Avengers (1st series) #28

Issue Date: 
May 1966
Story Title: 
Among us Walks… a Goliath!

Stan Lee (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Frankie Ray (inks), Artie Simek (letters)

Brief Description: 

The Avengers have received an emergency call from a scientist named Hank Pym. Curious, the Avengers go pick Hank up on the damaged ship he is on, and quickly return back to the mansion for an interrogation. There, Hank reveals his secret identity to his former teammates, and reveals that he used to be… Giant-Man! But now, the Wasp is in danger, and since Hank hasn’t heard from her since she left to warn the Avengers about Attuma. He fears something bad has happened. The Avengers receive another call. This time, it’s from a villain who calls himself the Collector, and he has kidnapped the Wasp. But he won’t be pleased until he can add the other Avengers to his collection as well, and gives the heroes his coordinates. Hank mentions that he no longer has to take any pills to use his powers, and can now change size by pure willpower. Wanda gives him a new uniform, and Hank adopts the codename of Goliath. They depart to the Collector’s headquarters. There, the Avengers become separated and attacked by the Beetle. He manages to defeat most of the heroes, but Hank is still standing. After a few battles, Hank finally manages to grab the Collector, and gives the Wasp back. But, she is still very tiny and trapped in a vial. While Wanda uses her Hex powers to return Janet back to normal size, the Collector and the Beetle manage to escape using the Collector’s time machine. A reunion and a revelation of Janet’s secret identity to the Avengers later, Hank tries to return back to normal size, but… he gets stuck at ten feet. Unable to maintain his cool, Hank blacks out, and the Avengers fear that Hank might be trapped in this size forever!

Full Summary: 

The Avengers have received an alarm signal from someone called Hank Pym. He has warned the Avengers that the Wasp is in danger. They wonder what Pym’s connection to the Wasp is. Cap wants to learn more about Pym, and asks Pietro to move away from the machine, and he’ll take the microphone now. Pym informs Cap that the Wasp managed to escape from Attuma’s ship, but she has been missing ever since.

In his ship, Pym asks the Avengers to send someone to pick him up in their rocket-jet air car, since it won’t take long that way. Cap is surprised that Pym calls the car “theirs.” Pym reveals that he used to be the Avenger known as… Giant-Man! He ends the communication.

Hank doesn’t care anymore about secrecy, not when Janet may be in danger. He knew that only a summon from Giant-Man can rescue her. He now regrets allow Janet to turn into the Wasp once more, and feels he should have forced her to stay retired. But, he’s fully aware that they had no choice, and that the hour of need was there. Plus, in his heart, Hank knows that he and Janet will always be Avengers.

Back at the Mansion, Cap admits that he would never have guessed that Pym and Giant-Man were once and the same. He orders Hawkeye to take the car and pick him up. Hawkeye refuses to be Cap’s chauffeur, but Cap defends that he gave him an order which he expects to be followed. Hawkeye calms the angry leader down, and agrees to help a fellow Avenger out, if only it means he won’t have to listen to Cap for a while.

At the same time, the tiny Wasp awakens… trapped in a glass cage on a giant ship! She wants to know how it could have happened, and why. She recalls having almost reached Avengers Mansion after escaping from Attuma, but then she saw nothing but blackness. A man enters, and notices that his sleeping beauty has woken up. Now, he believes its time to put her with the rest of his… collection. Wasp gets confused hearing that last word.

The man apologizes for not introducing himself. He is called… the Collector! He reveals to have spent a lifetime collecting the greatest prizes of all. In fact, he mentions, he notices one of his recent acquisitions returning to him right now. He notices the Beetle standing in another room, and explains to him that he wants the other Avengers captured as well, to have a complete set. Beetle agrees, and promises to go after them right away. The Collector claims to have a better idea, and orders the Beetle to remain on guard. As the Collector walks through his big ship, he explains that he will call the Avengers and let them come to him. He’s confident that, now that he has a super-villain in his collection, he’ll also add a team of super-heroes.

