Meet one of the most deadly and persistent super villains of all-time!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

How do you stop a villain from the future, who knows the past and also comes stocked with weaponry to make even Tony Stark’s head spin? Jack Kirby and Stan Lee answered that very question in 1964 with AVENGERS #8. In that issue, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes met at Stark’s mansion by request from the Pentagon who showed them a video of an unidentified flying object landing in Virginia. Unafraid of the human element, the craft’s pilot smoothed over a mile of forest to land and then used another ray to vibrate the approaching tanks to pieces!

Before long, the invader revealed himself as Kang, the Conqueror! At the government’s request, the Avengers flew off to investigate. When they arrived at the craft, they found their foe lounging on an invisible, floating chair, completely unimpressed with their appearance. The villain then very simply stated his objective of taking over the entire planet and backed that up by tossing the mighty super heroes around like paper dolls.

Once the under-secretary of defense showed up, Kang explained that he had been born in the year 3000, mastered time travel, and then visited the past as Rama-Tut, first seen in FANTASTIC FOUR #19. While trying to return to his home time, he actually went to the year 4000 where warring barbarians wielded technologically advanced weapons built in a bygone era. However, the self-styled Conqueror grew bored with the war-ravaged climes and decided to return to an earlier Earth. He ordered his minions to build him another time machine and that’s how he came face to face with the Avengers.

Avengers (1963) #8

Avengers (1963) #8

  • Published: September 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Uninterested in Kang’s claims of dominance, the Avengers attacked the would-be despot, but didn’t fair well. The time traveler zapped Giant-Man, deflected Mjolnir, and foiled Wasp’s attempts at de-powering his helmet. Tired of the battle, the rogue had the male members of his opposition sucked into holding cells inside his ship and then gave the world an ultimatum: surrender or die.

Kang would soon learn the error of his ways in ignoring The Wasp and Rick Jones, though. Jones called in his Teen Brigade pals and feigned allegiance, causing all kinds of trouble along the way. They even managed to free our heroes! Meanwhile, Wasp searched Hank Pym’s lab and found a power ray she thought would tip the scales in their favor.

Reunited, the Avengers pressed their attack, which included a blast from the gun that unleashed a suit-melting acid on Kang. The invader then unleashed a Neutrino Missile, but Iron Man easily deflected it as Giant-Man sealed off the launchers on the ship. Besieged and beleaguered, The Conqueror could do nothing more than retreat to his chronal conveyance and make a hasty retreat! And that’s how you beat a time traveler!

Check out more Kang in video game form with “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2”!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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The Avengers undergo a metamorphosis courtesy of Jack and Stan Lee!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Right off the bat, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby made it a point to keep AVENGERS readers on their toes by first introducing Hulk as a member of the team and then having him leave one issue later. With the fourth installment, they brought in another hero by the name of Captain America after finding him floating in a huge ice cube in the ocean. However, with 1965’s AVENGERS #16 they pulled off one of the greatest team transitions in history as all of the remaining original Earth’s Mightiest Heroes took off and the Sentinel of Liberty carried on—with a bunch of people assumed to be criminals by the general public!

The story began like many others with Thor, Iron Man, Wasp and Giant Man facing off against the Masters of Evil in the streets, weighing their options on whether they should jump immediately into the fray or hang back to keep the onlookers safe. The Melter, Enchantress, Executioner, and Black Knight cared not for the safety of others and attacked the heroes. In the process, the two Asgardians decided to cut and run, leaving Melter and Black Knight to the Avengers’ mercy.

Meanwhile, Captain America and Rick Jones cleaned up the previous issue’s adventure that led to the apparent death of Baron Zemo. Back at Avengers Mansion, Iron Man, Wasp, and Giant Man sat down to discuss the concerns of the day. Janet Van Dyne came right out and suggested that they all step back from the team and take a break. That conversation got put on hold when they saw smoke rising in their headquarters. The crew soon found its source: Hawkeye! The masked archer quickly stated his desire not to fight with the Avengers, but instead alongside them! Clint Barton got the nod after shooting off the ropes that he himself had tied Jarvis up with.

