The Story of Marvel's Swashbuckling Avenger
[updated March, 2005]
SWORDSMAN I - Jacques Duquesne [Avengers #19; August, 1965]
Alpha Flight Special [Scott Lobdell, Simon Furman & Pat Broderick]
Avengers #19-20, 29-30 [Stan Lee & Don Heck]; 38 [Roy Thomas & Don Heck], 65 [Roy Thomas & Gene Colan]; 78 [Roy Thomas & Sal Buscema]; 79 [Roy Thomas & John Buscema], 100 [Roy Thomas & Barry Smith]; 112 [Steve Englehart & Don Heck]; 113-120 [Steve Englehart & Bob Brown]; 121 [Steve Englehart & John Buscema] 122-123 [Steve Englehart & Bob Brown]; 124-125 [Steve Englehart & John Buscema]; 126 [Steve Englehart & Bob Brown]; 127-130 [Steve Englehart & Sal Buscema]; 280 [Bob Harris & Bob Hall]
Avengers Annual 1 [Roy Thomas & Don Heck]
Avengers Spotlight 22 [Lou Mougin & Don Heck]
Captain America 105 [Stan Lee & Jack Kirby]
Captain Marvel #31[Jim Starlin]; 32 [Jim Starlin, Mike Friedrich & Jim Starlin]; 33 [Jim Stalin, Steve Englehart & Jim Starlin]
Giant-Size Avengers #2 [Steve Englehart & Dave Cockrum]
Fantastic Four #150 [Gerry Conway & Rich Buckler]
Defenders #9-11[Steve Englehart & Sal Buscema]
Solo Avengers 2 [Tom DeFalco & Mark Bright]
Tales of Suspense 88 [Stan Lee & Jack Kirby]

Reanimated Swordsman used by Grandmaster: Avengers Annual #16 [Tom DeFalco & Bob Hall, John Romita Jr.]
Simulacra of the Swordsman used my Immortus:
Avengers West Coast #61[Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas & Paul Ryan]
Reanimated Swordsman used by Grim Reaper:  Avengers vol. 3 10-11[Kurt Busiek & George Perez]

L to R - The Swordsman, his former pupil Hawkeye and his consort Mantis.
SWORDSMAN II - Duquesne's Corpse reanimated by the Elder of the Cotati [Avengers #131; January, 1975]
Avengers #131-134 [Steve Englehart & Sal Buscema]; 135 [Steve Englehart & George Tuska]
Giant-Size Avengers # 4 [Steve Englehart & Don Heck]
West Coast Avengers vol. 2  #39 [Steve Englehart & Al Milgrom]
Silver Surfer vol. 3 #4 [Steve Englehart & Marshall Rogers]
Avengers: Celestial Quest 3-5 [Steve Englehart & Jorge Santamaria]

Space Phantom in the guise of the Cotati Swordsman: Avengers # 392 [Terry Kavanagh, Bob Harras & M.C. Wyman], 395 [Terry Kavanagh, Bob Harras & Mike Deodato]

SWORDSMAN III - Philip Jarvert [Avengers #343; January, 1992]
Avengers #343-344, 355-358, 360 [Bob Harras & Steve Epting]; 362 [Bob Harras & Gordon Purcell]; 363 [Bob Harris & Steve Epting]; 367 [Bob Harris & Jim Hall]; 378 [Bob Harris & Stewart Johnson]; 379 [Bob Harris & Stewart Johnson, Tom Grindberg]; 390-391 [Terry Kavanagh, Bob Harras & Mike Deodato]; 392[Terry Kavanagh, Bob Harras & M.C. Wyman]; 393-394 [Terry Kavanagh, Bob Harras, Ben Raab & Mike Deodato], 397 [Terry Kavanagh, Howard Mackie & Mike Deodato]
Avengers vol. 3 #1-4 [Kurt Busiek & George Perez]
Avengers Annual 1998 [Kurt Busiek, Len Kaminski & Carlos Pacheco]
Avengers Unplugged #6 [Glenn Herdling & M.C. Wyman]
Incredible Hulk #417 [Peter David & Gary Frank]
Iron Man #323 [Terry Kavanagh, Dan Abnett & Yancey Labat, Hector Oliveira, Jim Cheung]; 324 [Terry Kavanagh, Dan Abnett & Mark Bright, James Calafiore]
Thunderbolts #8 [Roger Stern, Kurt Busiek & Mark Bagley]

SWORDSMAN IV [Avengers vol. 2 #1; November, 1996]
Avengers vol. 2 #1 [Rob Liefeld, Jim Valentino & Chap Yaep, Rob Liefeld]; 2-3 [Rob Liefeld, Jim Valentino, Jeph Loeb & Chap Yaep]; 4 [Rob Liefeld, Jeph Loeb & Chap Yaep, Ian Churchill]; 7 [Rob Liefeld, Jeph Loeb & Ian Churchill]

SWORDSMAN V [Thunderbolts vol. 2 #3; February, 2005]
Thunderbolts vol. 2 #3-6 [Fabian Nicieza & Tom Grummett]

L to R - Swordsman II [the Cotati Swordsman]; Swordsman III [Philip Javert], Swordsman IV [the Heroes Reborn Swordsman] and Swordsman V [the new Swordsman from the New Thunderbolts series].

