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Avengers #63: Review

Feb 1969
Roy Thomas, Gene Colan

Story Name:

And in this corner ... Goliath

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #63 Review by (September 3, 2022)
Gene Colan is guest penciller for this 3-issue story.

Captain America, Iron Man and Thor are on the cover but don't appear inside.

Possibly the 3 Avengers stayed in Wakanda a while before returning home. They returned in a Wakandan aircraft because the Avengers quinjet they flew there (in #61) was destroyed.
There's no explanation for the mini run of bad luck that makes the Wakandan craft crash and Hawkeye's bowstring break.

Back in #59 Yellowjacket's artificial wings seemed to enable him to fly when human-size. Roy Thomas has obviously realised this was 'unrealistic' and changed them to only working when insect-size.

Black Widow was captured by Mad Thinker in Captain Marvel #12 during her SHIELD mission to stop him using a giant android Man-Slayer to destroy a moon rocket at Cape Canaveral.

Egghead was Ant-Man/Giant-Man's 2nd most prolific foe in Tales To Astonish (after Human Top, now Whirlwind) starting from Tales To Astonish #38. He's not been seen since TTA#61 (but 1992's Alpha Flight Special retcon will have him leading a team of villains in Canada within that period in the Flight's 1st mission.)

Mad Thinker has been mainly a Fantastic Four villain since FF#15, last seen before CM#12 in FF#70. But he did take time out to feature in our #39.

Puppet Master was also an FF villain since #8, somewhat tied to them because his daughter Alicia Masters is Thing's girlfriend. He's never previously been in Avengers but he was last seen as the man behind the Hulk/Sub-Mariner clash in TTA#100.

Between this issue and next some plot-related issues and some apps of this issue's chars occur.

In Sub-Mariner #14 Mad Thinker has apparently revived the WWII android Human Torch and is using him as part of the villainous trio's scheme on his Pacific island. Namor stumbles on them and MT sends HT to fight him. But HT breaks free of MT's control and turns out to really be HT's WWII teen partner Toro, now grown-up. We learn that the plan is for MT's base to link with Puppet Master's Caribbean base and Egghead's orbiting satellite to cut all power in a line across the USA. They do it and Egghead broadcasts their terms for not spreading the effect to the whole of the country. But Subby and Toro attack MT's base and Toro apparently dies destroying the base and killing Thinker, thus disrupting the plan.
There are lots of cameos of heroes listening to the broadcast. Black Panther, Vision, Wasp and Yellowjacket have got back to Avengers Mansion from their wild goose chase to find Hawkeye gone. And Iron Man is in a plane returning from his Caribbean adventure in IM#14.

The Man-Slayer revived in CM#13 and continued to menace the Cape without being controlled by any of the villain trio. Captain Marvel stopped it again of course.
But now in CM#14 Puppet Master in his Caribbean base takes control of Tony Stark in the plane overhead and forces Iron Man to exit the plane and attack CM. We learn that the reason for the attacks on the Cape are to prevent any rockets being sent against Egghead's satellite. But Stark has a heart attack, and PM lashes out in anger destroying his own base and apparently dying.

Daredevil #52 (the 3rd of 3 issues pencilled by Barry Smith) guest stars Black Panther out looking for the missing Hawkeye, with cameos by Vision and Yellowjacket.

Needless to say both Puppet Master and Thinker don't actually die. Thinker will be back in FF#96, and PM will join him for FF#100.

Egghead will be here for the next 2 issues.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #63 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The 3 current Avengers (Black Panther, Hawkeye and Vision) are returning from Wakanda in a Wakandan atomic aircraft when the autopilot malfunctions as they approach the roof of Avengers Mansion. BP takes manual control but the plane might still overshoot. Hawkeye prepares to fire a Wakandan-designed electromagnetic cable-arrow to act as an anchor, but his bowstring breaks. So Vision takes the arrow and ghosts through the hull to throw it to the roof. And then increases his mass to stop the landed plane skidding off the roof. Hawkeye expresses his inferiority complex compared to others on the team.

When they enter the building they find Henry and Janet Pym back from honeymoon (they got married in #60). Jan is still Wasp but Hank has decided to ditch his Goliath id and remain as Yellowjacket. He figures that growing giant-size contributed to the schizotic phase that made him pretend to be the new hero YJ. So now he'll rely on his original Ant-Man shrinking power as YJ. His artificial wings will allow him to fly when ant-size and he's made his electric stingers more powerful. Jan comments that she'd already designed a new Goliath costume before Hank made the decision to switch, and Hank says he has an improved growth serum too, but they lock them away.

Then they get a call from Nick Fury to say that Black Widow has gone missing on a SHIELD mission to the Caribbean, and he asks them to investigate. Rotating Chairman T'Challa accepts the task but orders Hawkeye to stay behind because of his romantic attachment to Natasha Romanoff. Hawkeye's not happy but has to obey. Edwin Jarvis gets a quinjet fuelled and 4 Avengers leave in it.

So only Hawkeye is around to receive another video-call, this 1 from BW herself. She's managed to sneak this call to say she's a prisoner somewhere in New York, and then has to sign off. Hawkeye recognises the background noises as the Coney Island funfair so plans to rush to the rescue, but not as the weak archer. He takes the new Goliath duds (obviously treated to expand) and drinks the new growth serum and suddenly he's a giant, even bigger than Hank used to get.

Widow is a prisoner of Egghead, Mad Thinker and Puppet Master. Egghead boasts how he faked the Nick Fury call to send the Avengers off in the wrong direction. Puppet Master says it was *his* idea. Thinker is too busy noticing on a scanner that a giant is approaching Coney Island riding atop an elevated railway train. Egghead assumes it's his old enemy Henry Pym in Goliath mode, and he sends a giant android designed by Thinker to head him off while they escape and split up to go to their separate bases.

The giant android has Widow grasped in his hand while he trades punches with Goliath with the other. Natasha recognises Hawkeye's voice and doesn't understand what's going on. Hawkeye pulls his punches to avoid harming his girlfriend so the android succeeds in knocking him down. But the android is programmed to attack the largest moving thing so it switches its attention to ascending observation deck of the Astrotower. The 2 giants fight atop it until Goliath switches tactic and shrinks to human size causing the android's next mis-punch to send it plumetting to the ground, making a big hole. Luckily it dropped BW and Hawkeye/Goliath catches her.

The 2 heroes compare notes and decide they'd better contact the other Avengers.

Gene Colan
George Klein
Gene Colan (Cover Penciler)
George Klein (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)

(Clint Barton)

(Edwin Jarvis)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Egghead (Elihas Starr), Goliath (Clint Barton).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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