> Avengers Masterworks Volume 4

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Above us! Someone in a crazy costume! Hank! If I didn't know better, I'd think he's using a laser ray!

-- Bill Foster, page 10

Cool! They found time to emblazon the meeting table with a big "A!"

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Avengers #34
November 1966 20 pages

Script: Stan Lee Letters: Artie Simek
Pencils: Don Heck Inks: Don Heck

Lineup: Captain America Goliath Hawkeye Wasp

Inactive Status: Quicksilver Scarlet Witch

Title: "The Living Laser!

Villain/Origin: The Living Laser/Arthur Parks

First Appearance: Living Laser/Arthur Parks, Lucy Barton

Guest Appearance: Bill Foster, Lucy Barton

Letters Page: Page One Page Two

House Ad: Page One

Synopsis: Late at night, a costumed super-villain is breaking into a safe in a bank, using the power of incredible lasers fitted onto gauntlets he wears on his hands. When the police arrive to stop him, they find him gone and a precision-cut hole in the ceiling where the man escaped from. From the rooftops, the villain tosses the cash back down, claiming he didn't want the money, only to prove his power.

While the Avengers discuss taking a breather from active duty, the cops call them in to investigate the bank robbery. They doubt the need to check it out, until they get there and find the damage, suspecting only someone of immense power could have done this kind of robbery. While there, Janet bumps into a friend of hers named Lucy Barton, who's future father-in-law is president of the bank. Lucy complains that she has a fellow stalking her named Arthur Parks, and when Jan looks over at him, he suddenly falls madly in love with her, forgetting all about Lucy Barton. Believing it is love at first sight, Parks is determined to win the love of Janet Van Dyne, and decides he must do it as his alter ego- the Living Laser!

Goliath and the Wasp head home later that night after saying goodbye to their Avengers teammates, though unbeknownst to them, the Living Laser is right behind them! Goliath walks into his lab to see Bill Foster has returned to work with him. As they compare notes on the next step in restoring Goliath to his proper height, the Living Laser fires a laser beam into the laboratory through the ceiling! Goliath delays his attack so Bill Foster can get away, but whatever he uses as a shield, the Living Laser is able to cut right through. Goliath decides to try and fake running away into the woods, and just as he gets clear of the Laser, he throws a wooden stick at high speed that catches his cape to a tree, then throws up a big handful of sand to confuse him. Once the Living Laser is finally subdued, the Avengers have arrived, at the urgent call of Bill Foster.

They load the Living Laser up in their jet and fly him back to their HQ, but with his lasers still active, he cuts his way out of the aircraft and flies away. As if the indignity of losing their prisoner wasn't bad, they jet starts to lose altitude from the hole in it, and Cap and Hawkeye are forced to bail out!

The Living Laser returns to his laboratory and decides the next time he has Goliath in his sights, he will not brag! He will not spar or toy with him! He will only kill! To that end, he improves the deadly capacity of his laser beams, enlarging its diameter for more power. He then goes on a rampage to dfraw the Avengers out after him, destroying buildings, airplanes and ships, to prove his total power over the laser! Hawkeye and Cap cruise around the city looking for him. When they manage to locate him taking potshots at traffic crossing the bridge, they bust into his lab, catching him dead to rights, they think. But the Living Laser has drawn them into his trap, locking them down inside a cage of laser beams.

Meanwhile, the Wasp tries to help get them out, but the Living Laser turns on a vacuum that sucks her into a jar in which knockout gas pours in, making her the captive of the Living Laser. Before he leaves with her in his grip, he turns his laser beams in such a way that they slowly merge towards Hawkeye and Cap, bringing them closer and closer to contact with the Avengers....

(continued in AVENGERS #35)

--synopsis and panel images by Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
Avengers #31-40

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.

AVG #31 AVG #32 AVG #33 AVG #34 AVG #35
AVG #36 AVG #37 AVG #38 AVG #39 AVG #40


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

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