At the same time, Hawkeye has returned within the hour with Pym. Cap congratulates Hawkeye for it. Pym asks Cap if he has heard from the Wasp in the meantime. Cap shakes hands with his former teammates and welcomes him back in the Avengers, but sadly has to answer that they haven’t heard from the Wasp. Hawkeye wants to know how Cap can be certain they are dealing with the real Giant-Man, as, for all they know, Pym might be a fake. Cap tells Hawkeye not to worry: there is one way to find it out: he asks Pym to change size for them. Hank isn’t certain if that’ll work, since it has been such a long time since he did that.

Suddenly, over intercom, the Collector contacts the Avengers. He threatens that if they want to see the Wasp again, they’ll have to meet them at the address he’s about to give them. Cap notes the address down. None of the Avengers have heard of the Collector before, though. Pym wants to leave immediately, and help the Avengers out in the rescue. Cap orders Pym he won’t get to come along until he has proven he’s the real deal.

Hank reveals that one of the reasons he resigned from the Avengers, because he realized that changing his body so often might be dangerous to him, perhaps even fatal some day. Cap finds that reasonable, but they’ll still need proof. Hank explains that he can only attain one height now: 25 feet! He doesn’t dare to vary his sizes like back in the old days. And, he must remain that height for fifteen minutes, because, if he changes any sooner or later than that, the strain can be too much. But Hank understands why the Avengers are hesitant, so he asks them to stand back.

Wanda asks Hank to wait, since he has no costume. She never told anyone, but she has been sewing a new one in case Hank should ever return. She made it out of the special stretch fabric Hank had left behind months ago. Cap asks Wanda to go get it. Hank asks her to hurry, because each moment counts. Cap doesn’t think that size-changing is going to do much harm, and asks Pym to let them go after the Wasp alone. Hank will never leave Janet alone in hour of need, and is surprised to hear something like this coming from Cap. Cap apologizes, as he should have known the real Giant-Man would have done anything for the Wasp.

And so, a few more seconds later, Wanda has returned, and gives Hank his brand new costume! Hank likes it, and congratulates Wanda on the designs. But he isn’t too much interested in the costume right now. The only thing he can think about is the Wasp. Cap suggests that they not waste any more time than, and that Hank just changes size before their eyes. Hawkeye still thinks that Hank is a phony and that it won’t work, but Pietro isn’t so sure. Hank agrees to do it, but suggests they go outside where they’ll have more space.

Once outside in an alley behind the mansion, Cap recalls that Pym used to have to take some pills or something to become bigger. Hank corrects that he doesn’t have to do that anymore. He explains that his nervous system is now so conditioned that he can execute his size by mental command. He only needs to have the will to change. Hank prepares himself, but Hawkeye notices that nothing’s happening and thinks he was right. Cap asks Clint to give Hank some time. And so, with a dynamic speed, Hank becomes larger than any man has been before!

Hawkeye stands corrected, and welcomes Hank into the Avengers. Cap doesn’t think there can be any doubt now: Hank is a true goliath! Hank sure does like the sound of that, and thinks he’ll change his code-name. From now on, he shall be known as… Goliath! After all, Giant-Man always did sound a little corny to him. That’s fine by Cap, and he orders Pietro to go get the rocket jet moving, and suggests that Hank better starts shrinking again so he can join the trip.

Fifteen minutes later, the jet is ready, and the Avengers call out the legendary battle cry of “Avengers, Assemble!” Pietro feels honored to fight alongside one of the original Avengers. Hank thanks Quicksilver for the compliment, but notices that Hawkeye has suddenly become very quiet, and wonders why. As the jet continues its journey, Hawkeye mocks to himself that he had hoped that Pym would retire some day, and that he would have a better chance to become the team leader. However, now that he has returned, Clint fears that his chances are over. Cap asks Pietro to land, as they have arrived where the Collector wanted to meet them.

