Avengers dead in the dugout!

West Coast Wednesdays: West Coast Avengers Annual #2

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West Coast Avengers Annual #2 (1987)

WEST COAST CREDITS!

Writer: Steve Englehart

Art: Al Milgrom

WEST COAST SUMMARY!

It’s another annual, and that means it’s time for the Avengers from both coasts to play a game of baseball. But before the West Coast Avengers can claim their victory, the Silver Surfer crashes the party and the East Coast Avengers inexplicably die. Now it’s a race against time to bring the Avengers back from the dead!

WEST COAST THOUGHTS!

The first thing the issue gets out of the way in the opening splash page is reveal Wonder Man’s newest uniform. This completely cancels out the cliffhanger from issue #24, as we now know Simon has a new uniform and that he stayed with the team. In fact, when we first see Simon, he’s getting ready to pitch a ball at Thor, and he says, “I’ve got my new uniform, and everybody’s eyes are on me — so now’s my time to star!” At least we know he’s still a douche.

Anyway, the Silver Surfer arrives because he heard the Elders want to kill the Avengers “for unknown reasons!” While he’s explaining this to the West Coast Avengers, the Avengers die in the dugout (see below!).

The Silver Surfer takes the team to the Collector to get some answers. Turns out it was the Grandmaster who killed the Avengers, and the only way to save them is for the West Coast Avengers to drink “the most powerful poison [the Collector] has found”, die, and bring the Avengers back from the Realm of Death.

Basically, the Collector convinces the West Coast Avengers to commit suicide. It goes something like this:

The Collector: “The only way to reach death is to die!”

Hank Pym: “I almost threw my life away once.”

Hawkeye: “Okay, let’s do it!”

Drink.

Die.

For whatever reason, Espirita does not die, which excited the Collector and now he wants to add her to his collection.

Meanwhile, in the Realm of Death, the Avengers meet up with the Grandmaster, who tells them that the Collector made a deal with Death to bring the West Coast Avengers there, and now the Avengers must fight the West Coast Avengers to save their lives. From here, the chapters are broken down into matches like Iron Man (WINNER!) vs. Captain Marvel, Wonder Man vs. Thor (WINNER!), Tigra vs. Doctor Druid (WINNER!) and so on. I imagine this was a fun exercise in who would beat who in a fight for the time, but it’s so unnecessarily redundant, especially when the stakes aren’t clearly defined.

Of course, all of the fighting was just a ruse for the Grandmaster to get Death involved, and because of this, he somehow wins the universe!

WEST BOAST OR ROAST?

Roast. I’m a college graduate and I don’t understand what I’ve just read.

WEST COAST SCENE (OF THE WEEK)!

The Avengers die with dignity in the dugout!

Previously on West Coast Wednesdays…

West Coast Avengers Vol. 1, #1

West Coast Avengers Vol. 1, #2

West Coast Avengers Vol. 1, #3

West Coast Avengers Vol. 1, #4

Avengers Vol. 1, #250

Iron Man Annual #7

West Coast Avenger Vol. 2, #1

The Vision and Scarlet Witch #1

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #2

The Vision and Scarlet Witch #2

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #3

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #4

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #5

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #6

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #7

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #8

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #9

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #10

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #11

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #12

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #13

Avengers Annual #15

West Coast Avengers Annual #1

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #14

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #15

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #16

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #17

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #18

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #19

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #20

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #21

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #22

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #23

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #24

One thought on “West Coast Wednesdays: West Coast Avengers Annual #2

  1. Englehart took some stick (rightly) for the fact that in the five male-female matchups, all the men won. Yes, it’s important for Hank to beat Jan, and the Dr. Druid-Tigra battle does a good job of showing off Druid’s powers, but there’s no reason Mockingbird couldn’t have taken out Cap and Captain Marvel (Monica) gotten the edge on Iron Man. This would have kept the team totals the same, but gotten the women some wins.

    Of course, what got the most umbrage was the final battle with Hawkeye beating the She-Hulk. But it’s the climax, the Wackos need to win (it’s their book) and Clint is the star of this title (which at one point was going to be called “Hawkeye and the West Coast Avengers”, btw), so why not have it be another awesome moment for Hawk? Well, especially because he’s my favorite comics character and the She-Hulk is a one-dimensional John Byrne masturbatory fantasy who has always grated on me, but I digress…

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