Issue(s): Avengers #1
Loki wants to fight Thor but Thor is currently Don Blake so Loki looks for a reason to have him turn into Thor.
He scans the Earth and finds the Hulk, who he tricks into destroying some train tracks. The Teen Brigade try to contact the FF to either clear the Hulk's name or stop him if he is guilty, but Loki directs the radio waves so that Don Blake hears the message instead. He becomes Thor and flies off. Ant-Man and the Wasp also hear the message and launch themselves in their double catapult to a "flying ant relay". Iron Man receives the message, too.
Somehow the FF also get the message but Reed says the FF can't be bothered to help right now. The other heroes show up and impress the hell out of the Teen Brigade.
Loki lures Thor away from the group using a Hulk illusion, and the rest fly off to a circus where one of Ant-Man's ants has spotted the Hulk, who is pretending to be an elephant-juggling robot.
If you haven't been reading reprints and flashbacks of this issue since you were a kid, you might think the idea that the Hulk has disguised himself as an elephant juggling robot to be pretty bizarre, but you're just showing your own ignorance.
Ant-Man, Wasp, and Iron Man keep attacking the Hulk while telling him that they are his friend. Actually, it's Iron Man who does the fighting...
...while Ant-Man rattles on about his ant army. Love Iron Man's expression in this picture. "Army of ants? What kind of freaks have i gotten myself involved with?"
Meanwhile Thor travels to the Isle of Silence in Asgard to face Loki. On the Isle, Thor first fights some awesome looking Kirby-trolls (i love that troll's expression in that second panel. He's winning, pulling Thor down, but he still looks confused and scared.)...
...but then defeats Loki by magnetizing his hammer (whatever!).
Meanwhile the Hulk has fled to an automoblie manufacturing plant in Detroit (see, this is why the floating 10 year rule doesn't work. This story has to take place in 1963 because there are no automoblie manufacturing plants in Detroit anymore). Thor shows up with Loki and convinces Hulk and Iron Man to stop fighting. Then Loki becomes radioactive so Ant-Man locks him in a lead-lined tank that "even Loki can't escape from". Thor says he will take Loki back to Asgard after he's done being radioactive. Before they separate, though, Ant-Man, seeing an opportunity out of obscurity hell, appeals to the group, suggesting they form a team. They all agree, including the Hulk, who is tired of being hounded. The Wasp suggests the name the Avengers, which everyone agrees to because it is colorful and dramatic.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP and the Indexes place this between Journey Into Mystery #96-97, Tales of Suspense #44-45, and Tales to Astonish #47-48. For Thor, Jane Foster leaves Donald Blake's office for awhile in Jim #97 and she's shown working for him here. For Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp, there's no specific context.
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: N/A
Inbound References (17): show
quite enjoyed Loki taking the time to explain the origin of the Old Man of the Sea myth while Thor's wrestling that troll.
about that lead-lined tank:
set aside for the moment the wtf-ery of how ok everyone must have been with this practice in the 60s for it to be used in this plot. I want to know how come every sea-dwelling creature in the Marvel universe doesn't have super powers? the rules of comic book super science are pretty clear - exposure to radioactivity = super powers.
Have you seen the things Namor calls out of the ocean whenever he attacks the surface world? ;-)
it doesn't count if they don't also wear spandex briefs to show they've got super powers and aren't just your normal, everyday monster from below.
I invisionment of the Avengers include Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and Hawkeye. The Wasp could die for all I care.lol
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