> Avengers Masterworks Volume 2

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Let me spell it out for you! We're supposed to avenge injustice, right? Well, when liberty's threatened, justice goes down the drain! That's it in a nutshell!”

-- Hawkeye, explaining the virtues of overthrowing commies to Quicksilver, page 8

A classic panel sequence for the Kooky Quartet: AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!!!

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Avengers #18
July 1965 • 20 pages

Script: Stan Lee • Letters: Artie Simek
Pencils: Don Heck • Inks: Dick Ayers

Lineup: Captain America • Hawkeye • Quicksilver • Scarlet Witch

Title: “When the Commissar Commands!”

Villains: The Commiassar, Major Hoy

Guest Appearance: Rick Jones

Innovations: Sin-Cong

Letters Page: Page One • Page Two

House Ad: Page One • Page Two

Synopsis: As Captain America worries about Nick Fury not replying to his letter asking to be a part of his counter-intelligence team, Wanda and Pietro enjoy their free time. Wanda goes to see "Twelfth Night" at the theater, while Pietro attends a circus, where he marvels at the trapeze act. Lucky for the trapeze artist who loses his balance, Pietro is there to act as Quicksilver, running at blinding speed to place a net underneath his falling body, saving him. Hawkeye has spent his down time developing a new arrow, which he makes himself busy testing.

But on the other side of the world, in the Communist nation of Sin-Cong, a depot named Major Hoy lectures the assembled masses about their need to obey the state in all things. When someone from the crowd speaks up about how miserable living conditions are, from the shadows comes a massive, hulking man called the Commissar, and he shows off his incredible strength to intimidate the people into bowing before him. Later, as Cap monitors the Avengers ham radio, he hears a dispatch from Sin-Cong, asking the Avengers to come help free their people. Cap realizes this is the chance for action he's been waiting for, to prove himself to Nick Fury and the Pentagon that he's once again worthy to serve. But little does he know that the radio dispatch is a trap, set by the Commissar, to get the Avengers to come to Sin-Cong where their defeat will bring renown to the Commissar all over the world.

The call goes out: "Avengers Assemble!" And the team gets together to discuss their plan to take out the Commies in Sin-Cong and help restore liberty to the people. Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch question the mission, but Hawkeye explains that the Avengers are there to help fight injustice, and wherever liberty is threatened, there is no justice. With all players on the same map, they depart, and on the way, Captain America thanks Hawkeye for his support; but Hawkeye is unmoved by Cap's appreciative tone, saying he just wanted to prove he could be as big a square as Cap is.

They land in Sin-Cong, and are taken to meet the Commissar. They are astonished by the wealth and splendor of the leader's palace, while the rest of the countryside is in ruins. Once led inside the palace, they are attacked by soldiers with machine guns. The team uses their powers to throw them off balance, and Quicksilver responds to Cap's call to put into action "Plan Seven", and he races to each soldier, knocking him out with his fist. As they take in the events of the last few minutes, a trap door opens beneath Scarlet Witch, and she falls down into a shaft, the trap door sealing up behind her. Quicksilver hears her scream and follows it down a hallway, where he finds her held captive in a jail cell. As they try to free her, a sleeping gas seeps into the room and they are knocked out. When they awaken, the three male Avengers are greeted by the Commissar, who holds Wanda's life in the balance unless the Avengers honor him with one-on-one combat.

As the people gather around to watch the fight, Captain America takes him on first, and the hulking Commissar is not only strong, but swift and agile, and he tosses him aside. Hawkeye steps up and fires arrows which the Commissar is able to deflect with a huge broadsword. Quicksilver then tries to race around the Commissar, binding him up in a huge drape, but the Commissar grabs the drape and pulls him close in order to smack him with his giant paw. All of a sudden, a flash comes across Cap: he thinks he knows what's really going on here! Cap tells the Commissar that he has yet to defeat the Scarlet Witch, and he agrees to fight her. But she is up on Cap's plan, and instead of launching her hex power at the huge despot, she throws her spell at the curtains behind which are concealed elaborate control panels. She uses her hex powers to destroy the control panels, which cause the Commissar to explode: he was a robot! And from behind the curtains is Major Hoy, who the Avengers easily apprehend. The people see that they were deceived the whole time- that the Commissar was nothing but a robotic automaton, controlled by the weak Major Hoy.

Captain America gives the people of Sin-Cong a brief lecture on the evils of Communist control and dictatorship, and tells them that freedom requires constant vigilance, and that the Avengers are at the bye ready to help if need be.

-- synopsis by Gormuu

-- panel images and letters pages provided by Avengers Assemble

Issues Reprinted
Avengers #11-20

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.

AVG #11 AVG #12 AVG #13 AVG #14 AVG #15
AVG #16 AVG #17 AVG #18 AVG #19 AVG #20


All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

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