Whilst Kelly Thompson’s penmanship for Issue One of “West Coast Avengers” must have undeniably demonstrated to its readers her “love [for] team books… [and] that magic chemistry you can get” when the super-group assemble to thwart some villain’s diabolical scheme, the Eisner Award-nominee’s narrative also emphatically established her desire “to jam in all the jokes all the time” and disconcerting inability to employ the “certain amount of restraint you need” so as not to “quickly overwhelm everything” with humour. Indeed, straight from this oversized thirty-page periodical’s ‘get-go’ its entire proceedings appear to played for laughs, starting with its sense-shattering opening featuring Santa Monica being invaded by a rampaging shoal of fantastically-fanged land-sharks; “Look at the damnfutzing news, Clint! And get ready — because America is gonna be there to teleport your butt right to me in about two seconds!”
Admittedly, despite the sequence’s utter silliness there must have been few within this new ongoing series’ audience who weren’t quickly enthralled by Kate Bishop and Hawkeye’s rodeo ride through the beachfront city atop a multi-legged man-eater, nor impressed with the pair’s athletic antics as they first lassoed the lead large fish with a rope arrow so as to “point it back toward the sea” and then successfully got the other monsters of the deep to follow it. However, once this pulse-pounding predicament has been overcome and Stefano Caselli’s proficient panels portray events back at Hawkeye Investigations on Venice Beach, this publication’s storyline sadly delves ever deeper into pure farce with its entire cast seemingly trying to be funny, facetious or downright juvenile, such as Gwendolyn Poole filling Kid Omega’s room with two hundred wet towels simply because the mutant powerhouse apparently leaves “your towels on the bathroom floor.”
Disappointingly, a lot of these jokes aren’t even all that original with one of the book’s main themes debatably being ‘borrowed’ from the December 1976 “Fantastic Four” story “Look Out For The Frightful Four”, where the Wizard attempts to recruit a much needed fourth member to his evil band from an array of no-hopers like Captain Ultra, Texas Twister and Osprey in a manner suspiciously similar to Bishop’s unsuccessful interviews with Bread, Doctor Mole, The Broken Watch and Surf Doctor. Whilst the amateur private eye’s agreement to have her team’s early days filmed for a television programme dishearteningly smacks of parallels to the truly tragic cause behind the “Marvel Worldwide” 2006-2007 crossover storyline “Civil War”.