Avengers (1963) #16

Avengers (1963) #16

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The remaining Avengers did their best to catch Hawkeye up to speed while also attempting to bolster their ranks. Namor passed on the opportunity, but the publicity garnered the attention of former Brotherhood of Evil Mutants members Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver who decided to make their way to America. After publicly announcing their newest member in the now-Avenging Archer, Earth’s Mightiest met with the Maximoffs while Captain America and Rick continued their long journey home and Thor remained in Asgard. By the time Cap finally got back to the mansion, he found himself looking at a room half-filled with strangers.

Understandably surprised by all of the changes, Steve Rogers decided to stick around and lead this new group that would soon become known as Cap’s Kooky Quartet! More importantly, these three would go on to become among the most beloved and important Avengers of all time and it all came from a huge shake-up that could have been as disastrous as it was successful.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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View Ulysses Klaw's change from an invader to a super-powered sound slinger!

 

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

Klaw made his diabolical return to comics with this week’s BLACK PANTHER #166. He and T’Challa have raged against each other for years, which means that he makes an excellent candidate for this week’s FLASHBACK FRIDAY!

The character debuted in a very different form back in 1966’s FANTASTIC FOUR #53 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, which also happened to be Black Panther’s second appearance. In the previous issue, T’Challa brought the Fantastic Four to Wakanda and challenged them physically. In this one, though, he revealed his true purpose for bringing them to his homeland.  

Fantastic Four (1961) #53

Fantastic Four (1961) #53

  • Published: August 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The king showed his guests around and explained both the mantle of the Black Panther and the existence of Vibranium. In a flashback, we met Klaw who had arrived in Wakanda to mine the unique element. He needed it to power his own invention, the Sound Transformer. When T’Challa’s father refused permission, Klaw killed him.

Back in the present, Wakanda had been plagued by mysterious red creatures that left no trace when they finally fell in battle. While the Fantastic Four fought the projections, T’Challa went after the perpetrator himself. Klaw intended to kill anyone who stood between him and the Vibranium he craved. To put a stop to his enemy and avenge his father, T’Challa brought an entire mountain down on Klaw.

Instead of dying, though, the villain leaped into his own sound converter, thus turning his body into pure sound. The villain returned in a far more familiar form not long after in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR #56. He popped up out of nowhere to trap Mr. Fantastic and Thing in Reed’s lab.  

Fantastic Four (1961) #56

Fantastic Four (1961) #56

  • Published: November 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Klaw then attacked Sue Storm and explained his new look and powers. “My physical structure is now composed of solidified sound – sound which serves me as a weapon, far greater than any ever known!”

Sue did her best to hold her own against the mad villain looking to prove himself. Meanwhile, Ben and Reed continued to try and escape from Klaw’s trap, which they eventually did! After Thing failed to drop the bad guy, Reed received a pair of Vibranium knuckles rocketed to Manhattan by T’Challa.

Properly armed, Richards knocked Klaw out with a few punches that would make Ben Grimm proud before smothering him with his own stretchy body. Having properly drained the villain of his powers, the team disabled his weaponry and then thanked Black Panther for his well-timed delivery.

Flash Forward

Klaw returned next in AVENGERS #5455 as a member of the Masters of Evil along with Whirlwind, Melter, Black Knight and Radioactive Man lead by the mysterious Crimson Cowl who turned out to be Ultron-5. The villains worked well together to take out the heroes! In the second issue, Klaw tried killing the Crimson Cowl, but failed. He then swore his allegiance. That failed to help, though, as the Avengers eventually escaped and Black Panther appropriately put Klaw down in the final battle. 

Fantastic Four (1961) #56

Fantastic Four (1961) #56

  • Published: November 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

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As Scott Lang joins the Guardians as Ant-Man we look back at how he joined the Marvel Universe!

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

A first day on the job usually leads to some uncomfortable situations. You’re not quite sure where to park or sit for lunch. Maybe the people don’t take to you immediately or show even a remote sense of interest in your existence. And then sometimes, Wonder Man tries to punch you in the face because the Avengers Mansion security tried taking him out.

That wasn’t just Scott Lang’s first day on the job as an employee of Tony Stark’s installing the security system at the famous domicile, but also his very first appearance as seen in AVENGERS #181 by David Micheline, John Byrne and Gene Day. 

