“In the Clutches of the Collector!”
From the Sanctum Sanctorum of Smilin’ Stan Lee comes this Roy Thomas-John Buscema Two-Man Tour De Force!/ Inked and Embellished by: George Tuska/ Lettered and Relished by: Sam Rosen
In the six months since Avengers Day, The Black Widow has disappeared, Hercules has returned to Olympus, Captain America has abruptly quit, and Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch have re-joined the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, although in her defense, the Scarlet Witch appeared to be suffering from a head injury when she re-joined.
Now, the three remaining core Avengers have been abducted by a villain named the Collector who wishes to own and imprison the Avengers for his collection. He has also captured Thor and fed him an Asgardian Obedience Potion, which compels Thor to obey all of the Collector’s commands.
The Collector commands Thor to bring him Iron Man, but Thor, eternally a letter of the law kind of guy, reasons that the easiest way to bring in Iron Man will be to kill him first. The two battle, and it is clear to all parties that Iron Man is simply no match for Thor, and that’s with Thor unaware of the fact that Iron Man has a damaged heart.
This conflict ends with the following bit of purple: “Then, amidst the shattered wreckage… as swirls of dust begin to clear… only one form stirs… that of Thor, the immortal who has become a murderous puppet… while the unmoving, battered figure of Iron Man can only lie in silence… and contemplate his own death–!”
Meanwhile the Avengers proper break free of the Collector and fight his Robotoid, while the Collector flees to a Sidereal Time-World. When the Collector exits our Time-World, Thor’s mind is freed so that he might help his fallen ally. He does so, and also helps the Avengers with the mop-up.
Afterward, Captain America calls the Avengers and asks if his friend The Panther can join. Anyone Cap vouches is good enough for the Avengers, and probably the fact that they are down to three members is also a factor in the vetting of The Panther. This is great news, because The Panther is best superhero of all time.
First Appearance: The Collector