Avengers (1st series) #29

Issue Date: 
June 1966
Story Title: 
This Power Unleashed!

Stan Lee (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Frank Giacoia (inks), Sam Rosen (letters)

Brief Description: 

Goliath is checked out by Army doctor Major Carlson, who confirms that Hank may be trapped into his ten-feet size, that is unless he prefers to die. Unable to coup with this terrible news, Hank takes off, wanting some time to think about what he’s going to do. Meanwhile, the Black Widow is revealed alive, though she’s brainwashed by her Russian employers. They employed her to recruit both Swordsman and Power Man. The plan is to defeat and imprison the Avengers, so their scientists can brainwash the heroes as well, so they can serve them. Natasha does as told, and her plan seems to work. She manages to recruit the villains, and imprison Hawkeye, Captain America, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Luckily, Janet has overheard everything and manages to locate Hank in time. He gets things back together in order to help out his friends. The team is rescued, though the villains manage to escape. Cap welcomes both Goliath and the Wasp back on board, but Hank still needs some time to think, and takes off again.

Full Summary: 

The Avengers have brought Hank back to the mansion’s infirmary. Quicksilver uses his speed to give Hank fast shocks with thermo-reviver discs but, no matter how fast Pietro manipulates them, Hank doesn’t move. Janet starts to panic, and doesn’t understand why. Hawkeye notices that Hank is still moving, so it’s not yet hopeless. Wanda still can’t believe that Hank sacrificed himself for them. Cap tells the others not to give up on Goliath so soon, as the hero went through a whole lot of dangers, and Cap is certain Hank won’t go out that easily.

Pietro doesn’t think that they can do any more. They need a physician, and fast. Janet remembers that Thor used to tell them to contact a doctor called Donald Blake in case of emergency. Cap tells Janet she’d better go do that, and Janet departs. She returns a few minutes later, but is still sad. Blake’s answering machine told her that the doctor is out of town!

Cap doesn’t want to risk waiting any longer. They need a good doctor, and it has to be someone they can trust. He remembers a Major from the army medical corps, and Cap has seen the man working under heavy combat conditions. Cap learned that the major now works in the city, and he just needs a minute to find his phone number.

Pietro hopes the man can come. Cap is certain the Major will, as Carlson has never let anyone down before. Janet starts to cry, still thinking all this is her fault. After all, Hank warned her that he couldn’t remain giant-size for more than a quarter hour. But, he did it anyway just to save her. Hawkeye relaxes Janet by telling her that any man would do what Hank did for the woman he loves. Clint quietly says he would have done the same for Natasha, should he still have had her.

Not long afterwards, Carlson arrives at the mansion. Cap knew Carlson wouldn’t let them down. Cap thinks that Carlson will find this to be a most unusual case, and asks the doctor if he ever heard about Giant-Man. Of course Carlson has, and he asks if he is the patient. Hawkeye remembers Cap that Hank changed his codename now, and prefers to be called Goliath. Ignoring Hawkeye, Cap informs the doctor that he can find Hank in the next room.

Carlson is startled to see Hank actually stuck at ten feet tall! Cap mentions that Hank would have been 25, but he collapsed while shrinking. Carlson suspects that changing his size so fast all these years has undoubtedly put a great strain to Hank’s body. Pietro informs Carlson about the shocks he tried giving Hank, but that nothing worked. Carlson asks Quicksilver to remove them now, as he wants to be alone with the patient for a while.

Exactly half an hour later, Dr. Carlson summons the Avengers back to him. He has completed his examination, and has two reports for the team: one is good, and the other isn’t. First of all, the doctor explains, Hank’s tremendous strength will enable Goliath to recover. But, even after he has fully regained consciousness, Hank must never attempt to shrink down to normal size. If Hank should, it would mean his certain death! Carlson noticed that Hank’s body couldn’t take such a strain again. Hank must remain ten feet tall… for the rest of his life!

Hank finally wakes up. Hank notices Janet, and asks her how long he has been out. Carlson explains to Hank that he was only a few hours away, but warns that he must take it easy, and that he must have no violent exercise for a while. Janet only cares that Hank’s alive.

