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Avengers #22: Review

Nov 1965
Stan Lee, Don Heck

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Story Name:

The Road Back

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #22 Review by (April 18, 2013)
Power Man will join Swordsman, from the previous 2-part, as an ally of Black Widow in #29. Enchantress will continue as an Avengers villain in #38, where she uses Hercules instead of Power Man to attack them. The Circus of Crime will acquire another heroic accomplice in the depowered Thor in #145-147 of his comic. And they'll return here in another plot-filler role disrupting the wedding of Yellowjacket and the Wasp in #60.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #22 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue Enchantress and Power Man caused the Avengers to look like menaces, and they now have to disband. Before they split up they have one of their typical arguments, this time mainly due to Quicksilver's hotheadedness.

Hawkeye, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch try individually to get jobs, but no-one wants to hire the disgraced Avengers. Until the Ringmaster offers them all a place in his circus. (He and the Masters of Menace, collectively the Circus of Crime, have served a typically short Marvel sentence for their crimes in Amazing Spider-Man #22) (Presumably the Avengers missed hearing about their various criminal exploits.)

Ringmaster intends their usual scheme whereby he hypnotises the audience and his gang relieve them of their money and valuables. However, apart from that his plan is a bit confused. Presumably he hopes the Avengers will boost their declining audience figures. He also intends to hypnotise them into helping with the criminal activities. But he also expects their powers to be useful in that respect. Which I can't see, apart from Quicksilver doing the robbery in no time.

Of course Ringmaster's biggest mistake is to tell the Avengers his plan *before* hypnotising them. Quicksilver knocks off his hypnotic hat, and then fights the Human Cannonball. Scarlet Witch deals with the Clown and Princess Python, while Hawkeye handles the trapeze-artist Gambonnos and Bruto the strongman. Unfortunately Ringmaster calls the police and claims the Avengers were trying to rob them.

Obviously the police believe him, and the Avengers are now wanted criminals. The original Avengers don't interfere because they are all busy with their own problems. In this instance Iron Man is fighting the Mad Thinker and his Awesome Android in Tales of Suspense #72, Thor in Journey into Mystery #122 is heading off to save Asgard from the Absorbing Man, and Giant-Man and the Wasp are somewhere unknown (possibly already on the scientific expedition where they will turn up in the Sub-Mariner story in Tales to Astonish #77).

The Avengers don't know Enchantress is working with Power Man, but when Captain America goes to see Power Man disguised as a PR man he finds them both at home. Cap tapes Power Man bragging how they framed the Avengers, before Enchantress detects who he is. Power Man fights Cap and defeats him again (unlike last issue without the aid of Enchantress's spells?). But during the fight Cap's emergency signal was accidentally triggered. The other Avengers arrive, and run rings round Power Man working as a team. When Cap revives, Enchantress bails.

Power Man is devastated that she abandoned him, because he has fallen in love with her. (There is no suggestion Enchantress has him under a spell.) He surrenders and the Avengers are exonerated (even the Circus of Crime confess). The Mayor reinstates all the Avengers' privileges.

But just when everything seems peachy, Cap resigns from the Avengers. He's tired of herding the squabbling group. And he's feeling outdated, and not relishing the possibility of leading anyone else to death like he did Bucky in WWII.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay
Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Don Heck
Wally Wood
(Unknown artist)
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Absorbing Man
Absorbing Man

(Crusher Creel)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Giant-Man (Scott Lang), Power Man (Erik Josten).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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