In this episode:
Mike and Ed discuss the return of the Lava Men. One Lava Man tried to invade New York last year and was (barely) stopped by Thor. But now he has returned with an army. How does one stop an army of superpowered people? Apparently the Avengers DID stop them, using more brain than brawn. Is this the future of the super-team? Stopping wars before they happen? And how much is the US government paying StarkCorp. for access to this group? At any conceivable price they seem to be a bargain in this case!
Behind the Issue
In these early Avengers appearances it feel like Lee is struggling to figure out what do to with the heroes. The individual titles were relatively straightforward - make up (or recycle) a villain and have a battle with the hero (Where the hero loses). The hero re-groups and defeats the villain on the last page of the issue. The first four issues of the Avengers were different - whole they still had villains like Loki and the Submariner to vanquish, much of the issues dealt with (simplistic) team dynamics - the formation of the team, Hulk leaving the team, and Captain America joining. Now the Avengers moves onto phase two: Raising the threat level. Thor fought a Lava Man, so the Avengers can fight an army of Lava Men.
In this issue:
The Avengers are decompressing after their inconclusive battle with the Hulk. They all go their separate ways, although they are pulled back together by the attack of the Lava Men, superpowered humanoids living under the Earth’s surface who are strong and, well, very warm. The Lava Men have decided to attack the surface for a misguided reason. The Hulk joins the fight and causes more mayhem than anything before inadvertently taking away the Lava Men’s main weapon, a living stone, which helps Thor convince the Lava Men to retreat.
Assumed before the next episode:
People are wondering whether the UN will engage in diplomatic negotiations with the people living beneath the Earth’s crust.
This episode takes place:
After the Avengers have defeated the Lava Men.