Picking back up again with Tales of Suspense #79, Tony Stark is wanted by the police for failing to appear before Senator Byrd's committee (because he was teleported to the Mandarin's palace instead). Now that he's back he's weak and needs a recharge, but neither Pepper nor Happy are at their homes. But in the meantime, Warlord Krang and Lady Dorma (who have lost their blue skin) appear in a nearby submarine.
Iron Man manages to drive them away, but ironically this enrages the Sub-Mariner, who had been trailing them but is unable to catch up with Warlord Krang's ship. So they have the obligatory Marvel hero fight:
Fortunately for Iron Man, Subby never read any of the Br'er Rabbit stories. Iron Man beats the Sub-Mariner for now, but the latter goes back to water to recharge his powers and:
Say what? A crossover into the Sub-Mariner feature in TTA? Arrgggghhh! Okay, I'm going to assume that they had some more battling to do but eventually kissed and made up.
In TOS #81, Tony is prepared to go to Washington to appear before Senator Byrd's committee and reveal his secret identity. Here's a reminder how much things have changed since 9-11:
I can remember showing up at airports with ten minutes to spare and still making the flight. Anyway, Tony decides to fly to Washington as Iron Man, rather than taking a plane. Meanwhile, in the Soviet Union, the communists have modified the Titanium Man's armor to make it stronger and more powerful. So TM decides to take this opportunity to attack Iron Man. He is sent to the US in a missile that arrives just as Iron Man reaches DC and:
The battle takes place in the next two issues. At first Titanium Man has the upper hand but when Pepper and Happy arrive in Washington, TM realizes that Pepper means something to him, and threatens her:
Well, that ticks Iron Man off royally and (after rescuing Pepper), he fights with renewed determination. Meanwhile, elsewhere, folks are watching on TV:
Reading from Left to Right, President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. Oddball tidbit: McNamara's middle name was "Strange" (his mother's maiden name). Iron Man defeats the Titanium Man, who hopes to get away in a Soviet sub, but learns there is no room for second place among the commies:
Happy recovers his memory during the battle, but Pepper apparently loses hers:
Say what? Tony's absence during the first Titanium Man's battle with Iron Man was a big part of what turned Pepper off on him, and there's been no reconciliation since, but he misses the second battle and suddenly Pepper's all lovey-dovey towards him? What happened to her affection for Iron Man?
Comments: A solid series of issues with only a few missteps. I do wish that Stan had been more consistent with the Pepper/Tony relationship.
Next: Tony Stark testifies before Congress!