and co-starred Captain America's Golden Age sidekick, James Buchanan Barnes aka Bucky. Sharon Carter was introduced in issue #75 (March 1966) and later became a love interest for Captain America. The Red Skull, Captain America's major nemesis in the World War II era, was revived in the present day in issue #79 (July 1966). MODOK first appeared in #94 (Oct. 1967).
Kirby drew all but two stories, for which Gil Kane and John Romita Sr. each filled-in. Several stories were finished by penciler-inker George Tuska over Kirby layouts, with one finished by Romita Sr. and another by penciler Dick Ayers and inker John Tartaglione. Kirby's regular inkers on the series were Frank Giacoia (as "Frank Ray") and Joe Sinnott, though Don Heck and Golden Age Captain America artist Syd Shores inked one story each.
Tales of Suspense became Captain America with #100 (April 1968). Iron Man appeared in the one-shot Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1 (April 1968), and then debuted in his own title with Iron Man #1 (May 1968).
A Tales of Suspense one-shot (Jan. 1995) which had a cover with a clear plastic overlay, featured Captain America and Iron Man in a single story written by James Robinson and drawn by Colin MacNeil. Another one-shot, Tales of Suspense: Captain America and Iron Man Commemorative Edition (Feb. 2005) reprinted the previous month's Captain America vol. 5 #1 and Iron Man vol. 4 #1.
January  saw the birth of two titles that would each have a place of importance in the coming age - Tales of Suspense and Tales to Astonish.
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Jack Kirby threw himself enthusiastically into Cap's new adventures, including an action-packed series of stories that flashed back to World War II.