The Valiant Also Die

Avengers #44

Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: John Buscema
Inker: Vince Colletta
Letterer: Sam Rosen

Featured Issue: Avengers #44

Plot Summary

After Red Guardian destroys Hawkeye’s world with the revelation the he is Black Widow’s husband, Red Guardian takes a few moments to mock Hawkeye in order to further to crush his spirit. As all of this is happening, Hercules, the Scion of Olympus is still trapped within the Psychotron, fighting for his life against nightmare versions of his great works. Meanwhile, Colonel Ling and General Brushov discuss how they might use the Psychotron to conquer the Western powers. When the other Avengers arrive at the hidden communist base, they are immediate attacked by the troops stationed there, and when Captain America is separated from his teammates, he quickly confronts Red Guardian. Although Red Guardian initially takes the initiave, Cap makes a comeback and is only defeated when he is stunned from behind. Just as he begins to protest, Red Guardian, along with his handlers are knocked down as Hercules breaks out of the Psychotron. As the base is consumed by fire, Red Guardian sacrifices himself in order to save Captain America. The issue ends with a recovering Black Widow telling Hawkeye the truth about her past with Red Guardian and how it led to her becoming Black Widow.

Avengers

Captain America
Goliath
Hawkeye
Hercules
Quicksilver
Scarlet Witch
Wasp

Villains

Colonel Ling
General Brushov
Red Guardian

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Color Him…The Red Guardian

Avengers #46

Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: John Buscema
Inker: George Bell
Letterer: Jerry Man

Featured Issue: Avengers #43

Plot Summary

As Quicksilver demonstrates a newly discovered ability, Captain America and Hercules finally meet. Although both men attempt to gain the measure of one another, they eventually come to a pleasant understanding. Meanwhile, a lawyer arrives to inform Wasp that she has come into the inheritance from her late father, making her exceedingly wealthy. Unfortunately, things are not as rosy for Hawkeye as he searches for information about the location of Black Widow. Hawkeye is eventually successful and the bowman drafts Hercules to aid him in his efforts. Behind the Bamboo Curtain, Black Widow’s captors introduce their latest creation, the Red Guardian, a communist counterpart to Captain America. When Hawkeye and Hercules arrive at the secret communist base, they make short work of the henchmen lying in wait, but soon the pair face off against the Red Guardian. With Hawkeye quickly out of the picture, Red Guardian tricks Hercules into entering the dreaded Psychotron, where he is forced to unsuccessfully relive the fights against his greatest foes. Red Guardian’s minor detour allowed Hawkeye enough time to rejoin the fight, but he is unfortunately no match for the communist stooge. After falling before his foe, Hawkeye is captured and adding insult to injury, the Red Guardian is revealed to be the husband of Hawkeye’s love, Black Widow.

Avengers

Captain America
Goliath
Hawkeye
Hercules
Quicksilver
Scarlet Witch
Wasp

Villains

Colonel Ling
General Brushov
Red Guardian