Hawkeye starts mocking about the mountains, but Cap doesn’t even listen and suggests that Quicksilver does a quick scout. Hank asks Clint why he acts this way, but Cap tells Hank that he’ll get used to the guy. The Avengers follow Pietro, who stops, as he has noticed something. Suddenly, a loud noise is heard. The Avengers can now see an opening inside some rocks, which wasn’t there before. They go through it, and soon find a castle hidden within! That must be where the Collector lives. Pietro thinks it looks more like a former hideout of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Hawkeye quickly takes out an arrow to protect himself from possible dangers. Hank doesn’t care: he will rescue Wanda, even if it means that he has to tear this place apart!

Inside the castle, the Collector’s electronic warning alarm goes off, making him aware that the Avengers have arrived. He laughs and is confident that they’ll soon be added to his personal collection. Pietro scouts ahead, but Cap asks him to be careful, as he doesn’t like the way the passageways in the castle are shaped. Hank notices how easily Cap has taken the role of leadership, and thinks he might have been born for the job. Cap is glad that he has asked Hawkeye to wait outside, as this place has the word “trap” written all over it.

Pietro stops, as there’s a solid slab in steel in front of them. It’s a dead end. Cap first thinks that he’s imagining things, but… he isn’t. The walls are starting to close in on them! Soon there’s no more room for the Avengers left to turn, and they are trapped. Hank doesn’t know who the Collector is, but recognizes him as dangerous as any other adversary they have faced before. The walls stop moving, but the Avengers are still trapped, though separated from each other. It’s now up to Hawkeye to rescue them. At that point, sleep gas fills the entire room! The Collector corrects that Hawkeye won’t be of much help to them, as he’s receiving the same present like the other Avengers are getting now.

Not too long afterwards, the Collector has all the Avengers, including Hawkeye, chained in his room. But he doesn’t understand why Giant-Man isn’t with them, as he must have both Giant-Man and the Wasp to have his collection complete. Upon hearing Janet’s name, Hank becomes furious and grows his size until he’s released himself! He demands to know where she is. The Collector realizes his mistake. Goliath threatens to splatter the Collector with his hand if he doesn’t talk. The Collector agrees, and promises to start describing some of his collection. Hank isn’t interested about that, and only wants to know about Janet.

The Collector insists that he first tells Hank about his crusade. He starts flying, and mentions that he can do that thanks to his cape, which is actually a flying carpet that he received from Persia. Hank tells the Collector that can’t stop him from getting what he wants. The Collector disagrees, and runs towards a giant catapult. The other Avengers warn Hank not to take any changes with the enemy, and to cut them lose so they can help him out and fight like the team they are.

But the Collector acts faster, and fires a big rock using his catapult, which he collected as a relic from his trip to the Middle Ages! Hank feels the rock hitting him, but still stands. Hawkeye is impressed, but Pietro mentions that’s the reason why Goliath’s name is legend. Hawkeye shouts at Hank to release them while he still can. Hank agrees, and sets his teammates free. Hank suggests that they better go after Janet now. Pietro notices the Collector trying to escape, and runs after him. Hank tries to follow as well, but can’t shrink his size for another quarter of an hour, so the others will have to search without him. Hank notices the Collector running to some stairs, and the others follow, telling Hank to follow as fast as he can.

Hank does as told, but feels like an adult in a doll house: they have to run through a lot of stone archways and, thanks to his big size, Hank has the hardest time keeping up with the team. But he’s happy to see that the others aren’t wasting any time, and is pleased to see that they truly are real Avengers. He also congratulates Cap for making such a strong fighting team out of the newer members.

Cap tells the others that they can’t wait for Hank. He fears that if they fall back, the Collector could hide anywhere. He orders Quicksilver to keep running. Hawkeye wonders what if Pietro is running in the wrong direction. Cap wants to take that chance: it won’t take Pietro long to retrace his steps if he has to.

Suddenly, Wanda notices someone hanging above them on the ceiling: it’s the Beetle! The Beetle thinks that this is his chance. If he captures the Avengers for his master, he will certainly give him the antidote for the obedience potion he fed the Beetle. He wants to be free again. Cap recognizes the Beetle and warns his teammates. Hawkeye is glad to finally learn who attacked him back at the mansion before he left to help defeat Attuma.

