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Avengers #21: Review

Oct 1965
Stan Lee, Don Heck

Story Name:

The Bitter Taste of Defeat

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #21 Review by (May 25, 2011)
Erik Josten will go on to a career as a 2nd-string villain, during which he will cede the name Power Man to Luke Cage and operate under other names Smuggler and Goliath (one of the many to use that name). But then he will reform and become Atlas of the Thunderbolts.

Enchantress is the 2nd of the villains who threatened to come after the new Avengers at the end of #16. Mole Man made good his promise in the very next issue. Kang will follow this 2-parter in #23.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #21 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Avengers continue their squabbling, although now it has boiled down mainly to Hawkeye challenging Captain America's leadership.

Erik Josten was one of Baron Zemo's men in #15. He has remained injured in the Amazon jungle after the battle with Captain America. He uncovers the entrance to Zemo's lab, buried by a landslide at the end of that issue. This lab was where Zemo, the Enchantress and the Executioner created Wonder Man in #9. Enchantress, still exiled on Earth from Asgard since #6, appears and Josten lets her use Zemo's machinery to give him Wonder Man's powers as Power Man. (It isn't explained how they avoid the side-effect that appeared to kill Wonder Man.)

They set out on a scheme to discredit the Avengers.

Enchantress creates a monster only the Avengers can see. They are blamed for the resulting damage. (The Avengers are alerted to this monster by a call from Rick Jones's Teen Brigade. It is unclear whether Enchantress made the Teen Brigade see the monster too, or whether she just faked the call.)

Power Man rips up some underground rail tracks, and leaves the investigating Quicksilver unconscious on the track. Enchantress aims an empty train at him, and transports the other Avengers to the scene. Hawkeye wrecks the empty train, adding to their damage toll.

Enchantress sets up another scenario. She has Power Man stop two industrial spies escaping with stolen papers disguised as security guards. She causes Cap to arrive 'coincidentally' on the scene. He fights with apparent villain Power Man, but Enchantress's spells mess with his skills and Power Man knocks him out. The press laud Power Man as a hero.

Power Man gives the newspapers the address of a mansion Enchantress has rented. Hawkeye and Quicksilver in turn invade the mansion by night, and are defeated by Power Man, again with Enchantress damping their abilities. When Scarlet Witch also has a go she is arrested as a trespasser.

The Mayor gives in to public opinion and orders the Avengers to disband.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Power Man (Erik Josten).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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