West Coast Wednesdays: West Coast Avengers Annual #6

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West Coast Avengers Annual #6 (1991)

WEST COAST CREDITS!

Writer: Roy and Dann Thomas

Penciler: George Freeman, Jeff Moore, Steve Carr

Inker:  Bulanadi, Pepoy, Wiacek, John Tartaglione, Marc McKenna, George Wildman

WEST COAST SUMMARY!

The West Coast Avengers go underground to rescue the Avengers and to help the Mole Man stop the Deviants’ army.

WEST COAST THOUGHTS!

“A Storm in Subterranea”

This is Part 5 (of 5) of the Subterranean Wars storyline that was running through some of the Marvel annuals in 1991. Because I don’t remember this particular crossover, and also because I don’t feel like I’ve done anything terrible enough recently to punish myself by reading the preceding four parts, I’m going to rely on Marvel’s Wiki page to bring us all up to speed on what’s going:

In Subterranea, the Deviants, under Brutus, begin a war for territory with the other underground empires. Pushed back, these lesser powers are briefly forced to fight the surface-dwellers, before both teams of Avengers unite to defeat the Deviants.

Oh, okay, that’s better.

Iron Man raises the alarm as he returns to the compound and the team meet him outside. He’s carrying Kala, one queen of an underground realm and a former consort of the Mole Man. The Mole Man needs help, as do nine Avengers who are with him.

After some discussion and debate, the team agree to help Kala. They jump into Tony Stark’s Groundhawk tank (which he borrowed from The Dark Knight Returns) and enter the subterranean tunnels. As they move along (though, not fast enough for Kala), this gives us an opportunity to see the new team and see how everyone is dealing with the coming crisis. Spider-Woman and Wonder Man have a chat. Scarlet Witch is casually reading Newsweek. And the Living Lightning is unusually quiet, which is noticed by other members of the team.

Hawkeye tells Iron Man to stop the tank, as he thinks he saw something. Once outside, they conveniently discover Captain America and Black Widow tied up behind some rocks. They had been attacked and knocked out. Luckily, whoever did it was only interested in tying them up instead of, you know, killing its enemies.

Back in the tank, Kala admits that she’s disorientated and that perhaps they took a wrong turn. Suddenly, the tank falls through the ground and lands in the middle of a Subterranean army. They begin to attack the team, but the Mole Man appears and apologizes for their mistake. Without his guidance, the army is at an utter loss and they attacked out of fear.

“Mole Man, sir, while you were napping, your army attacked the world!”

After the Mole Man brings them up to speed on the unnecessarily convoluted nature of his conflict – one that I have no interest in recapping here because it’s painfully awful – the Deviant’s mutate army begins its attack. The battle scenes are interesting, with Wonder Man really getting into the whole war thing:

Thanks to Scarlet Witch, the team is able to free the remaining captive Avengers, and turn the tides of the battle in their favor.

Grotesk, who up until this moment was an ally to Mole Man, takes control of the Deviants’ Oscillatron, a machine capable of destroying the whole world and after the usual villainous speech, he pulls the lever. But the machine doesn’t work, as the Living Lightning absorbed most of its energy. And with that, the Avengers attack Grotesk and end this ridiculous battle once and for all.

The denouement has lots of little surprises, but it’s all so painfully bad I can’t take it anymore. And to make matters worse, Freeman’s art doesn’t do the story any favors either, as the dialogue has to step up and tell the readers what’s going on in the panel. For instance, look at these two panels and notice how he completely botches what is supposed to be a dramatic moment when Kala saves Mole Man’s life:

To add insult to injury, the story ends with the threat of The End (for now). Yikes.

“West Side Story”

Spider-Woman enters a room to watch a Hank Pym hologram (Tupac was busy) reveal the history of the West Coast Avengers. Shockingly enough, it takes only 7 pages to properly recap what I’ve been doing for the last year and a half.

You win this time, Hank Pym hologram.

“A Wasp in Hollywood”

Janet Van Dyne meets with Mr. Domani (call him Dino!), the head of a movie studio, to talk about turning her script “The Coming of the Avengers” into a major Hollywood movie.

Here are the highlights:

The movie will be directed by Steven Spielberg.

Arnold Scwarzburger will play Thor (though he always wanted to play Captain America).

Sylvester Stallone will play Iron Man.

Lou Ferrigno will play the Hulk (if they can get the character from Universal).

Winona Ryder or Paula Abdul will play the Wasp.

Henry Pym (Dino refers to him as Henry Pimp) will act like Doc Brown from Back to the Future.

Loki isn’t scary enough to be a villain in an Avengers movie.

“Justice, Like Lightning”

The Living Lightning returns home to tell his mother the good news about becoming a super-hero and joining the West Coast Avengers. He discovers, however, that his sister was killed in a drive-by shooting by the Snakes gang and his brother has joined a rival gang. On top of that, his girlfriend left him to hook up with the same gang member who killed his sister.

It all comes to a head a playground when the Living Lightning’s brother’s gang confronts the Snakes. The Living Lightning appears between them and tries to put an end to the madness. In the process, one person is wounded and the man who stole his girlfriend and shot his sister is shot in the back.

Can’t we all just get along?

WEST BOAST OR ROAST?

Roast. A mess from beginning to end.

WEST COAST SCENE (OF THE WEEK)!

What bothers Hawkeye more? How upset Vision is when announces Hawkeye is going to run the West Coast Avengers? Or how shocked his wife is at the news?

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
West Coast Avengers Annual #2
Avengers Annual #16
Silver Surfer #3
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #25
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #26
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #27
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #28
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #29
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #30
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #31
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #32
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #33
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #34
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #35
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #36
West Coast Avengers Annual #3
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #37
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #38
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #39
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #40
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #41
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #42
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #43
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #44
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #45
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #46
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #47
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #48
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #49
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #50
West Coast Avengers Annual #4
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #51
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #52
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #53
Avengers Vol. 1, #312 
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #54
Avengers Vol. 1, #313 
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #55
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #56
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #57
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #58
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #59
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #60
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #61
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #62
West Coast Avengers Annual #5
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #63
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #64
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #65
Avengers Spotlight #38 
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #66
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #67
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #68
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #69
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #70
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #71
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #72
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #73
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #74

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