AVENGERS #26-31 (1966): 1st Collector; Goliath

These issues introduce a new trope: Heroes stuck in tubes or bubbles. It’s a Marvel favorite–imprisoned heroes in clear containers. It starts when Attuma captures Wasp, above, as she is heading to New York to warn The Avengers that Namor is swimming towards the city as well–looking like a man on a mission.

But before the action starts, Quicksilver schools Hawkeye.

Wasp and Hank learn that Attuma plans to unleash a Tsunami on New York. Wasp goes for help.

I love how they break down the technical aspects of wasp swimming to shore. Old school Marvel was great.

The Avengers arrive, they fight…

…and Attuma kidnaps the team.

For some reason, Scarlet Witch is in purple.  That’s a typo.

Hawkeye didn’t go with them. He’s still at the mansion. And, inexplicably, Beetle was able to break in. It takes Clint less than three pages to subdue him.

Really? Despite that Beetle can fight Spider-Man for an entire issue?

To escape, Cap tricks Attuma into showing off his control room.

The Avengers blow up Attuma’s ship, but as soon as they escape they get an alarm from Hank Pym, who says Wasp didn’t return to him after the battle with Attuma. Why?

Because she’s stuck in the SECOND clear container of the issue, this time by…

The Collector? He was responsible for Beetle’s attack on Hawkeye.

Of course, this isn’t The Collector we all know from the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.  I mean, he is, but in this book he seems to be just some guy with some contraptions and a penchant for stealing stuff.  Later, he’ll be retconned as one of the powerful and rarified Elders of the Universe.

Hank Pym joins the team to search for Wasp, and Scarlet Witch designs him a new outfit.

Ant-Man had already become Giant Man, and now, for no apparent reason, he becomes Goliath.

He’s an oversized freak.

This is also the issue where Pym first began to have health problems related to using his powers. He helps save Wasp, but has a heart attack. He’s brought back to the Mansion for medical care, while Hawkeye is contacted by Black Widow, who tries to pull him into an alliance with Power Man and Swordsman (I thought he joined the team last time we saw him?).

This leads to an international chase and battle.

A whole bunch of storylines keep running together, and issue #30 ends with Goliath (not Wasp!) captured by the person who will be the villain in the next issue.

Keeper of the Flame.

When all this nonstop action finally ends, Goliath is stuck at 10 feet tall and he’s told that only “Hank Pym” can help him. Sure hope he can find him.

Meanwhile, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch begin to notice that they are getting weaker, so they question whether they are mutants, and they resign.  They go to the hills of “Transia,” where, presumably, they are when they appear for a few random panels in Thor while he’s in Wundagore meeting High Evolutionary.

wanda and pietro go to wundagore

There’s no more made of this.  It will be over a hundred issues before their link to High Evolutionary is apparent. Which either makes this one of the longest teases in comics, or just a happy coincidence.   

These aren’t great comics, but the breakneck pace keeps them moving well enough that reading them en masse is not painful.

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