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Avengers #32: Review

Sep 1966
Stan Lee, Don Heck

Story Name:

The Sign of the Serpent

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #32 Review by (June 21, 2011)
Wasp finally gets her place on the masthead. Bill Foster is one of the many people who will later use Hank Pym's growth serum, going by the names Black Goliath, Goliath and Giant-Man. Tony Stark obviously now knows Hank is Goliath. Hank has no problem letting Bill Foster in on his dual identity too. But Hank still doesn't know Stark is Iron Man. Presumably their remote conversation this issue is audio-only, and Hank doesn't see what we see:- Stark in Iron Man's chestplate. No real explanation is given here of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch's power loss and restoration. I believe that later it will be claimed that only Wanda suffered power loss, and Quicksilver just accompanied her. Her loss was due to separation from the demon Chthon (as seen in #185-187), rather than from her homeland per se. But even then on this basis it would be the return home that 'cures' her, without recourse to any treatment. Wanda and Pietro will next appear in a cameo in Thor #134, where we first learn of their connection to Wundagore Mountain, which will eventually lead to the High Evolutionary and Chthon. They won't appear in this series again until #36, but their faces will remain on the cover. Fury says SHIELD hast just finished with AIM but they are facing another threat. This would indicate this issue happens just after Strange Tales #149, which ended with the discovery that Hydra was back. This is the first appearance of the Sons of the Serpent. They will keep cropping up, each time with a different leader.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #32 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The active Avengers return from their mission in South America. Captain America tries to resign as leader in favour of the recently-returned (since about #28) Goliath, who has seniority. Hank declines, partly because he is still depressed about being stuck at 10 feet tall (#28 again). Cap goads him out of feeling sorry for himself, and Hank vows to use his own biochemical expertise to solve his problem. Meanwhile Hawkeye and Cap have become so pally it's almost a bromance.

Hank sets up a lab in his own house, designed to accomodate his height. Wasp tries to help, but he needs a professional assistant. He contacts Tony Stark who loans him one of his research scientists Bill Foster.

Meanwhile in the Balkans Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are regaining the full powers (which waned in #29) with the aid of a doctor's diathermic treatment (which looks just like a sunbed).

Out on the streets of New York masked group the Sons of the Serpent are beating up immigrants. (But at least some of them know this is only a stepping stone to political power.) Black Widow infiltrates a recruiting drive by the Supreme Serpent. She comes to Avengers Mansion and tells Hawkeye she will soon prove she has reformed (as of last issue).

One night a group of Serpents attack Foster because he is black. Goliath brings the problem to the Avengers. The Serpents are a nationwide organisation, and Cap goes to Nick Fury and SHIELD for information, using the SHIELD ID Fury gave him in Tales of Suspense #78. Fury says SHIELD is busy and they'll let the Avengers tackle the Serpents.

Asian General Chen is attacked while visiting the UN, and it is believed that the Serpents are behind it. The Serpents capture Cap, and tell the Avengers that he will be killed unless they agree to support the Serpents. The Avengers know Cap wouldn't want them to give in. But Goliath has a plan, and they pretend to acquiesce.

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Don Heck
Don Heck
(Unknown artist)
Don Heck (Cover Penciler)
Don Heck (Cover Inker)
(Unknown artist) (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
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: Bill Foster, Goliath (Hank Pym), Sons of the Serpent.