The Beetle stretches his arms, and grabs Captain America with them, wanting to take him out first since he’s the leader. Hawkeye wants to use his arrows on their adversary but, since Cap is in between them, Clint hesitates, fearing he might hurt Cap. Cap keeps swirling until he’s free, and kicks Beetle in the face, confident that they’ll win the battle. But, in truth, Cap admits in himself that he isn’t so confident, since he notices all the different weapons the Beetle can use, and this makes him dangerous.

Despite Cap’s strength, the Beetle still manages to throw Cap away and release himself. Beetle even admires Cap’s courage, yet not his judgment. He finds it sarcastically a shame that Cap doesn’t have the ability to fly like he does. Cap didn’t realize how heavy Beetle’s wing are, or the power he can wield with them. With Cap falling down, he orders Hawkeye to do maneuver nine! Scarlet Witch doesn’t even know what that is. But luckily Hawkeye does and, while taking out an arrow, he tells the pretty lady to just watch.

Hawkeye fires the arrow against a wall, and Cap manages to roll himself towards the arrow, and grab it so he can safely land down without hurting himself. Cap congratulates Hawkeye for it. The Beetle notices how clever the Avengers are, but he swears he’ll defeat them anyhow. All he needs to do is tear a piece of stone wall. The Beetle manages to do that, and plans on throwing the rock on the Avengers’ heads, but then something weird happens. He gets pulled down away from the Avengers, thanks to the Scarlet Witch’s Hex powers.

Fortunately for the Beetle, his wings managed to break his fall. Though, his rock has broke apart, and blocked the way between all of the Avengers. Beetle thinks he can surely beat them one-on-one, but Cap believes otherwise. He starts to fight the Beetle again, and pounds him several times with his shield. Though the pounds come hard, Cap notices that the Beetle is extending his suction pads again. Cap fears he can’t beat the Beetle: it’s like fighting a tank!

And, behind the heavy boulders, Hawkeye and the Scarlet Witch desperately try to reach Cap again. Wanda is surprised that Clint seems to care. Clint defends that, even though he doesn’t like Cap much, he’s still an Avenger.

Cap thinks of a solution to defeat the Beetle: his extendable fingers must be hydraulically operated, thinking that the pressure will be enough. But the Beetle thinks faster than Cap does, and manages to extend his fingers again and push Cap harsh against a wall. Never before has the Beetle come so close to an abject defeat.

Meanwhile, in another section of the ancient castle, Goliath and Quicksilver manage to catch up on the Collector. Hank demands to know what happened to the Wasp, but the Collector smirks that Hank will never find her hiding place. The Collector takes out a gun, and gives Pietro a shock wave! Pietro’s ears hurt like never before, and he faints from it. Hank’s enormous strength does not impress the Collector. He throws a crystal ball at Hank, who becomes trapped inside it. The Collector took the ball from an ancient Tibetan monetary, and he hurls powerful rays at Hank. Rays nobody has ever managed to get through. The plan seems to work. Hank’s head starts to hurt, and he can’t think straight. Everything starts to turn black, and Hank realizes that brute strength won’t be enough to defeat this enemy.

But, Hank wants to make at least one final effort. He wants to get back up somehow, and gather enough strength to finish this. The Collector laughs that, once Hank has been added to his collection, he is confident that the other heroes will be easy. Though, thanks to his very own will power, Hank manages to grow his hand bigger than it was, and he slaps the Collector with it! But despite this, the attack doesn’t give Hank much time to recover. The Collector takes out some beans out of his pockets, and informs Hank that the beans are what inspired the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. All he has to do is throw them on the floor, and helpers shall arrive.

Hank suspects that the Collector is mad. But then, green fog suddenly surrounds the entire room, and two giant brutes appear, obeying the Collector at his word! The Collector didn’t like using the beans much, but he had no choice and, after all, he thinks that the Avengers are worth a whole lot more. Unimpressed by the giant brutes, Hank starts the battle, using his knowledge of some kung-fu moves.