Later, before the doctor turns to leave, Captain America speaks to him in a secluded corner of the downstairs wing. Cap wants to know if Carlson is certain that Hank will never be able to return to normal size. Carlson informs Cap that nothing is 100% certain in medical terms. But, judging by Hank’s present condition, Carlson is afraid Hank is destined to remain a ten-footer for as long as he lives.

Meanwhile, somewhere at the Far East…
A general leader asks Dr. Yen if Natasha has been completely brainwashed, as ordered. Yen confirms. The doctor’s word is good enough for the general, and gives Natasha the permission to step forward. The general tells Natasha that she was once known as the Black Widow, who was his greatest female agent. But, she has been punished for betraying them.

The general tells the Widow that she allowed her feelings for Hawkeye turn her into a traitor. But, now that Natasha has been thought the error of her ways, it is time for the Black Widow to return to her former teammates! Unless, of course, she prefers to go back to her prison cell. Natasha refuses, and promises the general that she won’t rest until the entire free world has been turned into their slaves. The general smiles, and is glad that Yen’s brainwashing never fails. The general asks Natasha to listen carefully, as her first new mission for them will be... to destroy the Avengers!

Back at the mansion…
Cap informs Goliath about his true condition, and he doesn’t take the news too well and starts trashing things. Cap promises that they’ll start renovating some of the rooms at the mansion, so Hank will be more comfortable. Cap doesn’t think he can stay there. He doesn’t think he’s just an Avenger now: he’s an oversized freak! Cap tells Hank he’s got to get a hold of himself. Hank shouts at Cap that nobody can know how he feels. He is doomed to live in a world that’s too small for him.

Cap leaves Hank be, and goes to warn Janet. She goes to Hank but, when she makes it to the room… Hank is gone! Hank himself walks alone in the streets, sad about the fact that he always has to remain a human colossus.

At the same time, at a nearby circus…
The Swordsman successfully finishes his act, which includes throwing knives at a girl without hitting her. The audience claps, most of them impressed, though others believe that Swordsman is using mirrors for the trick. After the show, the Black Widow approaches him, as she has been waiting for this moment. After a proper introduction, Natasha tells the Swordsman that he has to be a circus entertainer no more. Instead, he can fulfill the purpose of why she has traveled halfway around the world for: to help her destroy the Avengers. The Swordsman is intrigued, and asks about the plan. The Widow tells Swordsman to be patient, as there is one more person that has to join them first.

And, back at Avengers Mansion…
Quicksilver told Hawkeye to go to Captain America, who has news for him. He informs Clint that he received a message from SHIELD Intelligence, and that they learned that the Black Widow is still alive, and heading towards the USA. Hawkeye becomes overjoyed and immediately wants to go after her, and promises to not let her go this time. Cap asks Clint to hold up, as he isn’t finished yet. There is more. Cap fears that they didn’t let Natasha go without a reason, and suspects there is a good chance that she has been brainwashed.

Hawkeye isn’t interested in that. He can’t fake not being in love with the Widow, and wants to go find her no matter what. Despite Steve’s warning not to leave, Clint does anyway. Janet approaches Cap, wanting to know if there has been any news from Hank yet. Unfortunately there isn’t, but Cap wants to ask Janet to become the Wasp once more for this particular mission, and there isn’t time to explain it now. If nothing else, Cap hopes that this mission will keep Janet’s mind of Hank for a while.

Minutes later…
Hawkeye parks his car near the abandoned mansion that used to be Natasha’s headquarters. He doesn’t think there is a better place for her to possibly return to. Hawkeye goes inside it, and calls out to Natasha, but doesn’t receive an answer. Suddenly, he feels a slight wind passing his ear, but doesn’t notice anything in particular. Clint doesn’t realize that, in truth, he’s being followed by a tiny Wasp.

