Avengers #13-14 (February-March 1965)

We’ll tackle these two issues together because they are actually linked in a way unusual to the Avengers (or any Marvel Comics) at this point—with an actual cliffhanger (which, to be honest, is the only truly interesting thing to happen in the first issue).

TWO FUNNY THINGS IN ISSUE #13

During a battle, Iron Man praises… Cap’s shield? (“Thanks, Shellhead,” says the shield, I guess.)

In this issue’s story, Count Nefaria (head of the criminal Maggia) lured the Gullible Avengers to his castle, incapacitated them, and made duplicates of them, which tried to take over the US and became public enemies. It was all resolved by issue’s end, but we did get this memorable panel.

av 13 p6 funny

Where that Superhero Registration Act when you need it?

AVENGER DOWN!

At the end of issue #13, an Avengers is seriously injured…

av 13 p20

…which continues into the next issue, #14.

av 14 p1

After they hear from the first doctor, Cap urges prayer, which is a rare invocation of religion from him (assuming he meant it literally).

av 14 p2 prayer

Later in the issue, we hear another mention of prayer from a very special guest.

av 14 p20 watcher

It’s interesting that the near-death of the Wasp was an event serious enough to attract special attention from the Watcher. I can’t remember if he showed up when she actually died at the end of Secret Invasion, but by that point death had become as common in the Marvel Universe as Trivago commercials in ours, so he may not have bothered (or he was too busy searching dozens of sites for a good price on a hotel room).

Most of the issue is taken up by the Avengers’ search for the one doctor who can save the Wasp—and they only have 48 hours to find him. But when they do, he turns out to be an alien… of course. In the meantime, Cap shows a little humility while performing dazzling acrobats in battle while referring to the others as having superpowers (which, as we’ve discussed elsewhere, he isn’t considered as having at this point).

av 14 p13

Eventually they do find the doctor and collectively they implore him to save the Wasp.

av 14 p18

Cap doesn’t look grim to me, but Thor appreciates how this episode recalls Cap’s own recent loss of Bucky (at least as he experienced in his recent memory).

The issue ends on a happy note. (Now here Cap looks grim.)

av 14 p20

ONE LAST FUNNY THING

Bouncing is what Iron Men do best.

av 14 p13 funny


ISSUE DETAILS

Avengers (vol. 1) #13, February 1965: Stan Lee (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Artie Simek (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Avengers (vol. 1) #14, March 1965: Stan Lee (plot), Paul Laiken and Larry Lieber (script), Jack Kirby (layouts), Don Heck (pencils), Chic Stone (inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Sam Rosen (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Both collected in: Avengers Epic Collection: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Volume Two


PREVIOUS ISSUES: Avengers #11-12 and X-Men #9 (December 1964-January 1965)

ALSO THESE MONTHS: Tales of Suspense #62 (February 1965) and Tales of Suspense #63 (March 1965)

NEXT ISSUES: Avengers #15-16 and Journey into Mystery #116 (April-May 1965)

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