At that moment, the Beetle enters, carrying the defeated Captain America with him. He informs the Collector about what happened. He fears that the rocks won’t hold the remaining Avengers, as the Collector hasn’t forgotten Wanda’s Hex powers. After the Collector has said those words, Hawkeye and Wanda enter, and they are ready to continue the battle. Hawkeye tries to fire an arrow upon the Beetle, but he manages to dodge it. Hawkeye notices Goliath, and realizes that Hank seems to be in trouble.

One of the giants manages to grab Hank with a leather strap. Hank fails to free himself. Wanda notices Hank, and thinks that only her Hex powers can save the day. And the strap snaps! Hank quickly punches the giant, and grabs the Collector up by his cape. Hank has had enough, and demands to finally know where the Wasp is. The Collector promises he shall tell it, but also promises that Hank will regret asking it. He takes out a very, very tiny vial out of his pocket, and inside the vial lays… an even tinier Wasp! The Collector threatens Hank to release him, or else he’ll shatter the vial!

Having no choice, Hank does. The Collector reveals that the Wasp can’t return to normal size while she is inside the cylinder. And, as long as the Collector has, the Avengers have to do as he says. And he orders the Avengers to return to the dungeon cells! Cap notices Pietro slowly getting up again, and orders the boy to get the Wasp. Pietro realizes what Cap’s plan is and, after getting up, he runs like a whirlwind around the Collector’s unsuspecting body and manages to grab Janet.

The Collector falls down, but he still seems confident he can win. The Avengers wonder why. The Collector calls the Beetle to his side, and he comes. He pulls his arms back, and laughs that the Avengers can’t stop him from grabbing the vital artifact! Hawkeye threatens the Collector with an arrow, but the Collector tells the Avengers not to fear, as he won’t make a move at all. He starts fading away!

The Collector explains that by simply touching the temporal assimilator, he can activate it instantly. It isn’t for nothing that this time machine is the Collector’s greatest prize! The Collector also grabs Beetle, who starts fading away as well, and the Collector wants the Beetle to accompany on his upcoming journey. And then, the both of them are… gone!

The Avengers are glad to have at least the Wasp back. Wanda mentions that she can free and revert Wanda back to normal size with her Hex powers, and asks everyone to stand back. And, after casting her powers, Janet is free and grows to normal size! Hank is happy to see is beloved again, and informs her that he told the Avengers his secret identity, and that Janet might as well confess, too. She agrees and, after a while, has told the Avengers everything there is to know about her.

Janet loves Hank’s new codename of Goliath, but asks him to change back to normal size now, as he’s still big. Hank does, but suddenly, he feels… dizzy… and gets stuck! He realizes he has been too careless, and remained giant for too long. Failing to control the process, Hank blacks out!

Wanda fears the worst, but Hawkeye notices that Hank is still breathing. But Hank does believe that, if Hank lost his power to change size, he’ll remain ten feet tall forever! Pietro grieves for Hank. Janet thinks it’s all her fault, as Hank came to safe her. Cap calms Janet down by telling her that Hank would give his life a thousand times for her. But, Cap does wonder if it’s possible that another Avenger has left their ranks, only to return… no more?!

Characters Involved: 

Captain America, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch (all Avengers)

Goliath, Wasp (both former Avengers)

The Collector

the Collector’s giants (both unnamed)

Story Notes: 

First use of the Goliath codename for Hank Pym. It’s also the issue in which he and Wasp reveal their secret identities to the other Avengers. Before this issue, none of the Avengers were aware of it, as Iron Man thought it to be best to keep their identities hidden. Though, that promise changed when the new Avengers team was formed in Avengers (1st series) #16.

First appearance of the Collector.

At this point, Hank Pym is able to grow at pure will. Before that, he needed to swallow Pym particles.

The Wasp managed to escape from Attuma in Avengers (1st series) #26.

The “Jack and the Beanstalk” story the Collector mentions is an old folktale, originally published, though it did exist in a different form in a story published in 1734. It has since been adopted and adapted by many other writers. It’s about a young boy named Jack, who plants magical beans, and they grow into a large plant he can climb up to find a new and fantastic land, and later has many adventures where he learns the values of life etc.

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: