Order Listing   Title Listing   Comic Box Listings   Group Listings   Story Arc Listings   Character Listings
CMRO Order Header
Main Reading Order
Core Reading Order
Ultimate Reading Order
Golden Age Reading Order
Expanded Reading Order
All Reading Orders
Issue Detail Header
Core Issue

532: Avengers #33 (v1)

" To Smash a Serpent "
Comic Star RatingComic Star RatingComic Star RatingComic Star RatingComic Star Rating
Avengers #33 (v1)
Buy Comic Button
Buy Trade Button
Read Online Button
Editor-in-Chief: Stan Lee
Cover Artists: Don Heck
Writers: Stan Lee
Pencilers: Don Heck
Letterers: Artie Simek
Editors: Stan Lee
Cover Date: October 1966
Release Date: August 1966
Story Arc: -
Pages: 20
Cover Price: $0.12
Times Read: 625                 Times Rated: 353
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #32 Go to Issue #34

X-Men #23 (v1)
Avengers #32 (v1)
Avengers #33 (v1)
Tales of Suspense #82b (v1)
Tales of Suspense #83b (v1)
530: X-Men
#23 (v1)
531: Avengers
#32 (v1)
533: Tales of Sus...
#82b (v1)
534: Tales of Sus...
#83b (v1)
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Blurb
Captain America has been captured by the Serpents and his life is threatened unless the Avengers endorse the powerful new group. Hank and the gang will need a brilliant plan to set things right.
Issue Detail Divider
Character Appearances
Main Characters
  Captain America
Captain America last appeared in Avengers #32 (v1). Captain America next appears in Tales of Suspense #82b (v1).
Hawkeye last appeared in Avengers #32 (v1). Hawkeye next appears in Tales of Suspense #84b (v1).
Goliath last appeared in Avengers #32 (v1). Goliath next appears in Tales of Suspense #84b (v1).
  The Wasp
The Wasp last appeared in Avengers #32 (v1). The Wasp next appears in Tales of Suspense #84b (v1).
Supporting Characters
  The Black Widow
The Black Widow last appeared in Avengers #32 (v1). The Black Widow next appears in Avengers #35 (v1).
  William Foster
William Foster last appeared in Avengers #32 (v1). William Foster next appears in Avengers #34 (v1).
  Senator Byrd
Senator Byrd last appeared in Tales of Suspense #85a (v1). Senator Byrd next appears in Tales of Suspense #89a (v1).
  Supreme Serpent
Supreme Serpent last appeared in Avengers #32 (v1).
Group Appearances
The Avengers (Roster V)
The Avengers last appeared in Avengers #32 (v1). The Avengers next appears in Tales of Suspense #84b (v1).
Sons of the Serpent
Sons of the Serpent last appeared in Avengers #32 (v1). Sons of the Serpent next appears in Avengers #73 (v1).
Equipment, Items & Vehicles
Captain America's Shield
Captain America's Shield last appeared in Avengers #32 (v1). Captain America's Shield next appears in Tales of Suspense #82b (v1).
Hawkeye's Bow
Hawkeye's Bow last appeared in Avengers #32 (v1). Hawkeye's Bow next appears in Tales of Suspense #84b (v1).
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Notes
  There are no notes for this issue.

Issue Detail Divider
Issue Review
There is no review of this issue.
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Synopsis
The xenophobic organization called the Sons of the Serpent are holding Captain America hostage to prevent the rest of the Avengers from opposing them. Hawkeye is having second thoughts on Goliath's public statement that the Avengers are not sure if the Sons of the Serpent are wrong. When he tries to attack members of the terrorist group visiting Avengers' Headquarters, Goliath stops him, informing the archer that they came to meet the giant to lay down the Supreme Serpent's terms. After the two emissaries have left, Janet explains to an angry Hawkeye how their security X-ray scans revealed that the two Sons of the Serpent were actually a suicide squad. They were wearing explosives under their costumes in case they were attacked during their mission. The serpent staff that they left provided a recording of Supreme Serpent's instructions to attend a meeting with his organization.

Meanwhile at the United Nations, General Chen blames the United States for allowing the Sons of the Serpent to spread their hateful ideologies. The Americans reply that this is what freedom of expression means. When Chen voices his intention to expose the United States as a fraud, Byrd realized that the Asian general's real agenda is to gain political capital out of this crisis.

Learning that the Avengers will attend a terrorist meeting, Bill Foster walks out on Goliath, furious that the team let him down. And in the Serpent Den, Captain America now appears to strongly support the Sons of the Serpent's xenophobic ideals as he makes surprisingly fascist remarks. Elsewhere, the news that the Avengers are guests at this event has successfully attracted a vast audience who just might adhere to their heroes' allegiance.

