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Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (pencils), Artie Simek (letters)
Thor manages to create a diversion for the Masters of Evil, and manages to transport himself, the other Avengers and both the Melter and the Black Knight to another, empty dimension, where they defeat and capture them. Unfortunately, the Executioner and Enchantress manage to escape. Later at Avengers Mansion, Thor leaves to return to Asgard, and Iron Man, Giant-Man and the Wasp feel tired. Janet suggests they take a vacation, which they all agree to have. But, Tony first wants to find proper replacements for the team, should they be needed. Hawkeye breaks into the Mansion and, after demonstrating his powers, is allowed onto the team and introduced to the press. In the next few days, former evil mutants Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch read that the Avengers need replacements, and decide to go volunteer. After arriving at the Mansion and having witnessed their powers and potential, Iron Man feels they’ll make good additions and allows them to join. Later, Captain America and Rick finally return to the Avengers after their heavy battle with Baron Zemo, and are surprised to hear that the old Avengers are leaving to build a new one. While the others leave, Cap stays, and he and the other new members go properly introduce themselves to the public, hoping that they’ll have what it takes to bring down their enemies.
The Avengers have a shot at taking down the Masters of Evil, but unfortunately luck is at the villain’s side, as there are a lot of innocent bystanders who might get hurt in the process. Despite that, Hank wants to take the chance, but Iron Man won’t let him. Thor agrees, and wishes that, at moments like this, he had Odin’s wisdom to guide him. The Masters of Evil laugh in triumph, and order the Avengers to let them go, or else they’ll hurt the fleeing citizens.
Enchantress and Executioner want to take the Avengers down now, since they are aware that Captain America isn’t with them, and their strength isn’t complete. Melter decides to give the heroes a demonstration of his powers, so they know they aren’t messing around. He melts a lamppost, and wants to test his invincible beam next.
Iron Man sees only one way out, and asks Thor if he can perform Plan D, the Avengers’ last resort. Thor can, and warns his teammates to stay back. He spins Mjolnir real fast, and creates a whirlwind. The strong wind heads towards the villains, who panic a little. The Executioner and Enchantress manage to escape, however the Black Knight and Melter get caught inside the wind, and vanish inside it, with the Avengers following them. The two remaining immortal villains are aware of what Thor was doing, and decide to take their chance and escape while they can.
Meanwhile, the Avengers, Melter and Black Knight have landed in another, empty world, where they don’t have to worry about bystanders. This won’t stop the villains, who use their gathered strength to attack the heroes again. However, their forces ricochet back towards them, and they wonder how this could have happened.
A smiling Hank explains that certain natural laws are reversed in different dimensions. He admits that the Avengers gambled that the villains would attack them before they realized that their weapons would trap them. Iron Man and Hank tie the Knight and Melter up, and Thor prepares his hammer to let them return home. Though before leaving, Janet wonders what has become of Captain America and Baron Zemo in South America.
At the same time, Cap is giving his old enemy, Zemo, a proper burial. Cap realizes he should feel happy now that he has finally won, but somehow feels a strange emptiness inside him. Rick doesn’t get it either. Nonetheless, Zemo’s former slaves are glad that Cap defeated him, and bow before him. Cap makes it clear to the villagers that they are free men now, and don’t need to bow for anyone now. Cap and Rick take goodbye and find a jet, which luckily wasn’t damaged during the battle. They plan to take it and head home again.
Suddenly, Cap hesitates and hears someone behind them. Rick and Cap can just in time dodge some bullets, and Cap realizes that they are attacked by Zemo’s surviving Nazi followers, who probably want the plane for themselves. While Cap uses his maximum strength and powerful shield against the Nazis, one of them manages to take out a grenade, and throws it against the jet, making it explode. Cap stop fighting, and decides to let the Nazis run away, realizing that they won’t get far in the jungle. After all, the natives will be awaiting them too. Luckily, Cap also has a back-up plan on how to get back home.
Meanwhile, the Avengers are back at their Mansion, and have put Melter and the Black Knight in police custody again. However, Thor couldn’t stay since he mumbled something to Janet about a Trial of Gods. Tony gets worried about Cap, whom they still haven’t heard anything from after Cap told them not to interfere in his private battle. Janet interrupts and has been meaning to say something, and thinks this to be a good time as any.
She wants to take a vacation, as she’s getting tired of the constant fighting. Hank feels kind of stupid for not noticing it, and Tony also has to agree that he wished he’d had some time off sometimes. Suddenly, the entire rooms fills with… smoke?! Fearing that it might be an attack, Iron Man suggests they investigate first, and orders Jan and Hank to stay back, as he’s the one best protected thanks to his armor. When opening the door, Tony sees that it has been hit by… an arrow?
