By Jim Beard
"And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born-to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand!"
As the Heroic Age dawns on the Marvel Universe and we prepare for a new chapter in the ongoing saga of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, each Friday Marvel.com will present a different column focusing on the one and only Avengers. From line-ups to costumes to villains to classic stories and beyond, we've got you covered on the history of Marvel's most prolific team of heroes!
So let the call go out: Avengers Assemble!
In celebration of the savage Sub-Mariner’s new title, NAMOR: THE FIRST MUTANT, we take a look at one of the King of the Seas’ adventures alongside another band of heroes, the mighty Avengers. Yes, once upon a time, Namor stood as a full-fledged member of the team, rather than squaring off against them – and the “Heavy Metal” saga of AVENGERS #286-290 stands as a high-water mark of that era.
|THE AVENGERS (1963) #286|
Along came the Fixer, the crafty mechanical genius who'd just escaped from prison and unearthed the Mad Thinker’s awesome android in Ohio. He reactivating the behemoth. One furious fight with the Avengers later and the android went down hard, but Namor’s wife Marrina found herself at the mercy of the Fixer.
|THE AVENGERS (1963) #287|
In a containment chamber that reportedly housed the Super-Adaptoid, another android arch-enemy of the Avengers, they found…the Fixer? Suddenly, the mystery became clear: the Fixer they sought existed only as another incredible guise of the Adaptoid and their headaches now doubled.
|THE AVENGERS (1963) #288|
The Black Knight and Doctor Druid went after the android Tess-One in an Avenger’s quinjet but when waylaid by their enemies, they lost their quarry to the growing robotic roster. The metallic marauders, led by the Super-Adaptoid and utilizing the forms and abilities of the Fixer and Mentallo, dubbed themselves “Heavy Metal” and attacked Hydrobase.
|THE AVENGERS (1963) #289|
Rather than the ultimate wish-fullfillment device he cherished, the Adaptoid received the company of Kubik, the sentient, evolved form of the Cosmic Cube. And Kubik demanded to know why he was summoned. The Adaptoid’s simple answer astounded all: progeny. The Avengers’ foe desired others of his ilk with which to conquer the planet.
|THE AVENGERS (1963) #290|
Now called simply The Captain, the former star-spangled Avenger leapt into the fray and challenged the Adaptoid’s rule. As Doctor Druid attempted to suggest their foe lacked the ability of imagination, Cap defeated an incredible duplicate of himself. Then, addressing the Adaptoid directly and as his teammates watched in awe, the super-soldier convinced the android it knew nothing of life and death - and challenged it to die.
So, the Super-Adaptoid died by its own decision and the Avengers once again stood victorious. They’d won the day but sadly their internal struggles would not soon fade away. Still more arduous tasks lay before them…
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