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Avengers #43: Review

Aug 1967
Roy Thomas, John Buscema

Story Name:

Color Him ... the Red Guardian

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #43 Review by (August 11, 2011)
How come a New York low-life knows where Black Widow is being held, and SHIELD don't? The Official Handbook Book of the Dead says it was the Russians who created Red Guardian, not the Chinese. They lent him to the Chinese to guard the Psychotron. Gen'l Brushov had never met him, which is why we have the scene with Col Ling doing the introductions. It is never suggested that Guardian had any kind of super-soldier treatment to make him Captain America's (near-)equal, just exercise and training.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #43 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
It's a few days since last issue and the Avengers have been trying to find out where Black Widow is being held in China. But before we get to that ...

Quicksilver shows the others that he has learnt how to use his speed to fly for short distances. Demi-god Hercules is loth to take orders from mortal Captain America, but Cap earns his respect with his ability to dodge all of Herc's lunges, and land some blows of his own. Wasp learns that she inherited her father's fortune on her 23rd birthday, while they were fighting Dragon Man (and Diablo) last issue.

Hawkeye sneaks out to track down an informant who claims to know where Natasha is imprisoned. After a brawl with the total clientele of a bar, he extracts the information. Then he flies off to rescue her, taking only Hercules with him.

In China Col. Ling is entertaining Russian General Brushov who has come to see the Psychotron we met in #41. But first Ling introduces him to the Red Guardian, a Russian whom the Chinese have turned into an equivalent of Captain America. Brushov is impressed by the Guardian's performance, including hurling a small 'hockey puck' in imitation of Cap's shield. But Brushov wants to see him matched against Cap.

Hawkeye and Hercules arrive and locate Black Widow via a homing beacon Hawkeye gave her (slack frisking by the Chinese!). They invade the base and Hercules is soon battling Red Guardian, until the Guardian tricks him into the Psychotron. The Psychotron manifests your fears, and makes Hercules think he's fighting the many-headed Hydra of myth.

Meanwhile Red Guardian makes short work of capturing Hawkeye, who awakes to find himself in a transparent prison tube with Black Widow occupying the one next to him. The Guardian unmasks, and Natasha has to tell Hawkeye that it is her husband, whom she thought dead.

Back in Avengers Mansion the other Avengers have found out where Hawkeye and Hercules have gone. Despite risking an international incident they set out to follow them.

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John Buscema
George Roussos
?
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
George Roussos (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Red Guardian
Red Guardian

(Alexi Shostakov)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Dragon Man, Goliath (Hank Pym).