Episode 16: Even Avengers Can Die

Avengers #14

Writers: Stan Lee & Larry Lieber
Penciller: Don Heck
Inker: Chic Stone
Letterer: Sam Rosen
Layouts: Jack Kirby

Plot Summary

Picking up from the dramatic cliffhanger in Avengers #13, The Avengers are rushing a gravely injured Wasp to the hospital as fast as superhumanly possible. On their arrival, Wasp is taken to be examined while her teammates are forced to wait outside for news. As the reality of the situation begins to set in, Giant Man finds himself on the verge of breakdown, given his previously unacknowledged feelings for Wasp. When the doctor returns the situation does not improve. With a collapsed lung and the other one failing, Wasp is given only 48 hours to live. And though the doctor is unable to help he does mention Dr. Svenson, a specialist who might be able to help.

The Avengers quickly nominate Thor to travel to Norway and enlist the aid of Dr. Svenson. When Thor arrives however, Dr. Svenson is unwilling to leave his work. Thor however realizes that time is of the essence and forcibly takes Dr. Svenson back with him to New York. When the pair arrive, Svenson again begins to protest, but Giant Man can’t take it and assaults Svenson. Things go from bad to worse when it is discovered that the man Thor returned with is not Svenson, but an alien impersonator who dies almost immediately after being unmasked. Before he expired though, the alien admitted that the real Dr. Svenson is with the rest of the alien’s people, somewhere on Earth.

With this information The Avengers each use their skills and resources in an attempt to find the aliens. Though they are unable to locate the aliens, the heroes can deduce that they are located somewhere that is devoid of human life. This leaves only the North and South Poles. Quickly boarding a jet on loan from Tony Stark, The Avengers travel to a point equidistant from each pole, and use Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, to indicate which direction they should travel. Soon the team is headed north.

Upon reaching their destination, The Avengers begin digging in order to find where the aliens are hiding. As Iron Man uses his repulsors, the ground beneath The Avengers collapses and they fall down a massive hole beneath. The team manages to save themselves, only to be immediately attacked by the very aliens they seek. The heroes manage to drive off the first wave, and as they advance, discover an entire city hidden beneath the ice. While beginning to explore the city, The Avengers are caught unaware and stunned. The helpless supers are then brought before the alien leader, who tells them that the aliens are present on Earth because they are looking to rebuild their forces after being forced to retreat in an interplanetary war. The aliens are unable to breathe the oxygen available on Earth, and were only saved by the fortunate arrival of Dr. Svenson, who has been aiding the alien survivors ever since.

Unknown to the alien leader, Thor, being an Asgardian is less effected by the alien stun technology. After learning what he can, Thor springs into action and takes the leader hostage, demanding the aliens release The Avengers. After complying with Thor’s demand, the aliens renew their attack on The Avengers. The battle rages until Dr. Svenson himself intervenes in the situation. Svenson says that he has chosen to stay of his own free will and help the aliens.

Just as tensions begin to ease, the race that had defeated the aliens locates the aliens on Earth and makes their presense known by destroying a listening outpost. With this new threat added to the equation, the aliens now insist that  they must fight their pursuers here on Earth. Of course, this option is unacceptable to The Avengers and they vow that if the aliens must give fight on Earth, then they will be forced to fight The Avengers as well. Realizing that his people cannot successfully fight on two fronts, the alien leader asceeds to The Avengers demands and allows them to return to New York, along with Dr. Svenson, using a teleportation portal. Once the team is clear, the aliens begin their withdrawal from Earth.

Back in New York, Dr. Svenson quickly examines Wasp. Though he is unsure if he can help her or not, he says he will try and tells Giant Man to have faith. And as The Watcher journeys through the abandoned alien city, Dr. Svenson returns to   The Avengers, telling them that all is well; Wasp will be alright.

Avengers

Ant-Man
Captain America
Iron Man
Thor
Wasp

Villains

Unnamed Aliens

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