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Avengers #38: Review

Mar 1967
Roy Thomas, Don Heck

Story Name:

In Our Midst ... an Immortal

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #38 Review by (August 10, 2011)
This is the first mention of a rotating chairmanship since the old Avengers disbanded. Up to now Captain America has been boss. Where are Iron Man and Thor? The various Official Indexes suggest they both had a long series of continuous adventures, Iron Man in Tales of Suspense #69-86, Thor in Journey into Mystery #124-Thor #140. They then fitted in a few guest shots in comics that had been published during those runs, including the behind the scenes appearance here. So there is no known reason why they couldn't have attended the meeting. (Of course they have lives as Tony Stark and Don Blake as well as Iron Man and Thor.) With Nick Fury on the SHIELD helicarrier are agents Dum-Dum Dugan and Jasper Sitwell. The Official Index puts this issue between the SHIELD stories in Strange Tales #153 and #154. Dugan and Sitwell are recuperating in the sick bay between those issues. Perhaps this appearance is at the beginning of #154 where Fury is berating them for leaving the infirmary. It will turn out in Tales of Suspense that Bucky is a robot, and the villains are working for the Red Skull. This issue is the first time the Avengers HQ is referred to as Avengers Mansion. Enchantress thinks to herself that a 2nd exposure to sulphur cancels the love potion. This must mean that the Waters of Eros contained sulphur, but I can't see it mentioned earlier. Everyone including Hawkeye forgets about his resignation.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #38 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Avengers are back up to full strength since they rescued Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch from the alien Ixar last issue. Pietro and Captain America break up a squabble between Hawkeye and Goliath. Hawkeye wants his girlfriend Black Widow to be a member, especially since she was instrumental in defeating Ixar. Goliath is opposed, despite not knowing that Natasha achieved that goal by methods the Avengers wouldn't approve of. Current chairperson Wasp suggests they calm down until Natasha arrives for the meeting arranged discuss it. Iron Man and Thor can't make it, and will abide by whatever decision they come to.

Meanwhile Hercules is having a grudge match against Ares God of War, who declined to rescue him from Pluto God of Hades in Thor #129. But the battle is interrupted by the Enchantress who offers them both mead to drink. But the Asgardian exile is allied with Ares, and Hercules' cup is laced with a love potion from the Fountain of Eros. Now Enchantress will have a love-struck slave to use against the Avengers. And Ares can turn Zeus against his son by telling him Hercules has renounced Olympus for the Asgardian.

Back at Avengers Mansion the Widow hasn't shown up. Most of the Avengers go for a meal leaving Cap on monitor duty. But Natasha has been 'kidnapped' by SHIELD to their helicarrier. She recently applied to join, and this is Nick Fury's way of saying yes. He wants her to go on a secret mission to China, where she was previously brainwashed (#29). She's not allowed to tell Hawkeye what she's doing.

The Avengers return home to find that Cap has gone on a personal errand (to his story in Tales of Suspense #88 to answer a call that seems to be from long-lost Bucky, but will entangle him again with Power Man and Swordsman). Natasha pops in to tell them not to bother voting on her membership as she's going back to China. Hawkeye is left thinking she's betrayed him, and returned to her Communist masters. Hawkeye quits the Avengers (leaving his bow and arrows), and Wasp accompanies him to lend a sympathetic ear (and in anger at how coldly Goliath treated the Widow).

Enchantress and Hercules choose this time to attack the remaining Avengers Goliath, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. They down Pietro, and Wanda sends an Avengers alert to Hawkeye and Jan, who are having (another!) meal. At first these 2 are inclined to ignore the summons. But they turn up just as Hank and Wanda join Quicksilver in unconsciousness. Hawkeye uses the first arrow he can find, which happens to be a sulphur arrow, and sulphur just happens to be the antidote to the Waters of Eros.

Hercules comes to his senses, and Enchantress prepares to attack the Avengers by herself. But Herc orders her to desist and leave. She does so, later revealing that she didn't want to fight Hercules because she might be in love with him. Zeus appears and says Hercules has gone to earth without permission. For this he is exiled to Earth for a year. The Avengers invite him to stay with them as their guest.

Don Heck
George Roussos
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Gil Kane (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
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: Goliath (Hank Pym), Jasper Sitwell.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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