Avengers (1963) #181

Avengers (1963) #181

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Now that Lang has joined up with the team in ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, it’s the perfect time to look back at how he made his less-than-spectacular debut in 1979. In an interesting little twist of fate, Iron Man actually saw the original Guardians off after a shared adventure they had in #177.

Anyway, Lang walked away with his head intact thanks to Stark interceding on his behalf, which allowed him to show up again in MARVEL PREMIERE #4748 by Micheline, Byrne and Bob Layton. 

Marvel Premiere (1972) #47

Marvel Premiere (1972) #47

What is Marvel Unlimited?

This issue kicked off with Lang already in the Ant-Man duds thinking to himself about saving his daughter while interrupting a surgery. He held his own, but didn’t succeed in completing his mission, which gave him time to think back.

In that second appearance, Lang remembered being an inmate in a prison that helped him get a job interview with Stark International. Wanting to put his burglary days behind him and embrace his electronics background, which worked out, but only for a while. Soon, his daughter Cassie exhibited an inoperable aorta condition that seemed to leave them all with little to no hope.

Desperate, Lang broke into a an old mansion belonging to Hank Pym. He wanted cash to help pay for Cassie’s treatment, but wound up stumbling upon the Ant-Man costume and helmet, which he made off with. He soon put the duds on and found himself at eye level with the insects.

Only later did the opening scene come into focus more fully as he intended to kidnap Dr. Sondheim who was working on the procedure and force her to help Cassie. Instead, he discovered that a hulk of a man named Darren Cross had actually kidnapped Dr. Sondheim already in search of her services.

After rescuing the good doctor, she helped save Cassie’s life and things started looking up for Lang, and then Pym appeared in his Yellow Jacket costume. Instead of chewing the thief out, Hank congratulated him on a job well done and said he could keep the suit if he kept doing good with it.

Lang jumped at the chance and has been striving to stay on the right side ever since. He even did a good enough job parenting to help raise Cassie into a strong young woman who became a hero in her own right known as Stature!

Flash Forward

The MARVEL PREMIERE issues as a test to see if this new Ant-Man could shoulder his own series. The numbers didn’t quite work out for that, but he did wind up becoming an Avenger. In #181, he showed up at Yellow Jacket’s request to help the team find out what the Wasp might be doing at the Solomon Institute for the Criminally Insane. The two shrunk down to infiltrate the building and free Jan, which succeeded. Unfortunately they ran into a new foe: The Taskmaster! They put up a good enough fight to eventually earn Scott a spot on the team!

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Captain America faces a ferocious force in his first Avengers mission!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

By now, just about everyone knows what happened in AVENGERS #4 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby: After Namor threw something of a tantrum, he accidentally dislodged an iceberg holding World War II hero Captain America. While flying home from their own battle with the Sub-Mariner as well as Hulk in the previous issue, the Avengers spotted this odd shape, saw a man inside, and were shocked to find who thawed out on their ship.

At the end of that installment, Cap noted the similarities between Rick Jones and his now-deceased—or so he thought—partner Bucky Barnes and also officially became an Avenger! His first official outing among Earth’s Mightiest Heroes actually took place in yesterday’s Kirby 100 spotlight, which saw both the Avengers and Fantastic Four taking on the Hulk. Returning to their tossed headquarters in AVENGERS #5, the team cleaned the place up and then went their separate ways.

Of course, the world has a tendency to bear witness to problems springing up that need the attention of our heroes! In this case, a Transistorized Artillery Computer at a Stark factory blew up because of high-pitched sonics. Individually, the other Avengers also experienced strange sounds that caused other kinds of problems. We soon learned that the Lava Men caused the disturbance, emitted by their Living Stone weapon. One of their number had fought Thor in the pages of JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #97 and suggested against causing trouble with the surface dwellers. The rulers moved ahead anyway.

Avengers (1963) #5

Avengers (1963) #5

  • Published: May 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

After a tussle with Iron Man, the Lava Men explained to Thor that the Living Stone exploded on impact. It had grown to such a great size, that they planned on sending it to the surface, smashing it, exploding it, and taking all the crust dwellers with it! Back up top, the Avengers did their best to keep their foes from flowing out onto the surface before heading down under themselves and joining back up with Thor. The reunion proved short-lived as the Lava Men’s witch doctor used his own magic to turn the Thunder God back to Donald Blake. Making matters worse, Hulk showed up to cause his own brand of trouble!

