> Avengers Masterworks Volume 4

Click panels for larger images

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Even if it means my death, the evil poison of hatred and bigotry which they're trying to spread in the name of patriotism must be wiped out!

-- Captain America, on the Serpents, page 2

Hawkeye tosses up one of his flare arrows.

(Click panels for larger images.)


Avengers #33
October 1966 20 pages

Script: Stan Lee Letters: Artie Simek
Pencils: Don Heck Inks: Don Heck

Lineup: Captain America Goliath Hawkeye Wasp

Inactive Status: Quicksilver Scarlet Witch

Title: "To Smash A Serpent!

Villain: Sons of the Serpent, the Supreme Serpent/General Chen

Guest Appearance: Bill Foster, Black Widow

Cameo: Senator Byrd

Innovation: Supreme Serpent revealed as Gen. Chen

Letters Page: Page One Page Two

House Ad: Page One

Synopsis: (continued from AVENGERS #32)

The Supreme Serpent gloats over the captive Captain America, telling him they are going to rid the nation of anybody different from them. Cap is bound to a sheer wall by foot and hand clamps, and when his captors leave, he tries to escape, but the clamps deliver electric shocks to him, knocking him out. At the Avengers HQ, Hawkeye is haunted by the contradictory things Goliath said to the Attorney General, when he realizes that some Serpents are entering the compound. He draws his arrow to fire and barks out a warning at the trespassers, but Goliath grabs him by the scuff of the neck and tells him to be polite to visitors! The Serpent thug tells the team that if they attack at any time, Captain America's life is forfeit. After they leave, Hawkeye flips out at Goliath, telling him he sure isn't acting like an Avenger. The Wasp tells Hawkeye that the Sons of the Serpent were rigged with explosives to their bodies, and willing to blow themselves up if the Avengers had fought them. Goliath tells Hawkeye to follow his plan, and he'll see where it leads. They next hear a recorded message from a Serpent staff left behind which says that if they wish to see Cap alive, they must attend the next meeting of the Sons of the Serpent, and then the staff explodes.

At the UN, General Chen from China excoriates the US for not being able to control the Sons of the Serpent, setting them up for an embarrassing public relations mess. Bill Foster challenges his friend Goliath with the news that they are going to attend a meeting of the Sons of the Serpent. Goliath's request that Bill wait and see what happens falls on deaf ears, and Bill stomps away, distressed that his friend would consort with a bunch of evil, hateful people.

As the Supreme Serpent gathers his people together, he is shown Captain America, standing before him and pledging allegiance to him and the Serpent cause. Later, at the auditorium, Goliath and the Wasp present themselves backstage to the Supreme Serpent. They tell him that Hawkeye is on his way. The Supreme Serpent is suspicious.....

Meanwhile, Hawkeye flies the Avengers scout ship through a cloud, and he finds a huge ship inside. He lands inside the ship and discovers he's inside the Serpents floating headquarters! He's attacked by a group of them and puts out a smoke screen to cover him as he tries to hide, then fires siren arrows at them to keep them busy while he looks for Cap. Back at the public meeting, the Supreme Serpent is giving Goliath and the Wasp their script: they are to say that the Sons of the Serpents are true patriots and should be followed. As they go out on stage, the emotions in the crowd are mixed. Many can't believe that the Avengers would support such evil people, but many take their presence as evidence that the Sons of the Serpent aren't so bad after all! When Goliath begins to speak to the huge, massed crowd, he tells them that the Sons of the Serpent are against everything good that America stands for!

Suddenly, Captain America appears, telling the crowd that Goliath doesn't speak for all Avengers, and that he's a traitor who he will make pay! Cap rallies a segment of the crowd to support him, and Goliath fights back. He tosses a huge curtain at the crowd, suppressing them underneath it's heavy weight. The Serpents fire their weapons at Goliath, but the Wasp provides cover fire for him with her sting. The Supreme Serpent escapes to the mother ship with Cap, but Goliath tags along behind them. Once they make it inside the ship, an all-out assault begins. Goliath is a holy terror, ripping up the Serpents and their weapons.

Meanwhile, Hawkeye is chasing down his own set of Serpents, waiting for his secret weapon to make her move: Natasha, the Black Widow! She arrives at Hawkeye's side, with her special prize- Steve Rogers, the real Captain America! He sees the fake Cap that the Supreme Serpent presented at the public meeting down below, and he springs into action to prove who's the real Captain America once and for all! Hawkeye has tracked down the Supreme Serpent, but after some hand-to-hand combat, he is beaten and the Supreme Serpent holds his serpent staff up to his head and warns Hawkeye's teammates to stand down. But a surprise shot of venom from the Black Widow knocks his weapon out of his hand. They land the ship after taking over, and turn all the crummy Sons of the Serpent over to police authorities, including the Supreme Serpent, who stands before everyone unmasked as General Chen! His plan was to make Americans distrust and hate each other, to one day become a divided nation that would be ripe for a Communist takeover.

After a lecture from Cap on American patriotism that one like Gen. Chen couldn't possibly fathom, the Avengers go back home, with their mission accomplished.

--synopsis and panel images by Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
Avengers #31-40

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.

AVG #31 AVG #32 AVG #33 AVG #34 AVG #35
AVG #36 AVG #37 AVG #38 AVG #39 AVG #40


All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

Website design by Doug Roberts and John Thomas. All images on this site are copyright of Marvel Comics. This site is for reference purposes and promotion of the Masterworks line of books as well as Marvel Comics and their properties.

Reader Reviews and Commentary To contribute: Send to Gormuu!
Submit only with understanding your text may be edited by gormuu for
space, content and syntax/grammar considerations!