The Avengers Break Up

Episode 11

Writer: Stan Lee
Penciller: Don Heck
Inker: Dick Ayers
Letterer: Sam Rosen

Plot Summary

Like any good team of heroes, The Avengers begin this issue with a training exercise. Captain America attempts to evade is fellow Avengers while the remaining members work together in an effort to capture him. Although Cap manages to set a new record, he is disappointed in his inability to last a full minute. After having completed their vigorous workout, our heroes settle down to conduct their weekly meeting.

Chairman Thor initially recognizes Giant Man who immediately yields to Iron Man. The Golden Avenger proposes that The Avengers finally make Rick’s membership on the team official. Upon hearing this, Cap objects on the basis that only he is permitted to determine Rick’s fate with the team. With support from other Avengers, Cap puts the motion to rest and the meeting continues. At it’s conclusion, Cap is confronted by Rick, who overheard the discussion. Cap tells Rick that he must think on things further and that they will talk about things later.

Off in the South American jungle, The Masters of Evil are having a meeting of their own. As the villainous team struggles to develop a new plan to defeat The Avengers, Enchantress senses a power mental probe. Without further warning, Immortus, the ruler of Limbo, appears before the assembled Masters. Immortus offers to join The Masters in order to further his own purposes. In the process, however, Immortus manages to insult Zemo and Executioner and Executioner attacks. Choosing to disappear, rather than fight, Immortus sends Paul Bunyon to fight in his stead. Executioner is only saved by Zemo’s pleads that the battle will destroy his castle. Having demonstrated his power, Zemo now demands that Immortus demonstrate his loyalty by destroying one of The Avengers. The Ruler of Limbo readily agrees and sets out to enact his master plan.

After leaving Captain America, Rick Jones sets out for the Teen Brigade. While meeting with his companions, one of them shows Rick a comic book ad for super powers. Rick is immediately interested, seeing the promised powers as a means of finally joining The Avengers. Rick is so impatient to get the powers that he doesn’t bother with mailing in the coupon and instead heads directly for the company’s headquarters. When he arrives, he is instead greeted by Immortus and Attila the Hun, who Immortus has borrowed from history. The pair quickly capture Rick and send him to The Tower of London in 1760 for safe keeping.

Having spent some time thinking, Cap sets out to find Rick so that they can have their promised talk. When Cap is unable to find Rick he contacts Rick’s friends at the Teen Brigade who inform him that Rick was looking into the comic book ad. Upon reading the ad, Cap immediately realizes that there is something very wrong and makes his way to find Rick. On his arrival Cap finds Immortus waiting. Immortus informs Captain America that Rick is unharmed and that the whole thing was set up by his fellow Avengers who seek to control Cap through Rick. Cap is enraged by Immortus’ revelation and immediately returns to Avengers Mansion to confront his teammates.

His fellow Avengers are stunned and confused when Cap returns and begins to attack them. Eventually the team agrees to accompany Cap back to Immortus to get some answers. When they arrive, Immortus reveals that it was all a ruse and that The Avengers must each fight a champion, drawn from all of history and specifically chosen for their ability to defeat one particular Avenger. Giant Man is forced to face Goliath, Iron Man must defeat Merlin and finally Thor overcomes Hercules. After watching 3 of his champions suffer defeats, Immortus decides to cut his losses and pulls Captain America into the past with him and offers him a deal. If Cap can defeat all the guards in The Tower and rescue Rick, then Immortus will return the pair to their rightful time.

With Cap gone, the remaining Avengers return to the mansion to contemplate the loss of teammate. Unbeknownst to The Avengers, The Masters of Evil have been observing the whole ordeal and determine that now is the time to strike, while The Avengers are a man down. Breaking into the mansion, The Masters very nearly triumph over The Avengers and the team is only saved by the timely arrival of Captain America. Having rescued Rick, Immortus fulfills his end of the agreement and returns Rick and Cap just in time to save The Avengers. Outmanned and outclassed, The Masters are forced to retreat and Enchantress takes the drastic step of transporting The Masters back in time, to a point before the arrival of Immortus. Armed with the knowledge of future events, The Masters are quickly able to avoid contact with Immortus and prevent their defeat, yet again. The issue closes with The Masters of Evil musing on what might have been, while The Avengers are just sitting down to their weekly meeting.

