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Avengers #41: Review

Jun 1967
Roy Thomas, John Buscema

Story Name:

Let sleeping dragons lie

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #41 Review by (April 30, 2022)
John Buscema starts his run on Avengers here, taking over from Don Heck. It is uncertain whether he inked his own cover or George Roussos/Bell did it. The internal colourist isn't credited and it is uncertain if the cover was coloured by Stan Goldberg. But we do know that Sam Rosen lettered the cover but I don't have any option to say that.

Captain America isn't in this issue because he's still off fighting Red Skull in his half of Tales Of Suspense #88-91.

The semi-immortal alchemist and sorcerer Diablo was accidentally freed from a mystic prison in his Transylvanian castle by the Fantastic Four in their #30. They met him again in FF#35 where he animated the recently-created android Dragon Man. That ended with Diablo and DM seemingly drowning in a whirlpool. Dragon Man reappeared in FF#44-47 during which the FF met a succession of Inhumans for the 1st time (apart from Medusa). Now Diablo has resurfaced too.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #41 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
3 of the Avengers and their guest Hercules are honing their skills in the Avengers gym:- Hawkeye fires arrows while dangling from a trapeze, Herc juggles a very large barbell, Quicksilver just runs around, Scarlet Witch improves her acrobatics. The Prince Of Power absent-mindedly pushes the weight into the path of Hawk's arrow and blames *him* for bad aim. He grabs the archer's bow to show him *true* archery but beaks the expensive weapon. So he fashions a more durable version from metal and shoots a metal 'arrow' which wrecks a newly-installed gizmo. The angry archer and demi-god face off until Pietro drags Hawkeye away. Hawkeye leaves to cool off while Herc goes to his room to brood about his year-long exile from Olympus. Pietro wonders if the absent Captain America or Goliath would have handled things better, but Henry Pym is working in his suburban lab (and Wasp is with him). Wanda muses that Hawkeye is still worried about his love Black Widow who has seemingly defected to the Communists with secret atomic plans.

Natasha Romanov has flown her stolen plane to a secret base in China. As she lands Colonel Ling's troops prepare to arrest her, but she deals with them with her electric Widow's Bite. Ling accuses her of defecting to the Americans after she was sent to the US to destroy the Avengers, but she says she's proven her loyalty by bringing them plans for a US atomic submarine. The colonel wishes to believe her and takes her into the base to show her what they've been building here - the Psychotron. Black Widow had heard about it for years but thought they'd never got it working, but no it appears they've succeeded. She and Ling are greeted by Dr Yen, who brainwashed the Russian into working for them (back in #29). He invites her to enter a room but then locks her in, because they *know* she's really a spy for SHIELD (which we do too from #38-39). They tell her she's going to become the 1st human test subject for the Psychotron, which plunges her into a nightmare from which she can't awaken.

In his home lab Henry Pym and Janet Van Dyne along with his assistant Bill Foster take delivery of the inert android Dragon Man. Hank reminds the other 2 how (in Fantastic Four #35) the android was invented by Prof Gilbert at Empire State U but was brought to life by the villain Diablo. Various scientists have tried to discover how he can be alive. They can't ask Diablo because he's supposedly dead, and now Pym is being given a chance.

But Diablo is actually not dead and is outside the building eager to get Dragon Man back. The alchemist has created an Auric Ray Gun which he fires at a nearby building turning it to gold. Goliath and Wasp come out to investigate the ensuing commotion, but then suspecting they've been lured away from the android they head back to the lab but not before calling in the other Avengers. (Hawkeye, Pietro and Wanda respond but Hercules is still brooding.)

Diablo invades the lab and KO's Bill Foster with a blast from his Dyna-Disk. Another blast wakes Dragon Man. But giant-size Goliath enters and attacks. The villain is about to shoot the Auric Gun at him when Wasp knocks it from his hand. But the Dyna-Disk knocks her out too. Then it's Goliath vs Dragon Man for a few rounds, but Hank is distracted by trying to take the fight away from where Jan fell so he comes off worse and eventually falls unconscious too.

Diablo tells the android to pick up Goliath and he himself takes Wasp to ensure Henry Pym will do what ever he's told. But Hawkeye, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch arrive to delay his escape. While they fight DM Diablo contemplates using his Auric Ray on them but isn't sure it will work on living things. So instead he turns a support beam to gold bringing the roof down on them. When they dig themselves out they see Dragon Man flying off with Diablo and and their 2 unconscious team-mates.

John Buscema
George Bell
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
? (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)

(Clint Barton)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Bill Foster, Goliath (Hank Pym).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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