Monday, November 23, 2009

Time Travel Week- " Look Upon My Furniture Casters Ye Mighty and Despair!! " Tales of Suspense #44

Tony Stark is many things: Inventor, Scientist, Wealthy Playboy, Humanitarian, Hero.... He is, however, neither an archaeologist nor a careful time-traveler.

It all starts with Tony taking a trip to Egypt to help out an archaeologist buddy. Well, wait, back up, it all actually starts on page two with Tony getting on the plane. And fielding questions from the press, who have apparently recently been to see the movie "Cleopatra" Starring Elizabeth Taylor. Or maybe that was Stan Lee. Anyway, instead of hard-hitting questions about Stark's business dealings or his involvement with the war in Vietnam, they ask things like this:

So, anyway, Stark goes to "Cleopatra-land" to help an archaeologist friend. Who apparently has managed to fund and launch a huge expedition without knowing where to dig. He's hoping Tony can help the team find the location of a hidden tomb. Tony recommends Iron Man for the job and then makes himself scarce while he "goes to look for him".

When Iron Man arrives at the site, he quickly uses a tiny fluoroscope to spot the hidden tomb (on the first try, no less) and then uses a drill attachment to tunnel a big, ugly hole in the side of an historically significant structure.

Iron Man and "Paul" the archaeologist quickly discover the mummy of King Hatap "The Mad Pharaoh" who was reputed to have been a master of black magic. Iron Man leaves the dig to Paul and switches back to Stark.

A short time later, Paul bursts into the main expedition tent to report that the mummy has been stolen. He leaves to organize a search party. It is then that Stark finds out he is being watched. Watched by none other than King Hatap!

Hatap reveals that he was never mummified. After a failed rebellion against Cleopatra, Hatap faked his own death with a powerful drug that put him into suspended animation. He was wrapped in linen and encased in a sarcophagus where he has remained for the last 2,500 years. He now plans to return to the past via a magic statue of a chariot that will let him travel through time and he plans to take Stark with him to aide him in his conquest.

When Stark and Hatap arrive in the past, the Romans are attacking Egypt. Stark slips away from Hatap and changes to Iron Man and fights off the Roman infantry who assume he's a god. Then, he mounts a tiny propeller on his foot and torpedoes a Roman galley.

Iron Man warns Cleopatra of the impending attack by Hatap. Cleo asks him to save her kingdom. Iron Man agrees and combats the approaching chariots of Hatap's forces with something unbeatable. Furniture casters.

Yes, that's right, Iron Man attaches furniture casters to his back and rolls across the sands of Egypt into the advancing army. Somehow, this defeats them.

Cleopatra falls for Iron Man, but he leaves for 1963, where he can find a life-sustaining electrical outlet.

On a final note: Hatap, you have a time-travel device. Why the @!#$ did you put yourself to sleep for 2,500 years? Why didn't you, say pop back to last week and tell yourself how you lost the upcoming battle?? Why are time machines always in the hands of the stupid?

Stop by tomorrow, when Superboy kills his parents. But don't worry, it's not his real parents, just Ma and Pa Kent!


  1. Yeah, the plot does sound pretty lame, but gotta love that "scratchy" style of Don Heck art. And the cover has that early Marvel explosive art I fell in love with, even if they had one "word box" too many.
    Cool post

  2. Rogueevolent-

    Thanks for stopping by. I LOVE Don Heck. I think he's very sadly underrated. This story, although kinda dumb, was mercifully short on unnecessary explanations.


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