Appearing in "In the Clutches of... the Collector!"
- Venusian retriever-anemone
- Jupiterian sauro-beast
- Odin (Mentioned)
- Hulk (Bruce Banner) (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- Black Panther (T'Challa)
- Hogun (Mentioned)
- Captain America's Shield
- Captain America's Uniform
- Hawkeye's Bow
- Thor's Hammer
- Obedience Potion (Main story and flashback)
- Iron Man Armor MK III
- Temporal assimilator
Synopsis for "In the Clutches of... the Collector!"
As the story opens, Goliath is strapped into a high-voltage electrical harness in an attempt to jumpstart his size changing ability. But not only does the effort fail, the harness overloads and threatens to kill him. Hawkeye tries shutting the grid down, but the circuits have been fried. The Wasp flies into the machinery and unplugs some connections, saving him in the nick of time.
Some time later and elsewhere, the Avengers’ former opponent the Collector aims to add the entire roster of the Avengers to his menagerie of “pets.” He turns his attention to the three currently active members, who are gathering at Janet’s residence. Hawkeye and Goliath have arrived just as Jan is diving into her new A-shaped swimming pool. As she climbs out, she notices a comb on the floor and picks it up. Suddenly, she is flung into the air. The “comb” was a trap designed to retrieve her and she cannot let go. Both Goliath and Hawkeye grab hold of her, hoping to stop her from being carried away but they too are lifted into the air. The three heroes are carried far above the Earth to the spaceship of the Collector.
As soon as they are brought onboard, the Avengers are shocked to discover that not only are they prisoners of the Collector... but Thor is with him, apparently willingly! The heroes are then shocked into unconsciousness by a “Venusian Retriever-Anemone”. They awaken in adjoining prison chambers to see the Collector, stroking a “Jupiterian Sauro-Beast” like a cat, and accompanied by Thor. The Collector recounts to his prisoners how he came across an unwary Thor (who was not among the Avengers who encountered the Collector previously and hence was unaware of his devious nature). He tricked Thor into drinking a draught of a drug that placed him under his control.
Desiring a “perfect” collection of Avengers, the alien antiquarian attempts to restore Goliath’s size-changing abilities as well. He subjects him to a procedure similar to what Pym attempted earlier, but upping the amplitude by having Thor create a major storm as a source of power. The attempt seems to fail though. Disappointed, the Collector returns Goliath to his prison cell.
The Collector then turns his attention towards gathering up the other Avengers not yet in his possession. Using a video screen, he spies on Captain America who is in the midst of a battle in Africa (alongside the Wakandan superhero the Black Panther) and the Collector chooses to wait before gathering him up. Likewise, he sees that the Hulk is currently crossing the Bifrost rainbow bridge into Asgard and is thus out of his reach for the moment. Instead, he focuses his attention on Iron-Man and dispatches Thor to retrieve him.
Thor accosts Iron-Man in midair, attacking him. Iron-Man is caught off-guard but does his best to fight back.
Onboard the Collector’s ship, Goliath is surprised to discover that Wasp has escaped from her holding cell. She explains that the Jupiterian Sauro-Beast is actually a form of insect life susceptible to her control and she instructed it to free her. Wasp then frees Goliath and Hawkeye and they take on the Collector, who siccs his giant robot, Chumley the Savage, on them. Hawkeye shoots an explosive arrow at its control panel but this only causes it to run wild. It grabs the Collector, who is now unable to control it. He teleports himself away, abandoning his ship, his menagerie, and the three Avengers. They fear they are outmatched, but Goliath feels an odd sensation. He begins growing -- the Collector’s experiment worked after all just with a delayed effect! Goliath grows to 25 feet high, taller than ever before, and tackles the Chumley.
Elsewhere, Thor has overwhelmed Iron-Man with a massive current of lightning bolts that shuts down his armor and incapacitates him. However, as soon as the Collector has fled his ship, he also loses control of the thunder god. Taking the unconscious Iron-Man along with him, Thor returns to the ship to rescue his friends. He arrives just in the nick of time as the damage the giant robot is destroying it. Thor carries all three current Avengers and Iron-Man back to Earth before the ship explodes.
Back at Avengers Mansion, Iron-Man tests out Goliath’s size-changing abilities and deems that not only are they permanently restored, they’ve been expanded (literally) by the Collector’s shock treatment. Just then, the Avengers receive a transmission from Captain America. He apologizes for leaving the team in such an abrupt manner as he did and nominates a new team member to take his place: the Black Panther. Although T’Challa is concerned the team might not want him, Hawkeye radios back that if Cap vouches for him, it’s good enough for them.
- Goliath is featured on the cover erroneously wearing his old costume. His new red and blue costume is acquired in this story. He will wear this new costume through Avengers 59/Avengers 60 when he assumes the identity of Yellowjacket.
- The Collector seems to have been studying the Avengers for some time, as he is aware that Thor, Iron-Man and the Hulk were all once members even though they had long since departed before his first encounter with the team. He even notes that Hercules was a member of the team, though the Olympian did not join up with them until after the Collector's previous encounter with them. Curiously though, the Collector ignores Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, who were Avengers when he last encountered the team. Although his desire to collect the Avengers seems to be just an idle past time for him in these early appearances, it will eventually be revealed in Avengers #174 that he wants to preserve them for a grim purpose: he has precognitive abilities that make him aware of several possible apocalyptic events threatening the universe in the future. Most notably, he becomes aware of Korvac's existence and intentions and seeks to assemble every Avenger in the hopes that together they can successfully counter his godlike abilities.
- Mistake: the Wasp is able to escape by mentally controlling the insectiod Sauro-Pod. But she shouldn't have been able to do that since this is not a natural ability of hers. She uses high-tech devices just as Hank does. Since she was abducted during her leisure time and while wearing a bathing suit, it's highly unlikely she'd have any insect-control devices on her person at the time. Oddly enough, Goliath's current costume does have insect-control tech capabilities (as shown in Avengers #46) yet he fails to make use of them.
- Roy Thomas had wanted to have Iron-Man and Thor rejoin the team for some time in order to duplicate the "all-star team" concept of DC's Justice League of America. Stan Lee refused to allow this because he felt the more popular heroes would overshadow the regular members. Thomas later admitted that he simply stuck Thor and Iron-Man into this story as guest stars -- as well as Captain America and the Hulk's cameo appearances -- without bothering to ask permission. When Lee did not later object (and perhaps did not even notice), Thomas began inserting guest appearances by the "big three" on a recurring basis, until finally having them all become full-time members again during the Template:Kree-Skrull War storyline.
- The Black Panther (T'Challa) storyline in this issue and next continues from Captain America 100.
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