> Avengers Masterworks Volume 2

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Remember, I'm not leaving the Avengers! I'm just picking up some threads...the threads of a life that once was mine!”

-- Captain America, page 12

You're damned right it's the girl! Get used to it!!!

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Avengers #19
August 1965 • 20 pages

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

Lineup: Captain America • Hawkeye • Quicksilver • Scarlet Witch

Title: “The Coming of...the Swordsman!”

Villains: Swordsman, HYDRA, Blackie

First Appearance: Swordsman, Blackie

Gadgets & Technology: microtape identity file, gamma-lens, displacer ray, tracer beam

Letters Page: Page One • Page Two

House Ad: Page One

Synopsis: A man in costume brandishing a broadsword infiltrates the Avengers Mansion in a bid to gain membership any way he can. Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch spot him gaining entry, and they try to stop him. He calls himself the Swordsman, and after battling the duo, there is a moment of calm where he tells them what he wants: to join the Avengers. But his rude and brash behavior wins him no fans, and the fight begins anew. Captain America comes out from the hallway and asks what is going on. While the Swordsman lies dazed on the ground, Wanda catches him up on the action and Cap feeds the man's information into their micro-tape identity file. It tells them that the Swordsman is exiled from Europe after proving to be a dangerous adventurer. Upon hearing this, the Swordsman runs away. Cap lets the two mutant Avengers chase after him, while he returns to training in the "play room", also fretting about why Col. Nick Fury has not yet responded to his letter asking to enlist in his counter-espionage unit.

Hawkeye comes in to talk to Cap, and when he finds out the Swordsman has tried to join the group, he flips out. He tells Cap that he and the Swordsman have a long history together, that started when both were in the circus. Hawkeye idolized the Swordsman, but found him one day robbing the circus of all its payroll money. The Swordsman invited Hawkeye to join his life of crime, but the young man rejected him, and the two fought a battle that ended with the Swordsman thinking he was dead. Cap reassures him that the Swordsman wouldn't know him as Hawkeye.

Meanwhile, a couple of HYRDA agents are monitoring Nick Fury's old office, and they use a displacer ray to snoop inside his personal items, bringing to themselves the letter Cap had written to Fury. They regard it as useless and toss it into the street, where it is picked up by a hoodlum named Blackie. Later, at an underworld poker game, Blackie hears that the Swordsman is offering a thousand dollars to whoever can give him a lead to trap the Avengers. Blackie considers the letter of value in such an enterprise, and he meets with the Swordsman, who figures he can use this knowledge to indeed lay a trap for the Avengers.

Captain America gets a letter from Nick Fury that asks him to join his agency, and Cap is ecstatic! He tells his teammates not to worry that he will leave them, but the team isn't so sure. Both Quicksilver and Hawkeye think to themselves that perhaps they will be the next leader! Later, while doing a security patrol, Hawkeye comes across Blackie breaking into a safe. Blackie thinks Hawkeye has tracked him down in a matter related to the Swordsman, and he blurts out that he didn't mean to help the Swordsman trap Captain America. Hawkeye gets the full lowdown on the trap set for Cap, and takes his findings back to Wanda and Pietro.

The man in question- Captain America- is meeting at the place he assumes Nick Fury wanted him at, but it's an abandoned warehouse, and from the rafters comes the Swordsman, who tells him it was all a trick to make him his captive! Once he's got Captain America held hostage, the Avengers will have to make him their leader, he figures. Cap flies into a rage, lashing out at the deceiver with his shield. While the rest of the team tracks Cap down via their Tracer Beam, the Swordsman gets behind the wheel of a tractor and brings down the house around Cap, who protects himself with his shield. But he is knocked out, and the Swordsman takes him to the roof, where he puts Cap out on a plank, threatening to push him off if the assembled Avengers don't make him their leader. As the team seriously considers the offer, Cap shouts out to them not to surrender, and then jumps off the plank, plummeting to the ground below....

(continued in Avengers #20.)

-- 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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