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Avengers #18: Review

Jul 1965
Stan Lee, Don Heck

Story Name:

When The Commissar Commands!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Avengers #18 Review by (April 18, 2013)
Although Major Hoy and the robot Commissar don't make any further appearances, their invented country of Sin-Cong does. At this time Marvel didn't use the name Vietnam in it's SouthEast Asia anti-Communist issues. So for instance the site of Iron Man's origin was unnamed in Tales of Suspense #39. But in Avengers Spotlight #22 the villain of that piece Wong-Chu will be said to operate in Sin-Cong, so by extension that's where ToS#39 happened too. (But by the time of Iron Man (1968) #47 the origin recap was allowed to name the country involved as Vietnam.)


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #18 Synopsis by Kevin Hollander
Synopsis by Rob Johnson

The giant Commissar of communist Sin-Cong is tired of his subjects preferring capitalism. He sends a message from a fake underground movement asking the Avengers to help them, intending to prove to his people that the Avengers are no match for him and his troops.

Captain America, out of his time with no private life, wants to join Nick Fury in the CIA as well as lead the Avengers. He sees this as a chance to impress Fury.

The Avengers easily defeat the soldiers who meet them, until Scarlet Witch falls into a trap, and the other three are hit by sleep-gas.

The Commissar proposes a deal. He will fight the three male Avengers one at a time in a public contest, or Scarlet Witch will be killed. The giant, seemingly invulnerable and super-strong, Commissar defeats Cap, then Hawkeye, then Quicksilver.

But Cap suspects something, and taunts the Commissar to fight Scarlet Witch as well. He tells Wanda his suspicions, and she reveals the Commissar to be a robot, controlled by hidden machinery.

The ending suggests the communist government is overthrown.

Synopsis by Kevin Hollander

The issue begins with Captain America showing signs of anxiety. He lives in Avengers' Mansion between missions with no personal life. While he is grateful for Stark's generosity, he wants to forge a new life for himself.

Elsewhere Wanda and Pietro have opposing interests for the evening. She wants to go to see Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night"; he wants to go to the circus. Pietro's insistence on attending the circus pays off when he saves one of the aerialists when a trick goes awry.

Hawkeye has secluded himself in the laboratory working on a new type of vibrational arrow.

Halfway around the world in the Communist country of Sin-Cong, the dictator known as The Commissar poses as a member of the resistance movement and requests help from the Avengers. Cap answers their message stating that the Avengers are on their way. Little does he realize he's playing into The Commissar's plan to completely break the collective will of the people.

The Avengers plan their attack and arrive in Sin-Cong within the hour. They are met by The Commissar's soldiers and escorted to his palace. The Avengers smell a trap but go along with them for the sake of diplomacy. Their fears are soon realized when they are attacked by The Commissar's forces. They soon find themselves facing The Commissar in a public one-on-one battle. Cap, Hawkeye, and Quicksilver soon find that The Commissar is more powerful than they realized.

Cap then stumbles onto the answer and makes a suggestion to the Scarlet Witch. She in turn proves that The Commissar is nothing more than a highly advanced robot under the control of Major Hoy of the Chinese army.

With the people free from oppressive rule, the Avengers return to the United States

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Don Heck
Dick Ayers
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Vince Colletta (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

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