Let The Game Begin

Avengers #69

Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Sal Buscema
Inker: Sam Grainger
Letterer: Art Simek

Featured Issue: Avengers #69

Plot Summary

Making their way though a Manhattan hospital, the Avengers seek out the room of their ally, Tony Stark. Having been injured battling a Life Model Decoy that attempted to take his place, Iron Man teeters on the brink of death as the Avengers arrive. In hopes of helping their friend, the Thor rushes the best specialist available, Dr. Santini, to the hospital. As the doctor evaluates Mr. Stark, Wasp notices an odd looking figurine hidden beneath the dresser. After a brief investigation, Wasp throws the figure into the garbage can, causing it to grow and allowing it to climb out of the can. The figure then attacks the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents guarding Stark, growing yet again after being shot by the agents. The figure, soon identified as the Growing Man breaks into Stark’s room, kidnapping the industrialist.

The Avengers attack that followed only makes things worse, as it allows the Growing Man to dramatically increase in size. Goliath attempts to pursue but is unable to match Growing Man’s size while also being able to fight and Growing Man is able to escape with Stark. Fortunately for the Avengers, they manage to hitch a ride in the same transportation beam that Growing Man used, pursuing their foe wherever he may go.

Thrust through time and space the Avengers are stunned to find themselves delivered to the feet of their time traveling foe, Kang the Conqueror. When the Avengers refuse to serve Kang, his minions attack, but are quickly defeated. Just as the Avengers are about to turn on Kang himself, they are called to reason by a surprising individual, Black Panther. The Panther informs his teammates that Kang drew him from the past before them and implores Kang to explain his actions and the Avengers to listen.

Heeding Black Panther’s advice, Kang tells the Avengers that in his search for a way to bring back  Ravonna, he was approached by a cosmic being calling himself the Grandmaster. This strange creature offers Kang the power over life and death if he should win in a contest of Grandmaster’s design. Should he lose however, Grandmaster would send the Earth into oblivion. Knowing how powerful the Avengers are, Kang drew them to his future in order that they may serve as his champions, not to just save Ravonna, but also to prevent Grandmaster from wiping out Earth. Faced with this new information, the Avengers agree to help Kang. With the return of Grandmaster, Thor, Goliath and Captain America are transported back to Earth and their own time where they come face to face with the champions of the Grandmaster, the Squadron Sinister.

Avengers

Black Panther
Captain America
Goliath
Thor
Vision
Wasp
Yellowjacket

Villains

Growing Man
Kang the Conqueror
Grandmaster

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And We Battle For The Earth

Avengers #68

Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Sal Buscema
Inker: Sam Grainger
Letterer: Sam Rosen

Featured Issue: Avengers #68

Plot Summary

With the fate of New York hanging in the balance, there is nothing the Avengers can do to stop Ultron. Pulling the lever, Ultron seals the fate of the city…until nothing happens. As Ultron attempts to determine the cause of this malfunction, the Avengers break into the control room to confront the android. Using his ionic force ability, Ultron flees the scene and the Avengers are left to confront their wayward teammate, Vision. Just before collapsing, Vision tells the Avengers that he is responsible for the failure of Ultron’s scheme.

The Avengers rush their former teammate back to the mansion in hopes of saving his life. As they treat his wounds, the Avengers also use a mind probe in order to determine how Vision was able to manipulate the adamantium in order to create Ultron’s new body. The feat was accomplished using a molecular re-arranger, which S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists confirmed was stolen at the same time as the adamantium. Based on this new information, Yellowjacket develops a new plan and contacts Black Panther in order to acquire a sizeable quantity of vibranium which he happily provides.

Elsewhere, Ultron is contemplating his next move. Deciding that if he had more adamantium he could build an entire army of indestructible robots, Ultron intends to capture Dr. MacClain, the creator of the alloy. Fortunate for Ultron, the doctor is about to speak at the U.N., in the company of the Avengers. In the middle of Dr. MacClain’s speech, the he is interrupted by Ultron smashing his way through the floor below the podium. Introducing himself as Ultimate Ultron and wielding new skeletal legs, Ultron quickly puts down the guards that attempt to rescue the doctor. The Avengers also intervene in order to save MacClain, but in spite of an early leg up, they are unable to stop the rampaging android.

Once he has laid claim to Dr. MacClain, Ultron reveals a mind draining device from his chest and begins to strip the adamantium information out of the doctor’s head. Unfortunately for Ultron, something goes horrible wrong and he begins to writhe in agony. Unable to continue, Ultron vows to take New York with him as he begins a self-destruct. The Avengers jump into action and using the vibranium provided by Black Panther, they trap Ultron behind an impenetrable shield, containing the blast and saving the city. In the end, Dr. MacClain reveals that he is actually Hank Pym in disguise, having been hypnotized by Wasp to have a single thought in his mind, “Thou shalt not kill”. Ultron was unable to process this concept and decided that his destruction was the only answer.

Avengers

Black Panther
Goliath
Iron Man
Thor
Vision
Wasp
Yellowjacket

Villains

Ultron