Appearing in "The Assassin Never Fails!"
- 🢐 Beast (Hank McCoy) 🢒(Avengers applicant)
- Agent 2-C (First and only known appearance)
- Numerous unnamed agents
- Agent B-7 (First and only known appearance)
- Agent B-3 (First and only known appearance)
- Agent B-12 (First and only known appearance)
- 🢐 Assassin (Maria) (First name first revealed) (Death)
- Maria and Angelo's father (Last appearance)
- Reed Richards (Mentioned)
- Bill Foster (Mentioned)
- Numerous unnamed medical personnel
- Nurse Robinson
- American Medical Association
- Thor LMD
- Lord (Yahweh) (Invoked)
- Dr. Jose Santini (Only in recap)
- Moondragon (Heather Douglas) (Mentioned)
- Angelo (First and only known appearance; dies)
Races and Species:
- Earth (Main story and recap)
- Heaven (Invoked)
- World War II (Name only)
Synopsis for "The Assassin Never Fails!"
Captain America, having been bombarded by the Assassin with lethal radiation, hangs between life and death. As the Avengers and Falcon await news of his condition, Donald Blake works tirelessly to heal his comrade. To cover Thor's absence while Blake works, Iron Man creates a Thor LMD to assume his place. Meanwhile, the Assassin sends hired minions in to kill the Avengers on behalf of their many enemies.
Iron Man, Hawkeye, and Vision watching over Captain America, are given tea, though the Vision doesn't take any. Hobbled by the drugs hidden within, the Avengers struggle to hold off the Assassin's minions but are gassed into submission; the minions then shoot the LMD, rendering it lifeless and convincing them they have killed the real Thor. The Vision tries to hold his own, but the Assassin, attaching a device to his back, deactivates him, then laughs, for the drugs that the Avengers drank will kill them.
Upon investigating the Thor LMD, the Assassin realizes the truth and that Thor and Donald Blake are the same person. Figuring that Donald Blake would make an easier target in his mortal guise, the Assassin is about to attack when Vision, Hawkeye, and Iron Man revive. Both Hawkeye and Iron Man claim to have thrown up the drugs though Iron Man's new synthetic heart seems to have been immune to it. The three Avengers then attack.
During the battle, Iron Man's repulsor rays shred the Assassin's costume, revealing the nurse who served them the drugged drinks. Mocking them for their surprise at her gender, she distracts them long enough for her to toss a gas bomb and escape out a window, but when she tries to warn her troops, they, no longer recognizing her, gun her down, fearing their cover is blown. The remaining troops are easily defeated by the Avengers and turned over to the authorities. Donald Blake later manages to cure Captain America, who is soon released from the hospital.
The Assassin's employer is approached by Angelo, furious that his sister, Maria, was sent to take on the Avengers, a task beyond her limits. The employer shoots Angelo, then removes his mask, revealing he's their father and kills himself.
- This story takes place prior to Avengers Vol 1 141, however, there is a glaring continuity error: The fact that Yellowjacket and Wasp are counted among the Avengers, as at that time they were still recovering from injuries in their battle against Toad in Avengers Vol 1 139 and Whirlwind in Avengers Vol 1 140.
- As seen on page one, this issue is Story # JV284.
- This issue is broken down into three chapters:
- Chapter I: The Assassin Never Fails
- Chapter II: The Better to Kill Them With
- Chapter III: Nothing But Our Own Death