> Avengers Masterworks Volume 3

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Quicksilver's already out of sight! Man! If I had his speed, I sure wouldn't need as many arrows!”

-- Hawkeye, page 10

They should do a "Best of Cap Quits Stuff" TPB.

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Avengers #22
November 1965 • 20 pages

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

Lineup: Captain America • Hawkeye • Quicksilver • Scarlet Witch

Title: "The Road Back”

Villain: Enchantress, Power Man, Circus of Crime: Ringmaster, Princess Python, the Clown, Cannonball, Flying Gambonnos

Cameo: Iron Man, Thor, Giant-Man, Awesome Android

Letters Page: Page One • Page Two

House Ad: Page One

Synopsis: (continued from AVENGERS #21) The Avengers meet to discuss their recent downturn in fortunes. Cap is almost frantic wondering how Power Man successfully framed them for a series of crimes and embarrassments. Hawkeye suggests they disband, and the Maximoff siblings concur. Cap calls them a bunch of quitters, and Quicksilver lashes out at him. Hawkeye steps in to break up the fight, but there can be no patching together the rift: the Avengers all go their seperate ways. Cap walks off, sulking that the team he was entrusted with caring for has dissolved on his watch.

Hawkeye, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch each try to find employment in the entertainment world, but no agents will hire them due to their bad names. But one group of entertainers is plotting to "hire" them, and it is the Ringmaster and his Circus of Crime. Fresh out of jail after serving time for their last crime (see ASM #22), their new plan is to hire the discredited Avengers to help them bring in new crowds of people to see their circus...and then rob them! When he greets the three newest Avengers, he tells them of his plan. The righteous heroes flat reject the idea of using their powers for crime, so the Ringmaster tries to hypnotize them all to do his bidding. But Quicksilver is too fast for him, and he knocks him off balance. The Clown tries to help out, but Scarlet Witch uses her hex powers to foil his plan, while Princess Python attacks Wanda from behind. Hawkeye unleashes an ear-splitting soundwave arrow that disorients his opponents. While the Avengers tussle with the bad circus performers, Ringmaster comes running in with the police, telling them that the Avengers had shown up to rob his circus. The threesome is once again caught at odds, and after lobbing a smoke screen arrow at the cops, Hawkeye suggests they all run away.

The news headlines scream about a "Statewide Manhunt" for the rogue Avengers. While Power Man exults in their victory by hitting on the lovely Enchantress (to no avail, by the way), a knock is heard at the door. Power Man answers, and in pours a hefty, balding agent puffing on a cigar, and he sets about trying to convince Power Man and the Enchantress to become his clients. The man says since the Avengers are gone, somebody needs to replace them, and he's picked the two of them; in fact, the man claims that he was responsible for breaking up the Avengers in the first place! Power Man abruptly disagrees with the man's claim, saying that he and the Enchantress were the clever ones scheming for their breakup. Power Man is suspicious of the man and grabs his briefcase, from which comes tumbling a large tape recorder. Next, the man slips out of his costume and mask to reveal it is Captain America! And Power Man's confession is all caught on tape!

A fight breaks out after Cap recovers the tape, and he begins to pummel on Power Man in a big rematch. Their fights spills up onto the roof, with both men exchanging blow after blow until finally Power Man triumphs again, knocking out Cap. As he reenters the building, Hawkeye takes Power Man by surprise. Power Man tosses Cap at him and tries to gain the advantage, but Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye are too much for him, and when Cap reenters the fray, that's all she wrote. The Enchantress declares that she has picked the wrong man for the job, and deserts Power Man by teleporting away.

Sinking into depression after the rejection from the Enchantress, Power Man surrenders. He admits to the police everything that had happened, and with his words and the tape proving the Avengers were not up to no good, the mayor reinstates their good names. Just as the Avengers are ready to become a team once again, Captain America delivers a shocking statement: tired of putting up with their bad attitudes, he quits the team!

--synopsis by Gormuu

--panel images provided by Avengers Assemble

Issues Reprinted
Avengers #21-30

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.

AVG #21 AVG #22 AVG #23 AVG #24 AVG #25
AVG #26 AVG #27 AVG #28 AVG #29 AVG #30


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

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