West Coast Wednesdays: West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #83

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West Coast Avengers, Vol. 2, Issue 83 (June 1992)

WEST COAST CREDITS!

Writer: Roy and Dann Thomas

Artist: Herb Trimpe

WEST COAST SUMMARY!

Seeking to reclaim his powers, the Torch must cooperate with the villainous Hyena.

WEST COAST THOUGHTS!

Herb Trimpe returns to do the art. You might remember the last time he came aboard on the title in West Coast Avengers #75. His work isn’t my cup of tea, honestly, so seeing his work again doesn’t exactly thrill me. On top of that, this issue looks and feels like another dreaded fill-in issue, which never turns out well (see West Coast Avengers #30West Coast Avengers #38West Coast Avengers #58West Coast Avengers #59, and West Coast Avengers #64).

The Torch arrives at a junkyard at night to meet his old nemesis – the Hyena. He believes that the Hyena has information regarding the location of his deceased partner, Toro. The Hyena isn’t there, instead the Torch is ambushed by a gang of thugs. After making quick work of the thugs, the Torch finds a note from the Hyena on one of the unconscious bodies.

Let’s take a moment to examine the note:

1) The Hyena has his own personalized stationery.

2) His personalized stationery ignites whenever its near extreme heat.

3) The Hyena imagines a world where every clock is synchronized.

4) He really likes to underline words for emphasis.

5) His signature is also a catchphrase.

6) His signature is conveniently written to fit the comic panel.

7) The Hyena is really confident that Torch will go through the pockets of unconscious people.

Sorry about that.

The Torch returns to the compound to find a completely different team because this is an inventory issue the real members are dealing with the aftermath of “Operation: Galactic Storm”. The Torch has doubts about employing this ragtag group of heroes (Quicksilver, Mockingbird, Tigra, Pym, Wasp and Machine Man) against the Hyena. We learn a lot of exposition about who the Hyena is (he hasn’t smiled since 1947) and the Torch’s history with him. The Torch also reveals that he recently lost his powers fighting Master Man.

The Torch finally goes downtown to the Gingerbread House and confronts the Hyena. The Hyena wants the Torch to strap on a device that will give him access to “all of the networked computer power in the Los Angeles area.” This will allow the Torch to gain access to any classified information about his partner Toro, as well as destroy the block that stops the Torch from accessing his powers. All the Hyena wants in return is to benefit from some of the information the Torch learns.

When the Torch straps on the device, three simultaneous events happen on the highway outside the Gingerbread House: 1) a truck full of starving hyenas are released; 2) a monster truck starts destroying cars on the highway; and 3) a plane crashes. The team arrives to deal with the three threats, which finally answers the question: Who wins in a fight between Tigra and a pack of hyenas? Highlight the area below to see the answer:

Really? You actually highlighted this? I’m…well…I guess I’m impressed. It was Tigra. 

The Hyena begs for the Torch is flame on, but he takes off the device and destroys it instead. I’ll make a long story short here…the Hyena wanted the Torch to activate his powers, which would’ve set off an explosion that would’ve killed thousands of people (the three aforementioned events were designed to trap in as many people as possible in one area). The Hyena, who is already dying of cancer, would’ve died knowing that the Torch would be wracked with guilt. However, the Torch knowing something was amiss chose not to get his powers back, thus foiling the Hyena’s stupid plan.

Though the Hyena is upset his plan didn’t become a reality, he doesn’t care because you can’t punish someone who is dying. And on cue, he dies.

Or so he thinks, as he wakes up later in a hospital surrounded by the heroes. The doctor at the hospital offers his theory to why the Hyena is no longer dying. You see, his moroseness triggered his cancer, and because he recently started smiling and laughing (thanks to his plan to kill the Torch), it forced his cancer into remission. And then, I shit you not, the story ends with the doctor saying “…laughter is the best medicine.”

Fun Puff Chrissy Fact: this is the issue that shipped the month I graduated from high school.

WEST BOAST OR ROAST?

Roast. Now we know why I grew up believing that seriousness caused cancer.

WEST COAST SCENE (OF THE WEEK)!

Hot and bothered?

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
West Coast Avengers Annual #6
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #75
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #76
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #77
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #78
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #79
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #80
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #81
West Coast Avengers Vol. 2, #8
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