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Avengers #26: Review

Mar 1966
Stan Lee, Don Heck

Story Name:

The Voice of the Wasp

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #26 Review by (May 29, 2011)
#26 was the first Avengers comic I ever bought. At this point I didn't know anything about an earlier grouping of more powerful heroes. For me Cap's kooky quartet *was* the Avengers, which expanded in membership as I watched. This storyline, and other contemporaneous classics like Galactus and the start of SHIELD, sucked me in. I loved the sense of Marvel characters being part of a wider universe. In this issue 2 other heroes wander in direct from an appearance in Sub-Mariner. Next issue Hawkeye borrows an aero-sub from the Fantastic Four.

Giant-Man and the Wasp left the Avengers along with the other original members in #16, and then terminated their own strip in Tales to Astonish with #69. Now their reappearance in the Sub-Mariner story in TtA#77-78 leads them back into the Avengers. Attuma was originally an enemy of Subby in Fantastic Four #33. Since then he has become a sort-of Avengers foe by fighting Giant-Man and Wasp in TtA#64 and Iron Man in Tales of Suspense #66.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #26 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The usual opening scene of the Avengers arguing this time focuses on rivalry between Hawkeye and Quicksilver.

Next we see the aftermath of events in the Sub-Mariner strip in Tales to Astonish #77-78. Janet van Dyne had accompanied Henry Pym on a scientific sub-sea drilling expedition, which had damaged Atlantis. Subby has caused havoc on their ship, but is now swimming towards New York under the control of the Puppet Master. With the vessel's radio wrecked, the Wasp shrinks and flies to New York to alert the Avengers, leaving Giant-Man on the ship.

She is floating full-size on the sea, resting between bouts of flying, when she is captured by the barbarian undersea ruler Attuma. Wasp recognises him from the Giant-Man/Wasp story in Astonish #64, but he doesn't recognise her full-size and not in costume. Attuma is using a tidal-expander to increase the size of tides, until eventually the surface world will be swamped by floods and tidal waves, allowing him to expand his empire.

Attuma has an atmosphere in his submarine, although it is low in oxygen and high in humidity. Next issue we learn it is for the benefit of some of his machines. Wasp needs a helmet to survive for a long time. But she holds her breath and secretly shrinks out of the helmet, and then manages to send a radio message to the Avengers. We won't find out what happened to Jan after that until #28.

Hawkeye is out enjoying himself and has accidentally broken his communicator ring. The rest of the Avengers leave a message for him and fly by jet to the site of Attuma's machine, only to have their jet captured by another of his devices. Captain America and the Scarlet Witch fight Attuma's troops while Quicksilver searches for the controls for the flood-tide machine. But the atmosphere takes its toll, and Cap and Wanda are soon captured, while Attuma himself defeats Pietro.

Attuma rules by reason of prowess, and there is talk among his men that he only beat the Avengers because they couldn't breathe the atmosphere. So he agrees to fight them wearing helmets. They are holding their own until one of Wanda's hexes lets the sea in. Now they only have the limited air in their helmets. (There are no airtanks and hoses attached to these helmets. Presumably they worked by extracting oxygen from the atmosphere.)

Meanwhile Hawkeye returns to Avengers Mansion, but he can't read the message left by the others because he wasn't paying attention earlier when Cap explained the new secure message system. He sits himself in the subliminal recall-inducer, another of Tony Stark's wonder-machines, to dig out the details. But while the machine puts him in a coma, he is being watched by the Beetle.

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Don Heck
Frank Giacoia
(Unknown artist)
Don Heck (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Attuma, Beetle, Giant-Man (Scott Lang).