As Clint continues, he finds Natasha in a big room. She has been waiting for him. Clint still doesn’t understand that she has been brainwashed, and what she is waiting for: there is a whole world for them to discover. Suddenly, both the Swordsman and his other companion enter. And that person is none other than… Power Man! Power Man is unimpressed by Hawkeye, and thinks that his powers are by far superior over Clint’s.

Hawkeye doesn’t understand what’s going on and believes that, since he recognizes the villains, that they are holding Natasha hostage and wants to rescue her. Natasha asks Clint to wait, as Power Man and Swordsman aren’t her enemies… they are her allies! Clint believes that Natasha has run over and aligned herself with the bad guys. She corrects that the “bad guys” have aligned them with her. After hearing how cold her voice is, Clint now understands that Natasha truly has been brainwashed and that Cap was right. But, who challenges the Avengers challenges him, and Clint starts attacking.

Natasha feared that Hawkeye might not join them, and orders Swordsman and Power Man to attack Clint. He fires two stun arrows, and hits both villains. Though Power Man has been hit, he doesn’t fall. He recalls that the ray Dr. Zemo gave him made him more powerful than the common man and that’s why he’s still standing. He throws a brick of granite at Clint. Though he manages to dodge it, the granite falls against a wall and breaks apart in many shiny pieces, and they prevent Clint from seeing clear. Swordsman gets better and, since Clint is now stunned, he easily manages to hit him with his sword and makes Clint collapse. <>

Wasp has seen all this, and thinks she’d better takes off to warn the Avengers about the situation. Thanks to the fact that she’s still very tiny, nobody notices her escape and Janet can make it safely outside. However, once in the open sky, she is almost eaten by a white-throated sparrow! Luckily, she manages to fly fast enough to move past the beak, and is safe again. She grabs onto the birds feathers, and joins its flight. They land on a tree trench, where Janet regains her normal size. The bird freaks out by this, and takes off. But, Janet’s weight is too much for the branch she sits on to carry, and she falls down, hitting the ground. The landing is hard, and she blacks out.

Back at the mansion, both Swordsman and Power Man have managed to pass the mansion’s security and attack Captain America. He still remembers the last battle he and Swordsman had, and wonders why he chose to attack now. Cap hasn’t noticed Power Man entering yet, and he decides to wait for the perfect time to strike. Swordsman strikes, but he has the hardest time taking Cap down.

Swordsman notices, and decides to go help his evil partner out. He manages to throw Cap to the other side of the room, but the legendary super hero manages to safely land back onto his feet and is unharmed. He throws his shield against Power Man, who falls down. Cap goes to fight the still-standing Swordsman again and, in the heat of the battle, doesn’t think about Power Man anymore.

Power Man manages to recover, and sneaks up on the fighting Captain America. Power Man grabs the Avenger, and knocks him out! A few minutes later, Cap wakes up, but he has been thrown into a dark dungeon. He notices that, though the villains took his shield away, they didn’t take the time to check his gloves for any weapons, and still has an ace up his sleeve. He takes off his glove, and activates the communicator on his wristwatch and summons Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.

Wanda and Pietro immediately end their shopping downtown, and go follow Cap’s pinpoints towards his direction. Meanwhile, Wasp gets up again and hurries back to the mansion. Devastated, she finds that nobody is present, and finds the ravages of the earlier battle. She fears that the worst has happened and that the villains managed to catch up onto her teammates. Janet thinks it’s best she goes try and contact Hank about the situation. She puts on a communicator helmet invented by Tony Stark, and activates the Avengers’ advanced communicating system. She sends out special waves outside the city, hoping that Hank will receive the message. Janet hopes that her beloved shall return, no matter his size, as no matter what he’ll always be an Avenger!

At the same time, Pietro and Wanda arrive in front of the Black Widow’s house. Pietro scouts ahead, and soon locates the imprisoned Cap in the dungeons. Pietro tries to escape him, but suddenly a blast strikes him, and the speedster collapses before being able to escape the room. Black Widow, Power Man and Swordsman triumph, and throw the mutant into the dungeon as well. Now, they’ve only got Pietro’s twin sister to worry about.

