Issue(s): Avengers #19, Avengers #20
Review/plot: The Swordsman shows up and Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch kick the crap out of him without anyone else's help, because he is a loser. Hawkeye recalls that he was trained by the Swordsman but turned against him when he found out he was a crook.
Meanwhile, Hydra steals the letter Cap sent to Nick Fury, hoping to get some inside information but they throw it away when they realize it's just a request for employment (the Hydra agent complains about his "blasted hood", which i thought was funny).
Some local stooge finds the letter and gives it to the Swordsman, who apparently wants his ass handed to him again so he sets up a trap for Cap by pretending he is Fury.
I don't know how a guy with a sword thought he could handle four super-heroes. Quicksilver alone should have been able to take this guy apart.
But luckily, the Mandarin suddenly spirits him away.
The Mandarin powers up the Swordsman's sword and uses an image projector to trick the Avengers into thinking that Iron Man is vouching for the Swordsman to join them. The Swordsman in the end refuses to set off a bomb to kill the Avengers, but while he is defusing the bomb the Avengers think he is setting it and they attack him. He escapes and the Mandarin vows never to use a partner again.
Here's a nice shot of Quicksilver racing Hawkeye's arrow in a training session. Quicksilver won.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Cap is surprised to see Iron Man because he is supposed to be fighting the Titanium Man in Europe.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Triple Action #13, Marvel Triple Action #14
Inbound References (9): show
Does the Swordsman refer to the Mandarin as "Fu Manchu"? Could this serve as the first reference to Doctor Fu Manchu at this publisher?
Posted by: PB210 | April 30, 2013 6:47 PM
Mike Friedrich has a letter in #20.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 25, 2013 6:04 PM
I don't know if you've mentioned it on any of the entries from this period but I've noticed that, starting around August/September of this year, Marvel started putting "Pop Art Productions" in the corner box. I think it only lasted through the end of 1965 though.
Posted by: Robert | February 16, 2016 1:44 AM
Thanks Robert. I've added a little mention on the 1965 category page.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 16, 2016 8:47 AM
A Conflicted and tortured mind like the Swordsman's, makes for a great character to introduce into the Avengers or prospective Defenders offerings. The computer Tech used in film and TV, combined with the fans need to see realistic hand to hand weaponry conflict, makes The Swordsman an excellent candidate for current movie/TV genre. His Hawkeye, Mantis and Valkyrie association's lend to plot potential and his Clark Gable good looks are legendary!
Posted by: Rocknrollguitarplayer | April 5, 2016 1:37 PM
Wally Wood inked #20 I believe and you can see it in that Quicksilver shot you posted.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 1, 2016 10:34 PM
@Bobby Sisemore - You can also see what I might call "Wood tech" shadowing in that panel directly above the Quicksilver shot. Compare the shadowing there with the other panels inked by Dick Ayers, the difference is striking. You can see very similar shadowing in Wood's 1960s work for THUNDER Agents, and in his 1950s work for EC's science fiction stories.
Posted by: James Holt | November 2, 2016 12:20 AM
Good eye, James. I lived the THUNDER Agents and of course the classic EC horror and sci fi books.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 2, 2016 1:20 AM
Swordman was an avenger in the end, but no one know 😢 very shakesperian.
Posted by: Roy Mattson | May 25, 2017 6:37 AM
I think the Swordsman might be one of the only non-powered characters to get the better of Cap in a fair fight (this was before he got his sword powered-up). There might be other normal humans who have beaten Cap (without technology) but none come to mind.
Posted by: kveto | October 22, 2017 6:44 AM
From temporary Marvel staffer Larry Ivie in Yancy Street Journal #9:" It is reported that the Swordsman will join the Avengers. And he stands a good chance of being replaced by the Submariner if he is not liked by the fans."
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 17, 2018 8:01 PM
While I'm pretty sure the Swordsman was meant to resemble Errol Flynn, Heck's rendering of the character sans mask looks more like Walter Pidgeon.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | April 6, 2018 11:11 PM
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