Notable cover appearances and the history of the original Swordsman

Created by Stan Lee and Don Heck, the Swordsman first appeared in Avengers #19.   During an attack the team, he was teleported away by the Mandarin, who added gimmickry to his already formidable blade in an effort to destroy the Avengers and Iron Man.  The Swordsman joined the group in Avengers in Avengers #20, using a bogus referral by Iron Man.  Eventually he turned against the Mandarin to save the Avengers from a bomb he had placed in their headquarters, with the Avengers expelling him at the end of the issue.

The Swordsman returned in Avengers #29 teamed with the original Power Man and the Black Widow [who had been brainwashed by the communists].  The trio defeated Hawkeye, Captain America, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch individually, but Goliath and the Wasp came to the rescue and they escaped at the end of Avengers #29.  Hawkeye tracked them down in a effort to save the Black Widow, and after defeating the Swordsman and Power Man, he left with the Black Widow, who had returned to her normal state of mind

Next the Swordsman appeared alongside Power Man in Tales of Suspense #88 as agents of the Red Skull, battling [and losing to] Captain America.  Cap defeated the quarreling pair, and eventually stymied the Skull.

Next, the Swordsman returned along with the Enchantress, Executioner, Living Laser, Power Man and Ultimo in a scheme devised by the Mandarin in King-Size Avengers #1, but the Swordsman and Power Man fell to Goliath and the Wasp in South America as the Mandarin's plans were thwarted yet again.

The Swordsman's next appeared as as a member of Batroc's Brigade, along with Batroc and the Living Laser.  The trio were defeated by Captain America but escaped as Cap averted his attention to deactivating a bomb planted below New York.

The Swordsman returned again in Avengers #65, this time and a henchman employed by Egghead, in order to capture his nemesis, Henry Pym.  The Swordsman instead unknowingly captured his former pupil Hawkeye who had recently assumed the mantle of Goliath in Avengers #63 [after Pym had become Yellowjacket].  A revived Goliath then defeated the Swordsman, with Egghead escaping.

Recruited by the Grim Reaper for his Lethal Legion [along with the Man-Ape, Power Man and the Living Laser] the Swordsman turned up again in Avengers #78-79.  After defeating the Avengers, the Reaper liberated them after he learned that the Vision was the host for Wonder Man's brain patterns [the Grim Reaper's brother], in hopes that his brother could be restored in some manner.   The librated Avengers made short work of the Lethal Legion with all but the Reaper captured and imprisoned.

Avengers #100 was a turning point for the Swordsman as he answered a call for all Avengers past and present and teamed up with the group to defeat Ares in Olympus.  The Olympian god of war Ares, who had captured Hercules and the Black Knight in an effort to rule Olympus necessitating the plea for help. While not yet walking the straight and narrow, the Swordsman was on his way, helping the assemblage to defeat Ares and his agents Kratos and Bia, with the Swordsman leaving the group after the adventure.

Along with his consort Mantis, who had found him drunk and disheveled in a Viet Nam bar, the Swordsman re-joined the Avengers as a reformed man in Avengers #114 aiding the group in battles with the Lion-God, the Troglodytes, the Defenders [against the Valkyrie], Dormammu, the Collector, Zodiac, Thanos, Klaw and Solarr and Omega. Eventually the Swordsman earned the respect of the Avengers, but lost the affection of Mantis along the way as her eye wandered in the direction of the Vision.

In his most ambitious scheme to date, Kang arrived on the scene in Avengers #129 collecting the Vision, Thor and Iron Man [to power his Macrobots] along with the Scarlet Witch, Mantis and Agatha Harkness [believing one to be the Celestial Madonna] after defeating the Avengers, while dismissing the Swordsman as two weak to be of any use.  The Swordsman tracked Kang to the pyramids of Egypt, but was prevented from killing him by Rama-Tut.

In Giant-Size Avengers #2 the Swordsman has his defining moment. Teaming with Hawkeye and Rama-Tut, he manages to free the Vision, Iron Man and Thor from the Macrobots they were used to empower and the reassembled group defeated Kang - but at a high price.  When Kang decides to kill Mantis rather than allowing the Celestial Madonna to marry another, his shot is knocked astray by Rama-Tut and the Swordsman leaps to Mantis's defense, with the blast hitting his swords and travening through it to him, killing him in the process.

The Swordsman's body, which had been buried in Saigon, was later animated by the Cotati - a race of sentient plant-life, with the animated body marrying Mantis in Giant-Size Avengers #4.  The Cotati Swordsman, along with Mantis were transformed into pure energy and they left earth.

Eventually the Cotati left the corpse of the Swordsman in West Coast Avengers #39 with the remains of the Swordsman crumbling to dust.

But the story of the Swordsman didn't end with his death as Avengers Spotlight fleshed out the details of his life, revealing him as Jacque Duquesne, a Frenchman living in Southeast Asia, who takes on the identity of the Swordsman in an effort to help end French oppression.  When it was revealed that the leader of the rebel forces had been using him and planned to kill him as they had his father, the Swordsman escaped.

And finally, the reanimated Swordsman appeared one final time in Avengers [vol. 3] #10-11 as a member of the Grim Reaper's Legion of the Unliving - only to be used as pawns against the Avengers.  Ultimately, the Legion of the Unliving [which also included Captain Marvel, Doctor Druid,  Hellcat, Mockingbird, Thunderstrike and Wonder Man] turned against the Grim Reaper and returned to their eternal resting places.