Luckily, Hulk’s presence gave Captain America an idea for a plan. The remaining Avengers all worked together to get the Jade Giant up on top of the Living Stone bubble and Wasp got him to punch at exactly the right spot. The resulting implosion sent the force downward instead of outward. With the threat gone, Blake turned back into Thor and sealed the Lava Men back inside the Earth, warning them not to return. Not far away, Betty Ross found Bruce Banner and took him back to the military base he worked at nearby and the Avengers went off to answer a Condition Red emergency from the Teen Brigade!

Clearly, Lee and Kirby liked the idea of building their shared universe of titles at this time. In addition to the title team, which now featured a legacy character, they also brought back the Lava Men from the earlier Thor story. Though published not even a year apart from each other, it’s fun to look at both tales and see how much the already amazing Kirby got even better as an artist!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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A look back at Wanda's checkered past.

 

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

We bet Wanda Maximoff would feel a bit green if she looked back at her first appearance in 1964’s X-MEN #4 and not just because she was mis-colored on the cover! 

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #4

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #4

  • Published: March 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Rating: T+
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Earlier that year, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the merry mutants starring in the series as well as their number one enemy, Magneto. By this issue, he’d surrounded himself with a group calling themselves the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

Consisting of all-new characters Toad, Mastermind and the sister-brother combo of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, the group seemed as focused on giving each other trouble as they were the X-Men.

In fact, Pietro and Wanda almost left, but then Magneto recounted their shared history which saw Magneto saving her from a mob of angry villagers. She pledged her loyalty to him right there and was soon joined by her brother.

By sticking around, the super powered siblings played a part in Magneto’s plot to use a stolen battleship to take over the small nation of Santo Marco. Though not a fan of Magneto’s fear-mongering, Wanda did take on the X-Men, specifically Angel with her mysterious hex powers.

The X-Men gained the upper hand and the villains made their escape, but before doing so, Quicksilver ran back to stop a bomb Magneto left behind. After several more missions with Magneto, the siblings’ distaste for Magneto and his methods outweighed their loyalty to him and the broke out on their own after the Stranger took their one-time leader in X-MEN #11

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #11

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #11

  • Published: May 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Rating: T+
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Not long after, the Avengers found themselves at a crossroads. The team of Iron Man, Thor, Giant-Man, Wasp and Captain America had been getting along pretty well, but other concerns lead to a massive roster change. Pietro read about their acceptance of former villain Hawkeye to the squad in the newspaper and told Wanda. Before long, the two traveled to New York City to see about joining up.

By the end of that same issue – 1965’s AVENGERS #16 to be exact – all of the original members left, leaving Captain America to lead three former criminals on the world’s most renowned super team! Wanda soon proved herself and became an integral part of many Avengers line-ups. She’s also known as one of the team’s biggest threats, having played a part in destroying the team, creating the House of M universe and diminishing the mutant population severely. 

Avengers (1963) #16

Avengers (1963) #16

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Back in good standing now, she returned to fight alongside her teammates in the pages of UNCANNY AVENGERS #26 after being controlled by the demon Chthon during Secret Empire, which ended with #10 this week.

Flash Forward

For a more detailed account of Wanda and Pietro’s past, check out AVENGERS ORIGINS: SCARLET WITCH AND QUICKSILVER by Sean McKeever and Mirco Pierfederici. In this OGN we see the siblings trying to make their way alone in the world until Magneto appeared to help them. We then see the Maximoffs join up with the Brotherhood, even though they don’t exactly see eye to eye with its leader, who we know is actually their father! The issue shows some of the parent-child moments behind-the-scenes even if the participants didn’t know it!

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Relive historical battles pitting Earth’s Mightiest Heroes against giant monsters!

In AVENGERS #1.MU, out January 25, you’ll find Earth’s Mightiest Heroes hard at work fighting giant monsters. More known for combating menaces they’re able to look in the eye, the Avengers nonetheless can count several battles throughout their storied career with opponents on a much, much larger scale.

