AVENGERS #38-39 (1967): Hercules Joins

The issue picks up, continuitywise, during Thor #131, where Ares and Hercules were fighting. They fight again.

Enchantress arrives and hypnotizes Hercules. 

Ares wants him out of Zeus’ favor, and Enchantress wants to use him to attack The Avengers.

Sadly, the fight between Herc and the team only lasts a page and a half before it is neatly resolved and Enchantress’ spell is broken.

Enchantress has Hawkeye pegged though.

The heart of these issues is Black Widow.

Guys, she started out as a Soviet agent. 

Why would anyone be surprised that Nick Fury reaches out to her and offers her a chance to become a hero.

Of course, going to work for SHIELD means saying goodbye to Hawkeye again…

Mutual heartbreak…

Her mission involves appearing as if she’s still a spy–a double agent.

This makes Hawkeye sad.

Then Mad Thinker attacks with a bunch of one-off villains like “Thunderboot” who has boots that let him superstomp. Also, it’s the first use of villain-names that will be used to greater effect, with better characters, in the future.  First, Hammerhead…

And then, Piledriver…

And best of all…Thunderboot!

Collectively, they’re called “The Triumvirate of Terror,” is very lame.  Very, very lame.  But it’s also kinda fun.

After the problem is resolved, the team decides Hercules can stay with them, since he’s been kicked out of Olympus.

I think I’ve been pretty clear that I’m not a fan of the Roy Thomas/Don Heck run on this book, but this is an exception. Issue #38 is an average 1967 comic—but way above average for this creative team, whose work on Avengers has been less than stellar.

It’s actually not clear whether Hercules joins in these issues, but he certainly is hanging out a lot. And he’s an “assemble” scene.

PUNISHER: BLOODLINES (1991)

Yet another Punisher one-shot. I’m running out of ways to say, “This isn’t a bad comic, it’s just nonessential.” This story takes place in his early days after his family…