Writer: Roy Thomas Penciller: Don Heck Inker: George Bell Letterer: Sam Rosen
Featured Issue: Avengers #40
Upon returning to Avengers Mansion after defeating the Mad Thinker, the Avengers take some time to clean up after their recent battle. Elsewhere in Arizona, Black Widow makes her escape from a secret military base for her return to her old masters. Deep beneath the sea, Namor, the Sub-Mariner, demonstrates his martial strength and right to rule over Atlantis by competing in the gladiatorial arena. Namor’s revelry is interrupted by the arrival of an American submarine which attempts to blast its way through nearby coral with torpedoes. After dispatching this intruder, Namor sets out for the submarine’s home port in order to destroy any other that may threaten his kingdom. Meanwhile, the Avengers receive a message from Captain America asking the Avengers to help him by searching for the Cosmic Cube. While on their way to search for the Cube, the Avengers see Namor attacking the submarine base and stop to aid in its defense. Hercules inadvertently informs Namor of their mission, and Namor is able to quickly recover the Cube. With the Cosmic Cube enhancing his powers, Namor summons a creature to fight the Avengers, while Namor himself deals with Hercules. Although Hercules is overpowered, Namor decides to give Hercules a more fair fight during which Wasp is able to separate Namor from the Cosmic Cube. With his enhanced powers gone, Namor returns to his aquatic realm. In the end, Mole Man discovers the Cosmic Cube, but discards it, failing to understand its power and bemoaning his desperate need of powerful weapons.
Writer: Stan Lee Penciller: Jack Kirby Inker: George Roussos Letterer: Art Simek
Picking up in the last few panels of issue #3, Prince Namor, The Sub-Mariner, flees from his recent fight with the Avengers. Eventually making his way to an Eskimo village, Namor finds the locals worshiping a human figure frozen in ice. Namor decides to take out his frustrations on the locals and in the resulting tantrum, the ice figure is flung into the water. As the frozen figure moves down the Gulf Stream, it is eventually thawed and discovered by the Avengers, who are returning home in their jet powered bathyscaph. Pulling the figure inside, they quickly discover that he is in fact Captain America. Thought dead since the end of the Second World War, the team is even more astonished to find that their guest is still alive. Cap wakes up in the middle of a flashback, screaming for his former teen aged sidekick, Bucky. He quickly settles down however, accepting the fact that he failed to save Bucky, and the Avengers begin to interrogating him. After a brief display of his prowess, the team accepts that he is in fact that real Cap and inquire as to how he came to be frozen for all these years. Cap proceeds to explain, via flashback, that he and Bucky were attempting to stop a drone weapon when it detonated, killing Bucky. The Avengers finally return to New York to much fanfare, but the gathering is quickly cut short when the Avengers are turned to stone by some unknown force. Captain America, who was resting at the time of their arrival, exits the bathyscaph and only finds Avengers statues. After wandering around Manhattan for a bit, Cap finds a hotel and settles down to get some much needed sleep. However, much to his horror Cap is awoken by a figure bearing a striking resemblance to Bucky, that of Rick Jones. After having learned of their arrival, Rick discovers that something has happened to the Avengers and searches out Cap to find out what. Overcoming his initial shock, Cap quickly takes action and begins investigating the strange occurrence. With the help of the ever ready Teen Brigade, Cap locates the individual responsible and a short struggle ensues. To his surprise, Cap discovers that the man is in fact an alien who crashed on earth hundreds of years ago. The visitor tells Cap that he has been seeking help for all this time and reveals that he may, in part, be responsible for the ancient myth of Medusa. Cap finally discovers that Namor made a deal with the alien to get rid of the Avengers in exchange for Namor freeing the alien’s crashed ship. The alien agrees to restore the Avengers in exchange for their help in freeing his ship, which they promptly agree to do. Namor, meanwhile, has run into a group of loyal Atlantean guards who join him in attacking the Avengers while they complete their work. The fight goes back and forth several times until Namor takes Rick Jones hostage, at which point Cap, who has been carefully studying the situation, springs to action. Just as Cap and Namor begin to grapple, the island erupts. Namor believes the sea has granted him a boon in the form of an undersea earthquake and quickly flees from its devastation, assuming the Avengers to be destroyed. Unfortunately for Namor, he is incorrect and the “earthquake” is actually the launch of the alien space craft and the avengers have survived. The issue ends with the team offering Captain America membership on the team, which he gladly accepts.