Avengers (1963) #17

Avengers (1963) #17

  • Published: June 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Don Heck
What is Marvel Unlimited?
AVENGERS #17
Working with his so-called “Kooky Quartet,” Captain America initiated a search for The Hulk that barrel-rolled into a confrontation with the Mole Man and his monstrous Minotaur.

Avengers Annual (1967) #1

Avengers Annual (1967) #1

  • Published: September 10, 1967
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Cover Artist: Don Heck
What is Marvel Unlimited?
AVENGERS ANNUAL #1
With a bevy of baddies led by The Mandarin attacking cities around the globe, the Avengers split up to tackle the tasks. In Africa, Thor and Hawkeye ran up against the towering Ultimo, who popped out of a volcano to give the heroes a hotfoot until they ultimately defeated him.

Avengers (1963) #61

Avengers (1963) #61

What is Marvel Unlimited?
AVENGERS #61
The Sons of Satannish cast spells that allowed the frost giant Ymir and the fire giant Surtur to trod the Earth, causing mayhem. The Avengers rushed in to drive the goliaths back, but it came down to Doctor Strange to break the evil spell.

Avengers (1963) #124

Avengers (1963) #124

What is Marvel Unlimited?
AVENGERS #124
The giant alien lizard known as the Star-Stalker proved more than a match for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes until the mysterious Mantis deduced the creature’s vulnerability to heat and directed The Vision to deliver a mortal strike with his solar eyebeams.

Avengers Annual (1967) #6

Avengers Annual (1967) #6

What is Marvel Unlimited?
AVENGERS ANNUAL #6
When the Avengers encountered Nuklo, the son of Golden Age hero The Whizzer, at an army base, they never imagined he’d grow to gigantic proportions and threaten to explode in a burst of deadly energy. Alas, it’s all in a day’s work for our heroes…

Avengers (1963) #180

Avengers (1963) #180

What is Marvel Unlimited?
AVENGERS #180
On a far-off South Pacific island, the Avengers tussled with Monolith, a hulking rock monster controlled by a strange native totem. While Thor and Vision wrestled with Monolith, Beast figured things out and the creature wound up in space.

Avengers (1963) #257

Avengers (1963) #257

What is Marvel Unlimited?
AVENGERS #257
Titanic Terminus, the ravager of entire worlds, threatened the Savage Land’s atmospheric controls, but the Avengers swooped in to topple the towering titan and divined the secret of not only his true identity, but his shocking weakness.

Avengers (1963) #292

Avengers (1963) #292

What is Marvel Unlimited?
AVENGERS #292
Namor the Sub-Mariner clashed with the Avengers in an attempt to curtail their battle against Leviathan, a giant sea creature on a rampage. As it turned out, the beast stood revealed as a transformed Marrina, a member of Alpha Flight and Namor’s beloved.

Avengers (1998) #40

Avengers (1998) #40

  • Published: May 10, 2001
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: March 03, 2009
  • Rating: T+
  • Writer: Kurt Busiek
  • Penciler: Alan Davis
What is Marvel Unlimited?
AVENGERS (1998) #40
Earth’s Mightiest Heroes found their hands full with a multitude of Diablo’s pseudo-Hulks, but recoiled in horror when a giant-size emerald imitator took the stage and demanded destruction. The tide finally turned when Bruce Banner, the original Hulk, took control of the strange situation as only he could.

Mighty Avengers (2007) #1

Mighty Avengers (2007) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?
MIGHTY AVENGERS #1
Our list begins and ends with the Mole Man. A collection of heroes fought valiantly against a huge horde of the subterranean psychopath’s giant monsters, but it turned out to be merely a prologue to an even greater threat: a new Ultron.

AVENGERS #1.MU tackles giant beasts as part of Monsters Unleashed on January 25 under the guidance of Jim Zub and Sean Izaakse!

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Take A Brief Look at the Second Avengers Line-Up

They’ve been called “Cap’s Kooky Quartet” both lovingly and mockingly, but love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can’t deny that the second Avengers line-up hit with a huge impact. In fact, writer Mark Waid’s still talking about them to this day, as you can see in AVENGERS #3.1, out January 18, and right here in this rundown of the Quartet’s Five Greatest Hits!

