Comic Review – West Coast Avengers #1

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West Coast Avengers #1 Cover

It had seemed like such a simple plan at first – Move out to California to get away from the craziness of New York, set up shop as a private investigator and build a new life away from the insanity of saving the world by shooting things with pointy sticks. Unfortunately, craziness has a way of finding you when you’re a recovering superhero. Particularly when you’re trying to build a normal life with a new boyfriend on the other side of the country. Hence why Kate “Hawkeye” Bishop found herself as the only person able to do something about a stampede of land sharks in Santa Monica.

The incident drove home one thing to Kate – the greater Los Angeles area is woefully unprotected when it comes to the sort of craziness that happens multiple times a week in The Big Apple. Somebody needed to build a team that could protect the west coast. And that someone, apparently, was her!

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Luckily, Kate’s mentor Clint Barton (a.k.a. Hawk Guy, a.k.a. The Other Hawkeye, a.k.a. “Wait, how come I’m The Other Hawkeye When I’m The Original?”) is ready to lend his support, as are her boyfriend (newbie superhero Fuse) and her friend America Chavez. Unluckily, the best recruit Kate could attract for the new team after a day of auditions was Gwenpool – a superhero (sort-of) who has powers (kind-of) who is crazy (totally) and only showed up because she wanted to take Kate out for tacos. Then there’s the question of how she’s going to pay for the whole thing…

Enter Quentin Quire (a.k.a. Kid Omega) – telepath, telekinetic, super-genius and insufferable jerk. Like every third person in Los Angeles, Quentin had gotten his own reality show, which was in danger of cancellation since Quentin had kinda lied about still being part of the X-Men when he pitched the idea of a new kind of superhero reality show. Bringing him in would solve all Kate’s financial problems. Unfortunately, it also meant having to deal with Quentin Quire on a daily basis and having every aspect of her life filmed for the amusement of the masses.

Still, Kate has a team. It’s a team made up of newbies, narcissists and heavily armed lunatics. But still, technically a team that is largely committed to saving lives in a way that is totally non-lethal and worthy of the Avengers name! We hope.

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I love comedy superhero books and that alone would be reason enough for me to recommend West Coast Avengers #1. The fact that this book is hilarious, however, is secondary to the fact that there’s a great dynamic to this book, which continues the stories of several great characters who were in danger of vanishing into Comic Book Limbo. And Quentin Quire. (Seriously – does anyone like this guy?)

Writer Kelly Thompson is on familiar territory here, having written the Hawkeye solo series and America Chavez’s book America. Those of you who enjoyed her work there will find more of the same blend of high-octane action and character-based comedy here. And those fans of Gwenpool still grieving that series’ cancellation will be glad to know that Gwen is back and as wacky as ever.

All of this is ably illustrated by Marvel mainstay Stefano Caselli (Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways). Caselli proves equally capable of depicting any action sequence, no matter how insane, and instilling a sense of life and motion into the static scenes of the characters talking. He also shows a fantastic gift for expression, somehow making even the masked Gwenpool expressive despite half of her face being concealed.

Bottom Line: if you’re in the market for a fun and funny comic book that isn’t afraid to get dangerous and ridiculous in equal measure, you should give West Coast Avengers a try.

10/10

West Coast Avengers #1 releases on August 22, 2018!


Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.

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