Avengers

Ant-Man
Captain America
Iron ManThor
Wasp

Villains

Masters of Evil
Baron Zemo
Enchantress
Executioner
Immortus

The Coming Of The…Wonder Man

Episode 10

Writer: Stan Lee
Penciller: Don Heck
Inker: Dick Ayers
Letterer: Art Simek

Plot Summary

We find The Avengers in the midst of an epic battle with Baron Zemo! Unfortunately, this battle is only in the mind of Captain America, and his fellow Avengers remind Cap that he is dwelling on Zemo far too much. Meanwhile, Zemo and his Masters of Evil are contemplating their fate while they continue to travel through various dimensions, still stuck in Thor’s Space Warp. As tensions rise, Enchantress uses all her available powers and manages to return The Masters to Zemo’s hidden jungle fortress. Upon arriving, Zemo reveals his newest plan to destroy The Avengers.

Several weeks later we find Enchantress in Manhattan, bailing out businessman Simon Williams. Williams is charged with embezzling money from his company to prevent a personal bankruptcy. His troubles stem from the fact that Tony Stark’s inventions have made his company’s products worthless. Because of this Williams blames Stark, and Enchantress is more than willing to help Williams achieve his revenge.

Enchantress takes Williams to Zemo’s secret fortress to undergo a series of radical experiments. As a result, Williams is turned into the Wonder Man and is granted incredible strength and invulnerability, though the cost is high. After demonstrating his new skills for the assembled Masters of Evil, Wonder Man is horrified to find out that the same experiment that gave him his powers will kill him within a week unless he is supplied with a treatment from Zemo. Thus, Wonder Man is completely at the mercy of The Masters of Evil.

After a few days The Avengers respond to a bank robbery in progress find themselves face to face with The Masters of Evil. Shortly after engaging in battle however, The Avengers find themselves being aided by a costumed hero who makes quick work of The Masters. Quick introductions are made, and Wonder Man expresses his interest in joining The Avengers, an idea which most of the team jumps on. Captain America is skeptical, a feeling which is only magnified when he discovers that Wonder Man owes his amazing powers to the work of Baron Zemo. Only a quickly enacted spell by Enchantress manages to placate Cap.

Thanks to the effects of Enchantress’ spell, The Avengers all begin to investigate ways in which they can save Wonder Man from his impending death. Despite all of their combined knowledge The Avengers fail to find a cure for Wonder Man’s condition.

As the week draws to a close, Wonder Man and Wasp journey to South America where Wonder Man shows his true colors, betraying Wasp to imprisonment by Zemo. To further The Masters’ plans, Wonder Man then uses a radio to call the remaining Avengers, requesting a rescue for himself and Wasp. All of the Avengers quickly make their way to Zemo’s jungle fortress.

Upon their arrival, The Avengers make early gains against The Masters of Evil, but the tide quickly turns once Wonder Man makes his loyalties known by attacking The Avengers. In quick succession Thor, Giant Man and Captain America are all subdued by Wonder Man. Iron Man nearly frees Thor from his imprisonment in a boulder covered pit, but Enchantress places him under a spell, ending all hope for The Avengers.

Things begin to look even more grim and Zemo orders Wonder Man to bring Wasp so that the Masters can execute the heroes once and for all. For Wonder Man, this is a bridge too far and he refuses to kill defenseless people. Wonder Man disrupts Zemo’s preparations and manages to free Thor before Executioner engages him. With the remaining Avengers quickly recovering, The Masters realize that they are no match for The Avengers plus Wonder Man and they flee. Zemo has one final trick up his sleeve though, collapsing the cave behind himself. Only the actions of Giant Man and Wasp prevent Iron Man and Captain America from being crushed beneath the falling rock.

As the team regroups to reflect on what has just happens, they become aware that time has run out for Wonder Man. As he dies, The Avengers lament the fact that they didn’t have more time in which to help save Wonder Man and reflect on the actions of a complex, but ultimately noble man.

Avengers

Ant-Man
Captain America
Iron Man
Thor
Wasp

Villains

Masters of Evil
Baron Zemo
Enchantress
Executioner
Wonder Man