Curious, Hank and Janet follow Tony despite his wishes. The smoke gets so dense that the heroes can hardly see anything. They enter the living room, where they find Jarvis tied up, and his attacker awaiting the Avengers. It’s… Hawkeye! Hawkeye apologizes, and quickly explains that he comes to the heroes as a friend, and not as an enemy. Tony finds that hard to believe. Clint confirms, as he never meant to be an outcast.
He explains that he has always used his skills to aid the public, but a capricious moment of fate made the police think that Hawkeye was an enemy. They chased him while he tried to escape. Then, before Clint could clear himself, he met a beautiful Black Widow, and fell hopelessly in love with her. Even after Clint learned that she was in employ of the communists, his feelings for her didn’t change. But, just one week ago, the Widow’s employers made her pay for her trying to desert them.
She was shot and died, and when Hawkeye reached the scene to avenge her, he could only watch for an ambulance to arrive. Though, the Widow was still alive when the doctors took her away, Clint didn’t stick around to find out what happened to his beloved afterwards. Iron Man believes Clint, but mentions that he isn’t the only one to decide if he can join: the other Avengers have a say in it as well. Clint picks up Jarvis, and demonstrates his magnificent aiming skills, by using his arrows to cut the cords that had Jarvis tied up. Everyone is impressed, and Iron Man agrees to let Hawkeye become a replacement.
The next day, a nuclear-powered remote control undersea TV scanner probes the ocean’s depths near the last known appearance of the Sub-Mariner. The Avengers send out a signal and message for Namor to come meet them. After a short time, Namor, followed by an entire army of warriors, asks the Avengers what they want. Tony offers Namor the chance to stop the hatred he has for mankind, by learning about them and becoming an Avenger. Namor adds that he’ll never stop fighting until he rules the Earth above, but at least thanks for the offer.
At the same time, in an isolated Swiss chalet, the Scarlet Witch watches how her speeding brother, Quicksilver, run towards her direction with thrilling news. Pietro hands her a newspaper, which already has an article about Hawkeye becoming an Avenger, and it also mentions that they are looking for other replacements. Pietro sees this as their chance to atone for the evil deeds they had to do in their time with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
Wanda remembers how they were forced to join Magneto’s cause and how brutally he threatened them when they mentioned not to agree with his methods. Wanda and Pietro even had to fight the X-Men because of Magneto, even though their hearts secretly agreed more with their methods. Pietro sees this as the opportunity to let them forget that they are Homo superior, and honestly believes that the Avengers will accept them for just who they truly are. Wanda says she’ll do as her brother tells her, and writes a letter to the Avengers, suggesting for a meeting.
Meanwhile, the Avengers have gathered an unusual conference. The reporters are confused to see Hawkeye with them, and wonder where Captain America and Thor could be. Iron Man introduces Hawkeye to the public, and assures them that he has qualified all of their tests, and will make a great new Avenger replacement. The reporters want to know what Iron Man meant using the word “replacement” but Iron Man says that’s restricted for now. He thanks the audience for coming, and the group leaves. Separately, the Avengers welcome Hawkeye in their midst, certain that he’ll make a great new Avenger, and he vows to never disgrace their name.
Giant-Man makes it clear that they’re only taking a leave of absence, especially him, since he has been promising the Wasp a vacation for months and can’t disappoint him again. Janet tells Hank to speak for himself, as she’ll get him out of this if she can. Iron Man changes the subject, by wanting to open the noon mail and check if they’ve got any more applicants for replacement heroes.
At the same time, Captain American and Rick sling their way towards civilization. Rick jokingly wishes that Cap was the Hulk, as he could have bounced his way out of here in no time. Cap notices that Rick still has a lot of loyalty for the goliath, and admires him for it. They land, and Rick gets scared by a nearby boa constrictor, but Cap knows that if they don’t bother the snake, it’ll do the same.
Then, they hear a plantation worker screaming, as he’s attacked by a leopard. Cap quickly throws his shield at the leopard, and the scared animal runs away. The man thanks the legendary hero for the assist, and he realizes that civilization must be close by. Out of gratitude, the worker gives Cap and Rick a ride in his jeep, and drop them off at the seaport of Caruca. Rick thanks them, but wonders what has become of the Avengers in their absence.
In the United States, Tony Stark awaits the just arrived Pietro and Wanda, who come off a ship. Happy jokes that it feels funny driving his boss with someone else besides a beautiful girl, but Tony calms his driver by saying that Wanda is far from ugly. Tony introduces himself, and mentions that he’ll take them to Avengers Mansion. The reporters recognize the two mutants, and take photographs of them in their magnificent costumes. One of the reporters recognizes Pietro and Wanda from when they fought the X-Men, but corrects himself when remembering that they stated no longer wanting to act evil deeds.
Another reporter asks Pietro to demonstrate his powers. Though Quicksilver doesn’t like it, he decides to just do it. While Tony and Wanda drive to Avengers Mansion, Pietro uses his speeding abilities to get there even before they do! Impressed, Happy thinks they’ll both make great Avengers. Tony leads his new friends into his building, where Jarvis gives them a cup of tea. Later, Tony takes goodbye from them, faking he’s not officially an Avenger so he doesn’t have any point in being here. But, he promises both Pietro and Wanda that they can always come to them, should they need anything from him or his wealth. Pietro and Wanda thank him, and are anxious to meet the other Avengers.
