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Quote1 I'm not sure I believe in Thunder Gods! Quote2
-- Hawkeye

Appearing in "The Monstrous Master Plan of the Mandarin!"

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Synopsis for "The Monstrous Master Plan of the Mandarin!"

PART ONE: THE MONSTROUS PLAN OF THE MANDARIN
The Living Laser attempts to escape from prison but Iron Man (who, in his civilian identity as Tony Stark has been inspecting security tech that Stark supplied to the prison) stops him. But then, the Living Laser vanishes suddenly. Concerned that other past Avengers foes may be "escaping" in such a manner, Iron Man calls a meeting of all Avengers -- much to the surprise of his team mates since he is not an active member of the team at the time.

It is revealed that the Living Laser had been teleported away by the Mandarin. He has gathered together the Swordsman, Power Man, the Executioner and the Enchantress. They are instructed to aid his master plan by attacking a variety of locations all over the world. To ensure his lackies stay in line, the Mandarin pretends to teleport the Sub-Mariner to his base as well. When Namor refuses to obey orders, the Mandarin summarily destroys him. It's all an illusion meant to frighten the villains into behaving, but it works; they all fall in line.

When Iron-Man arrives at Avengers Mansion, he's attacked by Hercules who doesn't know him and mistakes him for a villain. Their brief skirmish is halted by Thor's arrival, who introduces the two heroes and assures them both that they are all on the same side. Nick Fury contacts the Avengers and relates how several of their past opponents are staging attacks around the world in what appears to be a concerted effort. The Avengers break up into teams to confront the villains.

PART TWO: TO PERISH BY THE SWORD
Iron Man, Goliath and the Wasp deal with Power Man and the Swordsman. Iron-Man prevents the Swordsman from crushing a city with a colossal sword.

PART THREE: STRUGGLE IN A STRANGE LAND
Hercules and the Scarlet Witch stop the Executioner and Enchantress.

PART FOUR: AND A MONSTER SHALL STALK THE LAND
Thor and Hawkeye deal with Living Laser who is aided by Mandarin's giant robot Ultimo. But they defeat him as well.

PART FIVE: SHOWDOWN IN SPACE
Captain America and Quicksilver confront the Mandarin in his space station. Soon enough, they are joined by the rest of the Avengers. The Mandarin uses a hate ray on them, causing them to fight whoever they are closest to. The Wasp, however, is closer to the Mandarin. She attacks him and the hate ray is deactivated. The Mandarin tries again to defeat them with another ray, but it blows a hole in the wall and sucks him out into space. The Avengers plant a bomb and destroy the base after leaving.

As the team returns to Earth in a shuttle, Iron-Man remarks on how the entire team of Avengers ought to assemble more often. The Scarlet Witch chimes in that she hopes it doesn't have to take a villain such as the Mandarin to unite them all in the future.

Appearing in "Preeeesenting the Unconquerable Hercules!"

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Synopsis for "Preeeesenting the Unconquerable Hercules!"

A one page Pin-Up

Appearing in "More Than Meets the Eye"

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Synopsis for "More Than Meets the Eye"

A two page diagram of Avengers Mansion

Appearing in "Pulsatin' Panoramic Pulchtrudinous Pin-Up Dept."

Synopsis for "Pulsatin' Panoramic Pulchtrudinous Pin-Up Dept."

A one-page pin-up of the female Avengers: Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, and the Wasp.

Appearing in "The Orginal Avengers and the New Avengers"

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Synopsis for "The Orginal Avengers and the New Avengers"

A one-page pin-up

Notes

  • Cover art: modifications by Romita.
  • The main story depicts Thor and Iron-Man's first return engagement with the Avengers since their initial departure in Avengers #16. For the next several years, both heroes will make frequent guest star appearances (often just minor cameos) before rejoining the team on a full-time basis.
  • In fact, with the exception of the Hulk, all officially inducted members of the Avengers up until this point appear in this story, even the traitorous Swordsman whose tenure on the team up to now has lasted less than one whole issue.
  • Conveniently, the mini-team of Avengers who confront Power Man and Swordsman consists of Iron-Man, Goliath and Wasp -- none of whom were active team members when the Swordsman was an Avenger. The villain's past Avengers membership therefore goes completely unmentioned.
  • This story continues in part from Avengers #44 and will continue in part in Avengers #45.
  • This issue is reprinted in Giant-Size Avengers #5 minus the pin-ups from Sequences II through V.
  • The main story is broken into five parts/chapters:
    • Part One: The Monstrous Plan of the Mandarin
    • Part Two: To Perish by the Sword
    • Part Three: Struggle in a Strange Land
    • Part Four: And a Monster Shall Stalk the Land
    • Part Five: Showdown in Space
  • Don Heck took time off from the regular Avengers title to work on this issue. His replacement, John Buscema, wound up replacing Heck as the series artist permanently. Don Heck does the interior art for Avengers #45 and Avengers Annual #2 but otherwise did not return to pencil Avengers again until Avengers #108.
  • credits:
    • Stan Lee Lovingly Lords It Over A Roy Thomas - Don Heck Landmark Of Literary Luminescence!
    • Inked By George Bell!
    • Lettered By Artie Simek!
  • references: Avengers #34, Avengers #35, Avengers #44, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3, Avengers #20, Tales of Suspense #76, Tales of Suspense #77, Tales of Suspense #78

Trivia

  • Avengers regular artist Don Heck took time off from the regular title to pen this issue. However, Marvel liked his replacement, John Buscema, so much that Buscema became the regular artist for the title. Buscema would pen 50+ Avengers issues over his career. Heck pencilled only a few more over the years.
  • On Page 10, Panel 6, Nick Fury is incorrectly shown with having Hercules' headband.
  • On Page 48, Panel 3, it looks like someone photocopied the Avengers from the cover of Avengers #25 and made some alterations.
  • The title for Part Three, "Struggle in a Strange Land", is an homage to the popular 1960s science-fiction novel "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert Heinlein.
  • Reprinted in Giant-Size Avengers #5.

See Also

Footnotes



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