AVENGERS #32-33 (1966)

This is how The Avengers come home. 

Seriously.  Their own security attacks them.  Late 1966 is a much worse time for Marvel than mid-1965.  Stan Lee was simply stretched too thin, and needed to let go of control and let others have fun with the toys he invented.

The good news: Black Widow returns to rekindle her relationship with Clint Barton, and she’s really living up to her stage name, threatening to consume the men who are foolish enough to love her.

Meanwhile, Hank Pym is still stuck being tall.

And Wasp is vain. Sigh. Come on, Stan.

The villains in the story don’t matter, but it is the first appearance of the Sons of the Serpent.  

They’re basically a white supremacist group, and one minority they go after is Bill Foster, in his first appearance…

To their credit, Stan and Heck actually show the Sons being brutal.

For the 1960s, that’s hard core.

They’re also into bondage.

On a page where Cap is strapped to a wall by a dude in a full head mask, Stan calls the creators the “Department of Personal Glorification.”

That can’t be a coincidence. Can it?

In the end, the Avengers win and make speeches.

Interesting Hank Pym note: By issue #32, Hank Pym is already an emotional wreck, which is how he is consistently portrayed from here on out. It’s unusual in comics (and unheard of in DC comics) for characterization to be so consistent. Batman has gone from swashbuckler to brooder and back again. Superman’s been a naïve boy scout as well as a strong, decisive role model. Cap has been a confused man-out-of-time and a supremely confident world leader. But Hank’s always been messed up.

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