Hello and welcome to another edition of Ye Olde School Café! In this installment, I’ll be presenting a story from the Silver Age involving Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – The Avengers! At this point, the team was comprised of Captain America, Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver. Cap had recruited these “replacements” after the departure of Iron Man and Thor. These three “villains” had a change of heart, and were enlightened by the strong morals of Captain America. This adventure brings them in contact with Namor and his long time enemy, Attuma!
The edition I own is a reprint of the 1960s comic book, and really is a godsend for anyone that can’t afford the originals, but wants singles rather than trades. Marvel Triple Action #20, 1974, illustrates the sincerity and simple nature with which comics were written back then. A solid story, with clearly defined heroes and villains. Plus outstanding visuals from ‘Dandy’ Don Heck (pencils), Frank Giacoia (inks), and Artie Simek (letters)! Enjoy!
Our tale begins with Captain America as he’s summoned the other three members of the team. He informs them that Tony Stark has invented a new system of communication for the team. Hawkeye is less than impressed, and bothered that Cap has annoyed him about this subject. The two get into a verbal joust, and then Quicksilver intervenes. He and Hawkeye have a tussle, but cooler heads prevail, and the team forges on.
We next see Namor, as he’s swimming the oceans, leaving the scene of a smoldering ship (see Marvel Super Heroes #32). Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne are aboard the ship, and want to stop Namor, but can’t leave without helping. Jan then leaves to contact the Avengers for help. As Jan is making her way to shore, she’s suddenly snatched out of the water, and captured by Attuma and his cronies! He explains to her that he plans on flooding the surface world, and taking control in the chaos.
After a while, Jan manages to escape her bonds and contact the Avengers. Cap, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch head into action. They storm the citadel of Attuma, and engage his forces head on. After initially getting the upper hand, the Scarlet Witch gets captured, and then Quicksilver must face Attuma! Pietro uses his blinding speed to catch Attuma off guard and land a few shots, knocking the Atlantean off of his feet. He celebrates too early, though, and Attuma catches him with a punch, knocking him unconscious.
As Attuma is dragging Quicksilver to a sacrificial chamber, his cronies tell him that the other two have escaped their grasp. Attuma then challenges them to a fight, and the three Avengers take him on. Attuma’s power is great, and he is more than a match for them. The Scarlet Witch then uses her Hex powers to smash a pillar and bring down the building, allowing them to escape. Back at the mansion, Hawkeye is at a loss as to why no one is around. He was out trying to romance some ladies when the Avengers tried to contact him about Attuma. He sets his sights on a machine that can bring about lost memories, so he can remember the access code to retrieve messages. As he does, a figure is leering in the shadows, waiting for an opportunity.
Well, that’s it for this time! You can see the simplicity of the story, but the action and personal interactions between the characters really does lend a feeling of friendship and family to the story. This team has always had a familial aspect to it, and that’s just one reason to love the Avengers! See you next time!