> Avengers Masterworks Volume 4

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Nuts! Those creeps yell 'Avengers Assemble' every time somethin' goes wrong with the pop-up toaster!

-- Hawkeye, page 15

Scarlet Witch...'nuff said.

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Avengers #38
March 1967 20 pages

Editor: Stan Lee Script: Roy Thomas
Letters: Artie Simek
Pencils: Don Heck
Inks: George Roussos (credited as George Bell)

Lineup: Captain America Goliath Hawkeye Quicksilver Scarlet Witch Wasp

Title: "In Our Midst...An Immortal!

First Appearance: Jarvis

Villain: Enchantress, Ares

Guest Appearance: Black Widow, Hercules, Nick Fury, Dum Dum Dugan, Sitwell, Zeus, Jarvis

Innovations: Avengers get a butler named Jarvis, Hercules is exiled to Earth for a year by Zeus

Gadgets & Technology: Vacu-Ray, Morpheus-Mist

Cool Hawkeye Arrow: Sulfur Arrow

Letters Page: Page One Page Two

House Ad: Page One

Synopsis: Just returned from their fight against the Ultroids, Hawkeye and Goliath squabble over Black Widow's invitation (or lack thereof) to join the Avengers. Cap settles them down and says the discussion over whether she should be invited must wait until Natasha arrives to the meeting. As for Natasha, she is eagerly heading to the Avengers Mansion, as she very much wants to join the team, though she is worried they might find out she violated the Avengers Code (see LAST ISSUE.) On her way there, she's taken by surprise by a sleeping gas, and taken hostage by unknown captives.

Meanwhile, on Mt. Olympus, the legendary Greek god Hercules is fighting his counterpart, the God of War, Ares. No love lost between them, the fight is fierce, until it is temporarily stopped when the Enchantress shows up. She persuades the combatants to quit fighting and offers the pair goblets of mead, supposedly poured by Odin himself, as a token of her admiration. Ares eagerly drinks his goblet, and next, so does Hercules, though warily. However, it is a trap set by Ares, as Encanthress has delivered a love potion to Hercules, causing him to fall under her sway. Hercules forgets all other concerns, and wants to do only the Enchantress' bidding. She tells him she has been wronged by the Avengers, and immediately he sets out to right that wrong!

As the Avengers await Natasha to show up, including Hawkeye- who waits nervously- the Wasp demands they recess in order to eat dinner. Little do they know that the Black Widow has been kidnaped by Nick Fury and SHIELD, and offered a job that requires her to go undercover on behalf of America. Eager to prove her loyalty, she decides to take up the challenge of becoming a double-agent for SHIELD, but Fury warns her she cannot tell anybody about this, including her boyfriend Hawkeye. Reluctantly, she agrees.

Back at the Mansion, the Avengers butler Jarvis informs the team that Captain America has rushed out on the team with no reason given (for the reason, see TOS #88). Without their team leader, they continue discussing the Black Widow's membership, with Goliath continuing to state there is something he doesn't like about her. Natasha shows up and says she cannot join the team, and must leave America and head back "behind the Bamboo Curtain." The team is baffled as to why she is doing this, and Hawkeye is heartsick. Nobody wants to believe she has turned traitor, but she gives them no explanation as she leaves. Hawkeye heads out to take a walk, and the Wasp goes with him to keep him company.

As Goliath, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver ruminate on the sad state of Avengers affairs, the Enchantress and Hercules show up. Hercules is ready to knock some heads over the Enchantress' supposed grievances. Quicksilver gives him some pesky trouble, but the Greek god swats him down. Wanda goes to her brother's side, and Goliath picks up some wrecked machinery and tosses it at Hercules. Then they start to wrestle, but Hercules easily knocks the Goliath over. Back and forth they fight, with the Enchantress sneaking up behind Wanda and casting a spell on her.

The Wasp and Hawkeye share dinner as the emergency signal comes through. They both wonder if it's for real or if it's just a ploy to get them to come back. But it's for real, as back at the mansion, Hercules is laying consistent blows on the weakening Goliath. Finally, he lands the knockout punch on the valorous giant. As Wanda waits for a miracle, it comes in the form of Hawkeye and the Wasp. Hawkeye fires a sulfur arrow at Hercules, which blows up around his head. The sulfur arrow is composed of brimstone, which causes her spell to break over Hercules. Suddenly, Hercules realizes he's been duped and quickly turns on the Enchantress, disparaging her for turning him against Thor's friends. He tells the Enchantress to immediately depart the area and leave them alone. Instead of fighting back, she leaves as told.

Then, Zeus sends a message to Hercules, telling him he doesn't appreciate his son hanging around mortals. To punish him, he will banish Hercules to Earth for a period of one year. Stuck on Earth, the Avengers offer Hercules Thor's old room in the mansion. And in Asgard, the Enchantress wonders why she didn't press her attack back on Earth, and realizes perhaps she has fallen in love...with Hercules?

--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.

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