Issue(s): Avengers #13, Avengers #14
I always saw the Avengers as being above fighting street-level crime (as opposed to world conquering super villains and other global menaces), but because of the Avengers, the
In probably the most elaborately expensive plan to fight super-heroes ever, the Count has his entire castle moved to the United States brick-by-brick. He then invites the Avengers to his castle for a phony charity fundraiser.
While they are in the castle they are lulled into unconsciousness and Nefaria is able to create electronic duplicates of them..
...which he uses to destroy the Avengers' reputation.
Meanwhile, the Teen Brigade, who the Avengers told to wait outside the castle until the fundraiser started (seemingly days ago), finally get tired of waiting so they sneak into the castle but get caught and imprisoned.
The Avengers are let out of the castle but find themselves being attacked by the US army.
The Fantastic Four also figure that they'll have to go after the Avengers, but they are told by the government to stay out of it.
The Avengers are on the run, and have to hide in one of their many secret headquarters. Henry Pym does some elaborate Ant-Man stuff to find out why everyone's after the Avengers, and he heads back to the club house to proudly tell everyone the news, but they're all like "Yeah, we, uh, heard it on the radio.".
Eventually of course the Avengers defeat Nefaria (who does not seem to have any powers) and rescue the Teen Brigade. But in the final battle, the Wasp is hit by a stray bullet and her lung is punctured.
Judging by the credits, issue #14 was a rough job, although interestingly it is the first comic i have where Stan Lee is credited with 'editing'. Kirby is doing layouts, and at least he adds interesting action poses.
There is only one doctor in the world that can save the Wasp, and he's moved in with an alien army that is hiding from another alien army.
The Avengers convince the doctor to come help the Wasp, and they kick the aliens off the planet. Here's Thor shouting the Avenger's official catch-phrase (after several failed attempts, and, as Luke notes in the Comments, first trying it out in Uncanny X-Men #9. As Luke and Shar have also pointed out, we got really close in Avengers #10, when Thor used it with a comma.).
The Watcher shows up at the end to comment on these events, in his first appearance outside of the Fantastic Four and the Tales Of Suspense back-ups.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Triple Action #7, Marvel Triple Action #8
Inbound References (6): show
At first I thought, "Oh dag, Don Heck is tripping balls. Why does he think that a made Sicilian mafioso wears a monocle, a frilly shirt, and spotless gloves? Why does he have this gangster guy playing some weird death-trap machine that looks like the sort of piano that Max Rebo would use?"
(This view is not helped by the Count's subsequent appearances as the Dream Master in "Tales of Suspense" like 6 months later.)
It is a really silly thing for a connected mob guy to get up into.
But then I think, "Hey, the Silver Age Kingpin was equally ridiculous. And then there is Hammerhead and Silvermane, who are not exactly bringing dignity to the Five Families. Count Nefaria, come back, I didn't mean to dis you! You can jam with Sy Snootles all you want!"
By the way, the "Avengers 14" story seems to be a pretty important turning point in the Giant-Man/Wasp relationship. Prior to this, all they ever do is fuss nastily at each other: they are seriously screwed up. But this issue seems to be cathartic. For at least a year or two afterward, they have typical Silver Age marital-type discussions, but it's clear that they really do care about each other.
Posted by: James N. | August 26, 2011 12:19 PM
One thing you have to remember about Henry Pym and Janet Van Dyne is the disparity in their ages. Pym is probably in his mid thirties and a widower (although the true status of his wife Maria is disputed). Van Dyne, while not a minor, is still dependent on a trust fund, probably putting her in her late teens or 20 or 21 at most. I think initially Pym is not interested in a romantic relationship at all, but his hormones realizes this is a hot teenager who is in love with him. It's taking him a while to work through his feelings in deciding that his intention are actually pure and it's OK to love Janet back. Despite her sometimes bubble headed thoughts, Janet is very mature for being so young, probably a consequence of her own father being a widow and needing to do things that her mother would normally do.
Posted by: Chris | August 14, 2012 10:51 PM
Blake performs magic surgery on Dr. Strange in JiM #108, but he doesn't think he's "skilled enough" to save the Wasp from a bullet wound? au contraire, i say!
i like the bit in the comic where Nefaria's put the Teen Brigade in this death trap where they'll be paralyzed if they touch the walls. he moves the walls to the point where they almost touch the TB and then says "see? i didn't hurt you. i don't do that kind of thing. if you touch the walls and end up paralyzed, it'll be all on you." it seems like the sort of thing that seems awfully witty when you're 9 ("I didn't hit you. you walked into my fist."). 9 or Flash Thompson...
Posted by: min | January 31, 2013 8:25 AM
There's an earlier use of "Avengers Assemble" in X-Men #9, at the end of Avengers/X-Men fight. (I first posted this comment in that issue's thread by mistake.)
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | October 11, 2014 10:54 PM
Thanks, Luke. I've added that scene to the entry for X-Men #9.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 12, 2014 11:26 AM
Ah, the Maggia. So ridiculous. Even more so when there's an issue of X-Men (somewhere in the 20's) where the word "mafia" is actually used.