Consisting “only” of Captain America, the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Hawkeye, and known more for their bickering and dissension than anything over their brief-but-bombastic 11-issue run, Waid’s got noting but praise for the Little Avengers That Could.

“They were so, for want of a better and more modern word, plucky,” he notes. “They had huge shoes to fill—in the case of Giant-Man, literally so—and yet they rose to the occasion!

“I have to go with Captain America [as a favorite on the team], if for no other reason than it must have taken superhuman effort not to kill Hawkeye.”

AVENGERS #17
Right out of the starting gate, the Kooky Quartet sought out the Hulk to re-up his membership, but faced off against the Mole Man and his Minotaur instead. Hawkeye groused the entire way, and everyone asked themselves what the heck they’d signed up for, but in the end they pulled together and won the day. The Hulk? Who needs ‘im! 

Avengers (1963) #17

Avengers (1963) #17

  • Published: June 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Don Heck
What is Marvel Unlimited?

AVENGERS #19
The wily Swordsman came calling at Avengers Mansion to seek membership, but when his criminal qualities exerted themselves, the team wised up and sent him packing. The story revealed more of Hawkeye’s past—the Swordsman trained him—and Cap kept watching his mailbox for an answer to his SHIELD application.

“The original Swordsman story rocks,” says Waid. “The Quartet was in its finest form there, up against impossible odds, yet triumphing!” 

Avengers (1963) #19

Avengers (1963) #19

  • Published: August 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Don Heck
What is Marvel Unlimited?

AVENGERS #21
Facing mounting internal arguments and public disappointment, the Quartet found themselves face to face with the Enchantress’ newest lackey, Power Man. With the Asgardian sorceress’ magical help, the villain defeated Captain America, but earned the wrath of the hero’s comrades. Ouch! 

Avengers (1963) #21

Avengers (1963) #21

  • Published: October 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Don Heck
What is Marvel Unlimited?

AVENGERS #23
Kang. Let’s say that again: Kang. Yes, one of the original Avengers’ greatest foes, and with only their replacements to stem the tide of his newest temporal tantrum. The dangerous despot whisked the team off to the future, where they battled his troops and discovered Kang’s weak spot: his lady love. 

Avengers (1963) #23

Avengers (1963) #23

  • Published: December 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Don Heck
What is Marvel Unlimited?

AVENGERS #25
Doctor Doom! Doesn’t get much better than that! Figuring the weakened Avengers should prove as suitable bait to smash his real foes, the Fantastic Four, the doctor lures brother and sister Pietro and Wanda to his little kingdom of Latveria. Once there, the Quartet instead proved their mettle, and in the face of such resistance, Doom wisely retreated. Take that, Doc! 

Avengers (1963) #25

Avengers (1963) #25

  • Published: February 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Don Heck
What is Marvel Unlimited?

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The Master of the Mystic Arts teams with the Avengers against Asgardian menaces!

Co-workers can be a real drag. Sometimes they eat your lunch out of the community refrigerator, sometimes they talk way too loud on the phone, and sometimes they unleash Asgardian demons with their dying breath. We’re not sure about those first two, but Doctor Stephen Strange’s one-time colleague Dr. Benton definitely did that last one in the pages of DOCTOR STRANGE #177 by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan.

That kicked off a story running from DOCTOR STRANGE #178 into AVENGERS #61 that pitted the Master of the Mystic Arts against Surtur the Fire Demon and Ymir, the last Frost Giant. In an attempt to stop the gods from coming forth, Strange first recruited Dane Whitman, The Black Knight, to track down the Sons of Satannish in Tiboro’s dimension.

Since the Sons aided Benton before he discarded them, they held important information about his ultimate plans. Doctor Strange and Black Knight battled valiantly, keeping each other safe from Tiboro’s many attacks until eventually the realm ruler agreed to relinquish control of the Sons of Satannish into their custody.

Doctor Strange (1968) #178

Doctor Strange (1968) #178

  • Published: March 10, 1969
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: January 01, 2000
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Writer: Roy Thomas
  • Penciler: Gene Colan
What is Marvel Unlimited?