Goliath and the Wasp arrive in the auditorium, explaining that Hawkeye will be delayed, but Supreme Serpent grows suspicious and notifies his HQ. Outside in a scout ship, Hawkeye finds a huge vessel concealed in some clouds. He is surprised that the strange vessel seems to allow him access inside it, but he soon realizes that a welcome committee of Sons of the Serpent is waiting. Hawkeye manages to neutralize them and begins searching for his star-spangled teammate.

At the auditorium, Supreme Serpent decides not to wait for Hawkeye and proceed with the event. Goliath addresses the crowd, apparently supporting the hosts at first, but then changing his speech to denounce their hatred and bigotry. The Supreme Serpent orders his followers to stop him while the crowd cheers for the tall hero. But the Sons of the Serpent play their ace as Captain America steps in, accusing Goliath of treason and promoting the Serpents' views, and a shift in opinions suddenly occurs in the audience who would blindly follow whatever their national hero would propose.

Goliath and the Wasp fight off the Sons of the Serpent's attack, still wondering what is wrong with their patriotic colleague. Unknown to them is the fact that this one is a phony Captain America impersonating the hero to trick the audience into supporting their organization. As the villains escape, Goliath sneaks along inside the floating vessel. The battle resumes, and Janet, who has followed her boyfriend, joins the fight. Elsewhere on the ship, Hawkeye is keeping the Sons of the Serpent busy while the Black Widow, who tagged along, finally locates Steve Rogers.

Steve sends his teammates after the Supreme Serpent while he personally deals with his imposter. The terrorist leader surprises Hawkeye and holds him at gunpoint just as the Goliath and Steve Rogers arrive, helpless against another hostage situation. But Black Widow and the Wasp get the drop on the evil man and neutralize him.

Not too long after, citizens are amazed when the Supreme Serpent is unmasked to reveal he is none other than General Chen who was scheming to divide America to make it easier to conquer.
Issue Detail Divider
  Redsvetz Says:    
  2011-10-23 11:16:50  
  "Bah! Everything would've worked perfectly, if not for you accursed Avengers!". Scooby-Doo anyone?  

  poj-poj Says:    
  2012-05-25 09:35:49  
  one of the tings i hate most about goliath is that they seem to never get his hight right. in one og the pics he must be atleast 25 feet, not 10 (the ppl around him is not even reaching up to his knee.  

  spencer617 Says:    
  2013-04-22 10:44:07  
  Having the head serpent be a foreigner completely undermine the message of this story. Prior to that it was a story speaking against hate groups such as the kkk, after the reveal it just supports the foreigners are evil message. One star for a failed moral.  

  MrRsBB Says:    
  2013-06-25 04:15:30  
  Heck hurried work- E.Larsen learned everything from this guy(3-)  

  leisch Says:    
  2013-08-08 13:27:35  
  Sorry, but as good as the first part was, Stan undercuts the whole message with the big reveal. Many Americans at the time felt as the Sons of the Serpent did. They didn't need a communist plot to keep it going. I wonder if he regrets the pussyfooting.  

  Antifa Says:    
  2013-11-01 17:03:30  
  ew. what started as a commentary on xenophobia in america ended up as typical anti-communist propaganda tripe.  

  Raistlin903 Says:    
  2014-01-09 00:28:26  
  Man Stan really likes the Communist/foriegners are evil angle...... and he even likes answering the letters that tell him that he's overdoing it...... I think he really hates commies.......  

  duncanm Says:    
  2014-02-04 16:37:07  
  First off, how could anyone not see the twist coming? Last issue an America hating Asian dictator shows up for no reason and the Serpents "fail" to kill him, then the Serpents leader shows up in an Asian style mask...just saying.

Secondly, I think you guys are being too hard on ol' Stan as I don't think the fact that the leader wasn't an American diminished the moral at all. All of these scared and angry people are following the lead of someone they know nothing about. They use patriotism to try to excuse hatred and xenophobia, when only an enemy of American values could espouse such teachings. A little heavy handed perhaps, but my hats off to the team for being willing to tell this story in a time where it could be dangerous to them, both as a company, and for personal safety.

  Anonymous Says:    
  2014-04-26 12:52:55  
  Was anyone else bothered that Wasp was at the event without her mask on and nobody seemed to notice that she is the famosue heiress Janet Van Dyne?  

