Episode 31: This Power Unleashed!

Writer: Stan Lee
Penciller: Don Heck
Inker: Frank Giacoia
Letterer: Sam Rosen

Plot Summary

As his teammates look on, Quicksilver works feverishly to restore Goliath to consciousness with his thermo-reviver discs. Unfortunately his efforts have little effect and the Avengers are forced to look for outside help. Their first options, Dr. Donald Blake, is unavailable (due to his duties as Thor, God of Thunder), so the Captain America suggests a former Army Medical Corps doctor, Major Carlson. After examining Goliath, Dr. Carlson proclaims that while he will recover, Goliath cannot change size again or else he may die from the strain. While the doctor is unsure of the permanency of this condition, he is certain of it’s immediate consequences. Being stuck in his oversized form drives Goliath into alternating rages and depressions and while Cap attempts to talk his friend down, he is unsuccessful. Having failed in his task, Cap asks Wasp to see if she can get through to her paramour, only to discover that Goliath has left.

In the Far East, Hu Chen addresses the Black Widow. After having betrayed her masters and being grievously wounded, Black Widow was taken back to those same masters. As punishment, Black Widow was brainwashed into compliance and now stands ready to return to America to destroy the Avengers. After arriving in country, Black Widow seeks out Swordsman, who has returned to his life as a circus performer. When offered the chance to take his vengeance on the Avengers, Swordsman immediate takes Black Widow up on her offer. The villains now leave to seek out the final member of their new alliance.

As Hawkeye stops by while Cap is in the middle of a workout, Cap informs his teammate that Black Widow is back in the country. Still madly in love with her, Hawkeye is overjoyed, but Cap warns that Black Widow has almost certainly been brainwashed. Unfortunately, because of his feelings towards her, Hawkeye can’t help but go find Black Widow, regardless of the risk involved. Although Cap lets Hawkeye go, he asks Wasp to follow him and report back if Hawkeye gets into trouble.

When he arrives at Black Widow’s Long Island mansion, Hawkeye discovers, much to his delight, that she has in fact returned. Hawkeye immediately begins to make romantic advances towards her, only to be turned away and informed they have company. To his shock, Hawkeye turns around to find Swordsman and Power Man standing in the doorway. When he incorrectly assumes that she is being held captive, Black Widow informs Hawkeye that she is not a captive and that the three of them intend to have their revenge on the Avengers. Although Hawkeye is torn between his love for Black Widow and his duty to his teammates, he decides to attack Swordsman and Power Man. His efforts are in vain and he is quickly disabled. After seeing this, Wasp tries to bring a warning to the rest of the Avengers. But instead of delivering her message Wasp must evade a swallow and when she returns to normal size in a tree, the branch gives way and she is knocked out.

Because the Avengers never received Wasp’s warning, Captain America is caught off guard by Swordsman and Power Man. Cap initially fights well but in the end he is unable to deal with the combined might and skill of his opponents and his knocked out and taken captive. When he wakes up, Cap finds himself in a dungeon. Thankfully the villains failed to check Cap thoroughly and he is able to use his hidden communicator to contact Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch who immediately mount a rescue. Before leaving however, the Maximoff siblings leave a message for Wasp so that she can follow when she returns to Avengers Mansion. Knowing that her own power wouldn’t be enough to turn the tide, she attempts to contact Goliath, hoping his sense of duty will override his current melancholy.

Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch arrive at Black Widow’s mansion and Quicksilver uses his super speed to quickly search the home for Cap. In mere moments, Quicksilver has located the team leader, only to be trapped in the dungeon along with Cap. Similarly, Scarlet Witch is attacked by Swordsman and taken captive.

As Black Widow begins to tell her allies about her master’s plan, Goliath smashes through a solid oak door, quickly engaging Swordsman and Power Man. The duo are almost immediately driven back and are forced to fight frantically just to keep Goliath at bay. Meanwhile, Wasp slips in the mansion and prevents Black Widow from turning the mansion’s technology against Goliath as well as freeing the rest of her Avengers’ teammates. In mere moments the Avengers have pushed their foes against a wall. The villainous duo are saved by the quick action of Black Widow who opens a hidden door behind them, allowing the trio to escape. While the attempt to make their escape, Hawkeye draws on the villains, but is unable to follow through due to his feelings towards Black Widow. Dejected, Hawkeye presents himself for rebuke by his teammates. Surprisingly, Captain America says that he has done nothing wrong, only acted to the best of his abilities. While the mood is lightened, Goliath still wanders off alone, struggling to deal with his affliction in spite of the team’s recent victory.

