Avengers #19-20 (1965): 1st Swordsman

This story introduces Swordsman.

Swordsman is a guy who used to perform on the carnival circuit with Hawkeye. His introduction offers more details of Hawkeye’s history.

He breaks into Avengers Mansion because he wants an Avengers I.D. card.

Quicksilver and Wanda try to stop him, but he runs rings around them.

He even manages to capture Cap and hold him hostage.

But Cap is full of self-sacrifice.

Scarlet Witch then leads the re-engagement against Swordsman. Seriously. This one dude is defeating Earth’s Mightiest Heroes using a piece of sharp metal.

Wisely, Swordsman recognizes that Scarlet Witch is the big threat.

Scarlet Witch is on the edge of taking out Swordsman when the villain is spirited away by Mandarin. 

After saving him, Mandarin tries to make Swordsman an ally. But by the end, Swordsman is with The Avengers.

Hawkeye has it right: Apparently, all you need to do to join this team is try to kill them. Although, he really shouldn’t talk. He started out the same exact way.

Meanwhile, Cap is still whining about how Nick Fury never answered his letter asking to be a member of SHIELD.

And we learn why Fury hasn’t responded.

HYDRA stole the letter! Those evil bastards!

And Hawkeye and Cap are still bickering, too. Perhaps reflecting how Stan and his major artists seemed to fight all the time in the Marvel bullpen.  Cap’s insult is lame, too.  Why is Hawkeye a “featherbrain?”  I mean, Cap’s the one with wings on his head.

Graded D-.  I almost gave it an “F”.  The Lee/Heck issues are not good.  Not good at all.

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