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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Episode 13: Spider-Man!

Avengers #11

Writer: Stan Lee
Penciller: Don Heck
Inker: Chic Stone
Letterer: Sam Rosen

Plot Summary

While hard at work in his lab, scientist and size changing superhero Hank Pym receives an urgent call from his teammates on The Avengers. Responding to the call, Pym begs for a little extra time before attending the meeting, but his pleas are rejected by fellow Avenger Thor. Upon completing the call, Pym turns around to find out his experiment has gone bad, much to his frustrations.

Once at the meeting, Thor informs the other members that one of their own, Iron Man, has gone missing. The Golden Avenger has presumably gone to track down the murder of his boss, Tony Stark. Captain America suggests The Avengers take a short break while Iron Man is gone, which is seconded by Rick Jones. Cap objects, noting that Rick does not actually have the standing required to participate. Quickly, Giant Man joins in, agreeing with Cap in principle, but instead suggesting that The Avengers may still be required and that they should instead grant Iron Man a leave of absence until his business is concluded.

Meanwhile, in the year 3000, Kang reveals that he has been carefully studying The Avengers. Having observed their recent fight against Wonder Man, Kang concludes that The Masters of Evil were on the right track, but lost because Wonder Man wasn’t completely loyal. Kang instead decides to create a robot capable of defeating The Avengers. Though he is tempted to just duplicate all of the numerous villains in existence, he instead opts for a single duplicate of Spider-Man.

After he successfully creates his loyal duplicate, Kang sends him back in time to a place where he has set a trap for Captain America. As Cap is assaulted by various thugs, Spider-Man steps in and neatly webs up all of Cap’s attackers. Spider-Man then proceeds to inform Cap of his desire to join The Avengers. Having learned from their previous encounter with Wonder Man, Cap is reluctant to allow Spider-Man to join, and informs him that the whole team must vote on such a matter. In order to facilitate this, Cap returns to Avengers Mansion with Spider-Man so that he can plead his case to the assembled heroes.

Spider-Man finds his reception less than welcoming and so quickly decides to depart. However, as he is leaving, he lets slip that he knows where to find Iron Man and that until this point, he had been willing to help The Avengers locate their friend. The team is understandably angered by Spider-Man’s flippant response, but are able to convince him to provide more details and The Avengers are quickly on their way to South America.

Traveling separately, Ant-Man and Wasp are the first to arrive at the Aztec temple that Spider-Man described. Shortly after entering the temple’s interior, the pair are ambushed by none other than Spider-Man. Though they manage to escape initially, Spider-Man is soon able to disable both heroes, and lies in wait for the next Avenger to arrive, Thor. The God of Thunder is able to hold his own, however Spider-Man webs up both Thor and his hammer, Mjolnir. With the pair separated for greater than 60 seconds, Thor is transformed back into Donald Blake. Finally Captain America arrives. While even Spider-Man recognizes that he is no match for Cap, he is able to momentarily distract him, which is all he needs to hurl Cap from the top of the temple.

All the while Kang is watching from the year 3000. Everything is going according to plan until Kang notices that Captain America has fallen safely into a net made out of Spider-Man’s webbing. Confused by the actions of his robot, Kang orders the robot to contact him immediately. Although he attempts to do so, Kang’s robot Spider-Man is confronted by the real Spider-Man who has been following the impersonator ever since he showed up. Immediately a fight ensues between two equally powered combatants. Of course, because he has far more experience with is powers, the real Spider-Man manages to triumph over his robot imposter. As The Avengers muster once again, Captain America informs the rest of the team of what has transpired and that the real Spider-Man was good all along. Finally, a defeated Kang quietly hangs his head in disappointment and walks away from his computer monitor.

Avengers

Ant-Man
Captain America
Thor
Wasp

Villains

Kang