  TheGrandIgloo Says:    
  2014-05-13 00:07:23  
  So racism is caused by ambiguously "oriental" commies? Thanks Stan!  

  specialque Says:    
  2014-08-10 22:08:00  
  Weak story with a botched message at the end by making the bad guy a foreigner. Lazy, lazy way to end it.  

  marvelcomicslover Says:    
  2014-08-11 00:31:14  
  Dang Pym...couldn't you have just told Hawkeye that instead of what you did..?!?
OK...Pym has anger issues...I heard it mentioned before...now we see where it all starts.
Why does an explosion make them think a serpent staff is left behind? It makes no sense..!!!
I liked seeing Black Widow back in action again.

  TheAmazingGatorMan Says:    
  2014-08-25 11:49:26  
  And I never would have guessed a communist leader was behind the whole thing. To me, that sort of ruined the magic behind this 2 part story. It seems that 50% of these stories involve the red communists of evil (insert red nation here). Great of Marvel to tackle these issues in the 60s when it wasn't the popular thing. Amazing how this still rings true today.  

  MattzLadd Says:    
  2014-10-01 01:43:53  
  Suicide teams and hostage situations?

I think the Avengers have finally gone through puberty.

  Locust75 Says:    
  2014-10-11 21:55:54  
  3 stars for the Sons of the Serpent slandering the good name of the Avengers!

Idol - @duncanm: Good catch on the Supreme Serpent's mask!

On The Fence - For the comments above, I can see both sides point of view. Unfortunately, threats not only come from abroad, but from at home as well. And, it is very scary how easily normal people can get caught up in all of it!

White Power - When the Sons of the Serpent found out that their leader really was a yellow commie. I wonder if any of their heads exploded like in that skit from the Chappelle Show. About the Ku Klux Klan finding out that their hero was really black!!!

'Nuff Said - "That's the courage of a free country--any man has a chance to sway us--any man may be heard!"-Cap

  Bramwell Says:    
  2014-12-29 01:54:28  
  We haven't seen a Scooby Doo ending in awhile...I think they happen when Giant Man is around.  

  g2thet Says:    
  2015-06-08 16:00:47  
  Zoinks Scoob, I didn't see that coming!  

  Vancelot Says:    
  2015-07-18 22:48:41  
  I'm automatically deducting one star for any issue where there's a fake hero and everybody just believes it.  

  GroovyGolem Says:    
  2015-08-25 22:09:19  
  Why is it that Hawkeye says that Goliath tipped them all off to the Supreme Serpent's ruse with Captain America, but just a few panels earlier, Goliath acts like he's in shock when he sees the real Cap?  

  ViolentPhlegm Says:    
  2016-03-11 07:29:37  
  Strange perspective again in the top panel of page 2. The Serpents are drawn as if the floor is a wall behind them and they're hovering in front of it. If you turn the book sideways (with Cap at the top), the floor gets established more strongly and it looks like the Serpents are lying down on the job.  

  kungfufan @ duncanm (original post):    
  2016-12-01 07:51:46  
  Agreed. Let's not forget Stan (Lieber) and many in the bullpen are a minority themselves.  

  kungfufan Says:    
  2016-12-01 07:53:18  
  Let's go with numbered points today...:
1. Suicide bombers: writers ahead of their times!
2: Bollixed: I'm British, so that cracks me up! Wouldn't get away with that these days...
3: Black Widow action! The feel-good factor starts...
4: My sassy girl! Love that the Wasp gets to land the final blow! Big cheers for the little lass, and the feel-good factor is fully entrenched as I feel an actual grin spread across my face!
5: Oh, so anti-Commie propaganda then.
6: So I'm guessing it's probably an inking/colouring boo boo, but General Chen goes from Mao-style bald top at the UN building to full head of hair when he's unmasked. Perhaps the Sons of The Serpent fund themselves through selling miracle hair-growth tonic?
7: Err... What's with the Scarlet Witch on the cover? Jan fans (me, in case I hadn't made it obvious yet!) will feel she's been given the snub, while Wanda fans will feel ripped off.

  JonahBlack Says:    
  2017-05-06 21:40:54  
  I'm with many of the other commenters. I was really enjoying this issue, and considering giving it a 5, but the reveal at the end spoiled the whole thing. I think in retrospect, the reveal should have been obvious, but the story resonated so well with what's going on in the US currently, that I lost myself in the story.  

  StrictSnow Says:    
  2017-07-28 08:14:52  
  I was really hoping it wasn't Cheng. It was so obvious it would be Cheng. But it was Cheng. This feels like a Scooby-Doo issue.  

  mvaughn16 Says:    
  2017-12-07 06:17:51  
  I'm with you guys, kinda undercuts the whole "foreigners aren't evil" message by making the only actual foreigner in this issue evil. Missed opportunity to have General Chen not be the bad guy and gain respect for the American's virtue winning the day, opening a dialogue between East and West.

