Marvel pulled out all the stops when it introduced the world to the first spin-off super-team comic. Yeah, they’d experimented with The New Mutants in 1983, but they really had their own name. West Coast Avengers was the first comic to bear the name of another. It was the next step in corporate comic-making. An evolution. According to some, the beginning of the end.
And it even felt like a money grab. The first issue was double sized, and the villain was a fan favorite: Ultron. It crossed over with another comic, The Vision and Scarlet Witch (a 12-issue maxi-series), to further attack your wallet. It even replaced James Rhodes with Tony Stark, in his most hideous armor of all time.
But it did all this with a wink and a nod. Clint Barton, the team’s leader, had to deal with a bossy Wasp and her territorial sense of jurisdiction—Hawkeye’s team could only operate west of the Mississippi.
In all, we’re off to a good start. It would be an even better one if Al Milgrom weren’t the artist. But I guess you can’t have everything.