> Avengers Masterworks Volume 2

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"(I hear you) loud and clear, feather-brain! And get your finger out of my face before you lose it!”

-- Captain America, to Hawkeye, page 9

Very nice Don Heck panel showing Quicksilver racing a high hard shaft from Hawkeye.

(Click panels for larger images.)


Avengers #20
September 1965 • 20 pages

Script: Stan Lee • Letters: Artie Simek
Pencils: Don Heck • Inks: Wally Wood

Lineup: Captain America • Hawkeye • Quicksilver • Scarlet Witch

Title: “Vengeance Is Ours!”

Villains: Swordsman, Mandarin

Innovation: Swordsman's broadsword gets a power upgrade from the Mandarin

Gadgets & Technology: Matter Recreator

Letters Page: Page One • Page Two

House Ad: Page One

Synopsis: (continued from Avengers #19.)

As Cap falls to his seeming doom, the Avengers put a plan into action: first, Quicksilver races in a tight circle, creating a vortex that breaks Cap's fall; next, Hawkeye fires a precision arrow that breaks Cap's bonds; finally, the Scarlet Witch casts a hex spell that causes rivets to pop loose from a girder, sending it down so that Cap can land on top of it, safe and sound. The team then gangs up on the Swordsman, who tries to fight them off with his sword, but to no avail. He is surrounded by all four Avengers, but then he slowly begins to disappear. The Swordsman doesn't appear to know how this is happening, but he pops out of existence.

Hawkeye starts pummeling Cap with the idea that it's his fault they let the Swordsman get away, and they begin to bicker about leadership of the Avengers once again. The Swordsman winds up transported to the palatial halls of the Mandarin. The far eastern villain with the many power rings tells the Swordsman that he wants him to join the Avengers so that he can smash his foe- the Invincible Iron Man- from the inside. To that end, he offers to increase the power of the Swordsman's sword a hundred fold. The Swordsman doesn't react well and challenges the Mandarin, but the superior villain knocks him down with a stun ray from his ring, telling the Swordsman he is now his master.

Captain America takes his teammates to task for the public squabbling about his leadership. The question arises as to who would make the best leader, and Hawkeye is challenged by Quicksilver to prove his strength. Hawkeye claims the speedster can't outrun one of his arrows; Pietro takes him up on the bet, and sure enough, Quicksilver races past the arrow in time to rip a date page off a calendar hanging on the wall before the arrow can strike it.

Back at the Mandarin's lair, the Swordsman realizes he must be practical and go along with the Mandarin, at least as long as he's unable to strike back at him. He agrees to help "Mandy." The Mandarin upgrades the power of his sword, adding buttons that trigger powers of lightning and other energy blasts to the arsenal. He then tells the Swordsman he will go back to the Avengers and join the team, and to help set this up, he uses his Matter Recreater to conjure up the false image of Iron Man. The false image goes to the Avengers HQ and speaks directly to Cap and the team, appealing to them to add the Swordsman to the team roster. Despite their misgivings, Captain America agrees to draft the Swordsman into the team- he is now a full-fledged Avenger. Hawkeye and the others are very doubtful he can add anything to the team, but Cap shows him around the building. A few things about the Swordsman's attitude spark a suspicion in even Cap, though.

Later that night, after everyone has kept a watchful eye on the Swordsman throughout the day, the Mandarin sends a Projecto-Image of himself to wake the Swordsman from his sleep. He tells his infiltrating agent that the time is now to set the bomb that will destroy the mansion and all those within it. The Swordsman wants to argue with him, but the Mandarin disappears; he thought the plot would only involve Iron Man, but now he sees that his destiny is to kill all the Avengers, even the beautiful Scarlet Witch! He decides to undo the plan, to go to where he set the bomb and destroy it before it can explode. But while he's unfastening the bomb he had previously planted, the Avengers surprise him by attacking.

The Swordsman is unable to explain what is going on while the Avengers take care of the double-agent. They press an attack on him while he tries to escape. He finally makes it outside, carrying the bomb with him, where it explodes without hurting anyone. The Swordsman escapes, knowing full well that both the Avengers and the Mandarin will be after him. And the Mandarin realizes his plan failed, and he vows never to take a partner ever again!

-- 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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