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West_Coast_Avengers

West Coast Avengers

The West Coast Avengers is a fictional group of superheroes that appear in publications published by Marvel Comics. The team first appear in The West Coast Avengers #1 (Oct. 1984) and was created by Roger Stern and Bob Hall.

Publication history

The West Coast Avengers first appear in 1984 in a four-issue limited series published from October to January 1985. The series was written by Roger Stern, and drawn by Bob Hall and Brett Breeding. This was followed by a 102-issue series of the same name that ran from October 1985 to January 1994. The series was written by Steve Engelhart (with some fill-in issues covered by writers such as Mark Gruenwald) with art by Al Milgrom and Joe Sinnott. This creative team left as of issue #41, and from issue #42 to 57 the title was written and illustrated by John Byrne. The title was also renamed Avengers West Coast as of issue #47, dated August 1989. From issue #58 the creative team varied, although writers Roy Thomas and Dann Thomas and artist Paul Ryan completed the majority of the run.

Fictional team biography

The team is founded by the Avenger Hawkeye in response to a suggestion by android fellow Avenger the Vision, who at the time is unbalanced and wishes to prevent Hawkeye from meddling in Avenger business. Hawkeye recruits Mockingbird; Wonder Man; Tigra and Iron Man, with the last actually being Jim Rhodes as opposed to Tony Stark, a fact initially unknown to the team. Together the team defeat a petty criminal called the Blank and later Avengers foe Graviton.

After a brief hiatus, the team take on Henry Pym as a scientific adviser and battle a range of both old foes - including the Grim Reaper; Ultron; ; Graviton and Zodiac - and new opponents such as Master Pandemonium and Dominus. Fantastic Four member the Thing and heroine Firebird briefly accompany the team during this period; Henry Pym (later saved by Firebird from a suicide attempt) and the adventurer Moon Knight formally join, and Iron Man is expelled for his actions during the Armor Wars. The marriage of Hawkeye and Mockingbird is also placed in jeopardy when during a time travel adventure she allows the Old West hero Phantom Rider to die in a fall for deceiving and raping her.

After a trip to Hungary to investigate a report on Pym's first wife, the Wasp; Scarlet Witch and the Vision join the team. Former Avenger Mantis makes a brief appearance and Moon Knight leaves the team. Rogue agents of the United States government, manipulated by the time traveler Immortus, then abduct the Vision and dismantle him. The Avengers recover the parts, and Dr. Pym rebuilds the Vision but with a chalk-white complexion. Wonder Man, however, does not allow his brain patterns to be used again to provide a matrix for Vision's emotions, explaining that the original process, done without his consent, had "ripped out his soul". Although Wonder Man's own love for the Scarlet Witch leads him to feel guilt, he justifies his actions by claiming the Vision was never anything but a copy of him, a claim that a number of other Avengers, including the Wasp, accept. This, along with damage to the Vision's synthetic skin when he was dismantled, results in the synthezoid's resurrection as a colorless and emotionless artificial human. The unstable USAgent is also placed on the team by the US government to monitor the team's activities.

A group of odd super-humans decide to mimic the Avengers and become the Great Lakes Avengers, while the original Human Torch returns from his own apparent demise. This casts doubt on the Vision's identity, who was previously believed to have been created from the Torch's body. The Vision and the Scarlet Witch's children (conceived via the Scarlet Witch's hex powers) are then revealed to be fragments of the soul of the demon Mephisto, who had been broken apart by Franklin Richards shortly before the birth of the twins. The twins were absorbed back into Mephisto, which temporarily drove the Witch insane. Although Wanda eventually recovers, she and the Vision separate, each operating on a different Avengers team.

Iron Man rejoins, and the mutant Quicksilver aids the team when the Scarlet Witch aids their father Magneto during the period in which she suffers from a mental breakdown. Immortus is also finally confronted and revealed to be the cause of much of the team's misfortune, and is finally defeated. The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver then leave the team, with Machine Man becoming a reservist and Spider-Woman and the Living Lightning and joining as full-time members.

The team battle Ultron and his new creation Alkhema several times, and Hawkeye assumes his old identity of Goliath, also managing to reconcile with Mockingbird. Iron Man and Wonder Man leave the team, and are replaced by War Machine (Jim Rhodes, one of the founding West Coast Avengers) and Darkhawk, with the latter acting as a reservist. During a battle with the demons Mephisto and Satannish, Mockingbird is killed. Due to constant in-fighting and a general lack of organization, Captain America intervenes and disbands the team. Several members of the West Coast team - including a returned Iron Man - are unhappy about the decision and leave to form another team, called Force Works. This team, however, has several setbacks and quickly disbands, with the members returning to the main Avengers team.

Bibliography

  • West Coast Avengers #1-4 (October 1984 - January 1985)
  • West Coast Avengers vol. 2, #1 - 46 (October 1985 - July 1989)
  • West Coast Avengers Annual #1 - 3 (1986 - 1988)
  • Avengers West Coast #47 - 102 (August 1989 - January 1994)
  • Avengers West Coast Annual #4 - 8 (1989 - 1993)

Footnotes

External links

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