From there, the story continued in AVENGERS #61 by Thomas and John Buscema as Black Panther, Vision, and Hawkeye answered Strange’s call for help, discovering their seemingly comatose teammate Black Knight in the good doctor’s care. Strange performed a life-saving surgery on Whitman to bring him back to the land of the living. After some exposure to Hank Pym’s Rejuvenator, Black Knight joined his teammates in their race around the world to stop the invading evil.

Vision and Black Panther traveled by Quinjet to Wakanda where Ymir raged, while Strange stayed at Avengers Mansion and Black Knight and Hawkeye fought Surtur in the Arctic Circle. While his fellow heroes waged battle valiantly, Strange prepared a spell of his own with the Crystals of Conquest.

Just as the endeavor seemed most hopeless on all fronts, the Sorcerer Supreme used the Crystals to transport both behemoths onto the same field of battle mid-swing. Upon appearing in front of one another, they lacked time to stop their earth-shattering blows and negated one another’s presence with a massive “THROOOM” that sent them back to their respective realms.

Opening the Book of Vishanti

If you’re wondering where Doctor Strange’s new threads came from in this story, he needed to don them in DOCTOR STRANGE #177 in an effort to stop Asmodeus, who turned out to be none other than Dr. Benton. In the previous issue, the villain thought he stripped Stephen of his mystical objects and hurled him in a mystical dimension along with Clea. Thanks to a series of preparations before rushing into battle, Strange soon found himself re-powered, but had to don a disguise upon returning to his home dimension because Asmodeus had stolen his face to try and get the Book of Vishanti away from The Ancient One. Realizing the benefits of keeping his identity a secret, Stephen continued wearing this disguise for a period.

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T'Challa faces the Sons of the Serpent on his own!

Read through some of T’Challa’s most thrilling adventures on Marvel Unlimited to mark Black Panther’s 50th anniversary!

T’Challa began AVENGERS #73—by Roy Thomas and Frank Giacoia—in a contemplative mood. As he flew away from Wakanda he realized that his country felt less like home than ever. In his heart, the United States began to take its place, even as a hate group called the Sons of the Serpent started flexing their bigoted muscles once again.

Around this time, a pair of late night television hosts started battling each other from opposite sides of the socio-political lines. Dr. Hale believed that his fellow African Americans deserved equal treatment, while Dan Dunn clearly thought the idea ridiculous. A third guest, jazz singer Monica Lynne also appeared with the gentlemen.

Recognizing her as a new target, the Supreme Serpent sent minions to capture Monica, but Black Panther pounced in and took them out. Though well trained and armed, the Sons quickly fell to T’Challa’s superior skills.

Fueled by anger over the Sons of the Serpent’s increased popularity and reach, T’Challa vowed to take on the group himself saying, “Those are my people that the serpents have been beating…killing! And I claim my right to take them…alone!” The Avengers agree, but only give him 24 hours to wrap things up.

Avengers (1963) #73

Avengers (1963) #73

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Black Panther leaped into the night to track down the Sons, eventually finding a small group, beating them senseless and dressing up as one of them. His infiltration worked up until he failed to recite the Serpent Oath.

In AVENGERS #74—written by Thomas with John Buscema drawing—the Sons of the Serpent tarnish Black Panther’s public image by sending an impostor out to commit crimes. The snakes then make a public call to the Avengers saying they need to take care of their problem.

Though they tried to destroy Black Panther’s reputation, the Sons of the Serpent could not stand to the might of himself and his fellow Mighty Avengers. After being freed, T’Challa agreed to Lynne’s oath of committing herself to the worthier purpose of battling for equality. 

Secrets of Wakanda

AVENGERS #73 introduced T’Challa and the world to Monica Lynne! Though initially uninterested in becoming politically or socially vocal on issues, the attack by the Sons changed her tune on that number. Eventually she and Panther would become romantically entwined and even engaged for a time. Also, while he only appeared in a flashback, this issue includes an appearance by Bill Foster whose death eventually spurred Black Panther to side with Captain America’s anti-registration side during Civil War.

Next time, Jonathan Maberry and Scot Eaton unite T’Challa, Shuri, Storm, the X-Men and more!

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