Tony goes separately into another room, and changes into his Iron Man costume. He remembers that the Avengers don’t know each other’s human identities, since it’s safer that way. Though he truly believes that Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver will make great new members to the team. However, he still wishes that they could find the Hulk and convince him to rejoin.
Meantime, a small speedy plane lands at La Guardia Field after an emergency flight from South America, and has both Cap and Rick aboard. Cap tells the lieutenant pilot to thank General Curtiss for the help, but the pilot says it’s nothing since the State Department verified Cap’s A-1 priority card.
Cap rents a car, and he and Rick drive back to Avengers Mansion. However, once they notice the hundreds of people gathered around the magnificent house, Cap worries that something has happened during their absence. Cap tells Rick to park the car, while he uses the resilient steel of the car as a springboard, and jumps through the Mansion’s window to get inside! A short time later, Rick has managed to get through the crowd and made it inside. Cap has noticed no danger, but doesn’t want to waste any more time, so he opens the door to the Avengers meeting room, and hears Wanda saying her gratitude speech.
Everyone stops talking and is thrilled to see Cap again. Even Hank, who plays a little with the legendary hero by tossing him into the air a few times. Wanda and Pietro immediately notice how different the Avenger’s reactions are compared to the rough times they had in the Brotherhood, and feel they shall be happy there. Hank lets Cap down, and he informs the others about the battle he had with Zemo. After that, Iron Man introduces the newcomers to Cap, and explains to him that he, Giant-Man and the Wasp will be taking a short leave of absence and go on a vacation.
Cap is surprised to hear it, but understands. Tony goes outside and informs the reporters about it, who are also surprised and immediately write articles. Even the old enemies of the Avengers are surprised, and immediately start worrying if the Avengers are stronger now, and how they can defeat them. Tony goes back inside, and takes goodbye from his friends, but they make him understand that he’ll be welcome should he ever want to rejoin, and will honor the group that he, Giant-Man and the Wasp have started. Cap, Pietro, Wanda and Hawkeye go outside to meet the press, and Tony goes back to his old teammates.
They cry a little because it’s over, and worry about Thor, who still hasn’t returned from Asgard. There’s just no telling when he will return. Tony, Janet and Hank take goodbye from one another and go their separate ways, promising to never forget one another for as long as they live.
The reporters are happy to see the new team of Avengers, and Cap proudly shouts the Avengers battle cry of… “Avengers Assemble!” They wave to the public, but Hawkeye wonders with Iron Man, Giant-Man and the Wasp gone, if they’ll be strong enough to justify the public’s confidence.
Giant-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Wasp (all old Avengers)
Captain America, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch (all new Avengers)
Black Knight, Enchantress, Executioner, Melter (all Masters of Evil)Immortus, Kang, Mole Man (other old Avengers villains)
Namor, the Sub-Marinervarious Atlantean warriors (all unnamed)
Rick JonesEdwin Jarvis
Happy Hoganvarious citizens, Nazi’s, reporters (all unnamed)
in Hawkeye’s flash-backHawkeyeBlack Widow (Natasha Romanova)thugs (unnamed)
in the Scarlet Witch’s flash-back: Magneto, Mastermind, Toad, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver (all former Brotherhood of Evil Mutants I)Angel, Beast, Iceman (all X-Men)
This issue marks the very first time that Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye appear in the regular Avengers comic. Wanda and Pietro’s actual first appearance however was in X-Men (1st series) #4, and Hawkeye’s was in Tales of Suspense #57, though his flashback handles a story from Iron Man (1st series) #57.
Wanda and Pietro fought the X-Men several times in their time with the Brotherhood [X-Men (1st series) #4-7, 11], and really were forced by Magneto to join the group. They never liked his brutal methods, but believed they had to pay him back for saving their lives from an angry mob earlier [X-Men (1st series) #4], and thought by joining him was the right way to do it.
The Avengers fought Immortus for the first time in Avengers (1st series) #10; Kang was first confronted in Avengers (1st series) #8 and they faced the Mole Man in Avengers (1st series) #12. Baron Zemo and his Masters of Evil were introduced in Avengers (1st series) #6.
Captain America and Baron Zemo fought to the death in Avengers (1st series) #15, and the outcome resulted in Zemo apparent death, which is confirmed in this issue.
The Trial of the Gods the Wasp mentions takes place in Thor (1st series) #116-118. He eventually returns to the Mansion in Journey Into Mystery #120, but decides not to rejoin.
Also worthy of mentioning, this is the first appearance of Jarvis in the Avengers series. His actual first appearance, however, was in Tales of Suspense #59.