14. THE MONSTROUS MASTER PLAN OF THE MANDARIN!
When the Mandarin shows up in Avengers Annual #1, it’s with one goal in mind: to steal as many diamonds as he can get his hands on. The Avengers spend the entire issue running around the world, chasing down the Mandarin’s lackeys and preventing them from delivering the diamonds to the Mandarin’s space station.
So what did Mandy want with all those diamonds anyway? He was going to use them to fuel his giant synthetic diamond, which is really a hate ray. Yes, a hate ray. Once Mandarin hit the Earth with it, everyone would have been at each other’s throats, allowing him to easily take over the planet. Instead, Mandarin ends up blowing a hole in his own headquarters and getting sucked into the vacuum of space. Don’t worry, he’ll be fine.
13. THIS BEACHHEAD EARTH
Avengers #93 begins when a severely injured Vision collapses in the Avengers’ doorway. Fortunately, robotics expert Ant-Man is on hand to help. Accompanied by his pet ants, which are named Crosby, Stills and Nash for no particular reason, Ant-Man shrinks down and enters the Vision’s body to find out what the trouble is.
Thus begins Ant-Man’s epic quest to reach the Vision’s brain and reboot him. Along the way, he fights off the Vision’s immune system, which consists of tentacles, bubbles that turn intruders intangible, and sticky flying magnets. As a special bonus, Ant-Man narrates his own adventures in the most overwrought terms imaginable. So get used to him speechifying about the horror of ant screams and how much he loves his backpack — he does it the entire time.