West Coast Wednesdays: West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #1 4


West Coast Avenger #1West Coast Avengers, Vol. 2, Issue 1 (October 1985)

WEST COAST CREDITS!

Writer: Steve Englehart

Penciler: Allen Milgrom

Inker: Joe Sinnott

WEST COAST SUMMARY!

Here we are for the first issue of the monthly series! Hank Pym shows up at the West Coast Avengers compound to examine the recently captured Goliath (from Iron Man Annual #7) with a bag full of doubt and insecurity that’ll make him feel right at home. Meanwhile, Iron Man, Wonder Man and Tigra are attacked by a bunch of robots which leads the team to discover that Ultron has returned. And just when you think it can’t get any crazier, Man-Ape shows up to rescue Goliath.

WEST COAST THOUGHTS!

There’s a lot going on here for the first issue. Not only does reading the previous mini-series, the Avengers, Iron Man Annual #7, Iron Man help in enjoying this story, but having a basic working knowledge of Avengers history is needed in order to see the story’s big twist. On top of that, you find out that the story doesn’t continue in the next issue, but rather a completely different mini-series, The Vision and the Scarlet Witch. Luckily, 11 year old Me didn’t have a problem with this and ended up buying the entire run of said mini-series. Something I’ll probably need to mention to a therapist one day. But we’ll save that for next week…

Hank Pym showing up is cool, and considering all of his issues, he seems like a natural fit with the team. If the West Coast Avengers found themselves on a domestic flight, they’d be paying a fortune in baggage fees. Mockingbird is the only one so far with only a carry on, and that’s because her role is only wife to Hawkeye. A shame really.

The thing about Pym is he spends all issue telling everyone he’s not an Avenger or a hero. Even though he keeps putting himself in situations where he might as well be. My favorite is when Ultron attacks Pym and Iron Man comes to the rescue at the risk of his own life. Pym warns him to be careful and Iron Man refers to Pym as an Avenger. So just as Iron Man attacks Ultron, Pym is muttering, “Don’t call me an avenger.” Really, Hank? That’s the time to correct Iron Man, when he’s saving you?

Iron Man’s entrance in the book is cool, and it’s Tony Stark again, which is a real shame. Tigra and Wonder Man continue to be all over one another. And apparently they aren’t together (something I wondered previously), as Tigra pounces Pym when she first sees him; something Mockingbird notices right away. Speaking of Tigra, she unloads her problems to Mockingbird at the most inopportune time, and there’s the usual “You’re an Avenger now” pep talk. I love this pep talk because of how dismissive it all is to the problem at hand.

Iron Man: “I have herpes.”

Hawkeye: “Don’t sweat it. You’re an Avenger, Tony!”

Iron Man: “You’re right. I didn’t think of that over the infinite burning sensation emanating from my groin with the power of a billion suns. Thanks, Clint.”

Ultron’s appearance in the book is pretty exciting and by the numbers for an Avengers story, but it’s Man-Ape’s sudden introduction in the book that has excited. Not because I like Man-Ape or his politeness in introducing himself before attacking Tigra (Tigra: “Okay, but who are y-” Man-Ape: “I am…the Man-Ape!”) . I like it because his appearance is so bizarre and out of left field. Even his introductory dialogue is awesome: “Feline female, gaze upon him who embodies the spirit of the sacred white gorilla.”

In fact, I’d like to use that in the future somehow. Maybe when I introduce myself on the first day of lectures. “Confounded class, gaze upon him who embodies the spirit of the sacred white gorilla.” It might even help explain my gorilla costume.

WEST BOAST OR ROAST?

Roast! This one is all over the place. I want to like it only because it’s so ridiculously crazy, as if Englehart were testing the patience of his editor…or perhaps seeing if the editor was paying attention. But I’m afraid it’s a terrible way to start the series.

WEST COAST SCENE (OF THE WEEK)!

Team Angst Assemble! They wouldn’t have any of these problems if Oprah was made the sixth member…

WCA 2.1

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About Christian A. Dumais

Christian A. Dumais is an American writer, humorist and public speaker living in Wrocław, Poland. He has published fiction, journalism, and academic articles in several magazines and journals such as GUD, Shock Totem and Ha!Art. His first collection of short stories, Empty Rooms Lonely Countries, was published in 2009. He also created, edited, and contributed to Cover Stories, a euphictional anthology of 100 stories inspired by songs, which was published in 2010. His most recent book is SMASHED: The Life and Tweets of Drunk Hulk.


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