Am I the only one here with a kid who watches Despicable Me? I can no longer think of Count Nefaria without thinking of Doctor Nefario from DM.
Posted by: Erik Beck | December 28, 2014 12:37 PM
In his comment on AVENGERS #10 Shar notes the use of "Avengers, assemble!!" in that issue, when Thor breaks free near the end.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | August 11, 2015 3:41 PM
Thanks Luke. I already have that scan up on issue #10, but i've added to the note here.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 11, 2015 5:44 PM
I read these issues in Essential Avengers Vol 1 several years ago. Since then I've wondered if either of the alien races seen in issue #14 subsequently made any appearances.
Posted by: Ben Herman | December 27, 2015 10:00 PM
Man, Thor's hammer looks really weird with the longer handle.
Posted by: david banes | December 28, 2015 1:09 AM
At least in this story, the idea is that Nefaria's mob status is a secret; to the world, he's just an eccentric, fabulously rich aristo.
I once read a fan theory that Jan's injuries in this story leaves her unable to have children, as this is shortly before they both retire from superheroing for awhile and apparently around the part of the timeline when Hank starts experimenting with AI to create Ultron, his "son."
I'm not so sure about the "Jan is left infertile" thing, but the idea that this was a big scare that got them both to reassess some things has a lot of merit.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | June 13, 2016 4:55 PM
Jan is not infertile. In Uncanny Avengers she had a daughter with Havok named Katie. Hank isn't infertile either. He had a daughter named Nadia with his first wife Maria.
Posted by: Steven | June 14, 2016 1:21 AM
@Omar: You're most welcome (and my theory's here: https://fanfix.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/ultrons-orign and prior to that was published in Assembled2 under my true nom de plume;)
Posted by: Nathan Adler | June 14, 2016 6:04 AM
Nefaria was outrageous for a Mafioso but even they thought so. Some of the mob thought he had delusions of being a super criminal and did not want him to be the head of a family. The whole idea of the Maggia instead of the Mafia was that Stan or maybe Martin Goodman feared being sued by the Italian-American Ant-Defamation League who claimed that there was no such thing as the Mafia or Cosa Nostra and that all reports of such were anti-Italian prejudice.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 31, 2016 7:51 PM
@Bobby- according to Wikipedia the Italian American Anti-Defamation League wasn't founded until 1970- this story is dated 1965.
Posted by: Michael | November 19, 2016 2:49 PM
You may be right but there had to be some reason that Stan did not say Mafia outright while DC did come right out and say Mafia in several storues
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 20, 2016 1:21 AM
Out of curiosity, how do you guys pronounce "Maggia?" I used to think of it as a hard "G" sound, but knowing it's supposed to be a replacement for the word "Mafia," I wonder if it was intended to sound like "Mazhia" (soft "G" sound).
Posted by: Omar Karindu | March 31, 2017 6:20 AM
I always assumed it to have a soft G sound.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | March 31, 2017 6:42 AM
I always pronounced it with a hard g but now I'm wondering...
Posted by: Michael | March 31, 2017 7:55 AM
Soft G. Like DiMaggio. IIRC, it's actually not just the double-g that insists on a soft g pronunciation, but the fact that it's followed by an "i." That "ggi" in Italian is always going to be pronounced like "zhi."
Posted by: Dan H. | April 1, 2017 5:48 PM
In the 90s Iron Man cartoon it was pronounced Madge-ee-uh.
Posted by: Robert | April 1, 2017 7:43 PM
When I first started reading comics I was baffled by the Maggia thing. It was said but not explained and I had no idea it was a stand in for mafia, it took me a couple of years to figure it out, at one poi n t I thought their was a mafia in addition to the Maggia.
Posted by: OrangeDuke | December 30, 2017 12:06 PM
I think Marvel's official position is that there IS a mafia in addition to the Maggia.
Posted by: Michael | December 30, 2017 7:33 PM
And probably a Mummia and a Daddia too.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | December 30, 2017 8:44 PM
Wake up, Maggia's got something to say to you
Posted by: ChrisW | December 30, 2017 11:05 PM
All I needed was a friend to lend a little cash
Posted by: Omar Karindu | December 31, 2017 6:34 AM
@Chris and Omar, awesome!
Posted by: OrangeDuke | December 31, 2017 11:49 AM
Even when he got powers
Tony Soprano snubs them
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | December 31, 2017 2:15 PM
Ohhhhh dirty Maggia
The judge he guilty found and
Posted by: ChrisW | January 1, 2018 12:15 AM
Not only was there a Maggia but there were a Homia, a Margia, a Lisia and a Bartia too.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | January 6, 2018 8:46 PM
I just read Nathan Adler's post about issue 14 where it's suggested that Janet was pregnant at the time. Is there any in-story evidence to support this theory?
Posted by: Jay Gallardo | June 18, 2018 6:45 AM
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