Avengers

Captain America
Goliath
Hawkeye
Quicksilver
Scarlet Witch
Wasp

Villains

Black Widow
Power Man
Swordsman

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Episode 24: The Road Back

Writer: Stan Lee
Penciller: Don Heck
Inker: Wally Wood
Letterer: Art Simek

Plot Summary

After the disastrous events of last issue, the Avengers struggle with what to do now that they have been disbanded as the result of a court order. While Captain America is convinced that Power Man couldn’t have managed such traps without help, the others seem unaffected, instead choosing that it’s time move on. Though Cap attempts to motivate his teammates, his methods are flawed and only serve to widen the existing divide that already exists. When Cap insults Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver escalates the situation by attacking Cap. Only when Hawkeye steps in to restrain Quicksilver does the fight end and the warring teammates part ways. With the others gone, Cap begins to wonder how things could have gone so wrong and how he will ever face the original Avengers again, given his unquestioned failure as team leader.

While Cap is off thinking things through, Hawkeye, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch all begin looking for jobs to sustain themselves with. While Hawkeye is turned down by the Ed Sullivan Show, Quicksilver is laughed out of an agent’s office and Scarlet Witch is dismissed out of hand at an audition. Unbeknownst to the Avengers, the Circus of Crime, recently released from prison, has become aware of their predicament and comes to offer employment. When the Avengers arrive to met their new colleagues, they are stunned to discover the Circus of Crime’s illicit intent. When they refuse to join in the Circus’ plans, Ringmaster tries to hypnotize Quicksilver. The mutant speedster is far too quick to fall into that particular trap and the Avengers spring to action against the rest of the Circus. As the heroes make short work of the would be criminals, Ringmaster decides to call the police, knowing that the Avengers had been forcibly disbanded, hoping that they would assume the team was breaking the court order. With the police on their heels, the three heroes make their escape with the help of a smoke arrow from Hawkeye.

Meanwhile, throughout the country, a heated debate rages as people both support and condemn the Avengers. Many wonder where the original members have gone to and why they haven’t come to retake their rightful place.

As for Power Man and Enchantress, they are enjoying the fruits of their labors and are beginning to explore the potential future of their partnership. Suddenly a knock at the door brings them back to reality and they are confronted by a man claiming to be a publicity agent. Realizing that with the Avengers gone, there is a vacancy for a super hero team, the publicity agent suggests that Power Man and Enchantress form a team. Both Enchantress and Power Man immediately jump at the idea and the press agent tells them that it’s the logical next step in his mind since he was the one who orchestrated the discrediting of the Avengers. Knowing that this man could have absolutely no connection with discrediting the Avengers, Power Man explains to him exactly how he and Enchantress were responsible, much to the displeasure of Enchantress. With that confession, the press agent reveals that he is none other than Captain America.

Now unmasked, Cap attempts to make a quick exit with the recording tape he had hidden within his briefcase, but not before tangling with Power Man for a bit. This time however, Cap is aware of the effects of Enchantress’ sorcery and ensures that he remains unaffected. Fighting at his full strength, Cap is able to fight off Power Man and make is way out to the roof of the building. Although he was initially beaten down by Cap, Power Man quickly recovers, catches up with, and overpowers Cap, carrying him back down to Enchantress. When he arrives though, Enchantress is on the floor and he finds himself face to face with one of Hawkeye’s arrows. Throwing Cap at Hawkeye, Power Man realizes that he must now face the entire Avengers lineup. Though he initially fares well, he quickly finds himself surrounded. Just as it appears that Enchantress will enter the fight, she decides to abandon Power Man. With his paramour gone, Power Man loses the will to keep fighting and surrenders.

Once the police and city council are provided with the recorded evidence, the Avengers have their names cleared and are permitted to return to duty. The city even holds a celebration in their honor. Just as things are getting back to normal though, Cap drops a bomb on the team; he is leaving the Avengers.

Avengers

Captain America
Hawkeye
Quicksilver
Scarlet Witch

Villains

Circus of Crime
Enchantress
Power Man