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Marvel Triple Action #43, August 1978. "In the Clutches of... The Collector!" Originally presented in Avengers #51. Written by Roy Thomas, pencils by John Buscema, inked by George Tuska, lettered by Sam Rosen, edited by Stan Lee, cover by ??

Hank Pym, aka Goliath, is trying to re-activate his growing powers with a device called a Vibrotron (I know, I'm resisting making the joke). However, something goes wrong, and Hawkeye discovers the switch is stuck! Hawk tries to push Goliath out of the force field he's surrounded with, but it repels him away. Meanwhile, Janet Van Dyne, the Wasp, flies into the machine and starts pulling wires, deactivating the machine. Goliath vows to find a way to strengthen his over-taxed molecules.

Later, onboard a spaceship, the Collector speaks to an unseen person, stating that this person is the first of a priceless set which he's long desired, but once before failed to acquire. He turns on a viewscreen to see Jan in a bikni at the pool by her apartment. As she approaches the diving board, Hawkeye and Goliath show up, telling her they've received a call from long-missing Captain America, who has a message for them. Jan dives down into the pool, and as she emerges, she finds a comb on the side of the pool she doesn't recognize. Picking it up, she discovers it's electrified, she can't let go, and it's pulling her upwards. Hawk and Goliath grab hold of her, but swiftly, they are hundreds of feet in the air over the East River. They approach some clouds which part to reveal the Collector's ship.

They're drawn inside it, and they are attacked by some kind of gigantic organism (it's green, kind of amoebic) whose tentacles exude some kind of adhesive, preventing them from escaping. Suddenly, from down the corridor, the Collector arrives with Thor, God of Thunder. The Collector stuns the creature (a Venusian Retriever-Anemone, he calls it), but the trio are also stunned by the beam. The Collector orders Thor to put them in the cell he's provided. When the Avengers wake up, they see that Thor is an ally of the Collector.

The Collector tells them he'd spotted Thor, and attracted him towards his ship. Inside, the God of Thunder meets the Collector, who invited him to dine. Thor unknowingly drank an obedience potion, which put him under the Collector's control.

His story finished, the Collector orders Thor to strap Goliath to a nearby table in order to restore Goliath's powers (he doesn't want a flawed Avenger in his collection). Thor is ordered to create a thunderstorm to power the equipment, but the treatment doesn't take. Goliath is put back in his cell. The Collector plans to feed the obedience potion to his latest additions, but he first wants to capture the rest of the Avengers. Using his monitors, he discovers Cap is with the Black Panther in Africa, the Hulk is approaching Asgard, Hercules has returned to Olympus, but Iron Man even now is returning ot New York. He orders Thor to capture the Golden Avenger.

Thor takes to the skies, and wallops Iron Man with his hammer seconds later. Iron Man recovers just in time to stop his fall (he's running on reserve energy). Trying to escape Thor, I.M. fires repulsor rays at the God of Thunder, but it only staggers Thor. The Golden Avenger then collapses a wall on the Son of Odin, and Iron Man tries to flee, but Thor frees himself too quickly and captures him.

Meanwhile, on the Collector's ship, the Wasp has freed herself (she was able to order one of the Collector's alien pets {which was really an insect, even though it looked like a lizard... at least, that's what Jan says} to free her), and she frees her teammates. The Collector activates a giant Robotoid to recapture them, but Hawkeye dodges its beams, making it strike the control panel, sending the Robotoid running wild. The mechanical menace grabs the Collector, who escapes using a "temporal assimilator" to travel through time.

The robot is still on the loose, however, and Goliath figures only he could stop the machine, if only he could grow again... he feels a familiar tingling sensation, and.... GROWS! A few mighty blows, and the machine is trashed. Meanwhile, the Wasp has been grabbed by a giant savage ape-man, but Hawkeye frees her with a stun arrow.

Below, in the city, Thor's mind is finally clear again, and realizes something is amiss. He caries Iron Man to the Collector's airship, where he finds the remaining Avengers, who hitch a ride from the God of Thunder seconds before the ship explodes.

Later, at Avengers Mansion, after Iron Man has recharged his armor, he fixes up a "Stim-O-Lator" to provide Goliath with a booster to restore his powers permanently. Then, the communications panel beeps... it's Captain America, who suggests that the Black Panther joins the Avengers as his replacement. The Avengers are happy to take Cap's word for the Panther, and he's in.

All righty then, let's get to this issue's ads, shall we? To the right you'll see a full-page from Heroes World (a perennial advertiser of the decade) featuring Marvel Mego action figures. As I've said elsewhere on this site, the Megos are probably the most-valued action figure collection ever created... even compared to GI Joe! Check these figures out... 8" figures of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and the Falcon! They also offered other Marvel characters and a bunch of DC ones, too! And all for the low, low price of just $4.19 each! Sheesh! And don't forget the 12" figures of Spidey and the Hulk! Plus, there's the carrying case, and the "Supervator!" Cool, eh?

Now, since the other featured ad here is a house ad, it's time for the spiel... do you have the Mego figures advertised above? How about the carry case or the Supervator? You do? Then get a picture taken of you with your valuable loot, and send a scan of it to me, along with anything you feel like telling the world about how you got your figures! E-mail me at waffyjon@execpc.com and I'll add your photo and story to this site somewhere!

Okay, the second ad for this issue is a Marvel House ad! Featuring the top team books of the time! And, er, uh... the only one still published under it's original numbering is X-Men. Defenders and Invaders were cancelled, while Avengers and FF were rebooted during the "Heroes Reborn" mess with a new #1, and then one more time a year later, with a third #1!

Still... how often do you see an ad like this in comics promoting several titles these days?