Issue(s): Avengers #15, Avengers #16
Review/plot: Captain America writes a letter to Nick Fury asking to join his counter-espionage program. I thought that was pretty cool.
The rest of issue #15 is a little... simple. The Masters of Evil attack the Avengers.
Zemo dies in a fight against Cap.
Giant-Man is wearing a new costume. It is ugly.
The issue ends with a stalemate because the Avengers don't want to get into a fight with the rest of the Masters of Evil in the streets of New York.
At the beginning of issue #16, the Avengers break the stalemate by executing "Plan D", which means Thor teleports the bad guys to another dimension (what??!?) where they can fight without injuring bystanders.
The Executioner and the Enchantress, who are able to resist Thor's teleportation, bug out and the Melter and the Black Knight are easily defeated by the other Avengers while Thor stands around with his arms crossed.
After the fight, Pym and the Wasp decide to retire and Iron Man decides to leave the team too.
Just at that moment, Hawkeye shows up.
He's reformed, Black Widow is apparently dead (shot by her Red masters, and Hawkeye couldn't bear to wait to find out her final fate), and he wants to join the Avengers. He proves it by shooting arrows at Jarvis, who he's tied up.
The Avengers contact Namor to see if he'd like to reform also, but he declines. The Avengers still think he's a swell guy, even though he wants to conquer the world.
However, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver read that the Avengers are recruiting and decide to join them as well.
There's a neat panel of some of the Avengers' villains reacting to the recruitment drive.
When Cap gets back from South America (after a long romp through the jungle with Rick, returning home after their fight with Zemo) he finds out that he's gonna be leading a whole new team.
Above is the first of many 'announcing the new lineup to the public' scenes. Iron Man is already feeling nostalgic about the battle cry that Thor came up with two issues ago.
Iron Man also has some parting words for the new team, which is lacking a bit in raw power: "Find the Hulk".
Issue #16 is interesting because all of the super-villain fighting is front-loaded; the rest of the issue focuses on the team changes and new members.
While he hasn't been a regular artist on the book since issue #8, Jack Kirby has been doing layouts since issue #14, but his absolute last issue of the Avengers is issue #16 (not counting covers), which is interesting because it's a "changing of the guard" issue.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Giant-Man is wearing his new costume, first seen in Tales To Astonish #65, in these issues. Issue #16 potentially takes place over a long period of time. There's the initial battle with the Masters of Evil, but then a potential gap before Hawkeye shows up at the Mansion. During that period, Thor has already left for the Trial of the Gods.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Triple Action #9, Marvel Milestone Edition: Avengers #16
Inbound References (25): show
When Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch assemble with the Avengers in Avengers: Age of Ultron in May 2015, it will be exactly fifty years to the month that they first assembled with the Avengers in the comic in May 1965.
Posted by: Steven Printz | August 21, 2013 1:13 PM
The title of #16 is from Tennyson's "The Passing of Arthur": "The old order changeth, yielding place to new"
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | May 11, 2015 9:43 PM
These are two Holy Grail books back when Marvel had about 3 guys in the building! Dangerous changes like killing off ZEMO and pullin the rug out on the old line-up make these Iconic! I may have to find the Tequila I get so excited talkin Silver Age Avengers!
Posted by: Rocknrollguitarplayer | April 5, 2016 12:48 AM
The storytelling in #15 is rather jumpy; Heck really doesn't handle the cutting between the two action sequences very smoothly.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | June 13, 2016 5:21 PM
Fnord, should the Black Widow be listed in the Characters Appearing line-up? She's shown in a couple of panels in #16, albeit as part of Hawkeye's recollections.
Posted by: Shar | July 5, 2016 3:16 PM
I only count flashbacks when they occur within the timeframe of the story. Hawkeye's flashback regarding the Black Widow takes place a "week ago", so i wouldn't count it.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 6, 2016 7:22 AM
Marvel Heroes and Legends 1997 is a fleshed-out retelling of this story. Is that book considered to be in continuity?
Posted by: Steven | September 16, 2016 1:29 AM
Yes. It's listed on the What's Missing page.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 16, 2016 7:25 AM
Okay, a lot of stuff here. I place Thor#114 and part of 115 before Avengers#15 then when he leaves in #16 he leaves to finish the battle with the Absorbing Man and then off to Asgard. Daredevil's battle with the Sub-Mariner from DD#7 takes place at the same time as these stories and Namor is on his way home from that fight when the Avengers try to recruit him. FF#38 also happens during this period and when Balder comes to Earth while Thor is in Asgard, the ball of fire he arrives in frightens the Frightful Four in hiding after they blew up the FF because they think it might be the Torch coming after them.
I personally think that Avengers#16 is the most influential comic Marvel ever produced. Up until this time every superhero team added new members but almost never lost members. After this issue, it soon became common for almost every superhero team in comics (And not just Marvel but all other comics publishers) to have a constantly fluctuating lineup.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 31, 2016 10:55 PM
@ Bobby Sisemore -
That's true for the Silver Age, but in the Golden Age, over at DC, you have the Justice Society of America who had members leaving throughout the years while replaced by other members. Within the first several issues in 1941, you have both the Flash and Green Lantern leave the team.
Posted by: Erik Beck | November 1, 2016 3:01 PM
True but the JLA had this stupid rule that if they had their own title they couldn't be a full time member but both the Flash and Green Lantern returned later. The other members who left did so when their own series was cancelled.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 1, 2016 6:29 PM
Here we have the "greatest heroes" leaving the team, replaced by Cap leading a trio of reformed villains. (It's notable to that they also try to reform Namor, and then suggest re-recruiting the Hulk, both heroes who are also villains sometimes.)
Not much seems to be made of it in the comics themselves, there's little concern over whether the villains might turn back to crime (obviously we know Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver have always been portrayed quite sympathetically, but the people in the comics shouldn't know that). People should be worried about whether Cap can keep these people, who associate with evil terrorists & spies, on the straight and narrow.
Were there any DC precursors to this sort of thing? It's completely undersold here, but in a way it predicts DC's Suicide Squad of villains forming a hero team.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | April 20, 2017 2:07 PM
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