West Coast Avengers #1



WCA[2018]1Whilst 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”.

This article is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of the site owner.


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For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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