But whatever, it was probably a CCA rule that all Red Nations had to be the bad guys no matter what. God forbid a 12-cent comic actually get people to think.

What I find interesting about this issue is how disturbingly topical it is considering all that's going on in the world. Cartoonishly evil hate groups actually gaining ground with the public conscience was something Hitler did with mind-control beams, not something that fringe lunatics do with Twitter. Maybe I'm just naive, but we're all living in some crazy times.

  RobinHoodMtl Says:    
  2018-02-15 18:56:03  
  • That's my line "Oh dear! I haven't a thing to wear!" (Wasp) Oh, she can't be serious!!!

  • That's my line too "I wouldn't have hidden from you if I knew you were on our side! You're kinda hard to keep track of, lady!" (Steve Rogers) You can say that again!!!

  • How can the Americans speak of freedom of expression at the United Nations, when it was clear that the Sons of the Serpent beat up innocent American citizens? That is not what we call 'keeping within the law!'

  • Senator Byrd is a busy dude. What's he doing at the U.N. when he's got Tony Stark to harass?

  • Pym really had no valid reason not to tell Foster of his true intentions. This makes no sense at all.

  • I don't buy that a crowd like that would change their views and back so often is so little time.

  • The story was a bit of a let down. And even if the end reveal was predictable, I was hoping the writers would not go there. As others have mentioned, having a foreigner as the baddie made the message rather pointless. Also, mentioned here was Heck rushed artwork. The basic was fine, but the refinement in the ink job was sorely lacking. 3 stars anyway, because of the good use of both ladies who saved the day at the end.

Issue Detail Divider
Essential Avengers, Volume 2
This collection includesAvengers #25 (v1), Avengers #26 (v1), Avengers #27 (v1), Avengers #28 (v1), Avengers #30 (v1), Avengers #31 (v1), Avengers #32 (v1), Avengers #33 (v1), Avengers #34 (v1), Avengers #35 (v1), Avengers #36 (v1), Avengers #37 (v1), Avengers #38 (v1), Avengers #39 (v1), Avengers #40 (v1), Avengers #41 (v1), Avengers #42 (v1), Avengers #43 (v1), Avengers #44 (v1), Avengers Annual #1, Avengers #45 (v1)
Marvel Masterworks: Avengers, Volume 4
This collection includesAvengers #31 (v1), Avengers #32 (v1), Avengers #33 (v1), Avengers #34 (v1), Avengers #35 (v1), Avengers #36 (v1), Avengers #37 (v1), Avengers #38 (v1), Avengers #39 (v1), Avengers #40 (v1)
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Letters Page

There are no letter pages submitted for this issue. If you would like to transpose and send at letters page, you can send it to tstarnes@gmail.com. Check in the forums for information about formating the letters page.
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Attachements
There are no attachements for this issue. If you know of something, let us know through the contact page or the forums.
Issue Detail Divider
Story Locations
Map Loading...Please Wait.
Issue Detail Divider
Date User Name Update
   February 15, 2018 RobinHoodMtl Added synopsis for this issue.
   January 31, 2018 TStarnes Added Hawkeye[appost]s Bow listing.
   January 31, 2018 TStarnes
   January 13, 2018 Urgat
   November 22, 2017 TStarnes
   November 20, 2017 TStarnes
   November 10, 2017 TStarnes Added Captain America[appost]s Shield listing.
   June 29, 2016 fragsel Updated the listing for William Foster.
   October 3, 2014 fragsel Added Supreme Serpent to the issue.
   December 4, 2013 Drax Updated the listing for The Wasp.
   December 4, 2013 Drax Updated the listing for Henry Pym.
   December 4, 2013 Drax Updated the listing for Hawkeye.
   December 4, 2013 Drax Updated the listing for Captain America.
   May 26, 2013 TStarnes Updated the listing for The Avengers.
CMRO Sidebar
CMRO Sidebar Search Top

CMRO Sidebar Support Us


Shop at Amazon
Become a Patron of my writing
DC Comics Reading Order
Marvel Cinematic Universe Order
Star Wars Reading Order
Star Trek Reading Order
Doctor Who Order
The Law & Order
CMRO Latest Badges Header
dalkiel   Teachers Pet Badge
phogbear   City of Angels Badge
Russ   Three to Tango Badge
vykyng666   Boys in Blue Badge
McQueen5150   Nuclear Paranoia Badge
Marksman   Chaos Factor Badge
rychetage   The King Badge
Adrian   The Monarch Badge
BamaJags   Mutie Lover Badge
wendellrios   No Fear Badge