Wait! Before we separate, the Wasp and I have something to say! Each of us has a different power! If we combined forces, we could be almost unbeatable!Ant-Man
- Numerous unnamed circus-goers
- Unnamed Asgardian guard
- Jetliner crew
Races and Species:
- Imperial Palace
- Teen Brigade Headquarters
- Car Factory
Loki, having been previously captured by Thor, is being held prisoner at the Isle of Silence in Asgard. His physical form may be confined there, but by means of thought projection his disembodied self travels to Earth in search of revenge. He spots Thor in his human identity of Dr. Donald Blake but resists defeating him as it would be a hollow victory compared to defeating him as Thor.
After hours of searching, Loki happens across the Hulk and devises a wicked plan to entice Blake to transform into Thor. He projects a mental image of dynamite on the tracks of a nearby railway bridge. The Hulk spots the dynamite and attempts to snuff it out, accidentally destroying the bridge. Suddenly, a train appears on the tracks traveling towards the wreckage. Valiantly, the Hulk manages to hold the tracks up long enough for the train to pass safely before allowing it to collapse. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done and Loki's plan was successful.
Hours later, newspapers print articles about the Hulk being on the rampage again and a manhunt begins. The Hulk's friend, Rick Jones, reads the article with disbelief and meets with members of the Teen Brigade in order to find help to track Hulk down to find the truth. They attempt to contact the Fantastic Four but Loki interferes with the radio signal, diverting it to Don Blake. He decides to transform into Thor to help the Teen Brigade. Unknown to Loki, the radio signal is also picked up by Ant-Man, the Wasp, and Iron Man, who also travel to assist.
Later, the Teen Brigade are disappointed that the Fantastic Four hadn't responded to their message when they finally get a reply. They inform the Teen Brigade that they are too busy with another case but they have a hunch that other heroes may have received their distress call. Suddenly Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man, and the Wasp arrive. Loki realizes that the other heroes will only interfere with his plans and lures Thor away by creating a mental image of the Hulk. Upon catching up with this fake "Hulk", Thor attacks and realizes it isn't real, and immediately suspects Loki. He then returns to Asgard to face his brother.
Meanwhile, Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp track down the Hulk with the help of Ant-Man's ants. He is working at a circus pretending to be a robot called Mechano. They attempt to capture him by causing the ground below him to cave in, by dropping a steel cylinder onto him, and trying to catch him in a net. Hulk manages to escape the circus. Iron Man gives chase but the Hulk cripples his battery, and escapes while Iron Man repairs it.
Back in Asgard, Thor asks permission from Odin to meet Loki on the Isle of Silence to question him. Odin accepts but warns that he cannot interfere between the two brothers' quarrel. As Thor sets out across the Sea of Mist he is attacked by Loki's traps. First, he narrowly escapes tangle roots that threaten to drag him down into the depths. Next, a volcano erupts releasing volcanic gas globules capable of sapping the strength of any god. Thor manages to evade these by diving into the sea. On the island, Loki spots Thor's empty boat and wonders with disbelief if Thor has already been defeated. Suddenly, a giant water spout appears in front of him as Thor emerges from the sea to face him. He throws his hammer at Loki, only to have it deflected by a hastily-made ice shield.
Loki calls upon a Rock Troll, which begins to drag Thor beneath the ground. At the last moment, Thor uses his hammer to summon lightning which dazzles the troll, causing it to relinquish his hold. Thor angrily swings his hammer at Loki, who has created multiple mental images of himself to confuse him. Thor counters this by spinning his hammer fast enough to blow all the figures away, revealing the true Loki. Soaking up the magnetic flow from the earth with his hammer, he captures Loki via magnetic attraction and takes him back to Earth to clear the Hulk's name.
On Earth, Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp continue to pursue the Hulk to an auto factory in Detroit. Thor appears with Loki to clear Hulk's name. Suddenly Loki makes himself radioactive forcing the heroes to retreat. Luckily, Loki stands over a trapdoor and Ant-Man's ants trigger a switch, dropping him into a lead-lined tank. Upon celebrating their victory, Ant-Man and the Wasp point out how well they could work as a team, and that they should work together in the future. The Wasp suggests they should call themselves the Avengers, and everybody agrees.
And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes found themselves united against a common threat! On that day, the Avengers were born, to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand!
- Hulk was last seen in Incredible Hulk #6, he would continue to appear regularly in issues of The Avengers until the character ended up sharing the title Tales to Astonish with Ant-Man/Giant-Man & The Wasp in Tales to Astonish #60. In Hulk Vol 1 6, the Hulk had defeated the alien known as Metal Master.
- It's later revealed that some of the members of the circus that Hulk joins (in his guise of "Mechano") were members of the Ringmaster's Circus of Crime, who were laying low after their last defeat.
- This issue marks the first appearance of the Avengers as a team.
- Each member of the Avengers next appears in their regular monthly titles. Thor appears in Journey Into Mystery #97, battling the Lava Man. Iron Man appears in Tales of Suspense #46 where he battles the Crimson Dynamo. Ant-Man and Wasp appear in Tales to Astonish #48 where they battle the Porcupine. The only character who does not have a supporting comic at this time is the Hulk, whose title was canceled at the time.
- This story has been retold and expanded in Avengers: The Origin issues 1 - 5, which was printed in 2010
- references: Incredible Hulk #6
- When deciding on the team name Wasp said it should be something like "The Avengers." Hank Pym thought that should be the name. So the name was born.
- The "legend of the old man of the sea" which Loki states was inspired by the Troll of the Isle of Silence is a creature derived from Greek mythology. The old man was a sea-god who also went under various other names: Proteus, Nereus, and Pontus. It is also fabled in myth that he battled against Sinbad during his fifth voyage.
- Some people say that the Avengers was the second attempt to copy the Justice League. The first being the Fantastic Four. Stan Lee says that he got fan mail that loved the characters crossing over and that's how he got the idea.
- When Daredevil #1 was running late, Stan Lee decided to create a superhero title based on some of the company's heroes.
- The Hulk's membership only lasted two issues. He will return as an ally in Avengers #100 and joining the team once more in Avengers Assemble (Vol. 2) #2.
- This iconic cover has been homaged many times. Most recently it was recreated with Skrulls replacing the heroes on the cover of New Avengers #40. Also a "movie version" of it was made for the cover of Marvel: The Avengers Prelude: Fury's Big Week #1