Worrying about her brother not reporting back to her, Wanda goes inside the house. She soon makes it to the dungeon halls, but fears something’s wrong. She is being followed by the Swordsman, who decided to use the upgrades his sword received back when he was still working for the Mandarin. An electro shock gets fired, and the neutralize Wanda’s Hex powers! Wanda desperately tries to concentrate to stay awake, but the shock is too heavy and she collapses. Swordsman picks her up, and brings her to his teammates, though feels a little sorry for the girl, as she looks so helpless. Black Widow and Power Man don’t care, and want to imprison the Witch together with the others.

Once that’s done, Power Man and Swordsman want to know why the Widow hates the Avengers so much. She really doesn’t have an answer, but just knows she has to battle them because her employers ordered her to. She decides to go find a phone and warn her boss about their success. As soon as that is done, the Avengers will be brainwashed by Widow’s boss and serve them! But for some reason, she feels like she doesn’t want any harm brought upon Hawkeye, but doesn’t know why.

Suddenly, the wall gets smacked open! It’s Goliath! He’s furious and demands to know where his friends are. Unimpressed by Hank’s giant size, Power Man thinks he can handle the big guy. While Swordsman and Power Man fight Goliath, nobody pays attention to the Widow. She fears about losing, and thinks there is still a slight opportunity for her if she can reach the proper electronic controls. Widow’s worries seem to be correct, as Hank has no problems taking Power Man down with one single blow.

The Widow reaches the control panels and tries to activate them, yet on that exact moment the Wasp strikes with her powerful wasp sting! She returns to normal size, and pulls the switch that controls the dungeons the other Avengers are trapped inside. Their prison doors open, and everyone is free to join the battle against the villains yet again.

Swordsman throws fire from his sword at Hank, hoping this’ll keep him back. Unfortunately for the villain, Quicksilver arrives just in time. He uses his great speed to knock him out. But, Power Man is still standing, and plans on throwing a heavy desk on Hank. Luckily for Hank, Cap is nearby, and he throws his shield towards Power Man, making him drop the desk but not hitting Hank.

Cap thinks they are about to win. Though, he hasn’t counted for Swordsman’s final trick, and releases stun gas from his sword, which hits Quicksilver. He isn’t fast enough to run away from it, and faints. Luckily Goliath isn’t far away. He picks the Swordsman up, and hardly throws the guy to Power Man’s direction, and the villains hit each other. They get thrown into a corner, and are quickly surrounded by all of the Avengers.

Fearing for their defeat, Power Man and Swordsman’s luck is far from over. Suddenly, laser beams appear from the ground, creating a wall in front of them and the Avengers. This gives them the chance to escape, and the Avengers are unable to follow them. The laser beams were activated by the Black Widow, and she leads her companions through the dungeons safely outside. Hawkeye can stop them with an arrow if he wants to, as the arrow can go through the lasers, but he fears about hurting Natasha and doesn’t fire.

Cap understands, and he tries to cheer Hawkeye up. Clint is touched by it, and can’t believe Cap actually does this for him after the hard time he has been giving him ever since he joined the team. Cap thanks Goliath and Wasp for the assist, and welcomes them back onboard. Hank thanks Cap, but he prefers to have a little more time for his own, still sulking about the big size he’s trapped in. Cap understands, and lets Hank go. But, he still finds it tragic that the most powerful member of their team has to suffer this much.

Characters Involved: 

Captain America, Goliath, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Wasp (all the Avengers)

Black Widow I (Natasha Romanova)
Swordsman I (Jaques Duquesne)
Power Man I (Erik Josten)

Major Carlson

Hu Chen, Dr. Yen (Black Widow’s bosses)
soldiers (all unnamed)
artists and spectators at Swordsman’s circus (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

The Swordsman earlier attacked Captain America in Avengers (1st series) #19-20, and even almost to kill him.

The Avengers fail to contact Dr. Donald Blake, Thor’s human alter ego, as the Thunder God is currently busy in Olympus, trying to save Hercules from Pluto, as can be seen in Thor (1st series) #129.

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